42°F
weather icon Clear

GHOST HUNTING 101: Tonopah’s tiniest ghost hunter gets lesson from pros

Halloween is upon us and soon all the little children will be coming out dressed in bright, colored costumes as ghosts, demons and ghouls of all kinds — with the exception of one young lady in Tonopah named Katherine Mizzi.

Mizzi is not the typical junior high school cheerleader, not by any means. She likes to hang out at the old Tonopah Cemetery near the Clown Motel. To her, ghosts and demons are real and she does not shy away from them, in fact she likes spirits and her favorite thing to do is ghost hunt.

Mizzi lives with her father Joe Mizzi and uses their home, the Clown Motel, as a base of operations.

Tonopah is the perfect place for hunting spirits with many of the buildings on Main Street claiming to be haunted. In fact, Katherine lives in one of the most haunted towns in Nevada.

The Mizpah Hotel is the most famous haunted place in Tonopah. They have maids and employees that can tell some interesting tales. The hotel is known for haunted rooms and employees even point guest to the hot spots of spiritual activity.

There are the less famous buildings, too. Just talk to anyone on that street and they will tell some sort of ghost story. Right across the street from the Mizpah is a place with good eats and great coffee. Even Cori Gonzales, the owner of the Kozi Korner Deli &Coffee Bar, will talk about spirits.

“My old building was built around 1907. I rent from the Masons upstairs and this place used to be a bank and a pharmacy. I have felt a presence inside the store and we have seen bread fall off the shelf and a bell has gone off on its own. My father passed away, and I think it might be him,” Gonzalez said.

Katherine has been interested in ghost hunting since she was 6 years old, which happens to coincide with the first time she ever watched her favorite show, “Ghost Adventures,” on the Travel Channel.

Living in the motel, Katherine has seen many ghost hunters come through town. Her father said his daughter gets excited when a group of paranormal researchers come to Tonopah. She talks to the hunters and asks them all sorts of questions.

Her father said, “I would usually talk to them to see if it was OK if Katherine could talk to them. We have had many teams come through like Las Vegas Paranormal and then a couple of teams that have radio shows. “Ghost Hunters” came through, “Ghost Adventures” and the “Haunted Highway” with Jack Osborne. My daughter always hits them up for information.”

When it comes to Katherine and her ghoulish interests, her father thinks it’s “OK.” The young girl has grown up with the graveyard and it’s more like a backyard to her than a cemetery; ghost hunting is just an extension of her chosen environment.

“I am glad she is interested in it and she is excited about it. She loves doing it. I got her the ghost hunting kit for her 10th birthday, but she has been interested in hunting since she was 6,” he said.

Katherine has been going to the graveyard for a long time and will usually go there with friends.

“Katherine clings onto people,” her father said. She will take tourists down there and she will always offer them a tour. She has gone there at night time too. She will go out there with customers, with older kids. She has seen things out there and has come back scared,” Joe said.

On Oct. 18, Vegas Valley Paranormal, a Las Vegas Paranormal group, arrived in Tonopah and part of the team stayed at the Clown Motel. Joe asked the group leader if his daughter could ask questions and see part of the investigation. He did more, he let her tag along during setup and let her go see the building with an adult Katherine had known for a long time, Janice Six, a longtime resident of Tonopah.

Six has known Katherine since she was born, is a good friend of the family and agreed to walk with Katherine.

“She is very intuitive and very into learning about ghost hunting. She really wanted to be in contact with the spirits and she was really eager to learn. I think that was really neat. She did not seem to be afraid at all. I was really surprised she was there. I think the kids are very susceptible and open-minded and would make good hunters,” Six said.

The target of the investigation was Bill Tucker’s building, which is next to the former and now demolished Montgomery Ward. Tucker had Vegas Valley do a preliminary investigation, which revealed some signs of paranormal activity, and the group was back to do a more thorough investigation.

“Since I have renovated the place, I really have not experienced anything. My cat gets a little excited now and then. I live in the basement of the building and have really never seen anything. I do hear some noises now and then,” Tucker said.

With permission, Katherine jumped right into the investigation. Right away she saw spirits and picked up ghostly readings with a borrowed K-2 meter. The K-2 meter is hand-held and detects electromagnetic fields, which paranormal experts believe spirits emit. As she entered the building, she held a doll with an EMF detector embedded inside it. It lit up like a Christmas tree and got Katherine even more anxious to start.

She was unafraid and helped set up cameras. She learned how to detect spirits with a Mel Meter, another form of EMF detection device.

Katherine explored with her friend Six and discovered some “shadow people.”

“I was pretty scared last night. There was one time I was walking down the hallway and I saw this shadow standing in the doorway. I also heard some footsteps, too,” she said.

Katherine wants to be a ghost hunter when she gets older. She even put together a small group at school.

When asked what she would ask a ghost if she came face to face with one she replied, “I would ask them, if I could, what it is like being a ghost. I slept with a bunch of pillows after the investigation. I told my dad that I was protecting myself from the ghost, but I had fun that night.” She also said she could not wait to do it again.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Crab Fest raises record $28,000 to support foster youth in Nye and Esmeralda counties

Feasting, fun and fundraising were the focus of the evening on Saturday, Feb. 15 as Pioneer Territory Court Appointed Special Advocates host its 9th Annual Crab Fest, an event that saw the highest attendance in its history as well as an incredible, record-breaking $28,332 raised.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, Feb. 19 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.

 
Alienstock organizers announce dates for 2020 festival

After attracting thousands of extraterrestrial fans from around the world to a rural Nevada desert town, Alienstock organizers are preparing for a second go round.

Dog owners beware, trapping season is here

Desert dwellers enjoy walking the many hiking trails in our valley that traverse our beautiful desert, and they may even enjoy walking the family dog. During the winter beware and keep Fido on a leash, for trappers are hunting for small game during this time of year and it can be dangerous for dogs to run free.

Nye County turns out for early voting

For the first time ever, the Nevada Democratic Party made the decision to expand its caucus process by including early voting this year and residents from all across the state turned out in droves to participate, with long lines reported at many of the early voting locations throughout the Silver State.

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton set to retire

For more than 30 years, Dale Norton has been an integral part of the Nye County School District family, starting his career as a principal in Amargosa and eventually making his way up the ranks to become Superintendent, but his time with the Nye County School District is now nearing its end.

Desert View Hospital chief of staff dies

A well known and respected physician at Desert View Hospital has died.