Sights in the Southwest – 7 Magic Mountains

If you find yourself driving into Las Vegas from Interstate 15, you might have seen signs for Seven Magic Mountains. The name doesn’t make the landmark easily identifiable; at first blush it sounds more like an amusement park attraction than any tourist destination. However, the totemic rock installation, described as “symbolically midway between the natural and the artificial” welcomes travelers with pops of color among7MM-3-web.jpg a brown and barren landscape.

When I first heard about Seven Magic Mountains, I wasn’t aware of exactly what it was or its significance. Mentions of the exhibit kept popping up throughout my social media feeds, and even made an appearance once or twice in my Google News Feed. There were stories of the project getting vandalized and praise for its creative ingenuity. I decided to visit the installation on my way to Joshua Tree National park a couple months ago.

When I got out of my car and made my way to the imposing artwork, I realized that there was literally nothing around it. Unlike similar land art installations of the past, Seven Magic Mountains was designed to stand out amongst its landscape. And once you pass the town of Jean, there’s little in the way of human population until State Line. There wasn’t a large crowd when I went, which made finding a parking spot and getting close to the display much easier.

Getting to the exhibit is fairly easy, but the turnoff can be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. You’ll have to park in the dirt since there’s no paved parking lot or parking structure. I recommend going either in the morning or the early afternoon, especially if you’ll be visiting in the summer. The only nearby shade are the rock totems themselves, so I’d also recommend taking sunglasses and plenty of water. Security patrols the display on a regular basis, but there is no easy access to food or water in the immediate area. Since the display is in the middle of a dry lake bed, I would also advise keeping an eye out for your average “desert life”, including snakes and scorpions.

The exhibit opened in the spring of 2016, and will be on view until 2018.

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Haunted Destinations – The Mizpah Hotel

 

In my endeavor to visit haunted hotspots all over the country, the Mizpah Hotel came up early in my research. I didn’t think there would be many places in Nevada that would be considered “haunted”, since the state is sparsely populated, so when I found the Mizpah I was pleasantly surprised.

The Mizpah is located in Tonopah, Nevada, which is about three hours north of Las Vegas. The drive is pretty barren, as most of Nevada is. The only thing of note I found on the way out there was a dead burro and two brothels. I was slightly taken aback by the disheveled appearance of them; I always imagined classy mansions and sparkling waterfalls, not rundown trailers with cracked paint and a lopsided front porch.

When I finally got into Tonopah, I was also surprised at how small Tonopah is. It sounds silly, but I don’t really travel too much around this particular state (because I live in one of the only two places most people know about in Nevada), so driving into a town that has a main road and brick buildings was kind of a trip. I was worried I would have a hard time finding the hotel, but little did I know – the Mizpah is the brightest thing in the entire town. You can’t miss it.

I walked into the hotel with my dogs and wondered if I had traveled back in time. The Mizpah was built in 1907, and the owners of the hotel try to maintain that look. The front desk staff is very friendly, and even made accommodations for my dogs. It was a little rough getting up to the room, with dog crates and bags, since there is only one entrance in and out of the hotel. After three trips, I was finally done unloading the car and was able to finally relax.

The rooms are pretty small, but that is to be expected with an older hotel.  I really liked the claw foot bathtub, but at some point a draft went through the room that rattled the bathroom curtain in a way that freaked me out. That, combined with my male dog peeing on me, were the two things that made me think the Mizpah was the first place I might see a ghost.

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So I went searching. I took the stairs and went to every single floor, just to check them out and see what was going on. It kind of reminded me of the Overlook Hotel, with the interior décor and the statues that stand along the staircase. One thing that freaked me out a little bit was that there was no music or any sound whatsoever on any floor. I couldn’t even hear other guests rustling around in their rooms. I think the lack of sound, combined with the uneven floors and creaky staircase, all combined to give the place an overall unsettling atmosphere.

The resident ghost of the Mizpah, according to legend, is The Lady in Red. She is a former prostitute who was murdered on the fifth floor of a hotel by a jealous lover. She supposedly goes after men for the most part, whispering sweet nothings in their ears in the elevator but that didn’t deter me. I rode in the elevator multiple times, and I still came up empty.

I wish I would have stayed in one of the “haunted” rooms, but that can always be for another time. Overall, I would say that this is the creepiest place I’ve been so far but I still have a long way to go. If you ever get a chance, stop in at the Mizpah for a night or two. It will make for an interesting story on the way home from or on the way to Las Vegas.

Haunted? – My Experience at the Mizpah Hotel

In my endeavor to visit haunted hotspots all over the country, the Mizpah Hotel came up early in my research. I didn’t think there would be many places in Nevada that would be considered “haunted”, since the state is sparsely populated, so when I found the Mizpah I was pleasantly surprised.

mizpah hotel

The Mizpah is located in Tonopah, Nevada, which is about three hours north of Las Vegas. The drive is pretty barren, as most of Nevada is. The only thing of note I found on the way out there was a dead burro and two brothels. I was slightly taken aback by the disheveled appearance of them; I always imagined classy mansions and sparkling waterfalls, not rundown trailers with cracked paint and a lopsided front porch.

