The Old Washoe Club – Spirits of the Old West

The Old Washoe Club – Spirits of the Old West


Nestled in the heart of Virginia City, Nevada, lies the infamous Old Washoe Club. The town itself flourished on the riches unearthed from successful silver mining ventures during the heyday of the old west. Originally established in 1862 and affectionately dubbed “The Millionaire’s Club” by affluent patrons, the Old Washoe Club became a haven for the elite Comstock gentlemen seeking lavish entertainment and exclusive camaraderie. However, tragedy struck in October 1875 when a devastating fire known as “The great fire” swept through Virginia City, leaving the Old Washoe Club in ruins. Yet, resilient as ever, the club rose from the ashes in 1876, boasting even greater elegance than before.

Discover the eerie charm and history of the extremely haunted Old Washoe Club in Virginia City, Nevada.

Amidst the barroom discussions and cigar smoke, the walls of the Old Washoe Club witnessed the untimely deaths of men, women, and children during it’s tumultuous history. The town was scarred by gunfights, family feuds, mining calamities, and the harsh grip of winter. The frozen solid ground forced the Washoe Club to use it’s ‘crypt’ as a temporary resting place for departed souls awaiting their final rest in the thawing earth. With a history as dark and sinister as the Old Washoe Club its no wonder there are many stories of ghostly hauntings throughout the building.


The bar at the Old Washoe Club has left both staff and guests feeling unsettled. Visitors have experienced being touched, electronic devices malfunctioning and disembodied voices around the bar. The lingering spirit of an old prospector is rumoured to reside here, renowned for his fondness of bourbon shots. His mischievous presence is blamed for drinks disappearing, bar stools being knocked over, and doors locking. He is said to enjoy the company of women and often shows this by opening doors for them.

Within the dimly lit corridors of the Old Washoe Club the past lingers around every shadowy corner.

The staircase is known for the spirit of “The Lady in Blue”, a figure that has captivated visitors and staff alike. Believed to be Lena, a prostitute who met a tragic end in the 1880s, she is frequently spotted at the top of the staircase and is described as wearing a blue Victorian-era dress with blonde hair. She is rumoured to have been a victim of foul play within the club and photographs taken of the staircase have revealed white or blue mists. People often smell cigar smoke and hear phantom poker games from upstairs, where “The Millionaires Club” once thrived, adding to the mysteries of this forbidden staircase which is now closed off to the public.

The Old Washoe Club has the longest spiral staircase without a supporting pole featured in ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’

The ballroom has been witness to a tragic history, having once served as a makeshift hospital during the tumultuous 1860s. In 1864, the life of a 10-year-old girl named Gretchen, was cut short after unfortunately being struck by a horse-drawn carriage on the street, she was bought back inside the club but ultimately died from her injuries. Witnesses have reported sightings of a ghostly figure resembling a young girl as well as the sound of footsteps and the innocent laughter of a child in the ballroom.

Many visitors report paranormal phenomena while exploring the Old Washoe Club including apparitions, poltergeist activity, disembodied voices and being touched.

In 1873, a neighbouring building explosion claimed the lives of 12 individuals, including two residents on the third floor of the Old Washoe Club, one of whom was 8-year-old Ella. There are several accounts of child laughter and of Ella’s toys moving on their own, including an Annabelle Doll, sat in a rocking chair that is known to sway back and forth. The third floor was more recently marked by the heartbreaking suicide of bartender Scotty in 1982, after suffering the loss of his son in a mining disaster. The third floor also has a Red Room that has reported unexplained scratches, doors slamming and a strange sulphur smell that leaves visitors feeling dizzy. The third floor music room is also known for notes of piano music, occasionally accompanied by disembodied voices and footsteps.

The third floor of the Old Washoe Club has a ‘Red Room’ known to be an area where more sinister and malevolent activity occurs.

Located at the back of the building, the crypt is a haunting reminder of the Old Washoe Club’s dark history. Once used as a morgue overflow in 1874, during the unforgiving winter months, the crypt housed the remains of 77 individuals unable to be buried due to the frozen ground. Visitors describe an uncomfortable and uneasy feeling when steeping foot inside the crypt.

The Old Washoe Club’s Crypt located at the back of the building was once a morgue overflow that housed 77 bodies during harsh winter months of 1874.


Stepping through the weathered doors of the Old Washoe Club feels like a journey back in time to the “Old West”. Each creaking floorboard and flickering light holds the promise of meeting the spirits that call this place home. You can experience the Old Washoe Club for yourself by booking a ghost tour or an overnight investigation, whether you wish to visit the onsite museum, or gaze upon the longest spiral staircase without a supporting pole as seen in ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’, or make connect with the resident spirits, the Old Washoe Club offers something truly special for every visitor to appreciate!

The Old Washoe Club is a must-visit for every paranormal investigator, it has so many haunting tales and is rich in ‘Old West’ history!

If you enjoyed reading about the ghosts of the Old Washoe Club you may also be interested in reading about the haunted Goldfield Ghost Town in Arizona.

Thanks for reading!


About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Check out Amy's other work over at Amy's Crypt.

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