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Old giant letters from the Belvada sign in the basement of the hotel. Letters depicted show VADA which means knowledge....if only the author new there were ghosts were she was staying...

I Got GHOSTed at the Mizpah

What happens when you stay in one of the most haunted hotels in America? I’m about to tell you…

Tonopah or Bust

My friend and I were on a road trip from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe, and we decided to make an overnight stop in the town of Tonopah to stay at the Mizpah Hotel. It had been on my friend’s bucket list for a long time, but I did zero research and no vada on it before I hit the road. Come to find out it’s haunted…

Our night began like I suspect many visitors to the hotel’s nights go… we ate a delicious ribeye steak dinner at The Jack Dempsey Room, named after the boxing legend. We learned that before he was the heavyweight champion of the world, he was a miner, gambler, and bouncer for the Mizpah! According to the hotel’s website his “first bouts were bare-knuckle brawls in Tonopah and Goldfield.” 

Ghosted - Mitzpah
The author and friend toasting with Lady in Red Zinfindel wine, and Travel Nevada Get a Little Out There coaster.
Another haunted motel in Tonopah, the Belvada Hotel. Pic is and inside veire with an old sign a below a red chandler.

Lady in Red

At dinner we were also introduced to the Lady in Red, Nevada’s most famous spectral spirit. Nobody today knows her real name, though many suggest it was the apropos moniker Rose. In the Mizpah’s early heydays, the Lady in Red had a palatial boudoir that is now rooms 502, 503, and 504, where she would entertain many lonely miners. This was until an ex lover had a fit of jealous range and stabbed and strangled her to her death. Although her body may have left this world, her spirit remains at the Mizpah, with many people reporting sightings of her. Men have heard her whisper sweet nothings in their ears. Other patrons have reported finding one of the pearls from her necklace underneath their pillow. Despite her gruesome demise, she remains a friendly spirit, greeting guests of the hotel. And the Jack Dempsey Room is where we were greeted with the exquisite taste of the zinfandel wine from Cline Family Cellars that bears her name. The Lady in Red wine paired perfectly with our ribeyes, and was so tasty we bought a few bottles to take home with us.

A Ghost Tour

After dinner we were off in hopes to meet the Lady in Red during the hotel’s Ghosted Tour. We toured many haunted rooms equipped with paranormal sensors like EMF readers and dowsing rods, both of which went off like crazy in different rooms throughout the tour. We learned about the several spirits who haunt the hotel including Walter, the hotel’s longtime elevator operator, the children who wander the halls, former miners who died in a suspected mining accident (or murder… who knows?!), and anti-prohibitionists who frequented a shady speakeasy that used to exist underneath the Belvada hotel across the street. At the speakeasy we were told to instruct the ghosts in that room that “You are not allowed to follow me and leave this room.” But perhaps they did not listen, because you’ll never believe what happens next… But I do.

Ghosted - Walter
Ghosted - Tour Guests
Ghosted - kids bike

The Encounter

After the tour, my friend and I retired to our room and went to bed for the night. Just after 3 a.m. (which everyone knows is the witching hour) I awoke to this immense pressure on my chest. I could feel a negative energy and manly presence on top of me. Almost as if a ghost was pinning me down to the bed. I tried to roll over and was able to turn on my side with much effort. At this point I spoke my friend’s name, but barely anything came out. I tried again, and this time there was definitely an audible sound, and by the third time I was at a full shout. But she kept sleeping. After another minute or so, I felt a rush of cold air come over me and push the negative energy away. It definitely felt like a female presence had just come to save me, and I was able to move freely again. 

I laid there for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. Had a ghost from the speakeasy really followed me back to our hotel room? Was it another ghost? And who saved me? Was it the Lady in Red herself? I was freaked out, but my friend was clearly sleeping soundly. I told myself this was probably just a weird case of sleep paralysis, and mostly in my head. But I still couldn’t sleep so I decided to turn on the light and get some work done. At the flick of the light my friend instantly woke up. I told her my story and she said that was weird but she hadn’t heard anything. I turned off the light and she fell back asleep, but I laid there still awake.

A few minutes later I could hear her snoring lightly, I looked over to her bed and her arm slowly stretched out in my direction and began to change color to look like she now had some sort of tribal tattoo sleeve. At this point, I’m becoming convinced that my previous experience was a real haunting, and now this is too. I was fully awake. As I have this thought, her arm raises towards the ceiling and slowly her hand turns back and forth as if it is waving goodbye. It then returns to the bed by her side. The moment is over.

A picture of room 504 and 503 at the Mizpah Hotel where the Lady in Red was murdered.
A guest on the tour using an EMF reader.
Ghosted - The author's bed

Now, to add prior context to this story, earlier that night my friend and I had been sharing paranormal experiences we have had in the past. She shared with me that she has on occasion helped ghosts to move on and transition to the other side in the past. So I was convinced that somehow this was the case that night. Regardless, at this point I’m straight spooked and ready to bolt. There’s no going back to bed. I can’t turn the light on and distract myself with work. I thought about going down to the lobby to sit with the front desk attendant for a while, but I didn’t want to leave my friend alone with the paranormal. Also, my only options to get downstairs would be to take the elevator with Walter, or chance running into an uglier spirit in the staircase. Neither were a great option. So I sat and waited for my friend to wake up, at which point I was able to get some sleep for an hour or two knowing someone else was there to watch out for me.

Let me tell you – I really enjoyed my time at the Mizpah. The food was delicious. The hotel is a historic and charming gem. The Ghosted tour was an insightful, fun, and haunting experience. It seems the ghosts can’t really hurt you, and most are not evil. As one of the most haunted hotels in America, I definitely think the Mizpah hotel is worth checking out and staying overnight at least once in your life. But I could have done without getting Ghosted myself.

Sincerely, 

The Ghosted Traveler

Plan Your Trip

Distance from The Strip Route

215 miles, 3 HRS, 15 MIN

Route 
Take US 95S

Points of Interest
Be sure to save time for stopping along the way. Rhyolite ghost town is just outside of Beatty and International Car Forest of the Last Church in Goldfield are two must sees.

Las Vegas Territory has some haunting options and great fall fun. But, if you are looking to get a little out there, and ghosted, plan to stay longer and roadtrip through Nevada Silver Trails and beyond. Travel Nevada has even more haunting adventures to check out, like Gold Point Ghost Town Nevada pictured below.

Ghost Town Gold Point Nevada an old cabin and starry night

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