Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back on Coast to Coast AM

Thanks to everyone who tuned in last night for my latest interview on Coast to Coast AM.  Guest host Connie Willis and I chatted for three hours.  If you missed the show, it was a wide ranging discussion on topics such as ITC spirit communication, haunted Virginia City, Djinn, Grinning men and much, much more.  Show archives are available at the Coast to Coast AM  website linked below.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Haunted Washoe Club

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:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Muledeer Chronicles Reviewed

I always have an interest in books about Native American lore revolving around the skinwalkers, the deadly witches of southwestern tribes.  Over the last several years, tales of the infamous “Skinwalker Ranch” in northern Utah have made the term more familiar to those interested in the paranormal, but the lore has a long history among the tribes of the four corners region.

The latest offering on the topic is “The Muledeer Chronicles A Skinwalker Book,” by Erick T. Rhetts.  Rhett’s bio says that he grew up on the east coast of the United States and now lives out of the country, so he doesn't appear to have any direct ties to the southwest.
The Muledeer Chronicles purports to be a true account based on the journals of a Paiute Indian prospector.  The claim that it’s a true story has caused a bit of controversy with some other reviewers.  I’m not going to pass judgement on that aspect one way or the other, except to state that there are a couple of curious contradictions in the account if it is indeed a true tale.  One notable example is the Paiute author of the journals giving measurements in centimeters instead of inches.

That being said, I enjoyed the story and its integration of some small bits of skinwalker lore.  The book reads rather like the text version of a “found footage” movie, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it makes for a quick pace.  Coming in at only 80 pages, I can recommend it if you have an interest in all things skinwalker related and can detach from worrying whether or not it’s a factual account.