Virginia City - pg 1 - Booze, Blood and Silver
an online magazine exploring the unknown and unexplained... now you can join the adventure...

Booze, Blood & Silver

Exploring the Haunts of Virginia City

By Greg Latimer
Mysterious Destinations Research Director

The Seven Deadly Sins were alive, well and running the show in Virginia City, Nevada during the boom years of the late 1800’s.

Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony wafted through the busy streets just like wind off the nearby Washoe Valley, winning the heart and soul of many a human host.

A lesser variant of that same energy still seems to reside in the remaining buildings that line a historic stretch of C Street (Hwy. 341), the city’s main thoroughfare… And there is evidence that many of the humans who once walked those streets in the historic heyday are still doing so, in ethereal form.

There are reports of paranormal phenomenon throughout the Virginia City area, which begins at the northern edge of town where a series of historic graveyards, collectively known as the Silver Terrace Cemeteries, line a hillside overlooking the town to the south.

As you continue southbound you pass through the main section of town that, except for the paving on the streets, looks like it’s right out of the old west. On or around this section are well known haunts like the Silver Queen Hotel and the Washoe Club. A bit further east, on R Street, is the former St. Mary’s Hospital, said to be home to a number of paranormal entities, and now re-born as the St. Mary’s Art and Retreat Center.

Continuing through town and down the hill a bit, you find yourself in Gold Hill, home to the haunted Gold Hill Hotel. This is the southern border of the Virginia City area, as we define it.

The area between these two way-points may be one of the most haunted neighborhoods in the US, as well as the most accessible and accommodating. Lodging choices (at reasonable prices) abound, as do a variety of saloons and restaurants. Unlike some locations with a history of haunts, most of the innkeepers, merchants, restaurateurs and bartenders of Virginia City welcome both the paranormal entities and the living humans who come to visit them.

The Mysterious Destinations Team recently visited Virginia City to learn about three of the area’s haunted hotspots. We were assisted by Debbie Bender, who runs the Virginia City Ghost Tours through her business Bats in the Belfry. Here are their findings…

Note: The Silver Queen Hotel, which is only mentioned in passing for this article, was the subject of its very own feature (and a source for a very compelling EMF video). That article may be found on the Mysterious Destinations Magazine homepage.

Note: There is a link at the end of this article for a video interview with Debbie Bender of Virginia City Ghost Tours.

The Washoe Club

Located nearly in the middle of Virginia City’s Historic District, the Washoe Club may be the area’s best-known haunt. Featured on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” as well as SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters”, the building has earned its place among elite haunted locations.

The building is a three-story brick structure with the first story currently occupied by commercial properties while the upper stories are unoccupied at this time. Access to the upper stories is restricted, however, arrangements can be made to visit these areas by contacting the Washoe Club at 775-847-4467 or check them online through the link at the end of this article.

During the winter season, the Virginia City Ghost Tours (run by Debbie Bender of Bats in the Belfry) includes the Washoe Club’s upper floors. We arrived to meet Debbie and her crew as a cold November evening fell over Virginia City.

It was mid-evening and chilly when we entered the darkened stairway that leads to the upper floors of the Washoe Club building. We met with a group of ghost hunters who were conducting their own survey of the building, and then moved along to begin our own exploration. Here’s what we found…

Story continued on the next page, please click here...