The Washoe Club, Virginia City, NV
How ghost stories get started
By Casey Saumure
We are the weirdo’s mister
Describing our family is like the beginning of a bar joke. ” So, a furry, a drone pilot, and a hairdresser walk into a bar…” Add the fact that our favorite weekend activity is ghost hunting and you have yourself a bonafide weirdo fest. We like our weirdness. We wear it like a new fur coat. ~Snuggling into coat and smiling broadly.
This is how ghost stories get started
We gathered our besties for a quickie trip to Virginia City, NV. The Virginia City Paracon, hosted by our friend Doug Carnahan was out for us. Our teenage daughter, an experienced paranormal investigator, was booted from the guestlist for being underaged. Doug spouted something about insurance and refused to budge. Our friend Barry Fox ran the Haunted Washoe Club at the time and invited us up the weekend before the para con. He knows us and knows our daughter and gave us run-of-the-house. We booked our favorite room next to the cemetery and packed our equipment.
It was a dark and stormy night
Seriously, it was freezing cold and windy as hell. Not the best for ghost hunting. Evidence is completely contaminated by howling winds. I could write 10 stories about what happened that night. But, that’s for another day. We had some great trigger ideas for the evening. We had staged a haunted poker game. Our VIP players were the dearly departed tied to the history of the Washoe Club. In our bleary state the night before, we had left the poker game on the table upstairs. Tours had already started for the day. So we had to politely wait our turn between sets to run up and gather our stuff.
Here’s where it gets good. We’re saddled up to the bar nursing some strong coffee. The tour guides are beginning the next group and we have to wait. Gathering excitement for the crowd, the guides hit some highlights they’ll be going over. I’m enjoying one of the few sunbeams that has reached the bar. My hands warming on the styrofoam cup I’m clutching. Kind of half listening as one of the guides says they have a new ghost at the Washoe. A woman has appeared in a long green gown, who likes to dance in the ballroom. I grab for napkins as I snort coffee out of my nose laughing. She says the apparition has been captured on film. and explains that no one knows who the Ballroom Ghost is or why she is there. But, she whispers as the crowd leans in, if you Google ‘Ghost Dancing’ at the Washoe Club, the image will come right up. She has the photo queued up already and pans the group slowly as she presents her evidence. By now my husband is sitting next to me. He starts laughing too, and tells me I’m famous. I’ll explain.
A Cemetery Wedding
My husband and I got married in the Comstock Cemetery. We celebrated at the Washoe Club. Our photographer, Craig Marshall did a series of photographs for us in the ballroom using time-lapse photography. We wanted the scene to look like ghosts dancing and that’s what we named it, ‘Ghosts Dancing at the Haunted Washoe Club’. It doesn’t look like any sort of evidence to me. But we did proudly post it everywhere, as did our photographer, Craig Marshall. It was a silly fun day for us. But it was never meant to be evidence.
Look Over the Bar
When the guide came back, I took her quietly aside and told her the whole story. I pointed at the photo over the cash register and told her that was us. She studied both the photo and our faces carefully. Then we all had a good laugh and hugged our goodbyes. Running the keys back to Barry later that day, I heard her start another tour telling the exact same story of the new ghost in the green dress. I guess some ghost stories die hard. As of April 2022, our wedding picture still hangs over the cash register at the Haunted Washoe Club.
Greg, Casey, and Calla Saumure, investigate paranormal events across the US. We love to film, fly, and write about our experiences in ghost travel. Our focus is on the history and restoration efforts of haunted locations.
Do you believe in ghosts?
We love to ghost hunt with our friends. Want to come? Drop us a note below and we’ll add you to our event list. Nothing spammy, we promise.