By Vern Hee
Keys moving on their own, apparitions appearing in windows and dark shadows lingering in corners. Welcome to the town of Goldfield where the paranormal is the norm and the dead out-number the living.
This weekend marks yet another fundraiser for the town of Goldfield, which is trying to raise money to restore the town’s buildings. The fundraisers though may differ from the bake sale you are used to back home. This fundraiser is called “Paranormous” and is not for the faint of heart. It is scheduled for Oct. 26 and 27.
Many of the town’s folk like Lisa Thomas, owner of the Goldfield Gift store, have gotten together with other town members to promote the town.
Goldfield is just 25 miles south of Tonopah and suffers from a depressed economy. It has a population of around 300 people.
Bruce Jabbour, General manager of the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, said he uses the paranormal too to bring in visitors but does not need to do as much as Goldfield does.
“Goldfield needs help. Their town is probably in the worst shape in all of Nevada. They need every angle to drive people into Goldfield. Ninety thousand people come through Tonopah and probably 20,000 less go through Goldfield so how do they get those people to stop? There are cool shops to see there,” said Jabbour.
Thomas believes the main thrust of the ideas need to be geared toward historic preservation of the area and then all other ideas come into play.
Paranormous was spawned by the recent hotbed of activity directed at Goldfield by the paranormal reality TV Shows. Goldfield has been deemed a “haunted hot spot” by the paranormal community. Thomas said the event should draw close to 500 to 1,000 people.
“We have been working on fundraisers now for quite some time and with all the paranormal TV shows and stuff that is happening, that has sparked an interest in people. Now people want to know more.
“And Goldfield, as haunted as it is, is an easy spot for a lot of beginners to break into the field, as far as trying it, because there is activity all the time. If that is how we are going to make the money for raising funds to rebuild the town, then so be it.
“We will always focus on the historical and there will be the paranormal investigations, just because that is what we are, we are a paranormal town for the most part. There is a lot of activity here.
Thomas said she is sensitive to paranormal activity. “I grew up with an entity in my house, who was the previous owner, so I have grown up with the paranormal since I was young. I can sense them and see them. As I was doing work I could hear them saying, ‘Good job or men required,’” said Thomas.
During the renovations of the store, Thomas said she felt the eyes of a gentleman, who was standing in the next room and she offered him help.
“I was busy with nailing some boards when I turned around briefly to get nails off the counter and the nails were standing on their heads,” said Thomas.
Another time she was alone arranging antique hotel keys in her store. She placed all the keys on the counter and then left to go do something. When she came back, all the keys were neatly arranged on the rack as if someone was helping her out.
In still another instance at the shop, she described the spirit of a little boy, who likes to help out with money. “We notice that quarters would come up missing off the table where the locals solve the problems of the world.
“One of the regulars had bought some items for a $1.25 and left a dollar bill and a quarter on the table. A couple of minutes later he decided to get some more items costing 75 cents. He went to put a dollar on the table and get the quarter he had just left and it was gone. He looked all over the table, picked up the dollar he had left earlier and there was no quarter anywhere.
“After everyone left I went to get the money off the table to ring it up in the register and there, sitting on top of the dollar was the quarter back in place.
Thomas has met the long dead Chet Meyers, the former owner, and she also saw the former owner of the Goldfield Hotel, George Winfield, who may have murdered the lady named Elizabeth in the Goldfield Hotel across the street.
The Goldfield Gift shop has been there since the early days of Goldfield and is over 100 years old. The building has several rooms. The gift store is the main large room on the north side of the building and then next to it is a small office and beyond that the “radio room” which houses the Goldfield radio station and is fairly large, about the size of the gift store. Underneath the two large rooms lies a large basement that has some very rickety stairs that lead to it. According to Thomas the basement is full of spirits.
Thomas invited a paranormal investigation group from Las Vegas called Vegas Valley Paranormal to affirm her suspicions and to perform the first outside paranormal investigation of the place.
Barrie Berry, director of Vegas Valley Paranormal, brought his group of investigators to the gift shop Sept. 30. They had done a preliminary investigation earlier and found the gift shop to be haunted and then brought the rest of the team to collect even more evidence.
Charles Perry, lead investigator had found a lot of evidence pointing to a haunting. In the preliminary investigation, he and another investigator caught some startling images on video.
“In the first instance, the owners have a set of flags they put out that say ‘open’ on them. They bring them in when they close. The flags were sitting over by an old desk and they were leaning next to the doorway. The video caught them not moving and then the camera shows them lifting up in the other direction and then falling toward the camera.
“Another thing we caught on video was a face looking in the window from the street but way too high for a human to be standing out the window. We also caught on the digital recorder people hammering nails but none of us heard it at the time,” said Perry. His investigation yielded at least 12 entities in the building.
This motivated Berry to bring his team up to the shop.
The team set up digital video cameras and covered the building. Over 20 cameras were set up in the store, in the Goldfield radio room, and underneath the store in a dark basement.
As things were being set up Berry led a group through the radio room and down to the semi-lit basement. While he was down there he got a strange feeling. Berry gets these feelings when he touches objects. He can feel spirits through objects. In this case, he bent down in the corner of the basement on the southwest corner under the radio room and touched the ground. “I touched the ground and felt a something is connected to the land itself. I feel there is something buried, a body is buried at that spot. I got the feeling of abandonment when I touched the ground,” remarked a very dead serious Berry. He later confirmed what Thomas already knew, the basement he said was full of spirits.
Thomas did say they will dig where the body was sensed so they can find the bones and put them to rest.
If you are interested in experiencing some ghostly adventures this weekend in Goldfield, Paranormous is being held Friday and Saturday by the Knights Paranormal Research Society. There will be food and vendors and a chance for some guided ghost hunting, a costume ball and plenty of music. For more info call 775-485-6333.