Haunted Vegas! Part 2: The Pioneer Saloon

I was only in Vegas for a short while so I didn’t get to visit as many places as I would have liked, but the second place on my list was the Pioneer Saloon!
Thursday, before I had to go to the airport, I made the 45 minute drive from Summerlin to Goodsprings, NV. It’s crazy how you go from the city to gorgeous desert views so quickly!

The Pioneer Saloon has been featured in one of the Ghost Adventures episodes, so of course I was excited to go and spend some time there.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the history of this place this is from their website:

“Many movies have been filmed here but the genuine stories of the Pioneer Saloon do not live in the lines of a movie script but in the echoes of the past. The famous screen legend, Clark Gable, waited for three days at the bar for word on his wife of less than two years Carole Lombard. She was lost in a plane crash near Mount Potosi. You will be able to read this tragic story on an original newspaper and see a piece of the actual wreckage. At one time the saloon was next to a hotel that not only served as a comfortable rest place for the many prospectors and miners in the west… it also served as a place where street girls would frequent with their clients. The hotel is gone now after a severe fire left only ashes to remember.The many tales from the bar along with bullet holes, the pot bellied stove and the paper clippings are just a few of the things that will keep you immersed in the exciting era of the old Wild West.”

My view when I arrived!

Also here are a few more ghostly facts:

  • It’s possible that multiple people died in the old mineshaft that runs beneath the bar.
  • Supposedly remnants of the plane that killed Carole Lombard can still be found around the desert.
  • There is also the story of a drunk miner named of Paul Coski who was shot after he was caught cheating at a card game in 1915.
  • Rumors that there may be spirits of the “ladies of the night.”
The Memorial Room

I decided to stop in and have one drink (which was the best Gin & and Tonic I’ve ever had!).  The bartender & who I’m assuming was the manager were both very friendly. I asked them about their own experiences at the place and they said they always work during the day, so they haven’t had many. They said that plenty of other employees do, though!  I was also told that Zak Bagans was pretty overcome with intense emotions, off camera, while the crew was there.

It was hard for me to pick up on any energies because they were fairly busy and I was exhausted, but I love the atmosphere, the people & can’t wait to come back one day!!!

Out back. Would love to sit out here at night with the fire!

http://www.pioneersaloon.info/

Haunted Vegas! Part 1: Zak Bagan’s Museum

Recently I was out in Nevada for some personal reasons, but couldn’t let the opportunity to check out some haunted locations pass me by…

My first stop was, of course, Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum! I’ve been there before, but I could visit every week and never get tired of it. I won’t give away too many spoilers here, but I’ll talk about a couple of the well known objects and my overall experience.

I was traveling alone and got super lucky! There’s always a pretty long wait. People come from all over the country, so even on a Wednesday afternoon there was a 2+ hour wait.  After about 15 minutes they needed a single person to join a group about to go in. I was the only person so of course I practically stampeded to the front! When you enter into the ticket area, there is one room where pictures can be taken so of course I snapped a few. I really like the fact that people can’t record or take pictures inside…and the two times I’ve been people seemed to be really respectful of that rule.

Again, I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, so don’t read more if you don’t want to know! One of my favorite exhibits is Peggy the Doll. There is a spirit box that runs during the tours (I’m not sure if they leave it on at night). Since I’d been once before last year, when we entered the room I had the fleeting thought “I wonder if Peggy remembers me!” And then she said my name over the spirit box, which was pretty stunning.  Part of me really wants to hold her. It’s a strange feeling…

Peggy the Doll supposedly has a spirit attached to her that causes people to become sick in her presence. One woman even had a heart attack. Personally, I didn’t feel sick or anything, but that could be because they keep her in a case and I would assume Zak had it blessed….but it was pretty crazy to hear her say my name clear as day!! She can supposedly affect people’s dreams as well. Not sure if I think it’s “demonic”, though. I’ll leave a link to an interesting article at the end.

Peggy the Doll

There’s also tons of amazing dolls, human bones, serial killer artifacts, clowns…and anything that probably scared you as a kid.  I definitely recommend this destination for any paranormal enthusiast…and even for people that may not be super enthusiasts. It’s a lot of fun and the tour guides are all fantastic as well! I hope that I can work there someday. I think I’d fit in pretty perfectly.

One last interesting note…activity started to pick up around my apartment as soon as I got back into Denver…did something perhaps follow me?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3043392/Video-haunted-doll-causes-EIGHTY-viewers-reportedly-suffer-chest-pains-nausea-crippling-headaches.html

Part 2 (My stop at the haunted Pioneer Saloon) coming soon!

Part 1: Ouija Boards

Recently, some of my good friends and I were talking about paranormal investigations and they asked if I ever use a Ouija board. I immediately said HELL NO.  I’ve always had a thing against them. A big part of that is due to a story my mom told me when I was young. Her and my grandmother were playing with one and it spelled out “Kelly is easy to work through”. My grandma took the board, threw it in the garbage outside and told my mom to never touch one again.  She’s instilled this in me as well and I’ve never used one. So, my friend then asked me how it’s any different than using other paranormal investigation equipment and I was at a loss. In my mind, it’s always been way different, but is it really? Whether I’m using a K2 or a Ouija board, I’m still attempting communication with something unknown.

A few fun facts about the Ouija board:

  • In 1891 the first advertisements started to appear in the papers.
  • Spiritualism began to gain a massive following in the mid to late 1800s (and beyond).  Seances & contacting the dead became very popular social events. I may discuss this movement later!
  • There is supposedly a demon named Zozo that communicates with people through the board and then wreaks havok on the user’s lives.
  • Sold & marketed as a children’s toy.

