Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, NV – Old Haunt, New Life.

Two years ago, while on a road trip through the Nevada desert, we stopped in at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada and peeked inside through the beveled glass of a side door. Built during the early 20th Century boom years of Nevada’s mining industry, back when Tonopah was known as “The Queen of the Silver Camps,” the old hotel and saloon had long been closed and was, at the time, for sale.

A Peek Inside the Mizpah, 2009

The hotel having long been rumored to be haunted, my traveling companions and I had heard about the “lady in red” who reportedly haunts the 5th floor. The accounts of who she was in life range from her having been a prostitute murdered in a jealous rage to a stage girl who collapsed during a performance, never to awaken. Other ghostly stories revolve around a pair of miners who are said to haunt the basement.

Standing outside the shuttered Mizpah Hotel that day in 2009, peeking in through any available crevice and gazing up beyond the windows of the 5th floor to the distinctive red sign on the roof, we wanted in… and we wanted in bad. But, it was not to be at that time. We had tried contacting the real estate agent handling the sale but were not able to obtain permission to go inside.

Fast-forward two years. We once again arrive in Tonopah, Nevada, this time as guests of a special pre-opening event of the Mizpah Hotel. We’d be spending two nights inside the hotel, with access to roam freely throughout the entire building for as long as we wanted. This was quite the turnaround from our first visit and needless to say, we were stoked!

The event was organized by Virginia Ridgway, along with author Janice Oberding and it was made possible by the gracious new owners of the hotel, Fred and Nancy Cline, who are in the final stages of renovations to the property as I type this. Guests of the event included paranormal and history enthusiasts from around the country.

Upon arrival, we were given room keys to our well-appointed (although not quite finished) hotel rooms and so the weekend began. We had plenty of time to explore the hotel during both daylight and nighttime hours. The hotel staff shared stories with us of their own experiences with ghostly phenomena at the Mizpah, including one story about the ghost of a young girl being spotted in the elevator.

Our investigations focused mainly on the 5th floor and basement areas. We did have some interesting experiences in the basement. One investigator was overcome by a feeling of being “rushed” by an unseen force and a few minutes later we heard an unexplained breathy voice(?).

During the course of the weekend, we ventured to another part of the Mizpah property – the annex building across the parking lot. As we learned, this building formerly housed a bowling alley and a saloon – and is also home to reports of paranormal activity. A worker there told us that he often hears unexplained noises from the basement at night. He also shared with us a story of another employee who quit his post there after being “pushed” by an unseen force. We briefly investigated the basement of this annex building and at one point we thought we could hear children’s voices, but we determined that the noise was likely from the street.

A fascinating highlight of the weekend came when Central Nevada Museum director Allen Metscher gave us a private tour of Tonopah’s abandoned and “cursed” Army Air Field and its decaying hangars. The Tonopah air base was once one of the Army Air Force’s largest World War II training bases. Sadly, during it’s operation from 1942-1945, 110 servicemen lost their lives there – mostly due to P-39 and B-24 plane crashes. This particularly high number of casualties and accidents led to the Air Field’s reputation as being cursed.

Mr. Metscher has a wealth of knowledge about Nevada history, including the history of Tonopah and the neighboring town of Goldfield. In fact, in speaking with him after the tour, he was able to shed some light on a few documented deaths that occurred within the Mizpah Hotel throughout its history. These included multiple documented suicides within the hotel.

Also during the weekend, we took a quick tour of a historic home known colloquially as “The Castle,” where past owners were known for conducting seances and where another miner’s ghost is thought to reside.

The overall experience of the weekend in Tonopah was fantastic. We felt very lucky to have had the opportunity to explore these historic locations and learn as much as we did about their history. Did we document the ghost of Lady in Red or the miners in the basement or perhaps one of their lesser known counterparts?

We can’t say with certainty. But we did visit with them for awhile… and we enjoyed their company.



To book the Mizpah Hotel, visit: http://mizpahhotel.net

For more information on the Army Air Field, visit the Central Nevada Museum: Central Nevada Museum Website

6 thoughts on “Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, NV – Old Haunt, New Life.

