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Virginia City ghosts at the Old Washoe Club

Photos of ghosts in The Old Washoe Club in Virginia City, NV
Posted October 12 2011 07:23 PM by eurotuner 
Filed under: Editorials

Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club

In the October 2011 issue of eurotuner magazine and here at, we brought you the story of the Spectre 341 Challenge. It’s an annual hillclimb event that takes place in Virginia City, NV, about 30min from Reno.


During the course of the weekend, we visited the wild west-themed town on several occasions, enjoying its wooden boardwalks, town’s folk in period cowboy costumes and all the associated tourist attractions that go along with it.

If you’re ever in Nevada, we certainly recommend a visit. It had a small gunfight arena, a stagecoach ride, steam train and much more.

However, Virginia City also has a darker side, one that we alluded to in the magazine and promised to expand upon in a blog.

Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club



Fans of ghost TV shows will know the city for its many haunted locations, including the infamous Old Washoe Club, the Mackey residence and the graveyard, to name a few.

As a result, people conduct ghost tours through the town at night to reveal the more active areas.

With the excitement of the racing we were covering, the town’s spirits were far from my mind when I came across a familiar-looking building. Having never visited before, my attention was caught by a board inside the building that referenced the Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures TV shows.

Both programs had visited the town and spent time in the club. Ghost Hunters appeared to find little evidence, but Ghost Adventures discovered some significant, chilling presence.

Sitting down at the bar for a drink, we were invited to visit the building’s ghost museum in the back. Admission is free when you buy a drink so we waited until it was fully dark and ventured in.

The museum has a number of artifacts but most chilling was an enlarged photo of what they call “The Blue Lady”. It’s a transparent figure on a spiral staircase that used to lead to the club’s upper floors in its mining heyday.

The museum has a screen monitoring a number of nightvision cameras in the building, including one positioned in an anteroom at the rear. Unfortunately, upstairs access wasn’t possible due to the state or disrepair.


Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club


Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club




We ventured into the back room, which is stonewalled, damp, dark and has no ceilings. You can see up to the three-storey roof, with the remnants of a short staircase in the far corner at the third-floor level.

This high, short staircase appears to hang in the room and is instantly curious.

Accompanied by Neill Bachand and Cory Burns, there was a heavy, cold atmosphere in the room. We later learned it had been used as a temporary morgue in the previous century. It was an overflow from the town’s main mortuary, storing bodies in winter until the ground was soft enough for them to be buried.

Even without this knowledge, we all agreed the room felt unusually creepy. Turning off the lamp on a small table in the room this it almost impossible to remain in there.

We turned the lamp back on and tried to regain our composure when a small group of people entered the room. They were looking up at the staircase and back at a camera screen. After enquiring, we were shown one photo with nothing out of the ordinary, followed by a second that appeared to have a small, round, blue face peering down from under the stairs.

Unconvinced, I used my iPhone to shoot off two quick photos. We took another two with the light off.

It wasn’t until the next day that we discovered the same blue face in the first two photos.

I’ve posted the photos here but the resolution makes it very difficult to identify the face. We’ve done nothing to enhance the image because we don’t want to be accused of inventing the story for any reason. However, the face is in the bottom left corner of the stairs, between the two uprights and just above the wooden floor.

The photo shows a similar blue face we’d seen on the lady’s camera. It’s round, bluish, with deep-set eyes.

Perhaps more convincing for us is that the second photo, taken from a slightly different angle, shows the face has depth. It’s still transparent but you can see a chin and neck as you look up at it. It’s not simply two-dimensional, as in the first picture. This is 3D…




Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club




At the time, we had no idea what we’d captured because we didn’t take it very seriously and hadn’t looked closely at the screen. It was Neill who found them the following day, or I might have deleted them.

As we were sitting in the back room with the lamp off again, Neill had wandered out into the museum. I was looking up and to my right. In the total darkness, I started to see a shaft of light move across the roof from front to back.

As it turns out, it was traveling down a section of pipe, which is shown in the photo. However, I have no idea where the light was coming from or how it was moving.

With my attention focused on the light above, Neill returned to the back. As he stepped through the open door we all heard a sound. He described it as a chair being dragged across the floor, and also felt a rush of cold air past him.

To me, the same sound was right next to me. I thought it was somebody’s phone vibrating on the table, but I felt no wind.

Cory also heard the same sound and all of us looked at each other to see if we’d heard it and which of us caused it. We all asked the same question but none of us had created it. It was incredibly vivid but we have no explanation for what it was or how it was created. It remains chilling and unexplained.


Virginia City, NV ghosts Old Washoe Club



After finding the blue face photos the next day, we returned to the Old Washoe Club that evening to resume our search. Word had got round and a larger group joined us. This time, the atmosphere in the back room was completely different. It felt lighter, less sinister.

While a group of us were gathered in the back, we noticed a ghost tour group had entered the museum and, although there was a camera on us, we decided to remain silent in the dark. One of us hid under the small table and we held our breath.

Again, the lack of light makes the accompanying video difficult to see but you can here the screams after several people enter the room. The person under the table dragged a stool across the floor and the visitors ran out screaming. It was hilarious for all and they eventually saw the humor.

With little to show for our evening, a large group of us decided to trek to the graveyard about one mile out of town. This definitely isn’t allowed and alcohol may have played a part in the decision.

As we stumbled around in the darkness, there were no experiences to be had or ghosts to be seen. However, I had taken a number of photos of the town as we passed through. It looked rather spooky and seemed to make good photos.

Again, we didn’t inspect them until later, when another face was discovered in the upstairs room below the museum sign.

It’s in the third window from the left, just above the banister rail. At first, I thought it was a reflection of the decorative ball on the banister. However, the angle of the light would make this impossible. The presence of two black eyes, and the shape of the ears and nose would also rule this out.

This face seems more menacing than the first. We checked other photos we’d taken of the same building in daylight to see if a mannequin was placed in the window, but it just seemed to have shelves.

This face is more defined and a little more chilling than the blue face.

To add some perspective, none of us are regular ghost hunters or even believers before this happened. I’d had some previous experiences but had generally tried to explain it as something else or put it out of my mind. However, the ghost faces in Virginia City might have changed the minds of a few people.

- Greg Emmerson, Editor

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