Let me say that most of the time I believe that nothing comes through. Other times, when you put a bunch of people together who are looking for a scare, subconsciously the planchette is probably being moved by the group. Occasionally you may get a spirit coming through, which could be good or not-so-good. There are even theories that it is a person’s subconscious answering questions that they already know. A way for the conscious and subconscious to communicate. I kind of like that idea.  I know I’ve had plenty of experiences where deep down I knew an answer but I still sought the validation. Maybe that’s all the Ouija board does? Maybe it’s just an oracle game like “Magic 8 Ball”? Maybe, but I’m not so sure.

When I met with my spiritual mentor I asked her opinion on the subject.  She told me one of the biggest issues is that the “ceremony” isn’t properly executed.  There are certain ways to open and close the sessions of a Ouija board, as well as other spiritual precautions one should take. Kids & teenagers especially are more reckless and unaware of these precautions.

So, you’ve played with one once and nothing happened, right? Plenty of people play with Ouija boards without consequences…probably more often than not. I guess the best comparison I can make is that people speed while they drive all the time and nothing happens. But all it takes is that one time speeding  by the cop at the wrong time that you get busted. Calling on anything can be dangerous. The use of ANY equipment can be dangerous, really. As paranormal investigators we take that risk.  Most of us know what we are signing up for. Perhaps this shouldn’t be marketed as a kids toy, though. The last thing a parent needs is their children accidentally bringing spirits (or something darker) into the house.

Here’s an old commercial for Ouija Boards

To me the most unnerving part of the Ouija board IS the ritualistic nature. Or maybe it’s all the crazy stories I’ve heard, or the scary movies I’ve seen. You don’t see too many horror flicks start out with a group of teens saying, “Let’s pull out our K2 meter!”. There are so many stories out there and I find it hard to believe that all of them are fake.

I read this on Quora by accident, but I love this:

“Always play with respect. Imagine a Ouija board as an online chatroom where you post your telephone number and wait for someone to call you. You have no idea who is on the other line. Respect whomever you’re talking to or don’t play. You could be asking for consequences.” – Koi wozz

From @paranormalsupplies on Instagram!

Stay spooky. Stay safe. Don’t summon any demons! Part 2 coming soon!!!

Folklore: The Stolen Children

Changelings. Found in folklore throughout Europe (largely Ireland), a changeling was believed to be a fae child left in place of a human child that was then stolen by the fae. As a witch who is learning to work with the fae, these old legends and stories truly fascinate me. How many have a grain of truth to them? I believe many of them do, but not so much the changeling legends. They are entertaining stories, until you really start to think about the history behind them.

During a good part of history, Christianity overtook Ireland as well as many other places in the world.  Due to this, Pagan cultures were demonized and said to be the work of devil. Witches! Witches everywhere! There is so much evidence of old folklore being “christianized” and it makes my heart hurt. Who knows how much has been lost due to this! Who knows what we might be able to understand about the world if we had been able to preserve more of the old cultures…One great example of this is Thomas the Rhymer (which I’ll discuss more another time). There are different versions, and you can most certainly tell which was altered to fit a more Christian worldview…

Anyway, as much as I enjoy reading about changelings, I believe that these were stories created out of fear & to try and find a reason for the bad things that happened to people. If a human child was “replaced” by a fae child, it was easy to blame evil and in turn also blame the parent for a lack of faith.

“There are many variations on the following story, but the Brothers Grimm summed up in concise form the main components of a typical changeling story from mid-19th-century Germany:

A mother had her child taken from the cradle by elves. In its place they laid a changeling with a thick head and staring eyes who would do nothing but eat and drink. In distress she went to a neighbor and asked for advice. The neighbor told her to carry the changeling into the kitchen, set it on the hearth, make a fire, and boil water in two eggshells. That should make the changeling laugh, and if he laughs it will be all over with him. The woman did everything just as her neighbor said. When she placed the eggshells filled with water over the fire, the changeling said:

‘Now I am as old
As the Wester Wood,
But have never seen anyone cooking in shells!’

And he began laughing about it. When he laughed, a band of little elves suddenly appeared. They brought the rightful child, set it on the hearth, and took the changeling away.”

Again, there are variations on this story, but this is a basic summation of what was popularly agreed on.

According to legend, when a child was replaced with a fae child, they were said to have everything from deformities, behavioral issues to strange personality aspects.  Unfortunately, these may have just been disabilities that are treatable today. It was also said that the changelings should never be harmed, only threatened. If the fae had the real child with them, they may retaliate if the humans hurt the changeling.  

To prevent a child from being stolen in the first place, people would leave iron near the baby’s crib. Iron is know to repel fae. Also nearly all traditions agreed that a quick baptism would prevent this from happening. But what happens if a changeling is an adult?

In the late 1890’s a woman named Bridget Cleary was murdered by her husband who claimed she had been replaced by a changeling.  I’ll give you a link to the full story, as I cannot tell the story better than this! It’s crazy to me that someone would use folklore to try and excuse something as deplorable as murder…or do you think he really believed this to be true?

What do you guys think about this? I know this isn’t crazy in depth, but I don’t necessarily want this to turn into a blog that is purely scholarly research. 😉

http://mentalfloss.com/article/539793/bizarre-death-bridget-cleary-irish-fairy-wife

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite poems. W.B. Yeats had faery blood in his veins <3

https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/swapping-babies-disturbing-faerie-changeling-phenomenon-007261