Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Virginia City Ghost Tour

Another adventure I waited to share with you in October. Actually, I'd planned on sharing it last October, and forgot. So you get to finally see them this year. And I know I have more photos from this trip but I have no idea what happened to the rest of them. Photos of the Old Opera House and the old Catholic Church. But, at least a taste -

I bid on some Ghost Tour tickets that were being offered as a fund raiser and won them, way back in 2006. The tour didn't get scheduled until spring of '07 and it worked out nicely as we had all sorts of family up visiting and some of them came along. It was Lisa, a much younger Joli, Kyla, William, and me.

Virginia City is an old silver mining town up in the foothills about a half hour south of Reno. It's famous for being a wild and rowdy place in it's heydey, most of the town has burned down several times, it was frequented by Mark Twain, and now it's mostly a sleepy place in the winter and a tourist spot in the summer. The tour was a small one, maybe a dozen of us altogether. The guide was from the local paranormal society, similar to the Ghost Hunters show on television where they go out to debunk what they can and hopefully find evidence of real paranormal activity.

It was an all day tour, we got our money's worth and more. We didn't see any ghosts or feel anything particularly spooky, but we did catch a few orbs on film, learn a lot of history, hear a lot of ghost stories, and have a generally lovely day.

The town is all old time boardwalks. Maybe we should have asked this fortune teller to tell us where we could find some of the ghosts.

A fancy old building and an old tree I liked. I don't think the tree was dead, just not leafed out yet as it was late spring. I know I'm missing photos as I took a photo of the Old Opera House next door to this building but I can't find it. I hope I didn't accidentally delete many of the photos - sigh. Moving on...

Here's one of the orbs we caught, a big blue one in the upstairs window. Can you see it? I know, a lot of orbs are obviously light reflections/refractions/whatever. Dust. Bugs. But I do know that I often get orbs that aren't explainable. Or I get them in some photos but photos where there should be even more bugs/reflections/dust, get nothing. I often get orbs only in photos where I have something whisper to me that I should "take a photo of that". And if orbs are sometimes paranormal, I don't know what sort of paranormal I think they are - spirits, energy, ghosts, fae? I just know that I can't explain all the ones that I get in photos and I can't explain a lot of the coincidental messages that come with them. So, it's fun to wonder about the unknown.

Sounds like a lovely place for drinks and mayhem.

Fly your baggies and be proud of it!

There have been so many fires and ups and downs in the history, you'll find ghost town on one side of a street and well maintained history on the other.

Another abandoned building gone to ruin. Pretty ruin though in the muted colors of the high desert.

Some pretty architectural details and an odd old staircase that goes up from a hillside to a back window.

I liked this backyard we could see from a road above the house. I left it large so you could click and see the details. There's an old bathtub, brick walkways, and old tubs filled with blue glass.

I was taking a photo, or trying to rather, of the faeries in the window. What I got was the reflection of the old building tops on the other side of the street, which is probably more fun. And I like how the faery face shows up in the flag.

We visited an old school where a docent told us about it's history. It was funny how well Joli listened to the lesson. I wonder if she'll listen as attentively when she's in school someday.

Not all of our group listened or behaved as well. William, you really need to pay more attention in school. (Uhm, yeah, like, in real school. Just saying.)

Lisa looks just as unrepentant.

And Joli looks.... uhm, well, I guess we'll never know.

One of the old school rooms. I actually remember sitting at school desks of this kind. Mine might have been a bit more contemporary, but not by much!

We didn't go see this museum but I'm happy to say that none of us would have been disqualified by this warning.

We were allowed to wander around (quietly, a few of us at a time) in the upstairs halls of this old haunted hotel. I like this photo because it looks like a freeze shot from one of Ghost Hunter shows.

Orbs. You can click on the larger version of this photo to see if you can find them all.

Pretty railings.

We also toured the old Catholic Church. It had a really cool old grotto in a tunnel underneath the church. And I can't find the photos of that part of the tour - argh. But here's my girl, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

See the black cat over the door of the church museum? This a popular custom for good luck in parts of Europe as well.

Okay, there was one really spooky part of the tour, in a school museum. Clown puppets. Yes, clowns AND puppets!!! Totally creepy.

I mean, tell me this isn't frickin' scary!?

William hanging out with the ghost of Samuel Clemens. Or at least a cardboard fascimile thereof.

And this gentlemen let William have a go at an old foot pedalled printing press. Sure makes me appreciate the good ol'... er new... cut and paste abilities on my newfangled laptop.

At one point we had to stop for food and drink, we were famished. Kyla is holding Joli. Joli was fascinated by the french fries we let her hold in her chubby little hands. I think they were the most interesting things she noticed all day!

Last stop of the day, and we went after the tour on our own, was the old pioneer cemetery. It had been heavily left to ruin, unkempt, and vandalized over the years. We visited about ten years ago and it was basically just an abandoned hillside. I was glad to see that restoration efforts had begun since then and it looks like it will be somewhat restored and taken care of in the future.

A grave that been pushed up, probably by the seasonal changes of hot and cold. And a little visitor. A skink or a lizard.

Me in front of a tangle of old and new. My hair blowing away. I think the wind is always blowing a gale up there.

Just a pretty old grave with fence, and bushes. You can't really see the faces on the top corners of the stone.

Most people didn't get that fancy a resting spot. It looks like this family tried but over the years it's been abandoned.

And some people didn't get more than a wooden marker, the paint long gone, the name forgotten. Of course some people don't even get that much.

Funny, even though I love to wander old cemeteries, I have no interest in being buried in one myself. Maybe if I could have a really cool old headstone in a beautiful setting like some of the older graveyards. Maybe if I was a famous person and thought people would appreciate a site to come visit me. But nah, I have other plans that are more personal for my friends and family. I guess I'm not too worried about being forgotten even without my name carved into a stone. That's nice, when I think about it, I must feel pretty loved. I don't have a gravestone to visit for most of the people I've loved and lost, and I know that doesn't make me forget them.

Another view of what's left in the rugged weather.

And a wider view.

One more shot of me, this time my hair blowing into my face, with a view of Virginia City behind me.

We also visited an artist's center and if I can manage it, I'll put the photos from there up on Laume's Studio some time today. But now I've got some errands to run that won't wait. So, see ya later, my spooky friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The orb comment in your post caught my eye. My mother spent the night in a cemetery once and had a roll of infrared film. Even though she saw nothing the entire night there, when the film was developed, there were floating lights--orbs.

Spooky whatever it was.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your pictures are just amazing and a little freaky. But that does fit the theme of Ghost tour.

Might I add that your baby is just adorable and the picture with the dunce hat....priceless

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a kind comment

11:58 PM  
Blogger julietk said...

I am still working my way through Vanessa's party list and enjoying all the blogs :D I dont want to miss anyone out. Cool pics, Juliet

1:58 AM  
Blogger Rowena said...

Love this ghost town. Spirits and gravestones and orbs, oh my.

6:38 AM  
Blogger cindy said...

Looks like it was a fun day. A nd the


4:25 AM  

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