A few years ago, I got one of those rare opportunities to investigate a spectacular location that is super difficult to get into, the Goldfield Hotel. The best part was that this wasn’t some sponsored event with a bunch of people running around, it was just 5 of us. Even though it was a 9+-hour drive to get there, I jumped at the chance and had one of the best paranormal experiences of my life. It was also one of the best road trips I’ve ever had. After I quit investigating with my in Utah, I stayed close with my good friend Helmey Kramer. Even though he’ll never admit it publicly, we’re pretty much BFF’s and we have a blast when we get to go looking for spooky things together. So when he called me and asked if I wanted to come with him I didn’t hesitate and booked us rooms at the only operational hotel in Goldfield.
We met up with the wonderful Haunted Nevada author, Janice Oberding, and two great guys from Empathic Paranormal, Richard St. Clair, and Cimmaron Sam. They introduced us to Virginia Ridgeway who was, up until recently the gatekeeper of the hotel, and is very protective of the hotel, it’s lingering spirits, and who she would let inside. While we were there, a handful of cars stopped in front of the hotel just to get a peek in the window. The people who still live in Goldfield work very hard to keep the trespassers out, and because of this, the hotel is in fantastic shape.
Our first day there we took a quick walkthrough of the hotel and spent the rest of the time exploring the small town, cemetery, and Goldfield High School. Our plan was to return to the hotel the next evening and spend the night seeing what, if anything, we could capture. While I knew the hotel was supposedly very active, and I was aware it had been featured on the major paranormal TV shows, I had not watched any of them and wasn’t real familiar with the history or reported activity.
I was surprised at just how large the hotel is. Built in 1908 it had 150 hotel rooms, an electric elevator, crystal chandeliers, carpeting in all the rooms, and most rooms had private bathrooms. It also had a lobby trimmed in mahogany, a large safe (still in the hotel) and black leather upholstery.
The hotel was in use until shortly after WWII, and it has sat empty ever since, despite many plans of refurbishment. If you want to know more about the hotel’s history, check out Janice Oberding’s book Ghosts of Goldfield and Tonopah. I’m just going to focus this post on my experience while at the hotel.
We arrived midday and met Virginia, Janice, Cim and Richard and were given access to the hotel. After being given a brief tour by Virginia, the others left and Helmey and I walked around the various floors of the hotel to get a feel for the layout and get some audio and video. We didn’t hear or see anything unusual while in the hotel and decided to leave his laptop set up in one of the hallways to automatically record if triggered by motion.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but we captured a pretty decent EVP on video. This was captured on the 3rd floor.
We went back to the hotel shortly after sundown and met Janice, Cim and Richard in the lobby. Locking the doors behind us, we left most of our belongings in the lobby and headed down into the basement. We set up a laser grid and video camera in a hallway in the basement and while we were exploring a room nearby that appeared to be some type of workshop, something very interesting happened.
There was a makeshift table made out plywood, with what appeared to be some old junk and/or trash on top and the guys saw what they thought was a ping pong ball or small ball roll off the table. No one thought much of it until it simply disappeared in midair. We searched the room looking for the “ball” or anything that could have been mistaken for a ball and nothing was to be found. Needless to say, the night got off to an interesting start, and things only got better from there!
After being in the basement for awhile, we decided to leave some equipment running unattended there and headed back upstairs. To get to the basement of the Goldfield you have to pass through what used to be the saloon, and then a very large room that was the ballroom.
When we were almost at the top of the stairs we all clearly heard people talking, laughing and walking about. It wasn’t whispering either, it was as if there were a group of people goofing around in the ballroom. Janice and I immediately looked at each other and said our purses! We hurried up the stairs afraid that people had somehow gotten into the hotel and all of our valuables were just sitting by the door. As soon as we got to the top of the stairs all noise instantly stopped. It became immediately eerily quiet.
Not seeing anyone in the ballroom, and not hearing any footsteps we thought perhaps whoever had gotten in was hiding, and there were a lot of areas for people to hide in. We got to the lobby and everything was how we had left it. Our purses and equipment were untouched, and the front door was still padlocked. Helmey and I headed outside to check the perimeter of the hotel to see if there was any way someone could’ve gotten in and nothing was unlocked, none of the boarded areas were loose.
Did we hear the remnants of a party from long ago? I can’t explain what we heard but it is the loudest, clearest, unexplainable noise I’ve ever heard while exploring a haunted location.
We went upstairs and 2-3 of us stayed on the 2nd floor, and the other 2 went to the 4th floor. We wanted to make sure that we were sufficiently spread out in the building to avoid any noise contamination. Helmey and Janice said they’d be on the east wing and Cim, Richard, and I decided to camp out on the west wing.
We did some EVP work while sitting at the end of the long hallway, our backs to the wall so we could see down the hallway to our right and in front of us. After a few minutes, it’s hard to say how many exactly we started hearing heavy footsteps directly above us. It sounded like someone was pacing back and forth. We listened to the footsteps for quite awhile and hoped they were loud enough to be picked up on our voice recorders. Unfortunately, they were not. After awhile we thought that it must be Helmey and Janice, and were kind of confused as to why they would be walking around directly above us when they knew that we were sitting there. You can see our reaction to what we were hearing in the video clip below.
Helmey and Janice came back a few minutes later and said they hadn’t been on the 3rd floor at all, they were on the east side of the 4th floor the entire time. They joined us in the hallway and we sat and talked for awhile while still recording.
At the end of the hallway was an open room and we could see directly out the window which faces the Goldfield Gift Shop across the street. There was a light on that corner that was shining in through the hotel window. Helmey noticed that something appeared to be crossing in front of the doorway blocking out the light from outside.
Again, I can’t say how long we sat and watched something moving at the end of the hallway, slowly blocking out the light, but it seemed like quite awhile. It’s hard to capture anything in the dark on video from that distance but whatever this was would slowly walk in front of the doorway, and for a moment, it appeared to be heading towards us down the hallway. There was no sound, and we didn’t capture any EVPs during this time. After a few minutes, we couldn’t see it anymore and we decided that it was time to pack up our stuff and call it a night.
This has been by far, my favorite haunted location to explore. I really had no expectations for that night, but I was not disappointed. It is an amazing building, and one of the most paranormally active places I’ve been to date.