Paranormal Activity at
the Mizpah Hotel
- The apparition of a 'lady in red' is said to lurk on the fifth floor
- Small items in guests rooms will reportedly be moved around by unseen forces
- Guests report hearing whispers spoken into their ears by invisible entities
- Pearls will appear in strange locations around guests' rooms
- The hotel elevator will have its doors open and close mysteriously
- The spirits of children are encountered on the third floor
- Ghosts of two murdered miners are said to be heard around the basement
History of Nevada’s Mizpah Hotel
As the tallest building in Tonopah, Nevada, the Mizpah Hotel literally stands out from the crowd. The light, sand-toned exterior makes the building feel like an extension of the sprawling desert that surrounds the town, and the interior is a welcoming, luxurious oasis of old world elegance.
As one of Tonopah’s most treasured heirlooms, the Mizpah Hotel still flourishes today thanks to its historic charm and unmatched comforts.
In fact, for some souls the Mizpah’s comforts are preferable to a restful afterlife, as numerous spirits from the hotel’s long history are said to still saunter its halls.
Timeline of Mizpah Hotel's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Mizpah Hotel through the years
The story of Tonopah, Nevada, and by extension the Mizpah Hotel, began with an errant ass. As the story goes, in 1900, a traveling prospector’s donkey wandered off one night. When he finally found it the next day, he picked up a rock to throw at it for running off.
But instead of a rock, the prospector picked up a large piece of silver ore. That ore was part of one of the largest silver deposits in Nevada’s history, and that deposit would establish the mining town of Tonopah.
Just a few short years after Tonopah was founded, the town needed an upscale lodge to host and entertain potential mining investors from the east. To accommodate them, the Mizpah Hotel and corner tavern opened in 1907.
At five stories tall, the Mizpah was tied for the tallest building in Nevada until 1927. Along with wooing potential investors, the Mizpah Hotel served as a social and cultural center around the young boomtown.
In these early years, the Mizpah Hotel greeted a long list of famous names. But a wild political hoax would become its main claim to fame in this era. During the 1940 election cycle, Nevada Senator Key Pittman died close to Election Day, and a popular story oft the time said Pittman’s corpse was left on ice in a Mizpah Hotel bathroom until the election was over.
Though the story ended up being untrue, it helped establish the Mizpah as a hotel for the history books.
The silver rush boom came and went rather fast, but the Mizpah Hotel remained open until 1999, when the little town’s economy could no longer sustain it. For 12 years, the Mizpah remained locked up, with some considering demolition. Luckily, the historic hotel was saved in 2011 by Fred and Nancy Cline. The Clines brought the Mizpah back to its early 1900s glory and luxury, and the hotel has thrived since reopening under their ownership.
But, with the hotel’s resurrection, a few restless souls may have come back from the dead with it.
Is the Mizpah Hotel Haunted?
The Mizpah Hotel’s best known spirit is undoubtedly its ‘lady in red’ who resides on the fifth floor. Legend has it that the lady in red was once a prostitute working in the hotel who was murdered in the 1920s.
Stories vary as to where exactly she was killed, either in her penthouse room or out in the hallway, as well as who exactly killed her.
Some say it was an angry customer, while others say it was her boyfriend, who was bitterly jealous of her line of work.
Today, her former room has been split into three, 502 – 504, where guests sometimes report seeing her apparition and hearing her whispers in their ears. Her tell-tale red figure has also been seen out in the hall, where she is known to disappear into walls.
Nevada Hotel Houses Ghostly Children
The lady in red isn’t the only spirit around the Mizpah. Down on the third floor, several child spirits have reportedly been seen and heard around the halls.
Though they are most often seen and heard playing around the third floor, paranormal enthusiasts who have stayed at the hotel say the child spirits will often cause spikes on EMF meters during walks through the third floor.
The spectral children may also be the cause for another well-known bit of paranormal activity around the elevator.
The hotel’s old elevator is said to have its doors open and close randomly, and occasionally buttons have been pressed by unseen forces. Which spirit supposedly does this is still unknown, though it seems likely to be the world of playful children.
Spend a Night in the Haunted Mizpah Hotel
Ghost stories around the Mizpah Hotel have, in time, become part of the hotel’s unique charm. Along with the interesting tales to share, the hotel offers a Lady in Red Suite in one of the rooms of the spirit’s former penthouse, which has proven to be one of their most popular rooms.
Along with the purpose-built suite, the other two fifth floor rooms that were once part of the lady in red’s penthouse are often booked up well in advance by paranormal enthusiasts and investigators hoping to experience something spooky.
This interest has increased in recent years after the hotel’s haunts were featured on the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures, and the Mizpah was named one of the most haunted hotels in America by USA Today.
Overall, the Mizpah seems like a great place to go to relax and avoid the stresses of life, even if the ghosts within might leave you seeing red.