Is the Goldfield Hotel haunted? Investigative journalist George Knapp looks into the mysteries surrounding this historic hotel in one of Nevada’s oldest mining towns. Aired on Oct. 22, 2000, on KLAS TV in Las Vegas. First of 2 parts.

The historic Goldfield Hotel has been closed for decades, and is said by locals to be haunted — not only by one spirit, but by many.

“Locals have talked for years about seeing people in the windows and seeing unusual lights when the building has been vacant. I was a little skeptical, but I’ve become a believer,” said former Esmeralda County District Attorney Harry Kuehn.

Kuehn thinks there really is something supernatural about the hotel in the historic mining town, which is about 180 miles northwest of Las Vegas. He had his own experience one dark night.

“It seemed like something was coalescing in my head something like, ‘Harry, Harry’ calling me, which I didn’t like it all. So I took what I thought was the only rational approach. I ran, unplugged, and ran downstairs.”

If there is such a thing as a ghost, then the Goldfield Hotel would seem a natural abode. The hotel is the heart and soul of a town that itself is a ghost of what it once was. A lot of people died here. Some under mysterious circumstances, and several of those deaths occurred in the Goldfield Hotel.

“Some people were treated very badly here,” said county employee and hotel tour guide Linda Toner. “You know, whether they were kept captive or their money was stolen, their gold was stolen. And I think there’s some angry people or spirits,”

Esmeralda County employee Linda Toner talks about the ghost stories that surround the Goldfield Hotel. (KLAS-TV)

Toner doesn’t want to publicly endorse the existence of ghosts in the hotel or anywhere else, but she acknowledges it’s a belief that’s widely held. “Yes, from elected officials to school representatives. We have deputies who will not come into the hotel.” she said. 

Unlike some reputedly haunted places, believers say there’s more than one spirit prowling the murky hallways and empty rooms of the hotel. It’s strange enough walking through here in the daytime, but when the sun starts going down and the wind blows outside, you don’t know what you might see or hear.

This is the most haunted room in the hotel, Room 109.

Harry Kuehn

It’s the coldest, darkest and spookiest room at the hotel. The very walls appear to be bleeding.

According to the former owner of the place, it was in 109 that a young prostitute supposedly impregnated by mining tycoon George Wingfield was held against her will to prevent a scandal. “She wound up having the child. Supposedly she was chained to a radiator in this room and her and the child ended up dying here,” Toner said.

One previous owner claims to have seen the spirit of the woman who died.

“She claimed that every time she came in here her blood would run cold,” Kuehn said. “I think it was along this wall here she claimed to have seen a 19-year-old or so, blonde woman with her arms raised just crying. Just an apparition. And she could never stay in this room. She ran out. Her book details having psychics coming in here and identifying this as a very, very, very disturbed room. A lot of them called it evil.”

The hotel has been closed to guests since the end of World War II. Attempts to renovate and reopen it have always failed.

Next story: Tours of Goldfield Hotel reveal unsettling stories of boomtown’s past — Part 2