“Many ghost hunters take from the spirits, so this young man was unusual,” Virginia Ridgway, caretaker of the Goldfield Hotel, said over the phone with a slight Texas drawl. She spoke about a guitarist who asked to play for the GFH entities. “No one ever asks to do something for them.”

I’d never really thought about that. Many paranormal investigators tend to search haunted locales demanding ghosts present themselves, talk to them or comply with requests. Behavior unthinkable toward the living, routinely thrust upon those who once had bodies.

Virginia and Kathleen standing in the Goldfield Hotel lobby in August 2011

So Virginia, a spry 70-something woman, escorted the musician into the sprawling, century-old hotel, so he could give his special concert. She sat in the dusty, first floor lobby while the guitarist scaled the central staircase to play on the bare second floor. After a few minutes of strumming, Virginia said the feel of the GFH transformed: it felt lighter, happier.

But what came next surprised even her. Noise penetrated the ceiling, falling to her ears. Dozens of footsteps. Dancing in time to the music. She could picture the spirits swaying, smiling in their eager acceptance of this unusual gift.

Who wouldn’t want to experience such a lovely encounter?

I challenge all of you who investigate the paranormal to think of ways to give to those who inhabit the buildings you visit.

Read how spending the night in the Goldfield Hotel upended my views on reality and spirituality in my memoir, “A Reluctant Spirit.”