Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Virginia City, Nevada, is one of the most haunted towns in America. The old silver mining town is home to many haunted buildings due to the turbulent history of murder and accidents. One particular structure in the town called The Washoe Club is a paranormal hotspot. In 2004, Nick Groff of Ghost Adventures filmed a seven-second apparition of a spirit walking across a room called the Ball Room in their documentary film now titled "Ghost Adventure's Original Documentary."
There are many reasons why paranormal enthusiasts say The Washoe Club is a paranormal hotspot. In the winter months, the building was used for storage to hold the bodies of the recently deceased. The bodies were stored in the building's backroom due to the cemetery grounds being too frozen to dig graves. The bodies were held in the place until the grounds defrosted. The room earned the nickname "The Crypt," where voices can be heard and spiritual orbs appear in photographs.
The building is the death place to countless community members, including a six-year old girl named Ella Dean who died in an explosion. Visitors of the building still bring little Ella Dean toys to play with, which can be found on a little desk on the third floor. Ella Dean has a doll called Annabelle that sits in a small rocking chair in the adjacent room. Investigators claim the doll will move independently, saying that it is the spirit of Ella Dean playing with her toy.
Annabelle the doll, people claim this doll moves on its own. (Derek Bratton)
The building has also claimed the life of a man named Scotty, who killed himself on June 2nd, 1982 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after finding out that his 14 year-old son fell to his death in an abandoned mine shaft while playing with his friends.
The building is the single link to three suicides of ghost hunters who carried out the act after they investigated the structure.
Mark and Debra Constantino
Mark Constantino's life ended after he shot himself during a standoff with the Spark Police. Before took his own life, he fatally shot his wife, Debra Constantino. The couple visited the Washoe club often and even guest-starred in an episode of Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" as Electronic Voice Phenomena experts.
David Frees, who served in the United States Navy, is the founder of Paranormal Ghost Investigations from Lemoore, California. Frees and his team would often travel to the Washoe Club and carry out investigations in the haunted building. In 2016 Frees moved to Fernley, Nevada, a town that is 40 miles away from the haunted town. In November of 2016, Frees was involved in a murder-suicide. His girlfriend survived the attack but Frees died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Scott Shy served in the United States Navy and visited Virginia City in September of 2018 while carrying out duties in Fallon, Nevada, a Navy base that is also the home of Top Gun.
On September 8th, 2018, Shy decided to do an overnight investigation of the Washoe Club, where he said he felt a connection to Scott, the man who shot and killed himself in 1983. Six months later, Shy was alone in his apartment in Lemoore, California, and his girlfriend was out of town for work. He and his girlfriend got into an argument over the phone. Shy told his girlfriend that he would kill himself. His girlfriend called the police to interfere with suicide after this threat, but it was too late. Police found Shy dead in his Lemoore apartment from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Are these suicides connected to the building, or are these suicides just an uncanny coincidence? The question of whether the suicides are linked may never be answered, but this should warn ghost hunters and thrill-seekers of the real dangers that ghost hunting can bring, including the attachment of unwanted spirits and possibly other malevolent entities.
Scott Shy explaining that someone or something is trying to get his attention. (Derek Bratton)