Goldfield began when gold was discovered in 1902 and within just a few short years, it became the largest city in Nevada, as millions of dollars in ore were extracted from the areas mines. Like other cities, whose only reason for being was its mining industry, when the ore ran out, the town died. At it’s peak the city had three newspapers, five banks, a mining stock exchange, and a population of nearly 35,000.
By 1920, the gold gone and the town was reduced to just about 1,500 people. Three years later, fire wiped out 27 city blocks. Today, there is less than 500 residence.
In 1908, the Goldfield Hotel, opened to much fanfare. Built to replace the Nevada Hotel, which had burned down in a fire in 1905, the hotel was first owned by J. Franklin Douglas and several other investors. The four story building cost over $300,000 to build and boosted of 154 rooms with telephones, electric lights and heated steam.
Shortly after the hotel was built, it was sold to George Wingfield. Though George Wingfield owned a majority interest in the hotel, his principle partner, Casey McDannell, managed and operated the hotel.
In 1923, the Goldfield Hotel was sold once again, this time to Newton Crumley, another hotel entrepreneur who owned the Commericial Hotel in Elko, Nevada. Crumley, believed there was gold in the area and dug two mine shafts beneath the hotel in 1925. However, both resulted in “dry holes.”
When the town of Goldfield was at its heyday, the hotel entertained many affluent guests. As the gold began to play out the Goldfield Hotel began a gradual decline. By the 1930s, when the town had less than 1,000 souls, it was home for cowboys and undiscriminating travelers. During World War II, it housed Army Air Corp personnel assigned to the Tonopah Air Base 25 miles north of Goldfield. After the war the hotel closed its doors forever.
Since then the hotel has changed hands numerous times, with each new owner promising to restore and reopen the old property.
Now there have been several reports of ghosts in the old hotel, the most famous of which is a woman named Elizabeth. According to the story, Elizabeth was a prostitute that George Wingfield visited frequently. When she turned up pregnant, he chained her to a radiator in room 109. Supplied with both food and water, she was left there until her child was born. Some say that Elizabeth died in childbirth, but others beleive that Wingfield murdered her after the child was born and the baby was then thrown into an old mining shaft. Later it is rumored that Elizabeth continued to visit Wingfield and the sound of a crying child could sometimes be heard coming from the depths under the hotel.
When Elizabeth has been sighted, she has been described as having long flowing hair, wearing a white gown, and looking terribly sad as she paces the hallways, calling for her child. Others said she has been sighted in Room 109, which is often said to be intensely cold, and on one time a ghostly figure appeared in a photograph of the room.
Two more ghosts who a believed to have committed suicide in third floor rooms of the hotel have been seen by more than a dozen people. While their identities are unknown, one is said to be of a woman who hanged herself; while the other ghost is thought to be a man who jumped to his death from the hotel.
In the main dining room, called the Gold Room, a ghost called “The Stabber,” is said to randomly attack those who enter with a large kitchen knife. Although the Stabber has never harmed anyone, he has frightened many before immediately disappearing after the “attack.”
And in the lobby staircase, three small spirits including two children and a midget that are said to be pranksters, sneaking up behind people and tapping their backs before giggling and running away.
Lastly, old George Wingfield himself is said to haunt his hotel, making his presence known by his cigar smoke. Others have claimed they found fresh cigar ashes in his first floor room. His presence has also been sensed by the giant lobby staircase.
Many psychics claim that the hotel it is a gateway into another world. In the fall of 2001 the Goldfield Hotel was featured on ‘World’s Scariest Places’. More recently, it was featured on the Sci-Fi Channel’s, ‘Scariest Places on Earth’, in 2008.
27 Apr, 2016
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