The Washoe club was built in the 1870s in the heart of Virginia City, Nevada. It had private gaming rooms, offices and even a dance hall. All designed to cater to the city’s wealthy elite, rich from the area’s mining operations.There’s a long list of ghostly encounters at the Washoe club. Apparitions have been seen darting through various rooms and standing at the top of the spiral staircase. Phantom voices have been heard by countless people, objects move and odd sounds emanate from nowhere.
The first floor bar is still in operation, so you can sit and have a drink while admiring the bullet holes in the ceiling, another visual remnant from the building’s storied history. Another reminder is “the crypt,” an area that, in the past, served as both the bar’s cold storage and an overflow morgue. Virginia City was, after all, the wild, wild west.The old building gained a lot of attention after Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures filmed at the location, capturing a full body apparition on camera. The club has used the show’s popularity to its advantage, displaying a number of items donated by the Ghost Adventures cast, all on display in the Haunted Museum beyond the bar.
On my recent trip to Virginia City, I had a chance to spend some time in the Washoe. The location is certainly an active one. EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) are easy to pick up, and we had great success with communication devices such as the Frank's box and the GeoBox.
The interest generated over the last several years led the club to offer ghost tours on a regular basis, so you can now stroll through many of the building’s vacant rooms and listen to tales of ghostly encounters. Even better, the building is also available for overnight rental so that ghost hunting groups can spend the quite hours attempting to collect evidence of some of the spectral residents.As a piece of western history alone, the Washoe club is worth seeing. Restoration is ongoing and you can even “join” the Washoe club to get discounts on tours and events.
Special thanks to Bette Weimar for taking some time to speak with us about the club's history and the ghost alleged to haunt it.
For more information, see the club's website below: