Haunting in Amargosa Valley

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Besides camping, most places to stay in Death Valley National Park are pricey resorts. As I didn’t want to bring all my camping gear on an airplane and pricey resorts aren’t really my thing (I like to suffer a bit when traveling), I looked into alternatives.

Amargosa Hotel and Opera House popped up in my Google search as one of the only places that was inexpensive and not fully booked. Still having trust issues with Google search, I booked it for the first night, relying mostly on my instincts, which are even less reliable.

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The first night of travel went something like this:

Turning on my phone once my plane landed around 8:30 PM, it came as a surprise to see multiple missed calls and hear panicked voicemails from my friend saying she missed her flight. A little bit unsure of what to do I started going through some options- she was still coming to Vegas but would not be arriving until morning. I could forget Amargosa and get a nearby hotel or I could go on to Death Valley and then drive back to pick her up in the morning.  Since I like to make life complex, I chose the latter.

As I’m making loose plans in my head, a man next to me started to ask me about my travel plans.

My thoughts went something like this: yeah I should definitely not tell him I’ll be driving to Death Valley to stay at a haunted hotel by myself.

Before I have time to answer and as if I can’t have more problems at this point, he brings up Fargo. Now my thoughts are: is this merely a bad omen? Or will I be kidnapped and put through a wood chipper?

I do what most people would do in a situation such as this one- I run off the plane. Literally.

After two hours of mostly normal happenings, I have my rental car and set off to get coffee- hoping to reverse my bad omen and convince myself I won’t be kidnapped and taken to Fargo. Because coffee solves all.

Then on to Amargosa Valley. I have no clue where this place is except that it is about an hour and 45 minutes from Vegas and is somewhere in the vicinity of Death Valley National Park. I’m driving in pitch black through unknown mountains, no cell signal, hoping that nothing happens to the car and that I’m able to get inside my room in one piece.

As midnight approaches, I pull up to the renovated opera house turned hotel and find my room key in the box. Once inside, I notice I’m not able to lock my door. Something is wrong with the door knob, disallowing me to push in and turn to lock (cue “Psycho” theme music). Luckily, there is a chain at the top for me to lock. (At least I’ll hear if someone were to try and get in.)

I also notice there are a plethora of closed doors in my room. Afraid that opening any of them will summon the evil spirits, I leave them all closed. Keeping the light on for peace of mind, I close my eyes and fall asleep, waking to find myself refreshed and regenerated.

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As I’m packing to leave, a black cat makes himself at home in my room. If that isn’t a sign of bad luck I don’t know what is (wait, I have a black cat…this all makes sense now).

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Before hopping in my car to take selfies by myself in the middle of nowhere, I explore a little bit of the property.

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I subsequently performed another Google search on Amargosa Hotel and Opera House. I found out it is a well known haunted spot and has even been on the television show “Ghost Hunters”. But, of course.

Would you drive through unknown mountains in the dead of night by yourself? Do you dare stay a night at this haunted hotel? Would you watch a performance at the Opera House?


“All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the win, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are
Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand, don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly, don’t fear the reaper.”

-Blue Oyster Cult, Don’t Fear the Reaper

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