Finding Ghosts In An Abandoned Mining Town (Cerro Gordo)


Halloween Special! I hope you enjoy this dive into the history of paranormal at Cerro Gordo!

Cerro Gordo was one of the deadliest towns in the American West. At it’s peak, the town had a reported murder per week. A local judge described the residents of the town as:

“lawless ruffians who with murder in their hearts and the implements of death strapped upon their persons, congregate in public places, ever ready to discharge their death-dealing weapons upon the unoffending and unarmed citizens.”

Because of all the death, the town has a rich history in paranormal activity. In this video I tell the story of the famous ‘ghosts’ of Cerro Gordo, and try to find them.

If you own a ghost town with reported paranormal activity, you have to go hunting for ghosts at least once.

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PO Box 490, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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I just heard chains that I really, so owning a ghost town. Lots of people ask you, do you believe in ghosts and when I purchased the town the answer that question was a firm, no a definitive, no way, but I think since owning it. I’ve moved along the scale towards skeptic and I’ve really shied away from the ghost adventure element of this channel. But It’s halloween paranormal is a part of cerego’s past. So There’s ever a time to check out these things. It was tonight so nice give me a long one.

I’m gonna drink some coffee and I’m gonna go to all these spots. Looking for these happenings, what happens? I don’t know, but at least this way I can put it to bed. So without further ado, let’s get into it. I think for me, the kind of the inciting incident, the first time that I ever moved out of the firm non-believer camp was just over a year ago in the bunk house here at Cerro Gordo and the bunkhouse is an original building that was built in 1900. It’s a long building with a long hallway in the middle, with three rooms on either side, and this particular day I was walking up to see the sunset and to get to the best sunset spot at Cerro Gordo.

You have to walk right by the bunkhouse and, as I was approaching, the bunkhouse, I noticed somebody open the lace, curtains in the kitchen, look out and close them, and the light was on in the kitchen and at first being a rational person. This didn’t bother me at all. We had had people coming to the property to work on it, so I assume they were just still here hanging out, so I went about my day. I went up and I watched a beautiful sunset. I came back down, went to bed and pretty much forgot about it. I remember in the morning I woke up. I was talking to robert the caretaker, who had been there. I said: hey robert, how long are the contractors staying and he kind of slowly turned to me and he was like they left two weeks ago, and I remember that feeling in that instant, really specific, because my heart just dropped.

It was one of those things where I know I saw somebody look out the window. I know the curtains moved and I know that nobody just happens upon Cerro, Gordo and so being a rational person and still trying to be very pragmatic about it. I went over there, I turned off the light. I closed the blinds fell for drafts. I didn’t feel any and I put a padlock on the door, a lock that only I would key to, and I went about my day forgot all about it and that night a sunset came. I thought I was going to watch the sunset again, so I started walking up the hill towards the bunk house and the light was back on in the kitchen. It was one of those moments where your heart stops and you just say no out loud to nobody in particular, and I remember I went over, I unlocked the door I went in and not only was the light on, but the switch was back up and I Was the only person in the world with the key to that building?

I know it sounds unbelievable, but the light was back on and so I decided to investigate you know I started walking down the hallway to see, if maybe anything was in there. I remember, as I was walking down the long hallway each step I kept getting. This overwhelming sense that I shouldn’t be there and It’s a feeling I had never had before. In my life, I’ve never had sense. I remember by the time I got to the back two rooms. My skin was just pins and needles, and this overwhelming voice was saying run and I did. I ran back out of there and I haven’t really been back to the bunkhouse very much since it really has an energy to it that I don’t love. I think It’s a beautiful building structurally, but this is not one that I enjoy spending time in. I tried to renovate it to lighten up the mood you know. I ripped out this old carpet.

I painted the walls white. I tried to cleanse it in every way that I could, but still when I go in there, I hear things I hear footsteps. I hear voices and my way of handling it so far is just not to go into the bunk house. You know It’s There’s 20 other buildings here I can find places to have my own piece, so that was that was it for me. That was the kind of first incident that I couldn’t explain. Some of the things that have happened here you’re welcome to interpret them.

However, you like I’m still not sure how to interpret them, but they happened, and I can only imagine what the next you know. 50 years holds up here below me: is the union mine and around the late 1870s 30 miners died and it collapsed the 200 level. They were mining in the limestone and failed to shore it up properly. Their bodies were never recovered and still rest just below. Where I’m sitting this has led many people to believe that the town and this building are haunted the most common things.

People report in this building are the sounds of chains dragging or people screaming, or even as reported to me by a close friend, the sight of a headless woodsman on the southeast corner of the building. Most recently, we had a visitor that spoke Cantonese and he came up with his father to this mine sat very similar to where I am and reported communicating back and forth with the miners. This was a guy that didn’t believe in paranormal activity, and the sight on his face is one that I’ll never forget, probably the second most famous ghost of Cerro Gordo, is William Crapo.

