The Goldfield Hotel is one of those Nevada properties that, despite a series of natural disasters and various owners, has continued to capture our attention for decades. Goldfield sprung to life in 1902, seemingly overnight, after large deposits of gold were discovered the surrounding hillsides. Thousands of people flocked to what was considered to be one of the last great gold rushes in the American West, catapulting the population from a few dozen to 20,000. To put it into perspective, more than $80 million dollars in gold stemmed from the mines outside Goldfield, which meant that the town had nothing but the best of everything. Naturally, this attracted attracted prominent residents, including politicians, bankers, famous ladies of the night, and gunslingers, too. Before long, Goldfield was Nevada’s most storied city, and the largest in the entire state.
Located in the heart of town in the middle of all the action, is the Goldfield Hotel. This building was one of the most opulent in Goldfield, and marketed as the finest hotel between San Francisco and Denver. Champagne was rumored to have flowed down the grand staircase on the opening ceremony, that celebrated the property’s 154 rooms that each featured telephones, electric lights, and a heating system… luxuries that most people hadn’t yet experienced and couldn't afford, anyway. The mahogany-paneled lobby was furnished with upholstered leather benches, crystal chandeliers, and gold-leaf ceilings. Plus, the property had an elevator —which was extremely rare during this era—which, running at 300 feet per minute, made it the most modern elevator west of the Mississippi and one of the fastest in the state.
As the hotel essentially redefined luxury, the property had no trouble with vacancies, appealing to the upper crust throughout the country. The man behind the hotel was George Wingfield, a successful and wealthy banker, mining magnate, and joint owner of the booming Goldfield Consolidated Mines Company. However, as with many boomtowns, Goldfield’s mines eventually dried up causing the population—and stream of hotel guests—to dwindle. The hotel went through a series of owners, including the US Army during WWII, and a private owner in the 80s who sank millions into renovations but never opened the Goldfield Hotel for business. The Goldfield Hotel’s current owner, Red Roberts, has done little with the property since purchasing in 2003, but recently completed a flurry of renovations, historic integrity-driven, or not. Plans to open the newly remodeled hotel are slated for the spring of 2019.
ONE OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN AMERICA
The Goldfield Hotel was once the most spectacular hotel in the state of Nevada, but today operates under a different superlative: one of the most haunted places in Nevada, if not the entire United States. The hotel is said to have quite the slew of “permanent guests.” The most well-known is a woman named Elizabeth, George Wingfield’s mistress, who became pregnant with Wingfield’s child. To protect his marriage, he initially paid her stay to stay away, but, growing fearful of exposure, he ultimately chained her to a radiator in room 109 throughout the entirety of her pregnancy where she allegedly cried for hours on end, begging for freedom. Wingfield fed her food and water to keep her alive until the child was born, but then she disappeared. One theory is Elizabeth died at childbirth, but many suspect Wingfield murdered her. What’s worse: the story goes that her baby was thrown in a mine shaft, or tunnel, beneath the hotel. Many guests touring the Goldfield Hotel have claimed to see Elizabeth’s apparition, and some even claim to hear crying, presumably Elizabeth calling out for her child.
Other visitors have noticed a strong tobacco odor, thought to come from Wingfield’s ghost. Two other spirits are said to haunt the property; one of a woman who hanged herself and another of a man who jumped to his death off the roof of the hotel. And then there’s the “The Stabber” who is said to randomly attack those who cross the threshold with a large knife. An array of ghost hunters and paranormal experts have visited the property [and filmed a series of reality shows], ranking it as one of the “Scariest Places on Earth,” and even going as far as declaring the Goldfield Hotel as one of the seven portals to the underworld.
VISITING THE GOLDFIELD HOTEL TODAY
Having been boarded up and closed off to the public for decades, the Historic Goldfield Hotel has recently reopened its doors for historic property tours. With plans to completely remodel the property and an opening in spring of 2019, the property still stands in its historic state and may be one of the last chances to see the historic integrity that has remained more than 100 years.
Today, private appointment-only tours can be made to tour what's said to be one of the most haunted places in America. Arrange for a 90 minute daytime tour to drink in some of the lasting historical features, like the original tile floor, elevator, and gold leaf ceilings. If it's George Wingfield's ghost you're hoping to cross paths with, be sure to book a paranormal tour, which takes place after the sun sets.
HOURS AND ADMISSION
Tours of the Historic Goldfield Hotel are made by appointment only. For specific details about a tour, and to schedule an appointment, please contact Jeri Foutz at (775) 485-3738 or (541) 218-8236.
- Historic Hotel Tour - $20 for a 60-minute tour
- Paranormal Investigation - $500 for a group. Ages 18+ only. This purchase books a private tour/investigation for your group. An additional fee of $40/per person is due at time of tour.
The Goldfield Hotel is part of the National Historic District Goldfield is protected by. Though little is being done with historic preservation at the Goldfield Hotel, a portion of your admission does in fact go directly to toward the historic preservation efforts in the greater Goldfield area. As a window into Nevada’s Wild West past and a valuable historical resource, please consider making a donation, or to become a member of the Goldfield Historical Society, click here.