Carson City doesn’t shy away from a good ghost story. It’s why the community has hosted the popular Carson City Ghost Walk for many years as well as why such tales have appeared in numerous books, web sites and even videos.
One of the city’s most famous haunted digs is said to be the Governor’s Mansion at 600 N. Mountain St. Over the years, mansion staff members have reported seeing a little girl wearing a flowing white dress, who wanders the upstairs hallways.
Additionally, guests and staff have claimed to have heard phantom conversations, experienced mysterious cold spots in rooms, and encountered a drafty grandfather clock.
One story is that a guest claimed to have been kept awake by a late-night conversation heard through the walls, then discovered the woman in the next room had gone to bed early and no radio or television sets had been turned on that late.
On another occasion, a man cleaning the mansion library climbed up a ladder to reach a book to dust, when he became surrounded by frigid air—despite the fact it was a hot summer day and the mansion did not then have air conditioning.
The frightened man ran from the room and, not surprisingly, refused to return to work again in the library. Those books must be pretty dusty by now.
Other mansion ghost stories include one about cold air that blows out of an antique grandfather clock at the top of the north stairwell and the usual strange slamming doors (can’t ghosts be quiet once in awhile?).
Another haunted house is said to be the historic Ferris home at 311 West Third in Carson City. The first reported occurrence was in the early 1900s during a lavish wedding reception.
Several guests at the party asked the bride’s father the identity of the second bride standing by the back gate. The man said his daughter had been the only bride at the wedding but the guests insisted they’d not only seen but spoken to a second woman in a wedding dress.
Later, it was discovered that there had been another wedding at the house many years before and, apparently, the ghost of the earlier bride had returned to the house to watch over the proceedings.
The Ferris Mansion has also had reports of strange smells — for instance, a strong aftershave—and sensations of being watched. The home’s first owner, George Washington Gale Ferris, whose son invented the Ferris Wheel, is said to have worn a strong aftershave.
The Thomas J. Edwards House, located at 204 North Minnesota in Carson City, is well known for having a particularly fastidious specter. Owners of this historic home say they have found the piano never needs cleaning or polishing, no matter how much dust collects in the rest of the house.
The legend is that the spirit of a former housekeeper continues to live there and earns her keep by wiping off the piano.
It’s also claimed that Carson City’s Brewery Arts Center hosts the ghost of a former maintenance worker, who appears as a well-dressed gentleman in a brown suit with a yellow tie. Reportedly he is very polite and is said to remind folks to turn off the lights and lock the doors.
The Bliss Mansion (608 Elizabeth Street) is allegedly haunted by the ghost of its original owner, Duane Bliss, who likes to jostle the curtains while Carson City founder Abraham Curry is said to still visit his former home at 406 N. Nevada Street as well as the Carson City Mint (now the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson Street), which he built.
Perhaps the best way to learn more about Carson City’s ghosts is to participate in a guided Carson City Ghost Walk, which are conducted throughout the year. Led by the delightful Madame Curry (actress Mary Bennett), the walks are informative and just a little bit spooky.
For more information, go to: http://carsoncityghostwalk.com/
Rich Moreno covers the places and people that make Nevada want to visit.