Of all haunted places, why not the oldest profession?
October 28, 2004
Just past an industrial area in Mound House – through the gate displaying a sign warning visitors if sexual activity offends them, then turn back now – sits an unimpressive white building.
Cathouse or haunted house? The sign only warns visitors of one. Behind the doors of the BunnyRanch the working girls tell tales that have attracted the attention of paranormal experts and ghost hunters, not just lonely guys hunting for a good time.
The stories are told by several prostitutes. Publicity stunt or not, they are convinced something strange is going on at the BunnyRanch. This week the SciFi Channel’s “Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal” aired an episode featuring Nevada’s notorious house of ill repute. In this episode the women testified and owner Dennis Hof aired his skepticism about the haunted brothel. According to Nielsen ratings, 726,000 people watched this episode.
Hof, a big man clad in a black outfit stitched with his brothel’s logo, sat at the bar clutching Christy, an international Playgirl dressed in a black satin robe and pink and black bustier.
Hof said the stories started around 1975 when a girl who roomed in 13A died a “terrible death out of the house.”
Other working girls heard voices when they stayed in 13A. The lights flicker. The air conditioning doesn’t work right. It’s either too hot in the room, or too cold.
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He said the TV show brought in paranormal testing equipment and a lie detector test – which Hof said he passed.
“I don’t believe Elvis is coming back,” he said. “I don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster. I don’t know about this. I don’t know if it’s old hookers’ tales.”
Christy’s tale involves a ghost dressed in a long, black coat who glided up to her bed and stared down at her.
“He disappeared right there in front of me,” she said, nodding her blond head. “He wasn’t angry or anything. It was weird.”
Most of the women just go by one name here, or a moniker, like Airforce Amy. She said she got this nickname because she is a “highly decorated Air Force veteran.”
“At first I didn’t believe it at all,” said Amy, who has worked at the brothel four years. “And management doesn’t encourage these stories because it scares the girls.”
She said the ghost would move things around the room while she was with clients. It swiped her special shade of lipstick several times.
Max, sitting in room 13A on a black faux fur bedspread, said she believes the BunnyRanch has a male and female ghost. The female ghost is kind and often stops by just to say “hey.” The male isn’t as friendly.
“I’ve seen the door open and close and when it closes I’ve seen an energy there,” she said. “And it looked like the alien in ‘Predator.'” Max shook her hands in the air to demonstrate the blur. “He’s male and he’s not friendly.”
The BunnyRanch’s smoky, rainbow-lit parlor is bustling, even though it’s a Thursday afternoon. A television reporter and a camera man are leaving. They’ve just completed similar interviews with brothel workers.
The publicity manager for the Sci Fi Channel said of the three stories told on Wednesday night’s “Proof Positive” the Mexico Vacation UFO tested positive, not the Haunted Brothel.
“Though the investigation couldn’t find proof that would deem the brothel haunted, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not,” Adrienne D’Amato said.
Maybe this story only really proves one thing: The media are always attracted to abnormal stories originating from a brothel.
Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.