Scattered across the West are hundreds of historic and unique hotels that provide an experience and not simply a place to sleep. The sleepy town of Tonopah, Nevada has one of the grandest of these hotels. The Mizpah Hotel not only has style and history, it may even have lost spirits caught somewhere between this world and the other side.
Although Tonopah was just a few years old when the Mizpah Hotel opened its doors for business in 1907, the town was in the boom of one of the greatest silver rushes in the West’s history. It could already claim western legend Wyatt Earp as a resident, and when the Mizpah Hotel was completed it could boast having the tallest building in the state. In fact, it would remain the tallest building in the state until 1929. Predictably though, like any other mining boom town, it was only a matter of short time before the town went into a steep decline when the bust came. Tonopah was no exception, and only a decade after the opening of the Mizpah, the population had already dropped to half of what it was at its peak, and another decade after that nearly all mining operations in the area had ceased. Even if the mines have closed, the real treasure of Tonopah has survived and today is still taking in guests for a truly special experience.
But the hotel may not be the only remnant from that by-gone era. Legend claims that some of its guests have never truly checked out, the most famous of which is the Lady in Red. Known as Rose, her real name was Evelyn Mae Johnston, she was working at the Mizpah as a prostitute, when her lover went into a jealous rage and beat her to death in the hallway outside of her room. Some claim to have seen her spirit wandering the fifth floor hallway and in room 504 that she was staying in. Another legend holds the ghosts of two miners haunt the basement. The two miners were tunneling from the basement to the bank vault next door when a third partner betrayed and murdered them both
Whether these stories are true or not, you can without a doubt finds spirits of a different kind in the lobby bar. The elegant setting makes for a relaxing environment after a long day of travel to sit and sip a drink why discussing and reliving the day’s adventures. After dinner at the Jack Dempsey Room (named after the World Heavyweight boxing champion and former worker in the nearby mines) a good nights sleep in one of period furnished rooms is just the right ending for a day a travel. It doesn’t require much imagination at all (if you ignore the television) to transport yourself back to the turn of the last century and the end of the wild west as you drift off to sleep.