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RiverCat Journal: Ghost Hunt: Part 1

Posted by on November 4, 2011

My friend Karen and I recently did a ghost tour in Virginia City.  I think most “professional” and amateur ghost-hunters alike consider this town to be the most haunted in the country.  I have had my own personal experiences here in past visits:

1.  Once I was playing poker at The Old Washoe Club.  I wandered to the back room (at the time, a pool hall) and noticed the door to “the crypt” (then, a storage room) shaking, as if it were being jostled by a draft.  The doorknob also appeared to be moving.  I later discovered that a draft was  unlikely due to the fact the crypt appears to be closed in.  (Story has it this room was used to store bodies during winters when the ground was too hard to bury the dead).

2.  During another poker trip, I decided to camp at an RV park in my conversion van.  I backed my bedroom up to a fence that dropped into a canyon neighboring the infamous cemetery.    My bed is in the back end of the van (against the canyon), and I awoke about 2 am to a “clanging” sound (perhaps a dull bell).  But here’s the thing — it was right behind my van, not off in the distance!  Every2 seconds, a dull clang.  Because the sound wasn’t moving away, I dismissed the possibility of some sort of livestock.  And I hadn’t noticed even a slight breeze all evening, so I was having a difficult time believing that it was something being blown around.  Besides, the effect was being produced at very even intervals, every two seconds — as if it were very intentional.

Here’s where it got real interesting:  I opened the door to the van.  Abrupt silence!  Back to bed — clang clang clang!  By then I was wide awake.  I once again opened the door to the van.  Silence!  I decided to walk up a path to the restrooms, some 500 feet away.  Upon finishing my business, the clanging started up once again, this time reverberating off the walls of the restroom!  Not knowing exactly what to do, I fiercely flipped the light switch on and off several times.  There, take that!  Silence.  I managed to devise some earplugs when I got back to camp…

Needless to say, I was rather optimistic we might have an experience or capture something on camera during this ghost tour.  With my battery charged on my point-and-shoot and the tour beginning at “the crypt”, I prepared to take my first photo.  My camera died!  So, I gave my iPhone a try.  Every single picture I took at The Washoe Club had this “swoosh” in it…

Now, I am a logical human being.  Not having taken many pictures with my new camera in the past, I realized that I was most likely experiencing a camera malfunction.  However, a few days later on Halloween night, I happened to be watching “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel and, interestingly enough they flashed this exact same picture with the swoosh!  I flipped through my pictures again, hoping this phenomena was exclusive to The Washoe Club.  Alas, this was not the case.  While this distinctive horizontal swoosh only appeared at this saloon, I had a similar vertical version in a couple of outdoor shots.

Conclusion?  The picture I saw on the Travel Channel was likely to also have been taken with an iPhone.  (But who’s to say spirits aren’t drawn to iPhones, hmm?)  Anyway, I tried another photograph with this contraption a day later.  Here’s what I got…

Did I capture an “orb” hovering above Jeepers head?  Do ghosts haunt RVs?  Is my cat really a demon?  I have no clear evidence to either prove nor debunk any of these ideas.  Back to the ghost-hunt.

Karen captured more of what we were looking for.  Orbs, lots of them…

I don’t have an explanation.  This was taken on the tour in a dark alley.  Knowing very little about photography, I’m not even sure what could produce all these spots.  Any photographers out there have a guess?  One theory might have been other flashes going off.  However, this one was taken at the cemetery, minus the tour group…

Conclusion:  As an amateur para-investigator and equally amateur photographer, I have no idea what I’m looking at.  Therefore, I really can’t come to any conclusions as far as these photographs go.  Some unusual incidences of note, however:

1.  The “crypt” and The Washoe Club in general, seemed to wreak havoc on all of our cameras.  My battery was fully charged and, just as it opened up, it immediately died.  People have mentioned that spirits seem to have the ability to drain batteries.  The iPhone was equally frustrating with the swooshes dominating my shoot at The Washoe Club.  Karen mentioned that not a single picture of hers came out while in the crypt.

2.  The tour guide did get a few EMF readings.

3.  Well, not meaning to get off-subject here, but we saw some very interesting lights in the distant sky.  Three distinct lights in triangle-formation and then “glowing clouds” that would surround them every few seconds.  I thought I was imagining the glow, at first, but Karen quickly noticed it, too!  Not jumping to any conclusions here.  Perhaps there’s a scientific explanation.  Northern Lights?  I just don’t know.  I don’t believe either of us got a good picture of it.

I’m sort of enjoying this new hobby of mine, at the moment.  We’re already developing a list of places we want to investigate here in Northern Nevada.  I hope to have a  more conclusive report next time as we get better-prepared for round 2.  This time, with an EMF detector, more cameras, more batteries, video recorder, and voice recorder.  Stay tuned!


Next Story: Ghost Hunt Pt. 2

One Response to RiverCat Journal: Ghost Hunt: Part 1

  1. Todd Tenaglio

    Hi my name is Todd Tenaglio and you are friends with my amazing aunt karen! I wish I could be in reno with you guys for this and this is sure pretty cool! Loved the pictures!!!

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