The state of Nevada has a rich history of boomtowns, silver mining, and gambling as well as plenty of reports of haunted places. Next time you're in Nevada, check out some of these notorious and spooky haunts.
Located on the Nevada-Arizona border and spanning the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam was built and dedicated in the 1930s. The dam created a large reservoir, Lake Mead, which was flooded on top of a former Mormon settlement, the city of St. Thomas. During that period, dam building was dangerous work, and there were many fatalities. Today, the dam generates power used in the states of Nevada and California.
Along with the more than 100 deaths during the dam's construction, the Hoover Dam is also the site of suicides by people jumping from its pedestrian walkway. Many feel this, along with the energy generated by water moving through the dam, makes Hoover Dam a hotspot for paranormal activity. Reports including seeing apparitions and hearing crying and footsteps in the dam and power plant.
Hoover Dam is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Power plant tours are available, and the Visitor Center is open from 9 to 5 daily.
While You're in the Area
Spend a night in the haunted Boulder Dam Hotel in Boulder City. The hotel was built in 1933 specifically for people visiting the dam, and Howard Hughes stayed there after his Lake Mead plane crash. If it's a Friday, you may also want to head up to Las Vegas for the Haunts & the Mob Vegas Tour, a walking tour through downtown Vegas for some history and hauntings.
When it comes to ghosts and hauntings, Virginia City is no joke. The entire town has a haunted reputation stemming from its history as a boomtown that sprung up in the 1850s in the wake of the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the United States' first silver deposit discovery.
You can't walk through Virginia City without discovering claims of some type of paranormal activity or another. From parking lots to hotels, people report hearing disembodied voices, seeing apparitions, and more.
Places You Must See
While you may experience a ghost just walking around town, some places in Virginia City are notoriously haunted.
- The Silver Queen Hotel, a 28-room historic hotel, welcomes guests and offers ghost tours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Call (775) 847-0440 for more information.
- Take a walking tour of haunted Virginia City with Bats in the Belfry Ghost Tours.
- Take a hike to the haunted Yellow Jacket Mine along the Bear Creek National Recreation Trail. The Yellow Jacket Mine was the site of a mining disaster and fire that killed 39 miners.
- Stop by the Old Washoe Club (now a haunted museum) which offers daily ghost tours.
- Visit the haunted Fourth Ward School Museum a former public school built in 1876 with reports of ghostly activity.
While You're in the Area
Head west from Virginia City along Interstate 80, and in just over an hour you'll find yourself in Donner Pass, California, the site where the ill-fated Donner Party lost nearly half of its members. There's a museum and gift shop there with a haunted reputation. A short 33 minute drive from Virginia City taking NV 341W and Interstate 580 will take you to Bowers Mansion in the Washoe Valley, an 1860s mansion with a haunted reputation.
Nevada's capital was established in 1858, and it became a thriving boomtown upon the discovery of the Comstock Lode. With a rich history as a Wild West Frontier town supporting the silver mining industry, it's no surprise Carson City is also home to numerous haunts.
Haunted Houses and Mansions
Carson City has several haunted homes. While most are private offices or residences, Carson City Ghost Walks will take you by several of the city's reportedly haunted historic homes including:
- The home of Carson City's founder, the Abraham Curry House is now a private office building not open to the public, although you can walk by its location at 406 N. Nevada Street. It's on the National Register of Historic Places, and many believe Abraham Curry haunts his former residence, as many report seeing his apparition.
- The Sears-Ferris home, also called Ferris Mansion, was built in 1863 as a private residence. Today, it serves as office space located at 311 West Third Street.
- The Governor's Mansion in Carson City is rumored to be haunted by the first First Family.
Nevada State Museum
Formerly the Carson City Mint, the Nevada State Museum is a great place to go learn about Nevada's history and people, but it may also be a great place to spot a ghost. Even though Abraham Curry is reported to haunt his former home, rumor has it this ghost gets around. Curry was also the mint superintendent, and people report seeing his apparition there, as well. People also report seeing the apparition of a mint employee who was crushed to death in an accident. The Nevada State Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults. The museum is located at 600 North Carson Street.
More Nevada Haunts
- If you're a Ghost Adventures fan visiting Las Vegas, stop by Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum, 11,000 square feet of haunted building filled with haunted artifacts. It's located at 600 E. Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas.
- If you're a fan of ghost towns that are also filled with ghosts, stop by Rhyolite, located just outside of Beatty. It's a cool, crumbling town that once had 10,000 residents and now may have a few ghostly residents.
- If you're in Reno, stop by the Sundance Bookstore (formerly the Levy House). Located at 121 California Avenue in Reno, the former mansion is rumored to be an active haunt.
- Take a walking ghost tour through Genoa, Nevada's oldest town.
Wherever you go in Nevada, you'll find fascinating history and possible hauntings. Whether you visit one of Nevada's former boomtowns or you're there to take in a show and do some gambling, take the time to explore the state's haunted history.