Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hauntings: Yellow Jacket Mine

Yellow Jacket Mine (Nevada)

The Yellow Jacket Mine Disaster was the worst mining accident in Nevada history.  One April morning in 1869, a fire started at the 800-foot level and spread quickly.  Timber supports collapsed and poisonous methane flooded not only the Yellow Jacket Mine but also the neighboring Crown Point Mine.  Survivors described horrible scenes of miners burning or choking to death.  Firefighters entered the mines, but flames and smoke pushed them back.  Between 35 - 45 miners died.  They weren’t sure because many of the bodies couldn’t be recovered from the collapsed shafts.  The fires continued to burn in the depths of the mine for months afterward, but the demand for gold was so great, the men went back to work three weeks later.  Even though they sealed off the dangerous levels, they remained hot for several years thereafter.

Virtually nothing is left of the Yellow Jacket Mine physically -- but the ghosts of miners prowl the nearby town, especially the Gold Hill Hotel and Saloon, built in 1859 and the oldest hotel in Nevada.  When the miners weren’t working, many of them spent their free time in the hotel’s bar or with the “ladies” who worked there.  Since the fire, there have been myriad reports of paranormal activity in the hotel.

Ghostly happenings include:

~  Doors opening and closing by themselves, lights turning off and on, scratching on the doors, and beds shaking.
~  Sounds of furniture being moved or people talking, but no one’s there.
~  Room 4 is often permeated by the smell of roses.  The staff call it Rosie’s room, and believe she was a lady of the evening who worked out of the hotel in the 1800s.  She likes to move guest’s belongings around when they aren’t looking.
~  The ghost of William occupies Room 5, and he’s thought to be one of the dead miners.  When people enter the room, they smell tobacco.  Some guests report being locked out when they are sure they didn’t lock the door, and the key is still inside the room.  Apparently, William likes his privacy.

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