If you enjoy bygone days, BBQ, ghosts, and the Wild West, then you will really take pleasure in the old-fashioned paranormal activity found at the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, Nevada. Located at a dusty junction just a short distance from Las Vegas, the haunted saloon is a historical landmark that offers some of the best down home edible provisions that the west has to offer. Plain and simple, the Pioneer Saloon is pretty much the same as it was back in 1913 when it was slapped together with stamped metal walls that today still bare the trademark of the Sears and Roebuck logo.
The famous watering hole is located smack dab in the middle of town and was the perfect solution during the mining boom for catering to the miners that worked locally and spent much of their pay at the saloon after working long hours at some of the most productive gold, silver, copper, and lead mines in Clark County, Nevada. In fact the local mines produced $25 million in ore from 1915 to 1925, an inconceivable amount for that time. Word spread and soon the town had a population of 800 residents and counting. Goodsprings was fast becoming known as the place to be for entertainment.
During the town’s heyday, curious folks flocked in from Las Vegas for shopping and a cold drink at one of the many stores, restaurants and saloons that lined Main Street. At one time, the town boasted nine watering holes, and for the more conservative visitor, there was a church available for Sunday services. Gambling, carousing, gun slingers, rowdy miners, and party girls kept the town active day and night. Brawls were commonplace with some ending in death. The high energy level that the town once witnessed may explain why the paranormal activity is so profound today.
The saloon has daily reports from workers and visitors of a full-bodied apparition that appears to be the cantankerous old ghost miner who was killed by a cheating gambler back in 1915. The bullet holes found in the interior wall today are a grim reminder of the miner who lost his life during a time when the rough and rowdy Wild West showed very little consideration for law and order as we know it today. The ghost of Hollywood actress Carole Lombard has been seen walking through the saloon, looking for her husband, actor Clark Gable, who sat at the bar drinking and smoking while waiting for the report of her whereabouts only to learn that his wife of just three years had perished in a plane crash at nearby Mount Potosi in 1942. Today, the cherry wood bar remains a witness to the abuse it took from Clark Gable’s cigarette when the hot ashes marred the top of the bar in permanent memory of such a horrifying day in history for a Hollywood film star.
The ghost of the cheating gambler, Paul Coski, is often seen in the more secluded areas of the saloon, bleeding profusely from his side after being shot to his death during a card game where he was called out by an angry gunman who didn’t take lightly to losing all of his earnings to a cheater. Today the coroner’s report can be seen hanging on the wall of the Pioneer Saloon, and the ghost of Mr. Coski in his blood stained clothes shows the grim results of a tale that took place many years ago. His western attire is easy to spot when he appears in front of you, but you got to be quick, because he is known to disappear just as fast. Trails of cigarette smoke appear out of nowhere and disembodied voices are often heard throughout the saloon.
Outside of the saloon, the small town of Goodsprings shows many signs of a time when the west was really wild and the ghosts are a reminder of how high the stakes of survival was in the midst of Nevada’s gold fever. From the old cemetery to the deserted miners’ shacks and the abandoned buildings, remnants and the ghosts that dwell in them are apparent just about everywhere you turn. With so many haunted locations in such a small area, the town of Goodsprings has become well known for being one of the best ghost hunts in the United States. The reports of ghost sightings from the thousands of visitors each year have flooded in so much that it didn’t go unnoticed by the Ghost Adventures crew who investigate haunted places and then show their results to the world via The Travel Channel.
Nick, Zak and Aaron visit the saloon and get a personal account of the paranormal events from owner, Noel Shuckles, who goes into detail regarding unexplained electrical problems, a ghost woman who cries in the bathroom, the smell of cigarette smoke despite nobody smoking, and the appearance of a ghost couple. After the Pioneer Saloon is closed for the evening, the paranormal investigators prepare for a long night of surveillance. Cameras, EVP’s and a spirit box are all set and ready for action, and action they get. A female voice responds to the boys’ round of questioning, later telling the crew that her name is Ruby. The ghost lady tells the guys that there are currently nine ghosts in the room and that they are aware that they are deceased. Anomalies, EVP’s and apparitions were all caught on the surveillance equipment, and later the crew gets confirmation that Ruby Barns once lived in town. The entire investigation was aired in August of 2013 on the Travel Channel’s season 8, episode 1.
The Pioneer Saloon boasts a whole slew of history, from period poker tables and newspaper articles filled with the saloon’s sorted tales, mysteries and murders, and a antique pot-belly stove adds warmth to the saloon despite the coolness that the building possesses, perhaps from the many ghosts that flood the atmosphere. The charming aura of the rowdy saloon is often described by visitors as a happy place to be in, possibly the reason that Hollywood producers have chosen it as a prime location for movie shoots. Films shot in Goodsprings include The Mexican, starring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt, Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, starring Cheech Marin, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, starring Johnny Depp, Miss Congeniality 2, starring Sandra Bullock, and Travis Tritt shot his album cover for My Honky Tonk History at the famous Pioneer Saloon.
The Famous Ghost Hunt: Paranormal enthusiasts will arrive at the Pioneer Saloon via bus, and prepare to check out some of the most haunted locations that are historical sites to behold. The group is first treated to free pizza and a tour of the saloon that comes complete with the ghastly tales of the ghosts that dwell in it. From there a tour of the town where only apparitions dare to tread awaits the fearless paranormal enthusiasts. Warning: It is a known legend around Goodsprings that the ghosts are lurking in every corner of the town from the saloon to the creepy historic shantys that await to tell you their tale from days gone by.
The tour guides only ask that you try and remember that the ghosts are unaware that they are deceased and that you treat them with kindness as they were once living beings. Tours: The tour group leaves from Las Vegas by bus. Your tour guide will catch you up during the 35 minute drive with tales of the ghosts and the many legends that surround Goodsprings. Tickets: The tickets cost $59.25 per person and can be purchased by calling: 702-677-6499
Location: The Pioneer Saloon is located 35 miles south of Las Vegas just off of I-15 on route 161. Take I-15 south to Jean, Nevada, and then head west 7 miles on Nevada Route 161 straight to 310 Spring Street, Goodsprings, Nevada 89019. Phone: 702-874-9362