  1. Pingback: Impulcity Blog
  2. This last June (2012) my wife, step son, and I (I am the skeptical one) stayed at the Mizpah Hotel. We stayed in Senator Pittman’s room. We didn’t tell my stepson that the hotel was haunted. My wife and I went outside our room and sat on the couch in the hallway. I turned on the digital recorder and placed it on the couch next to me. My wife sat in the chair next to the couch and began taking pictures. My wife at some point commented that the pictures were turning out gray. Later on when we reviewed the recording we discovered a class A evp. Right after my wife was heard saying the pictures turned out gray a male voice said ” i like it, that’s what I do”. We also caught some one word evp’s that evening on the fifth floor. The next morning I woke up to the bed shaking for a couple of seconds around 8am thinking there was an earthquake. I looked up at the light fixture and it was not moving. My wife did not wake up. After she woke I told her about it. We tried to shake the bed and it would not move the way it was shaking when it woke me up. When we checked out the lady helping us said that the bed shaking is only one of the things that they hear about. We were told that the maids don’t like to clean on the third floor because of the strange things that happen. When we told my stepson that the hotel was haunted the only thing he would say was that when we were out of the room he said he felt he was being watched. Needless to say we are going back in April to stay again. My wife still shows off the pictures she got inside the Goldfield Hotel when you gave us the tour. Still looking forward to cross paths with you again.

    Dale and Annie


  3. My experience with the Mizpah Hotel happened in the 80’s while staying with a girlfriend. After registering in, we headed to the elevator for the 4th fl. After entering the iron gated elevator door and expecting to go up, the elevator headed down untill it opened to a dark tunnell looking room. We looked at each other and quickly said, I don’t think this is the floor we want. We stayed in a beautifully decorated room with antique furniture, 2 queen iron beds, and the old fashioned bathroom. Later that night, I was awakened by children laughing and playing ball in the hallway. I thought that was odd, since it was around 2 am. Then, a woman’s sobbing came through the walls. I tried to wake up my girlfriend so she could hear all this but she didn’t wake up. Eventually it stopped and I went to sleep, but the next morning I told the desk person about the children in the hallway, and she said there were no children in the hotel. I told her about the woman too. She told me there have been people who have heard these things before. I just chalked it up to many of my other experiences I have encountered.


  4. The Mizpah holds a special place in my heart. Back in the ’90s, I first booked a room while doing research for an article I published called “Haunted Nevada.” At the time, I lived in Las Vegas, and after my first visit, I found myself drawn to the property and often made weekend trips for my own ongoing investigations. In the main dining room, you could often see the numbers on the Keno board randomly light up and flash, though electricity to the board had long been cut, due to the owner’s loss of their gaming license. Slot machines were permitted, but live games such as Keno were not. On another trip, several of us, including the property manager at the time, attempted to make contact with The Lady in Red. As a smoker, I had in my lap a large, heavy ashtray—the metal part that sits atop the types of ashtrays seen in front of elevators. I asked if it was possible for the Lady to show a sign of her presence, if she could move something or flip the lights on and off. Immediately, I got my response. We all heard a loud POP, and a cigarette butt literally JUMPED out of the ashtray and landed in my lap. I did everything in my power to bend or flex that heavy metal tray to no avail. As I’m now more educated in scientific methods of investigating, I’d dearly love to return with some of the proper tools. I also had the opportunity to visit the Goldfield Hotel for the same article. It’s another amazing location worthy of some in-depth investigation.


  5. Tonapah is an awesome little town, I was there not long ago. My visit was quite satisfying although the mission me and the team I was with was at another location and our purpose wasn’t solely to experience the place and gather evidence, that was part of our agenda. And yes, it was fully documented and will be featured on a different show on another network.

    We miss LA Paranormal and hope to see ya’ll soon. -Bill & Anita


    1. I have not stayed at the Mizpah, but I did stay at the Clown Motel. When I arrived, the woman that checked me in asked if I believed in spirits. I said, “I don’t know,” and she replied, “..because we have a trickster. He likes to attack guests but you just tell him to go away and he’ll leave.” Then she reluctantly handed over the key.

      When I got to my room, I noticed the window was broken and the heater didn’t work. The whole room was filled with creepy clowns. It was late, so I decided to turn on the TV. As I was watching it, slowly, red streaks began to run down the screen. It appeared as though the TV was bleeding. It was just digital of course, but at that instant, I knew I probably bit off more than I could chew.

      I just wanted to go to sleep and get out of there as soon as I could in the morning. So I fell asleep, but my sleep was not restful. I felt something pinch my toes a few times, and once I had a weird sensation. There was like a warm spinning sensation on my back. It didn’t hurt, but it kind of felt like something was trying to enter me. I couldn’t wake up but I felt a strange smile start to stretch across my lips. I knew whatever it was was trying to possess me, so I called upon Jesus with all my mind and soul, and it went away.

      When I woke up and checked out, I asked about the window. There was a different woman checking me out this time, and she said that the trickster breaks the window as soon as they fix it, so there’s no sense in fixing it. I asked her if anyone has ever died there, and she said, “all the time.” It turns out the hotel is sort of a hospice. They don’t have a real hospice, so people in the area go there to live out their last days.

      I don’t recommend anyone stay there, but when I left, I felt sure that there is a portal to Hell in Tonopah, NV.


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