When I finally got into Tonopah, I was also surprised at how small Tonopah is. It sounds silly, but I don’t really travel too much around this particular state (because I live in one of the only two places most people know about in Nevada), so driving into a town that has a main road and brick buildings was kind of a trip. I was worried I would have a hard time finding the hotel, but little did I know – the Mizpah is the brightest thing in the entire town. You can’t miss it.

I walked into the hotel with my dogs and wondered if I had traveled back in time. The Mizpah was built in 1907, and the owners of the hotel try to maintain that look. The front desk staff is very friendly, and even made accommodations for my dogs. It was a little rough getting up to the room, with dog crates and bags, since there is only one entrance in and out of the hotel. After three trips, I was finally done unloading the car and was able to finally relax.

The Lady in Red

The rooms are pretty small, but that is to be expected with an older hotel.  I really liked the claw foot bathtub, but at some point a draft went through the room that rattled the bathroom curtain in a way that freaked me out. That, combined with my male dog peeing on me, were the two things that made me think the Mizpah was the first place I might see a ghost.

So I went searching. I took the stairs and went to every single floor, just to check them out and see what was going on. It kind of reminded me of the Overlook Hotel, with the interior décor and the statues that stand along the staircase. One thing that freaked me out a little bit was that there was no music or any sound whatsoever on any floor. I couldn’t even hear other guests rustling around in their rooms. I think the lack of sound, combined with the uneven floors and creaky staircase, all combined to give the place an overall unsettling atmosphere.

The resident ghost of the Mizpah, according to legend, is The Lady in Red. She is a former prostitute who was murdered on the fifth floor of a hotel by a jealous lover. She supposedly goes after men for the most part, whispering sweet nothings in their ears in the elevator but that didn’t deter me. I rode in the elevator multiple times, and I still came up empty.

hauntedroommizpah

I wish I would have stayed in one of the “haunted” rooms, but that can always be for another time. Overall, I would say that this is the creepiest place I’ve been so far but I still have a long way to go. If you ever get a chance, stop in at the Mizpah for a night or two. It will make for an interesting story on the way home from or on the way to Las Vegas.

My Night at the Mizpah

Back in December, I went to the Mizpah Hotel for a brief stay. It was one of the places that is on my “haunted” bucket list (I will link my post from my previous blog), and it’s only a few hours away from home. I took my dogs with me and we hit the road, hoping to see a little snow and maybe a few ghosts.  We ended up seeing some snow; we weren’t quite so lucky when it came to the ghosts.

The Mizpah has not lost any of its vintage charm. The renovations the hotel has gone through have remained true to the style of the day, and has also managed to remain one of the slickest building on Tonopah’s main street. When I walked in I felt like I stepped back in time, which I think lends itself to the lore contained inside the hotel walls. The newest feature of the hotel is the magnetic key cards which I have to admit I was a little disappointed about.

I almost didn’t get a chance to stay – their policy (although not expressly stated anywhere I could find on their website) is only 2 pets per room, and I have three. The owner was kind enough to allow us though, I think since we were only staying for one night. The front desk staff was very friendly, and offered to help me cart my troupe and my luggage to my room; the receptionist even offered to bring me ice if she wasn’t busy. I’ve never experienced that before at a hotel, and I live in the capital of hotels.

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After I checked in, I went exploring.  I took the stairs to each floor of the hotel, just to look around. I wasn’t necessarily expecting a ghost to just jump out at me and say hi, but I wanted to get a better feel for the hotel as a whole. Also, I was a little scared the Lady in Red would whisper in my ear when I wasn’t expecting it.  The Lady in Red is the resident ghost of the Mizpah, a former lady of the night who was murdered by a jilted lover. She supposedly haunts the elevator and the room she died in, and unfortunately the room she died in was not available that night. She also favors men from what I’ve read, so I had the odds stacked against me.

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The first thing I noticed as I took the stairs was that there was no music playing. The only sound I could hear as I came around each corner was the creaky sound of my footsteps. There was also a rather large statue between the fourth and fifth floor that I found creepy; it reminded me of the statues in Wes Craven’s film Wishmaster that came to life and killed a bunch of people. On each floor they had a little reading nook set up; I recognized none of the titles at any of them, but I thought it was charming.

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I made it all the way to the top of the floor, and unfortunately, found no ghosts. They do have rooms with brief histories about the people who stayed in them. I did experience some strange sensations, and my dogs didn’t like being in the room (one of them even peed on me), but I am sad to report I found no ghosts.

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Have you ever been to the Mizpah Hotel? If so what did you think of it?

 

See you next time!