William Crapo was a former postmaster at Cerro Gordo and he had a little cabin right next to the American hotel and somewhere around 1893. He got an argument with the current postmaster of Cerro Gordo and his friend. They were walking by delivering mail and a political argument came out about a local election. Krepo stormed off, went back inside, his house came out a minute later shot one man bowling right in the back and then shot at his friend who had to hide behind a stagecoach bowlin dropped dead there in the street right outside the American hotel and Crepo, went On the run, the local newspaper the next day said that Crepo hid into a mine and was never seen again. Some believe that he died in a mine and others believed that he went on to Mojave and assumed a new identity.

The governor of California eventually offered a reward for Crapo’s arrest, but he was never found ever since then numerous people have said they’ve seen apparitions coming and going out of Crepo’s house. I don’t know if this was William Crapo coming back to get his belongings after he fled, or maybe was the postmaster continuing his rounds even after death. But what I do know is where the Crapo house was, unfortunately, that was also lost in the fire. So this would have been the walk. The postmaster his friend was on walking down towards the hotel, and this was Crepo’s house and the door was right around here.

So I imagine that day right around where this dirt is Crapo would have exited the house. The argument happened right around here: crepe would return back into his house, come out and shoot the guys not 20 feet over there. So It’s kind of eerie to think that right here on this patch of ground is where boland died. The postmaster. It’s always been said that the spirits are coming in and out of the house right there. Unfortunately, it was lost in the fire as well. This is all that’s left of Crapo’s house these days,. You go turn off the lights for him. Billy billy around here, Mr. Boland, Mr. Bolin I’ll, wait here for a minute, but no billy at the moment. Billy billy.

Are you still around and back trippier? I don’t know if billy’s here anymore, maybe he’ll re come back when we rebuild, but for now It’s even pretty empty out. Here I don’t know if billy’s gonna show. So I think It’s on to the next place of murder here at Cerro Gordo lola’s palace of pleasure, which is just up the hill here, not even 100 yards from Crepo’s house, oh headed to Lola’s Lola was a badass of her day. She was born in Mexico and eventually came to inyo county where she started a saloon in lone pine. The saloon did great, so she purchased some property at Cerro Gordo and eventually established the brothel Lola’s palace of pleasure, which still stands today and obviously the combination of whiskey and women caused a lot of gunfight at Lola’s.

Even to the point where a local doctor recounted that he went there with a friend and the friend said the nickname of one of Lola’s women that he didn’t like and she tried to kill him with the stiletto and then a gunfight broke out and it didn’t Stop till the morning, until all the lights were shot out in town and numerous people were dead, There’s only one remaining photo of lola, where she’s wearing a black dress and over the past decades numerous people have said they’ve seen a woman in the black dress roaming. The streets of Cerro Gordo – I don’t know if It’s Lola, but when showing the photos.

Many of these people describe it as a very similar person. Is it Lola coming back to regain her dominance of Cerro Gordo, or maybe one of her girls? Looking for her next client, I don’t know, but we’re gonna walk the streets tonight and see what’s out there, Lola Lola, where are you Lola Lola? Is that that’s what remains of Lola’s palace of pleasure? It’s interesting because it was right next to the assay office. So the asset office is where they tested the quality of the minerals, and I guess they would strike riches and go right to the brothel and Lola’s used to extend way over there.

So It’s not nearly as long as it used to be [. Music ]. Can you imagine if these walls could talk? Oh is that Lola? Oh anybody that knows Cerro Gordo knows that. There’s three main ghosts around town, and probably the most famous among those was a guy named Alphonse Benoit Alphonse was a woodcutter in a neighboring camp and the story of his life was a little unclear. But what is known is that he was murdered in one of the mines surrounding Cerro Gordo, what’s debated is whether he murdered somebody first and his murder was retribution or he was just a stone, cold killer.

The most common place that Alphonse appeared at Cerro Gordo was in the hotel, numerous parties, all independent of each other, would report seeing a man at the back left window of the hotel. The old owners even had a photo of the apparition that they would keep on the front desk in a photo album to let visitors look through. I think the last time Alphonse was seen was only a number of hours before the hotel burned down. The caretaker Robert was giving a tour and the visitor he was showing got freaked out because they saw an apparition out of the back left window when asked what he looked like they described just what people had described before.

For me, I had heard about Alphonse for a long time before purchasing Cerro Gordo I’d seen the photograph that’s now missing, because it was in the hotel, and so I know the story of Alphonse and if he’s not able to stay at his typical haunts anymore, he May have returned to the mine that he was murdered in so tonight. we’re gonna visit that mine and see if There’s anything there.

