Several years back, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a paranormal investigation in the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nev. prior to its grand reopening.
My friend and I joined the WIGs (Women Investigating Ghosts) for an electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recording session in the Lady in Red’s room on the fifth floor.
Rose (her birth name was Evelyn Mae Johnston) was a prostitute who worked at the hotel and regularly “kept company” with a volatile gambler. On Jan. 2, 1914, he entered her room unannounced and found her with another customer. Jealous, he chased her into the hallway where he stabbed her to death.
Her spirit, now called the Lady in Red, is said to haunt room 512 as well as the fifth floor hallway where she died. Some who’ve stayed in the room report seeing her and afterward finding a single pearl on a pillow or the nightstand.
So there we were in her room. As we conducted EVP in her room, a video camera secured to a tripod filmed our session. It wasn’t long before someone in our group noticed strange movements from the camera: Whenever one of us asked a “yes” or “no” question, the camera either nodded or shook as if answering our queries. If we posed a question that required a longer reply, it remained still.
The owner of the camera went to her equipment to make sure it was screwed tightly onto the pod. It was. There was no explanation for how it moved without anyone (at least anyone we could see) near it.
Afterward, I spoke to Sharon Leong, an investigator I respect, about our experience and I learned a valuable lesson. She asked: “You did have someone videotape the camera replying to the questions, didn’t you?”
Ugh. We didn’t. But if this ever happens again, you bet we will.
For more on the Mizpah, see my post, “Waiting for the Lady in Red.”