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Visions Paranormal Society Blog – Ghosts of the Past

Virginia City, Nevada has been named one of the top three most haunted towns in America. With many of its original buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is an amazing treasure for history lovers to visit. This past week, my husband and I had the honor to visit Virginia City. Although our visit was primarily history based, we couldn’t help but get swept up in the strong paranormal presence within this small close knit community. According to many of the locals we spoke with,” most every building has a ghost story.” Several paranormal celebrities have visited and investigated here, quite often capturing some kind of unexplained paranormal activity. I will go into more detail in later blogs describing just a few of these locations, the history, reports of activity and any evidence captured. We even managed to capture some odd video in one of these historic locations, which I will also share later on.  From the moment you enter the city limits, you are swept back in time to a bustling, vibrant gold mining town. The original wooden board walks, saloon music and buildings that line the main street make you feel as if you were living back in the gold mining days. Some of the locals actually dress in period clothing and stroll the boardwalks adding to the atmosphere, which I was fascinated by. Many of the original historic landmarks remain today despite the two big fires that consumed 80% of the town in 1859 and again in 1875 leaving two thousand people homeless. The fighting spirit of the people in the mining town was resurrected and the town rebuilt. Like most of the towns in Nevada, Virginia City was a mining boom town which grew almost overnight as a result of the Comstock Lode Silver Strike of 1859. This was considered one of the first major silver discoveries in the United States. In the mid 1870’s the town’s population had swelled to 25,000 residents. The California Gold Rush had begun 10 years prior to the Comstock Lode discovery, so many of the inhabitants of the mining town had been headed to California. When gold was soon discovered in the area, the miners chose to remain in Virginia City until the decline of the gold and silver mines in the late 1870’s. During the years 1864 and 1865 ten thousand people left Virginia City. But a rebirth of the mining town began after two common miners, John McKay and his partner James Fair worked their way up to management positions in the mine. They soon discovered by purchasing stock in their own mine they became financially independent. Their two partners from San Francisco, Obrien and Flood, remained in San Francisco while McKay and Fair continued their work in Virginia City. The foursome quickly became known as the “Irish Big Four” when they took control over the Consolidated Virginia Mine when the Big Bonanza gold strike was discovered in 1873. The excitement and glory of the local gold rush soon became overshadowed by a danger within the new mine. It was soon discovered that the entire area under Virginia City has a wide spread geothermal geography, which made working in the mine very difficult and dangerous due to the temperatures reaching 140 degrees. The miners had to work in 10 minute shifts and then go to a “cool down area” for 10 minutes and then return to work. The whole process slowed down the mining process, so it was soon determined that they needed to hire many more miners that would come at a huge financial cost to the company. Advertisements were sent all over the United States requesting mining help at unheard of wages, four dollars a day as compared to the national average of seventy cents a day.Miners soon flocked to Virginia City, and the population quickly grew to 30,000 residents in 1875.  Today the population of Virginia City hovers around 855 residents. Most of the residents work in the tourism industry with some commuting back and fourth to Reno which is a 35-40 minute drive one way. In the upcoming weeks I will be sharing some amazing locations we visited in Virginia City. These locations are rich in history and yes, even some ghost stories. Whether or not you are a believer or skeptic, I believe you will enjoy what I have to share. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. Have an amazing week. ~Deborah Frediani – Visions Paranormal Society Founder/Case Manager~

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