Parting Curtains

Parting Curtains

For many months after my life-altering Goldfield Hotel experience (GFH), I’d have rather been pinned to the ground and covered in fire ants than to enter that haunted edifice again. I stayed mentally overwhelmed. The experience loomed over me every day. I was unsure of what I knew. Frightened of what else could happen. I didn’t want any other bedrock beliefs shattered.

Consequently, about a year later, the seed to revisit germinated. Soon, I yearned to return. Wondered what could happen. And hoped I would gain insights that would destroy false tenets I had held true. Plus, I needed to thank the spirits for the experience they bestowed on me.

The large building is the Goldfield Hotel in its heyday.










Oh, crud. I’m at the Goldfield Hotel.

Fourteen months after GFH, Ken and I travelled to southern Nevada to hike and escape winter’s early chill. As we entered Goldfield, Ken turned right onto Columbia Street and parked underneath a lone streetlight beside the looming landmark that had transformed my life. The town felt gripped by the dark, moonless night. Silence pervaded.

I hadn’t asked him to stop. My courage evaporated. “Why are you stopping?” I asked trying to keep my voice even.

“I thought I’d grab a snack. Want something?”

I shook my head.

Ken hopped out of his GM Sierra and strolled to the back.

Plywood covered most of the lower picture windows. Slowly, I took in the large quarried stone and brick building that once held 150 guestrooms. I’m okay. It’s okay.

I whispered, “Thank you. Thank you for all you’ve shown me.”

Ken bumped around, moving suitcases to get to the food.

A resident in the Goldfield Hotel?

A movement caught my eye, something not too far from the top of the street lamp. There, on the third floor. The lacy, almost sheer white curtain parted. A woman peered around it. Short, brunette pin curls framed her face. She didn’t acknowledge me.

I glanced down at the truck door handle. Someone must be ghost hunting in there, I speculate. That’s gotta be it.

My gaze returned to the window. No curtain. No woman. I must’ve had the wrong room. I scanned the façade, all four floors as far as the light allowed me to see. Not one window was draped.

The tailgate slammed shut. I startled. Ken walked to the hotel and tried to look between the slabs of plywood.

When I’d visited GFH in 2007, furnishings were sparse: a player piano, Baby Grand piano, bar, check-in desk, switchboard and wall safe. Nothing else.

A few days later, I still pondered the woman among the lace curtains. Then it sank in. Those upper windows hadn’t been covered for more than 70 years.


By |2012-01-25T07:00:06+00:00January 25th, 2012|Ghost Stories, Nevada, Uncategorized|6 Comments

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  1. Tony G January 27, 2012 at 6:47 am

    “And hoped I would gain insights that would destroy false tenets I had held true.” As most of my writing is also about a journey, or the promise of one, I found this early sentence in the blog intriguing.

    • Kathleen January 27, 2012 at 8:13 am

      Thank you very much. What are you writing about?

  2. Tony G January 27, 2012 at 8:26 am

    The current project is a journey through pivotal relationships that culminates with my late wife’s cancer battle. I’m on page 275, and when I started I figured I’d be lucky to hit 200 pages. Back to your book, there’s a bit of serendipity here for me. I worked with a realtor about eight years ago who broached the subject of buying the GFH. Also, I have a health insurance client whose significant other spent a few years trying to restore it. Every time I drive by Goldfield I stop and stare at the building. Never experienced what you did!

    • Kathleen January 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Congratulations for tackling such a personal subject for your book. It’s amazing what a small world it is. Is the person you know who owned the GFH the one that wrote, “You Can’t Leave Shirley”?

      Journeys make life interesting. I can’t imagine how dull it would be to have all the answers. Good luck with your journey and your writing.

      • Tony G January 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        Enjoying your blog! Ah, that would be the fellow who helped Shirley in the project. Kathy, now when I drive by the GFH, I will be standing there waiting for something to happen. Oh well, I love history. Doesn’t take much to get me going. Thanks for the well wishes.

  3. Kathleen June 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

    From Sean Carter. I’m pasting this as this post has been inundated with spam and am erring on the side of caution.

    Thank you Sean for commenting.
    Very interesting topic, thanks for posting.

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