Old Washoe Club
This former Millionaires Club is said to be haunted by specters of Virginia City’s boomtown era
Paranormal Encounters at
the Old Washoe Club
- The apparition of a young blonde woman is seen around the spiral staircase
- Visitors report being touched by unseen forces
- Potential EVPs have been captured by past investigators
- Anomalous photographs have been taken around the spiral staircase
- Numerous shadow figures have been spotted and recorded on the upper floors
- Bar stools are said to move on their own
- Shots left on the bar are reportedly consumed by spirits around the club
Old Washoe Club History, Worth The Gamble
On the dusty roads of Virginia City, Nevada, everything appears to have been preserved in a time capsule from the Wild West era. Though the town touts many buildings with historical charm, the Old Washoe Club stands as an undisputed leader.
Sporting a facade of faded brick and a moniker of cracking white paint, the Old Washoe Club proudly displays a patina that speaks of a long and colorful history. Today, ghosts from the Washoe Club history are said to walk the halls of what was once Virginia City’s most exclusive club.
Timeline of Old Washoe Club's History
Swipe or use timeline points to see Old Washoe Club through the years
The first Washoe Club opened in 1875, mere months before a massive fire destroyed most of Virginia City – the club included. But, as local mines still turned profits, Virginia City was rebuilt quickly. The Washoe Club re-established on the floors above a popular tavern in 1876, and became one of the most exclusive social clubs in the region.
With secret access through a spiral staircase, throughout Washoe Club history it catered to all the wealthy elites working in town. Soon after its founding, the club earned the name: ‘Millionaires Club.’
Powered by the prosperity of the Comstock Lode silver deposit, the Washoe Club remained lively and active for as long as the mines did. In its time, the Washoe Club greeted such famous names of the time as Ulysses S. Grant and Edwin Booth. But waning silver resources, mine fires, and the falling value of silver in the late 1800s snuffed the life of the Millionaires Club.
The Washoe Club was formally dissolved in 1897, after just over 20 years of exclusivity.
Despite the club’s closure, the tavern on the ground floor continued to prosper for many years after. After the mining booms of the 19th century subsided, Virginia City was kept alive by tourism. Western films in the mid-1900s helped to nurture interest in towns like Virginia City, helping to level off the population losses by 1950.
In 1961, the town was declared a National Historic Landmark. Since then, efforts to restore Virginia City to its historical self have brought back the Old Washoe Club. Visitors can now tour the abandoned club spaces upstairs. With this new-found access, some have come face-to-face with specters of Washoe’s past.
Ghost stories abound in Virginia City today, fueled by the millions of people who visit each year. Many of those folks would likely rank the Old Washoe Club as the most haunted stop in town today.
Infamous Old Washoe Club’s Hauntings
The hauntings around the Old Washoe Club are perhaps best known for their appearance in the original Ghost Adventures documentary film released in the mid-2000s.
The film included numerous reports of paranormal claims around the building, and famously included footage that reportedly showed a full-bodied apparition moving across a room on the upper floors. This apparition is one of many seen around the club.
The Blue Lady of the Old Washoe Club
The ‘lady in blue’ – an apparition in a blue dress – is most commonly spotted at the top of the club’s spiral staircase. Some have come to refer to this spirit as, ‘Lena,’ and have identified her as a former local prostitute who was murdered in the building.
The shadow figure of her supposed killer, an unknown male entity, has been seen around the upper floors as well.
Old West Apparitions at the Old Washoe Club
Another apparition seen around the club is a young girl in a white dress, who seems frightened or shy of people who come to visit. Despite the young spirit’s supposed shyness, some visitors have reported being touched or grabbed by small, invisible hands while ascending the spiral staircase, as if the child ghost is reaching out to them as they pass by.
Down in the bar area, the ghost of a former prospector is said to linger and cause mischief for fun. The prospector’s spirit is said to often move bar stools around and knock them over, or hold the bar’s swinging doors open for women when they enter the building. He is also said to love a good shot of alcohol, and shots of bourbon left on the bar are reportedly moved around by unseen forces. When left for long enough, some say the bourbon in the glasses mysteriously vanishes.