Tuesday, August 30, 2011

VVP Investigates the Amargosa Hotel

     Spooky Hollow

When you get a chance to investigate one of the top ten haunted locations in the country you jump at the chance. When you are also asked to go out with a director who will be scouting out the location for his movie it makes it even better!  Vegas Valley Paranormal headed out to the Amargosa Valley of California to investigate the Amargosa Hotel.
  We arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon. The sun was hot but, fortunately for us, there was a rare storm blowing thru the valley. The cloud cover and wind gave us a little relief from the miserable heat. The light show from the storm was incredible! Huge bolts of lightning crashed on the ground and tracked horizontally across the sky in the distance. It couldn’t be more perfect weather for the start of an investigation. Besides, the theory is that storms allow an increase of paranormal activity and that was a good sign.
  We all gathered up inside what used to be the hotel’s restaurant. Long gone were the large wood counters and table cloths where “VIP” customers used to enjoy “white glove” dining service. The room was full of tables and chairs. The walls were painted with beautiful murals.  You could feel the history of all those that came here before you.
   We were met by Rich, the caretaker of the hotel. He explained to us the history of the hotel and some of those that came in and out of its doors in the early days. You could tell that Rich really enjoyed telling the stories of the hotel. He seemed excited as he talked about how the hotel was built and what the different areas of the hotel were used for.
   The hotel was built in the early 1920’s to house the employees and executives of the mining company that mined Borax in the nearby mountains. In fact a small town was created in order to support the operation. The hotel and several other buildings are still left standing but many of the other buildings are falling apart.
   Next we went on a tour of all the “hotspots” in and around the hotel. Rich told us some stories about experiences he and guests had. There was a man who would show up in the dining room and sit in one of the chairs appearing to be drinking coffee when the hotel had been locked up. There was a man, in period clothing, seen walking in the hallway that appeared to walk through the door to one of the rooms.
   The best part of the tour was going back into “spooky hallow.” This was a portion of the hotel   where the workers stayed. This section is no longer used and where a majority of the paranormal activity takes place.
  When we walked in it was still light outside but this wing of the hotel was almost pitch black. It was spooky and had a way different feel to it than the other wing of the hotel where the guests stayed.  Rich showed us all the different areas of this wing. It seemed like we were in there a long time winding through rooms and hallways. When we came back out to the door where we had come in no one had a clue where we were.
   After “spooky hollow” we made our way outside and Rich showed us some of the old houses on the property where people have had various experiences. We also were shown where the doctor’s office and morgue were located. Next it was onto the opera house.
  I have seen many pictures of the opera house but, there is nothing like actually standing inside it. The place was amazing! The entire opera house was hand-painted by the women who brought the hotel back to life in the 1960’s, Marta Becket. Marta has performed in the opera house since she came to the valley in the 1960’s.
  Next it was time to get out our equipment and start the investigation. We focused our main efforts on the main hallway of “spooky hollow”, a large room called “the sunset room”, and a community shower room where there was a lot of reports of activity. We set up our IR cameras and our new SpectorCam 4 video camera which records not only IR video but also a portion of the light spectrum that humans can’t see, Ultra Violet. Armed with digital voice recorders, flashlights, cameras, and EMF detectors we invaded the area.
  I have been on a lot of investigations and it doesn’t usually bother me to be inside a building running around in the dark looking for ghosts. This place gave me the creeps! Most of the time I was in “spooky Hollow” I had chills running through my body and the hairs on my arms were standing straight up. I always felt like someone or something was going to jump out at me while I was walking around.
  This area of the hotel was incredibly hot. There was no air moving through it and the heat of the day was trapped inside. We had to take several breaks in our room just to cool off and get some liquids in our body. We didn’t need anyone passing out while we were in there.
  After a couple of breaks we were sitting in the “sunset room” and we started to pick-up some activity. We were sitting around a small card table and all of the sudden our EMF detectors started going off. They would light up briefly and then go dark. This room had no power in it and there were no EMF readings previously. The detectors would light up again and go dark. It was almost like something was coming close to us and then back off. This happened several times while we were sitting there. Sometimes the lights would come on when we would ask question. We would ask it to make the light come on at the count of three and when we said three the thing would light up like a Christmas tree.
  We decided to get out a small flashlight and perform a “flashlight test.” The flashlight is placed on the table with the connection loosened so that a little bit of force is needed to make the flashlight turn on. Within minutes the flashlight was coming on. At first it seemed like a coincidence but after a short time the light was coming on in response to our questions. We would tell it to turn the light off and the light would go out. All the while no one was manipulating the table.
   After a while of back and forth with the flashlight we decided to take a break. I grabbed an EMF detector and we invited our new friend to come with us back to our room. As I walked to the room the detector would light up for a short period and then go dark. This happened all the way back to the room as if something was following us. If that was the case or not we don’t know.
  After a lengthy break, we split up and a few of us went with James Horton, the director, and his wife out to some of the houses on the property.  We were hoping to experience some of the reported activity and James wanted to check out the houses and see how he could use them in his movie.
  There were four of us standing in what we thought was a living room type area of one of the homes known as the “Mormon house”. We were doing some EVP work and all of the sudden James wife announced to us that her hair had just been pulled. I was standing right next to her when it happened and I can say that judging by the look on her face and the excitement in her voice it really did get pulled. We looked around and there was nothing that could have caused that sensation. After that we started to hear noises in and around the area we were standing in. It was really cool!
  After spending quite a bit of time in the house it was getting late and we wanted to try our luck in “spooky Hollow” again. So, we headed back in and everyone did last pictures and evp sessions. By this time it was almost 3am and we were all drained from the excessive heat and activity. So, we packed up all our gear and everyone parted ways.
  Now the real work is going to begin and hopefully the troves of evidence will be discovered. Hours of video, audio, and hundreds of pictures will have to be analyzed. Who knows what we will find. Check back and we will give an update.
  If you are ever near the Amargosa Valley, near the border of Nevada and California, the Amargosa hotel is a must to stop and spend the night. You may not have a chance to visit “spooky hallow” like we did but you can stay in one of the many haunted rooms. There is activity all over that place. You never know what you may experience!

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