A local historian, who I trust, deeply told me the mind that he believes Alfonso is murdered in we’re an hour to the part of the night. To be honest with you that I’ve been looking the least forward to the hunt for alphonse, I explore mines all the time, but exploring them at night is something else. I’m pretty given the history of this mine. I don’t love being here but again, if the point of tonight is to push the limits of what I’m comfortable with that’s, what we’re going to do, It’s just what you want to see right coming in man. Well, here’s nothing! Okay, don’t feel great about this. I turn this off. that’s the exit, that’s where we’re going.

I turn that off. that’s the exit can’t tell where it is man all right here we go Alphonse alphonse, don’t really love saying the guy’s name out loud just doesn’t seem like this type of thing. You want to do Alphonse so so this is the rope that I was told was hanging from the ceiling and I was told never to go past it that way. I guess today’s the day, benny. Oh There’s a piece of It’s a piece of silver ore. Right there see it. Oh It’s dynamite, I’m not supposed to go back this way, so I might turn around It’s completely still back here, because It’s rocking back and forth. I don’t like that. I don’t like that. I don’t know which way is behind me.

There’s three ways: Alphonse Alphonse Alfons Alphonse. The weirdest thing I could do right now is turn off the light. Alphonse that nope nope. Don’T like that one bit. Okay, I think we’re gonna keep that light on. I don’t know guys, There’s noises and It’s moving, but I don’t see anything. let’s keep going we’ll pass this for now. I don’t even know where this tunnel goes super dark back here. What the is that no, oh, It’s like a decaying rabbit at the end of a tunnel. Hey get out of here. What do you think climb up? Sometimes It’s in these moments, when you realize you’re miles away from the from the town center, which is miles away from any other town and you’re all by yourself, but damn I want to climb up this ladder, maybe just a little bit just a touch just just Enough to feel this sturdy teflons, oh It’s so tempting now I mean the harder it is to get to the cooler stuff could be up there all right a little bit more.

Oh man, look how this is attached. It’s attached with wire something’s falling from above me nope that nope we’re out here we’re going down alphonse. I saw a light. I don’t know if that’s just me being extremely tired, but I saw light down here. I think It’s the time of night, where you just start freaking yourself out every little sound how fun the hell is that blood? It’s not blood, no hear a lot of stuff. I don’t know if It’s like. I don’t know. If It’s the time of night, I’m tired, if I’m expecting to see certain things, so you do but man that was the closest I ever think I’ve.

Did you see that I’ve? I don’t know if It’s me looking into the lights for a long time and looking out that’s the closest thing. I’ve ever seen, dude! No! No! No! No! No! No It’s time! For me, It’s time for me to go to bed. I need to get out of here. I don’t like this. I even saw someone like walking over the track like this, like just almost like a little cloud hovering over the track. Now now, let’s get out here, we’re done It’s enough. Alphonse hunting hold up hold the ghost investigation. Do we have denim?

Do we have imagine finding denim on the dancers we find alphonse? No, this is like a blouse or something whatever miner would wear that like lace? What’S that? Oh just casual dynamite, roll! Oh! What have we got here, but Alphonse wore this? I’m just kidding alvan’s, not making light of you. Look It’s like a probably part of a glove, maybe the damn measure that was denim. I mean I think I would get haunted I’d made Alphonse in exchange for some genes.

If Alphonse popped up right there I was like yo, brent you’re gonna have a heart attack, but I’m gonna give you a perfectly pair of denim jeans levi’s. You know what Alphonse we can make that deal and what do we have there? It’s a bag stuck in this overhang come on. Levi’S come on levi’s levi’s levi’s leave ice leave ice, levi’s leave ice leave eyes come on no, no levi’s. Damn it’s! You see anything like that. It’s like asking the camera. Can you do anything, oh boy, that time of night see?

Typically I go to bed at like nine up here and It’s well past midnight now, and so we are far past my bedtime. So if anything could be the combination of canned coffee, I drank or the time of day. But what does it say? All right, all right, all right! that’s it alphonse! You win! Keep the genes keep yourself going home. So that’s the ghost of Cerro Gordo! that’s it this week! It’s very late! It’s past three! Now It’s time for me to go to bed next week, we’ll be back to regular programming.

But if you own, a ghost town, I feel like you gotta go searching for ghosts at least once and that’s what this video was. I hope you enjoyed it, I’m still on the very skeptical end of these things. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that my experience with Alphonse but still unconvinced, but ask me again in a year or 10 years or 100 years I may still be here, that’s it for now. Thank you guys for checking out this week’s episode. I will see you all next time.

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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