Desert Chills

IMG00404-20111021-2131By: The Las Vegas Informer Staff

The Informer takes you inside the haunted Amargosa Opera House and Hotel.

Amargosa Opera House and Hotel sits in Death Valley Junction, a city about 30 minutes from Pahrump, Nevada. This 24-room hotel and 120 seat Opera House looks like a Mexican Colonial style group of building that consists of a hotel, lobby, dinning room, café, gift shop, and opera house.


Built in 1923-1925 the Amargosa Hotel and Oprah house was designed by Alexander Hamilton McCulloch and in 1968, Marta Becket began to paint the walls of the Opera House to fill it with people.


Marta also lined the walls of the hotel with her paintings of people and throughout each room; the headboards and wall ‘hangings’ are all painted by Marta. From Native American people to birds and luscious gardens, to decorations, flowers, doorways, and headboards, Marta’s artwork is another main attraction of the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, her artward as well as her story are part of the rich history of the Amargosa. Marta lived at the hotel for years, danced in the Opera House, organized shows and events at the hotel and Opera House as well as managed the property.

IMG00431-20111021-2230The Amargosa Opera House was recently featured in Ghost Adventures so The Las Vegas Informer team decided to visit the old Opera House to conduct a ghost tour of our own.  With our Ghost Hunter Apps downloaded on our Droids, Samsung Galaxy, and iPads, we pulled up to the Amargosa Opera House an checked into our rooms. Each room is different, different paintings on the walls, different comforters, and different carpet, and lamps. All the vacant rooms are left open for tours.IMG00435-20111021-2232

It is said there are ghosts at the hotel and opera house due to the old mining town. Mining of Borax in Death Valley is hot, tiring, and can cause someone to loose their mind.  It is said that ghosts have lingered in the old Opera House for years from a suicide hanging to even several murders years ago.

Richard Murkey of the Ghost Anomaly Research Project said ‘One the freakiest places I’ve been to was the Armargosa so far; chris and I were doing an EVP session in the Boss Man room and we decided to check it out right then and there. We actually heard some grunting – it over spoke richard’s voice it was so loud – then we caught another one that actually spoke right in the middle of me speaking – and the room was completely quiet – it said either release the kids or release the keys all of them – there’s no relevance to that. The part the really got me was I was looking down the hall, it was pitch black and I had my flashlight and I saw a figure walk from left to right in the doorway – thought it was one of the other team members, walked down and saw on the other side of the doorway was a wall – to me that was the holy grail so far – I don’t know what it was.’


Part of the old hotel is closed off to guests. This portion of the hotel is called ‘Spooky Hollow’ and it’s not renovated and is said to have strong paranormal activity in and around the hallway.  People have physically seen movement, body shadows, and have heard voices in Spooky Hollow and the paranormal presence specifically is hostile towards strong men who enter the hallway.

John Castronova,  also of the Ghost Anomaly Research Project experienced Amargosa Chills as well. He says: ‘I was apprehensive about going to this investigation – a couple of us had been there maybe a month or so before and nothing really happened at all – everybody else wanted to go so I tagged along – everyone was having experiences, I was having personal experiences in the Sunset Room, probably the biggest room in the whole entire building. Me
IMG00433-20111021-2231Vienna and Richard and we were sitting in the room and there’s different – place set up to sit in the front of the room, place set up in the middle of the room, and then there’s the back wall, and we were sitting in the place that was in the front of the room; we were seeing shadows, light bring blocked out, we were trying to get whatever itIMG00421-20111021-2152was to come closer, come forward, we were hearing noises liketaps or knocks – sounded like something was scratching its finger on the wood – I moved closer to whatever was making the noises – moved to the table in the middle of the room. I said, okay Now I’m going to come all the way down to the end of the hallway and come to you – so I got up from my chair – something pushed me from the left side, I fell and I caught myself. I wasn’t done yet, so I continued to walk back to – right in front of the wall – I got a sensation like something punched me in the stomach, I didn’t feel a punch, like when you get winded when someone punched you in the stomach, that happened. Things kinda died down after that. Had three marks, where  it looked like someone grabbed my hand and dug their nails in – someone else that was there mentioned that he had bruises on his arm tooI had three bruises that looked like fingers – I didn’t feel a scratch or anything grab me at the time.’

IMG00396-20111021-2124Within minutes of our tour beginning, our apps lit up with paranormal activity. The eerie feeling that surrounded us from all angles inside the hotel hallways. We walked around the back of the hotel and down around the Amargosa Café and gas station and found many areas where there were spirit-lined streets and hallways.

IMG00441-20111021-2254The Amargosa Opera House still schedules performances and during the winter months and if you’re looking for a thrilling experience I would highly suggest making the trek through the hot desert to visit the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel and who knows, you may just run into some paranormal activity of your own.

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