Washoe Club and Chollar Mine

Ghost Adventures went back to its roots by investigating in Virginia City, Nevada. In 2004 the Old Washoe Club was the location of Zak, Nick and Aaron’s first documentary. That investigation included The Silver Queen hotel where they got their first major piece of evidence in the form of a full bodied apparition walking from inside a room to the door in room 11. This particular clip was played repeatedly through the episode.

During The Silver Queen recap Zak talked about a prostitute who had committed suicide in room 11 by slitting her wrists while bathing in the claw foot tub. At first I thought this might be a tale manufactured for tourists, but then the young woman showed up and I had a chat with her. She said her name was Josie and she killed herself because she had a male patron who had promised to marry her. That promise evaporated when she turned up pregnant. She thought this man was her ticket out of prostitution. The collapse of her hopes combined with early pregnancy hormone shifts dropped Josie into a fatal despair. She was young; I would say early 20’s at the time of her death. So I find it fascinating that the well-known clip of a misty full body apparition caught by Ghost Adventures in 2004 seems to be that of a tall broad shouldered man.

Could the ghost of that particular man have been Josie’s faithless patron? I am getting a no… but a lot people cycled through those rooms. My guides are telling me the 2004 apparition Ghost Adventures caught on tape  was murdered in room 11. Apparently he was solo the night of his death, at least until the men who killed him showed up. One man did the killing with a knife; the other was the lookout. They knew what they were doing; the fatal wound was a kidney stab from behind.

This time the Ghost Adventures crew went back to the Washoe Club and added the Chollar Mine to their investigation. At the Washoe Club EVP experts Mark and Debby Constantino were invited in for an hour of lockdown because they had recently captured some clear EVP’s that asked for both Nick and Zak by name.

Janice Obering walked Zak through some key history. Virginia City, Nevada boomed in the 1860’s when silver was discovered. Miners poured into town looking to get rich quick. Most of them did not get rich. The millionaires of the silver boom were mine owners and managers. This group built the Washoe Club as an exclusive location to party with their girlfriends and higher class prostitutes. I think reported sightings of “The Lady in Blue” are the ghost of a high-end madam of the silver boom era.

Current day Washoe Club Manager Wilson Donaldson had over 20 years as a correctional officer under his belt. He matter-of-factly told Zak about paranormal manifestations at the bar Donaldson had witnessed personally. One such event was watching matchbooks flip themselves end over end down the length of the bar. According to Donaldson the fourth barstool has a habit of throwing itself to the floor.

As Ghost Adventures has become more popular, past sites they have investigated have seen an increase in ghost hunters. The increase of people flocking to the Washoe Club has stirred up the ghosts in residence. Zak  felt the energy of the place had changed since 2004. One such group included Alex A. a young woman who participated in a second floor ballroom seance with an unnamed Australian psychic. During the seance the psychic said that a man in a dark coat had just walked into the room. The next rather melodramatic statement was that the group was in the presence of a murderer. Furthermore, this particular shade had killed before and enjoyed it. Despite the somewhat over the top presentation the psychic was right. I saw the man enter the room. He was late 40’s had on a black, stylish suit with silver embroidery on the lapels. He had somewhat shaggy graying hair, a matching black hat and thought the world of himself. Unfortunately he really did enjoy killing and thrived on the power involved in watching someone die at his will.

Another paranormal hot spot is the Washoe Club’s brick walled storage room. In the 1800’s the local morgue filled up in the winter. Surplus corpses were embalmed and stashed in the Washoe Club storage room where temperatures stayed cold. When the ground thawed they would be given a proper burial. I got a grim mental image of rows of rough wooden coffins sitting on top of tables, waiting for spring. I would be interested to know if any photos were taken at the time that might back up or dispute this mental picture.

A local deliveryman named Rusty was scared silly. He was delivering beer to the Washoe Club and took it down to the storage room. He suddenly dropped the cases of beer, ran to the sidewalk and vomited. He refused to talk about what he had seen or ever go back inside the club. He changed his delivery route to avoid it. I think whatever he saw was messing with his mind. I asked to be shown what he saw and the image was a lot more Hollywood than any real ghosts I have ever seen. I saw a male figure that wouldn’t be out of place in an Ann Rice novel. Pale man, shoulder length hair, smiling with perfect teeth outlined in blood. Something was trying to mess with me too. So whatever was down there liked to play with people’s heads. I had Archangel Michael vaporize it, so that should be the last of that particular haunt. Don’t worry there are plenty remaining in the Washoe Club.

