I've been wanting to do another post on Ghost Towns for a while now, and decided I'd go ahead and do it today. However, this one will focus more on "the" hotel, rather than "the" town... So here we go.
About halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, lies the teeny, tiny little town of Goldfield, Nevada or what's left of it anyway. As one might deduce from its name, gold was discovered in the area in 1902. By 1904, a bevy of miners produced 800 tons of ore worth over two million dollars. News traveled fast and in no time at all, Goldfield became the largest town in the state.
|Miner's pack animals in front of mining supply stores, Goldfield, Nevada, ca.1900|
Prominent men arrived with bag and baggage. Among the notable, we find Wyatt and Virgil Earp. By January of 1905, Virgil wore the badge of a deputy sheriff. Sadly, however, he came down with pneumonia a few months later and after a six month illness, he died. A heartbroken Wyatt left town shortly thereafter. However, neither of these men having anything to do with the hotel... just history.
Anyway, as with most mining towns, the discovery of ore began to diminish and so did the population. By 1910 the town of 20,000 had been reduced to just a little over 4800. Then, in 1923, a moonshine still exploded and destroyed most all of the town’s wood structures and reduced the population yet again. The buildings made of brick and stone still remain though, most notably the infamous Goldfield Hotel...a hotel, I might add, that still houses some of its former occupants. And from all accounts, they’re not very happy.
|Goldfield Hotel (abandoned), Goldfield, Esmeralda County, Nevada by Stephen B Calvert Clariosophic|
Now a man named George Wingfield, one of Nevada’s prominent entrepreneurs and owner of a very productive gold mine, built the opulent, I-spared-no-expense-for-your-pleasure, four-story Goldfield hotel in 1908. Delighted guests raved and times were good—at least for a while. By the 1930’s, things were not going so well for George. To cap it all off, a lovely woman named Elizabeth showed up at his door and informed him that she was having his baby. Not. Good. News.
Worried about the scandal, and how it would impact his personal and business dealings, he gave her money to not only keep quiet, but to keep her distance. However, when it became obvious to everyone that she was with child, he decided on more drastic measures. One evening he invited her to Room 109 of his hotel so they could “talk.” Once she got there, he overpowered her and chained her to a radiator. He held her prisoner, supplying only the barest necessities of life until the birth of her child. They say she cried out repeatedly for help, but help never came. Elizabeth died.
Whispers followed this event. Some said that Elizabeth died in childbirth, but others weren't so kind. They said that Wingfield murdered her shortly after the birth. According to this legend, George tossed the babe into the old mine shaft which he accessed in the basement over which the hotel was built. Whichever legend you choose to believe, they both agree on the aftermath of the deed.
Elizabeth’s spirit remained behind and she haunted Wingfield until the day he died. Now that he’s gone, she haunts the hotel. In addition, some will tell you that they can hear the sound of a crying child coming from the depths of the mine shaft.
In 1945, the Goldfield Hotel closed its doors for the final time in its colorful history. Some of the visitors, brave enough to enter the hotel after its abandonment, have reported sightings of Elizabeth. They say this wild, long haired beauty wears a white gown, and she looks terribly sad as she paces the hallways of the hotel, ever calling out for her precious baby. According to all reports room 109 is unbearably cold. They will also tell you that their cameras refuse to take pictures in that room.
If you venture up to the third floor, you might run into two other ghosts. Again, according to legend, two people committed suicide on this floor. The sightings include a woman who hanged herself and a man who jumped to his death from a window. No one knows who they are, but at least twelve people have reported seeing them. We also have three other unidentified spirits, two children and a very small adult that hang out near the stairs. These mischievous spirits will sneak up behind people, tap their shoulders and then giggle and run away.
And what would a haunted hotel be without a ghost far scarier than all the rest? Goldfield’s is known by the locals as “The Stabber.” This man is seen most often by the main dining room, with a large knife in his hand. He will leap out at you when you least expect it, “attack,” and then disappear. Of course his ghostly knife doesn't cause any bodily damage, but he can leave a lasting impression on his victims nonetheless...ahem.
Oh and least I forget, the ghost of George Winfield has also made his presence known. He likes to move objects about, and smoke his ghostly cigars, the stench of which lingers throughout the place. If you look, you just might find a fresh pile of cigar ash in his downstairs room, even though no one has occupied it in over sixty years. At least, no one living...
So tell me, would you be willing to spend a night at the Goldfield Hotel?