Ghost Hunting in Tonopah, Nevada

Our road trip this time takes us deep into the Nevada desert to an old mining town that is still booming today. It was my kids 16th birthday and the only wish was to stay at a haunted hotel. So we headed out on a haunted road trip filled with abandon buildings, scary clowns, and haunted hotels. 

We headed North from So Cal to the 127 in Baker towards the 373.  Once on the 373 we passed by the largest cow I have ever seen at the California/Nevada boarder, The Big Bovine of the Desert. As the sun set we had to stop and take some photos of this odd desert art that we love so much. Then we hopped back in the car and headed to Tonopah, Nevada where we were going to stay at the Famous haunted Mizpah Hotel.  

Tonopah, Nevada was an old mining town that had started in 1900 when Jim Butler discovered silver.  The discovery was by accident. Jim had gone searching for a lost burro and had to shelter up for the night.  The next day when he found the lost burro and he was so frustrated he picked up a rock to throw it, but it was heavier than it should be.  The rock had silver.  Jim’s discovery of silver in that area turned out to be the 2nd largest silver discovery in Nevada.  

Mizpah Hotel was built in 1908 and was the gathering place for everyone in the mining town.  With so many stories the hotel held it was no surprise that it was named the #1 Haunted Hotel in America. The hotel is beautiful.  The decor takes you back to another time and place.  Even the rooms are designed to give you the old west feel.  We stayed on the third floor in room 301 the Key Pittman Suite. Each room is named after someone that had stayed at the hotel.

After we checked in, the kids got all their ghost hunting gear and headed into the hotel for their first ghost hunting experience.  The hotel is pretty cool about going around to ghost hunt at all hours.  They are proud of their ghosts and you have full rein of the hotel except for the guest rooms (other than yours) and the basement.  We hunted all night along with some other hunters.  The kids were excited and the hotel was spooky.  We started on the 5th floor, where the lady in red was killed.  When we first got to that floor the air was thick with an old smell of perfume and rose water.  We noticed the smell but only thought it was the hotel and years of guests that stayed on that floor, but when we came up to investigate that floor during the rest of our trip the smell was gone and never returned for us. That night the kids hunted until the wee hours of the night. Sometime during the night they were outside the room and they heard something whisper in their ear “um.” After that happened they come running into the room. Ending their night of ghost hunting. At the time we thought we didn’t captured anything else but later when we got home and reviewed all the footage we were wrong, we captured voices of the past that gave chills down our spine.

The next day we headed out to the Belmont Ghost Town about an hour north east of Tonopah.  Belmont was established in 1865 following a silver strike. To this day people still live in this town but there are plenty of historic abandon buildings to explore just make sure to be respectful to all the current residents and rules surrounding the buildings. 

The first stop was the Belmont Cemetery.  The cemetery is placed in the middle of pine trees and is surrounded by forested cliffs. Each tombstone telling a story of souls from the past. 

After we paid our respects we headed to the Belmont Courthouse in the center of town. The Courthouse is still in excellent condition. For more information about the court house you can visit

From there we headed down through the ruins of Main Street to an old smoke stack. 

The Combination Mill Smoke Stack was incredibly preserved and the towering height of it was amazing. 

After we explored the the stack we headed to what used to be the The Monitor Belmont Mining Company Flotation Mill 1915.

There was so much more to visit in Belmont. Follow this link if you want to visit using a Self Guided Tour.

Heading back to Tonopah we had to stop by the World Famous Clown Motel.  The motel itself sits right next to the old Tonopah Cemetery.  Even if you don’t stay there you can still explore the spooky collection of the all clowns in the lobby.  From sad small clowns to life size like spooky clowns this collection is for the faint of heart especially if your worst fear is clowns. 

After we survived the motel we walked next door to the old Tonopah Cemetery visiting the past and respecting the stories.  

Later that day after we ate and rested the kids got their ghost hunting items and spent the rest of the night going from floor to floor hunting ghosts.  We didn’t capture anything the second night but had so much fun trying.

The next morning we packed up and headed out of town to Goldfield towards The International Car Forest.  Before we got there we stopped at the Goldfield Cemetery to see the Heart Memorial.  While going through town we drove past the Goldfield Hotel, The Goldfield High School and the Goldfield Art Car Park Gallery

Once out of town you will come to the to the turn off to the The International Car Forest.  Make sure to stop at the information shack and log your visit.  The car forest is a piece of land where the desert floor grew cars from it.  The colors glow against the dull white landscape.  The kids had a blast exploring the forest.  

The 16th Birthday Ghost Tour was a success. The kids got to learn about history, explore art outside of a classroom and museums, hunt ghosts in a real haunted hotel and we got to spend quality time together as a family.  

Check out our Youtube Video to hear and see what we captured at the Mizpah Hotel. Let us know what you think.

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