Janice Obering told Zak a bit about the hard lives of miners at the Chollar Mine. They worked 20-hour days and no precautions were taken for their safety. The miners also labored under superstitions that put more strain on them. One such belief was that seeing a red haired woman on your way into the mine for the day meant you better turn around and not go in because something bad would happen. What would happen was cut short as Zak teased Janice about her own red hair.

Chollar Mine Owner Chris Keicher told the team of many ways miners died. A common cause of death was falling down assorted mine shafts. Another was electrocution. One of the miners ghosts weighed in on that saying the electrical wires had no insulation on them because the 1861 owners of the mine were “cheap bastards” who didn’t want the expense.

Chris said the worst death for a miner was an underground fire. I got the impression many of the ghosts remaining in the mine today perished in underground fires.

The mine walk-through was disrupted by Aaron freaking out after discovering the mine hosted not only ghosts, but black widow spiders.

Eyewitness Petra Bradt told Zak about taking a bad turn while down in the mine. Similarly to Rusty, the hapless Washoe Club deliveryman, she was hit with a wave of energy that made her feel dizzy and nauseated. She had to leave the mine.

Zak made the dubious decision to have the mine ventilation system turned off to avoid any audio contamination. Right away Zak had an uncharacteristic bout of claustrophobia and felt the air had gotten thick and hard to breathe. At this point I heard the voices of ghosts down at the end of the 400 yard main tunnel ask Zak, “Why didn’t you help us?” These ghosts of miners past had died in a fire at the end of the tunnel. They were confused, thinking Zak, Nick and Aaron were part of a failed rescue crew who had left them to die horribly.

Right as Zak was feeling sick, Nick heard the sound of mining picks working away. Wanting to move on Zak put down a specialized sensor that was activated not by motion but by high EMF fields. Trying provoke a response Zak asked the ghost miners, “What happens if I take your silver?” No response was recorded but I saw the ghost of a heavy set miner get in Zak’s face and yell, “MINE” emphatically.

Aaron also felt sick in the mine, getting dizzy and struggling with the thick air. Just as Aaron mentioned these symptoms, Zak was hit in the face by an unseen object. The team was unable to debunk or prove the incident was paranormal. Zak was definite that he had been hit by something metallic and had not simply run into a wooden support beam in the dark. I asked my guides what Zak had been hit with and was shown the flat side of a mining pick. I guess the miners who had died in pursuit of silver didn’t take kindly to the idea of Zak walking off with their treasure.

The crew got some good results with a database box when Nick started to climb down a shaft by candlelight. It was a bit creepy because the guys couldn’t see the bottom of the shaft. Things got a lot creepier fast when the box started talking. The first word out was the name “Frank”. So Nick and Zak started talking to Frank. The second word was “stair”. Third communication was two words.  According to Zak the box isn’t supposed to be able to generate more than one word at a time. The two words were, “fell through”. There was no further voice interaction but Nick strongly felt Frank was coming up the shaft and felt a presence around his lower legs.

I got a visual of a miner falling down a shaft and suffering a nasty compound fracture when he hit bottom. It shattered the lower leg bone, which was sticking up through the skin. I doubt whoever suffered that fall ever walked again. Given the state of 1860’s medicine such an injury would likely result in amputation of the leg at the knee.

The Ghost Adventures static night vision camera’s got several audio recordings of past miner’s picks at work. The first recording was pretty faint, the second much clearer.

The second location of this episode was back at the Washoe Club. Owner John Mitchell locked the crew in and also handled Mark and Debby Constantino’s hour with the team.

The Constantino’s were called in because within the last three months or so they had picked up some Class A EVP’s of the Washoe Club ghosts calling Zak and Nick by name. The EVP’s shared asked for Nick by his full name, “Nick Groff” Apparently they were not fans because the next EVP was, “Hate Nick” Zak was also mentioned, “Zak… look out.” and “Nick. Zak. Coming…. They’re scaring me.” I have heard ghosts ask for investigators who happen to be on site via a shack hack, but this is the first time I have heard of ghosts asking for investigators who haven’t visited in five years! The Constantino’s are familiar with this sort of request, as they have often been asked for by ghosts in a variety of locations covered in past investigations.  Adding to the creep factor for Ghost Adventures was the particularly clear and precise way Nick’s name was said in all the EVP’s asking for him.

