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A Haunting in Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in California

Updated on December 14, 2010
Amargosa Opera House & Hotel, Death Valley Junction, Ca
Amargosa Opera House & Hotel, Death Valley Junction, Ca

In a tiny desert community in Inyo County , California, east of Death Valley National Park, is one of the most barren locations in the United States. This huge structure sets on a defunct 280 acre, borax mining complex. There has been countless accidents, suicides, and deaths on the grounds of what is now the home of Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. Resident Marta Becket , who owns this House & Hotel today, has staged danced and mime shows since the late 1960s. The hotel, still operating, and the shows which continue, but beyond the hotel, there is no gas stations, and only one restaurant. T&T Cafe, is part of Amargosa Opera House & Hotel and is not run by hotel staff.

The theater was part of a company town designed in 1923-1925 by an architect of the name of Alexander Hamilton McCulloch, and constructed by the Pacific Coast Borax Company. The U-Shaped complex of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style adobe buildings included company offices, employees' headquarters, a dormitory and a 23 room hotel with a dining room, lobby and store. At the north east end of the complex was a recreation hall which was used for community center like dances, church services, movies, funerals and town meetings. Marta Becket had rented the recreation hall in 1967, then known at the time as Corkhill Halls. She began repairs, created the sets, and painted the Opera House murals in public spaces and had renamed the place what it is today, with the help of famous known Sandy Scheller, a professional mime and dancer. By 1970, journalists from National Geographic discovered Becket, and led an interest into the theater as well. She had performed for people such as Red Skelton and Ray Bradbury.


Today, guests struggle to stay the whole night at the hotel, thanks to what is not just a paranormal presence, but a paranormal infestation. The employees strongly believe there are a number of guests who "never checked out". One of the reasons the television show, "Ghost Adventures" crew made a decision to come to the Opera House is the un-renovated section called "Spooky Hallow". Within spooky hallow there are several individual spirits with distinct personalities. One of these spirits is known as "Boss Man", whom he likes to pick on men, preferably on big, macho men. "Spooky Hallow" is known according to one employee, MaryLee, for it's murders, suicides, and hangings here. Miners and employees use to hang out here back then.

When Zak, Nick and Aaron arrive and prepare for their lock down, they have no idea what is in store for them for the night. Once locked in, they decide to hit, "spooky hallow" first, which is no surprise to us viewers of course. Using their cameras, and digital EVP recorders, they walk through the hall. Zak of course, calling out to the spirits to "come and play" and do harm to them. Within minutes, you can clearly hear on one of the EVP recorders a disembodied scream in the hallway as they are walking. Further in, Aaron hears a bang, which makes him jump high in the air, as Zak is continuously asking questions for the spirits to do something. Zak decides by this time, to use what is called a Thermal Imagining camera, to capture more than just disembodied voices, but to be able to see something on their cameras then themselves that they can't explain. As Zak walks with the camera through the hallway, he turns the camera to the left, at which point you see a reflection of himself in another room. But a quick glimpse of him turning it left fast, you can clearly see an infestation of a man what looks like of his head coming out of a room. Creepy as it is on the camera, but try explaining it where this came from is another one! They walk down the end of the hallway, and approach the last room, in which on one of the EVP recorders you can very well hear "moaning" of a what seems to be of a male.

Zak, Nick and Aaron decide to split up in teams to investigate different rooms. Zak goes to room 15, where he was told there was cold spots and best known for "channeling" here. MaryLee, one of the employees had told Zak earlier she had tried to make the bed one day, when she became frozen, to the point she could not move. Nick and Aaron went off to room 20, where the story is told of an energy likes to move things, like beds. With Nick and Aaron in room 20, Zak decides to do a EVP session in room 15. One of the creepiest question's Zak asks out is "Why are you scaring MaryLee?". To his response he hears on his EVP recorder, a disembodied voice reply back , "It was fun". Zak continues to ask other questions and even goes beyond that by telling the spirits to do harm to him as they did to MaryLee. Before long, Zak is finding himself on camera frozen, chilled to the bone, and even being touched all over by something he can't explain.

In room 20, Nick and Aaron are as well doing a EVP session and asking their questions too. Most of the time you always hear a response back with disembodied voices on their EVP recorders with "I seek help", to "Seeking help". Not much activity they had expected in room 20 at that time, that is until all three crew members hear a loud slamming of a door in the hallway. Zak, Nick and Aaron all gather in the hallway and think the other had been in the hallway, which they discover they're not "alone". They walk through the hallway to find where the source of the slammed door happened, and surprisingly, they approach Room 9, where the door is closed. Zak tries to open it, but it's locked, but remembers if he entered the next room, to go through the bathroom, he could enter Room 9 that way. He finds out that in the other room, that other door is locked tight too. As the men come back out into the hallway to approach Room 9, they notice that the door to room 9 is unlocked and wide open. How can that be? Zak decides to step inside the room to investigate for awhile, while Nick and Aaron stay outside the doorway to record. While sitting on the bed, Zak instantly becomes lightheaded, confused, disoriented and begans to cough. What's intriguing about Zak's cough is so notable on the cameras to us viewers. You hear Zak cough once, and on his second cough, it doesn't sound like him. It's as if someone had "channeled" through his body, and took over him, and was controlling his voice. Perhaps this was the spirit that was playing "games" with Zak in room 15? We'll never know for sure, as Zak had questioned it himself. One thing is certain, while recording their EVP recorders and Zak not being himself in room 9, you could hear a disembodied voice say "no one cares". Creepy, and intriguing.

With such great paranormal infestation in the Amargosa Opera House & Hotel, it's such a wonder why there is no guests here these days. The rich history into the murders, suicides and hangings itself tell the tale of the mining complex back when the grounds were alive then, and still are today. I find that watching "Ghost Adventures" with their history and findings on this, was absolutely incredible and much to my surprise, great capturing on film as well.


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