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RiverCat Journal : Reno, NV : Ghost Hunt!

Posted by on November 6, 2011

Inspired by the recent events in Virginia City, I ordered my own EMF detector and went on a few more ghost hunts! Here is what happened…


The Peppermill

I scanned some blogs and found a few haunts in Reno, including one nearby — The Peppermill Casino and Resort.  Someone had reported (I suspect an employee) that a disembodied voice can be heard there late at night between the 11th and 17th floors.  I decided this would be the first place I’d try out my new toy.

I should preface this by mentioning I’ve only found two things in my home that sets it off my new EMF detector — the microwave and, if you set it right on top of one, a magnet.  My computer or cell phone has no effect on it. I kept the unit on as I walked across the Peppermill’s casino floor.  Again, despite all the electronics and surveillance equipment, nothing set the detector off.

In fact, on the 11th floor, I didn’t get a reading until my 3rd and final corridor.  Finally, at room 1129, the EMF detector lit up!  I backed away from the door to determine the energy wasn’t in the hallway or coming from the room across the hall.  Nope, it was something in room 1129.  It didn’t sound as if anyone was in the room. And here’s the thing about ghost-hunting in hotels — your room-of-interest is likely to be behind a closed door.

On to the 17th floor.  I’d read this is the level that you can feel a presence “watching” you.  I chose the hallway to the left to begin my investigation.  Surprisingly, before I even left the foyer, the EMF detector started beeping!  The first 2-3 rooms in the hallway, it continued to go berserk.  I continued down the hall.  Interestingly, every few feet the unit would go off, generally when I stopped.  Was I being followed?  Making my way back to the foyer, the device stayed very busy, with the most intense activity again near the entrance to the hallway.  I tested the other two hallways — nothing.  Back to the first corridor — tons of activity.  Interesting!

Okay, I’m not one for dramatics. I have fun on these hunts. I feel like a detective and enjoy analyzing the data I collect (even though I have no idea what I’m doing). But I’m not one to get spooked, get shaken up easily, nor do I overreact to “sensations.” But I can’t omit this, because it happened…

I was starting to feel “not well” and decided to call it a day. As I was leaving the 17th floor and boarding the elevator, I got extremely lightheaded. I thought maybe I was imagining it. But by the time I reached the 1st floor, it was full-blown nausea. I even rushed off the elevator as I started to gag. Was it an attack? All I can tell you is that this came on very suddenly on that 17th floor. It took several hours for the symptoms to subside.


The Unhaunted House

Recently Karen was telling me about a friend that had recently moved out of a house because of an unfriendly spirit. The woman was so spooked that she moved all the way to California to get a fresh start. Unfortunately, the friend suspects the spirit went with her! Nonetheless, when Karen revealed she had access to the house, we gathered every piece of recording equipment we could find and set up shop. The bad news was we only had access during business hours and had to return the keys to the realtor in the afternoon.

It was a total bust.

However, two things came of this:

  1. We stumbled on a lead to an old medical building that is apparently ripe with paranormal activity.
  2. Remember the camera that shut down on me at the Old Washoe Club in Virginia City? When I went to change the battery, I turned it on and discovered it had a full charge — it works fine! So what happened at the crypt when it shut down and absolutely refused to turn back on? Well, it never malfunctioned again. Hmm.


Karen’s Office Building

After several reported paranormal incidents by the tenants in this building, Karen managed to get permission to do an investigation of the office with the most regular activity. She really seems to have a knack for getting people to hand over their keys! Apparently this particular tenant was just as eager to find out more about the hauntings as we were, and was happy to let us take a look.

Oddly enough, we spent very little time in this office. In fact, we barely gave it a chance as Karen had a strong gut-feeling we had to head right over to a common area that was used as a maintenance and storage room — a small collection of cellar-type rooms and bare closets right in the center of the building.

As we were taking a look into one of these little closets — about as immediately as I started to get some activity on the EMF detector — something, maybe a plywood board, fell down behind us! Upon further investigation, here’s what happened next. Watch the top left-hand corner closely…

An insect? Nope. Besides seeing very few insects in the high desert, how many species actually light up? How about a magic dust particle that emits light? Probably not. We also considered the possibility of a light reflection from the room I was investigating when Karen saw the orb. So we tried to recreate it — nope! So, is it possible we actually captured a spirit orb? Hmm…



The Peppermill Revisited

Karen didn’t get to join me on my first hunt at The Peppermill. So, we retraced my steps and came up with very consistent results…

The only EMF reading on the 11th floor? Once again 1129.

The 17th floor was once again extremely active. This time, not only did we get strong readings in the one particular hallway and the foyer, we both felt a distinct, palpable energy as soon as we got off the elevator! A malevolent force, is more accurate…

We were both experiencing light-headedness and nausea during our investigation — and decided to cut it short. But by the time we boarded the elevator again I’d developed the full-blown shakes and was sweating so profusely my clothes were drenched from head to toe! I immediately felt better this time when we reached the 1st-floor lobby but my strength was completely drained. Off to bed again.

Did I really experience two “attacks” on the 17th floor of the Peppermill? I always found the characters on Ghost Adventures annoying when they claimed these spirit assaults (because they seem to be a regular occurrence and more for dramatic effect) — and I certainly never thought it could happen to me on these ghost hunts. But unless I’m severely allergic to the 17th floor of the Peppermill, I can’t think of another logical explanation.



Medical Plaza

We were very excited to learn about this one. This old 4-story building is legendary for several sightings of full-body apparitions! People have even claimed to see these ghosts in front of the building while driving by! Even in the daytime hours, I was excited to see the EMF detector start lighting up as soon as we pulled into the parking lot.

This is a very strange property. Deemed a medical plaza, most of the place is vacant of any tenants. Extremely run-down, it’s difficult to imagine any patients setting foot in an office here. Even in daylight, the halls were completely dark, the elevators creaky, and everything perfectly creepy for two enthusiastic daytime ghosthunters. Oh yeah — and my EMF detector was going OFF! We had the entire building to ourselves, it seemed. But just as we were contemplating setting up our cameras and developing a plan-of-attack, we ran into a real live human being…

The property manager.

This live-in security guard was a very haggard, rough-looking individual. Suspicious, for sure, but not entirely unfriendly — he asked us what we were doing. When we explained we were paranormal investigators (it felt strangely comfortable to say that), he was clearly intrigued and invited us to sit down with him in his office. I think we both suspected he was just a bit lonely and maybe wanted to hear a little bit about our experiences. After all, this fella was clearly a good, old-fashioned, gun-totin’ redneck that would never believe in such things as ghosts.

Imagine our surprise when he had a dozen ghost stories of his own! He had never believed in the paranormal before taking the position as a live-in. He quickly became a believer and was so afraid of the regular hauntings that he nearly resigned. But then one day he actually confronted the spirits to let them know he simply wasn’t going to be afraid, anymore!

The gentleman explained he had never told anyone this, before, and it was a great relief to get it off his chest. And here’s the best part — he’s going to let us have access to the building at night!





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