Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Haunting Experience - Gold Hill, NV

My husband and I were married on December 21, 1986 at the Gold Hill Hotel in Gold Hill, NV about a mile from Virginia City. The original hotel and saloon was built in 1859 after large gold and silver strikes were discovered in the surrounding mountains. The hotel is located next to the infamous Yellow Jacket mine and is the oldest hotel in Nevada. In 1986 the old stone and brick building consisted of a great room, library, bar and rooms upstairs. We exchanged vows at high noon in the great room and celebrated with all who happened to be there. On our wedding night there were no other guests in the the hotel, so when the owners closed the bar they handed us the keys to the place and said it was ours for the night.

The next morning we started packing and I took some things out to the truck. In the parking lot I ran into one of the staff who had come up to open the hotel for the day and we walked back inside together. My husband asked if I had called his name, I told him no, I was outside. He said someone had definitely called his name as he was coming down the stairs and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end. Our hostess simply said "Oh, that was Rosie, she was a working girl here back in the old days and has taken up residence in #4. Other guests have reported the scent of roses and personal articles moved around their room when they weren't there." We're thinking okay, that's cool, and took off on our honeymoon.


We returned to the hotel 10 years later, in 1996, to renew our vows. In the interim since our first visit new rooms and a restaurant had been added. We stayed in one of the new rooms with a fireplace and small veranda facing the Yellow Jacket mine. A blizzard came in the night we arrived so we decided to make a long weekend of it. On the first morning, about 7am, while getting dressed to head down stairs for coffee our smoke alarm started to beep like they do when the battery is running low. We told the staff and they went upstairs to check, said it was fine but put in new batteries anyway. We didn't think much of it until the same thing happened the next two mornings at the same time. We found out that it was most likely the work of William, one of the 47 miners killed in a horrific fire in the mine in April 1869. He has peacefully taken up residence in the hotel and is known as a bit of a trickster according to reports of other guests over the years.

While researching some facts I went to the hotel website and looked through the history pages. On page 3 were pictures of the hotel before and after the renovations. I was amazed to see our wedding party on the front porch of the before photo. There are not coincidences!
These were our first two experiences with ghosts, we had a third one at the old hotel up at Oregon Caves, but I'll save that one for another day. If you want to find out more about the Gold Hill Hotel go to http://www.goldhillhotel.net/. It is a wonderful place to stay and part of the colorful history of the area.