The historic Mizpah at Tonapah has long been a favourite spot among ghost hunters and paranormal investigators, with many touting it as one of the top ten most haunted places in Nevada.
On season five, episode two of the popular paranormal television series Ghost Adventures, hosts Zak Bagan, Nick Groff and Aaron visited the infamous Mizpah Hotel to investigate the ghostly hauntings reported by guests of the hotel.
During the investigations, the team captured several unexplainable strange occurrences including the opening and closing of an elevator door which has been out of service for years. The trio also recorded several electronic voice phenomenas (EVP) including “help”, “hey you”, and “I know who you are”.
After interviews with staffs of the hotel – including caretaker Sandy Harmon and former employee Rocky Abbasi – the team concluded that the Mizpah Hotel is indeed haunted by former staffs and guests of the hotel.
Mizpah Hotel was revisited during the Ghost Adventures specials Horror Hotels and Deadliest Hospitals and Do Not Disturb episodes
The full episode, which was titled “Mizpah Hotel”, is available for viewing here.
History of Mizpah Hotel
The five-storey Mizpah Hotel opened in 1907 at a cost of $200,000 and was then the tallest building in Nevada. Named after the famous Mizpah Mine and built on the former site of the Mizpah Saloon, the hotel featured reinforced concrete and cast iron columns, making it the only permanent structure in Tonopah of that period. To top it off, the luxurious hotel featured brass chandeliers, stained glass windows as well as the first elevator in Nevada.
Mizpah quickly became a gathering place for the elites of Nevada. These included Tasker Oddie, who later became the governor of Nevada and US Senator and Key Pittman, Nevada’s beloved politician, as well as the notorious Wyatt Earp, a gambler and lawman who was the central figure for many famous shootouts in the American West.
However, as mining activity in the area dwindled, Mizpah hotel fell into disuse. The hotel officially closed in 1999 until 2011 when Fred and Nancy Cline purchased the business and restored it. Mizpah reopened in 2011 with 52 luxury rooms, a bar and an award-winning restaurant.
Story of the Lady in Red at Room 502
The Lady in Red at Mizpah Hotel is said to be the spirit of a prostitute named Rose who was mistreated and eventually killed by a ex-boyfriend who was jealous of her relationship with the key figures in Nevada. In a fit of jealousy, the ex-boyfriend murdered the Lady in Red in a room at the fifth floor.
Another version of the story says that the Lady in Red was caught cheating in Mizpah Hotel after her benefactor had missed a train and returned to look for her. Enraged by her promiscuity, the benefactor proceeded to assault her at room 504. The Lady in Red survived the initial attacks and escaped to the hallway between room 504 and 502 where she was stabbed and killed with a sharp object.
Mizpah Hotel later named room 504 ‘Lady in Red Suite’ in honor of the haunting legend albeit the allegedly haunted room is room 502.
Today, it is said that the spirit of the Lady in Red lingers on the fifth floor, looking to exact revenge. Guests who stayed on the fifth floor claimed to have seen the the Lady in Red loitering around the hallway while some reported seeing objects being mysteriously moved and bedsheets being pulled. She is also known to whisper in men’s ears and tug the shirts of men staying on the fifth floor.
It is also claimed that blood stains can still be seen at a spot in room 504 if one were to pull back the carpeting.
Hauntings at Mizpah Hotel
Apart from the Lady in Red, spirits of children are also said to roam the historic hotel. As are no recorded death of children in the hotel, it is believed that the spirits returned to the building due to the fond memories they had. Guests staying in the hotel reported hearing bangs on the door as well as children running down the hallway at night.
Many other paranormal activities have also happened within the confines of the hotel. Visitors reported experiencing cold spots and seeing orbs zipping down the hallways. The old elevator that have been operating since 1907 is also known to randomly open and close by itself.
The hauntings that have occurred led to the Mizpah Hotel being voted as the No. 1 haunted hotel in the U.S. by the 2018 USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards; 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa and the Myrtles Plantation came in second and third respectively. Mizpah Hotel is also a member of the Historic Hotels of America, a program founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that recognises hotels that have maintained their historical and architectural integrity.