The moment Zak, Nick and Aaron were locked down at the Washoe Club, an all male group of ghosts watched them intently from a variety of perspectives. There was one looking down the stairs, one standing in the hall, one peering at them from an adjoining room… no doubt in the ghosts minds, Ghost Adventures were in the house!

Zak started out by telling the ghosts they had asked for the crew and they were present. Right away Zak and Nick both smelled cigar smoke. Zak asked if the spirit who liked to attack women was there. Nothing was recorded but I got yes, the ghost of the man who liked to hurt women was next to them. A moment later there was a loud bang and something hit Nick’s leg hard. Zak angrily demanded to know, “Who did this?” I heard a mocking, smug male voice laughingly respond, “The King”. I wish THAT had been picked up on EVP, but it wasn’t.

Zak pulled out a hack, a constantly roving AM radio and got some real time interaction with a female ghost. First he heard, “help…listen” followed shortly by, “trouble”. I got the impression the speaker was the ghost of a prostitute who had been kept at the Washoe Club against her will and eventually murdered there.

At this auspicious moment Zak brought the Constantino’s in. They went up to the second floor of the club and Debby managed to reestablish contact with the male ghost who had previously asked for Zak and Nick by name. As Debby was talking to this ghost Zak felt a cold breeze go past his arm. He asked the ghost, “Did you just step up?” The EVP response was immediate; “…it was me….” Zak then asked “Did you follow Nick home to scare him yesterday when we got here?” The EVP response was a Class A male voice that answered, “yeah”.

Mark kept the ball rolling asking the ghosts around them what they thought about Zak and Nick being back after an absence of three or four years. The EVP answer was, “… we’re not scared of them”. Debby followed up by asking if the ghost(s) could tell her how many were with the crew. The EVP answer was a cryptic, “better not”. At this point footsteps were heard on the floor above them in an otherwise empty building.

The ghostly interview went on with Mark asking, “Who is this message for?” Interestingly Debby and Mark both got EVP responses on their digital recorders but it was two separate voices saying different things. Debby’s EVP said, “Nick go home.” Mark’s EVP said, “I hate Nick.” At this key moment Ghost Adventures camera picked up an orb shooting out of the back of Nick’s neck. They didn’t think it was a reflection of dust, showing the difference between a known dust reflection and the orb that left Nick’s neck.

As all of the above was going on with Nick being the center of ghostly conversation, Aaron seemed to be used as a handy human battery. He was hit with a sudden energy drain to the extent he felt like he was going to black out.  EVP taken at the time said, “It’s only me”. Not exactly reassuring.

Zak in typical provoking mode told the ghost(s) to yell Nick’s name if they wanted him to leave. In response Zak felt a ghostly touch on the back of his neck and a hard tug on the back of  his T-Shirt. Mark experienced something touching his back pocket at nearly the same moment. The next EVP Mark got was a deep voice saying Nick’s last name, “Groff”.

Always ones to push a good thing a little farther, Zak sent Nick off into the second floor ballroom solo. In 2004 a similar solo investigation resulted in Nick being hit by a wall of emotions. This time nothing seemed to happen. A static night vision camera picked up an unexplained voice about 23 minutes after the crew left the ballroom. This was billed as a demonic sounding voice. I couldn’t make out a single word, so demonic was pushing it.

Considering the tone of the EVP conversations Mark and Debby facilitated in this episode I would say negative or even malignant ghosts remain at the Washoe Club. I would stop shy of demonic. Demonic energy is distinctive and a lot stronger than whatever ghost was mumbling into the static night vision camera at the end of this episode.

The final night vision camera image was of a misty figure walking to a door in the direction of the spiral staircase. I did see the light change as the figure passed the doorframe, but couldn’t see much else on the video. Yes, there was a presence moving, but that was all I got.

It was GREAT to see Mark and Debby Constantino at work in a real time playback setting. They got amazing results on the Ghost Adventures Halloween special and I was delighted to see them working with Ghost Adventures again. I hope this becomes a habit because between Zak’s crew and the Constantino’s a lot of evidence, even some of the ghosts personal stories are being recorded so that everyone can experience them, not just mediums like myself or other psychics who also pick up on disembodied spirits easily.

You bet I will keep watching!



Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at:  angelzhands@yahoo.com

(C) 2010 Lynne Olson. All rights reserved.

About Lynne Sutherland Olson

Professional Psychic Medium
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