Welcome to Death Valley Junction, home of the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. The hotel is open for business, and vi itors can stay in one of the reasonably-priced rooms of a hotel where famous people such as Red Skelton have lain their heads. You are apt, in your visit, to see any number of murals, all painted by the owner, who has run the place for the past forty years.
The opera house, on the other hand, is a different story; getting in is difficult, and happens only rarely (supposedly, only when the owner herself – who is a former ballet dancer – puts on a performance), and getting out just may be more difficult still.
The Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley May Keep Ghosts Trapped
Information on the paranormal activity which takes place in the opera house is sketchy at best, and most people who go there report nothing at all.
But there have been a few people over the years who have claimed to hear sounds emanating from the old opera house: sounds of chains rattling and people screaming.
One of the legends that has made the rounds is that the opera house is a kind of ghostly prison, keeping the souls of those who find themselves there trapped forever.
I meet with Jack P., an elderly man who remembers the opera house from back in the days when it was still a social hall.
“In those days,” Jack says, referring to the 1950s before the current owner bought the place, “you didn’t have those weird creepy murals of people looking down.
“Of course, the hall didn’t look as good, either.
“I had moved away to college when the first of the rumors about the place started to circulate – that it was haunted, you know – and by the time I came back, there was a whole crop of stories by people who had seen or heard spirits around and inside it.
“The thing that creeped me out, as my granddaughter would say, was that almost everyone I talked to who had experienced something to do with that building, told the exact same story.”
The Ghosts in the Opera House Cannot Escape
“They’re trapped in there,” Jack says, and he shudders a little as he says it.
“It’s as if that opera house were a kind of vestibule between our world and hell; somewhere where you have to wait it out while all the paperwork upstairs gets sorted out in the wake of your passing. That kind of thing.”
Do you believe in these stories? And have you seen anything yourself?
“Yes. I visited that opera house two years ago to watch the owner perform.
“It was a good performance, but after she finished and everyone was filing out, I heard screams in the distance.
I looked up as I was passing out of the room, and saw this ghostly woman; she was reaching her hand out as if to break through some invisible barrier.
“As I backed away, she looked up at me, let out a piercing shriek of agony, and began beating her fists against thin air, clearly trying to get out.
“Then she disappeared.”
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608 Death Valley Juntion
Death Valley, CA 92328
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