Historic cemeteries offer history and legend
Though there are many manufactured spooks available this time of year, Reno has many of its own — some even purportedly haunted — real locations to visit, all within town or a short drive away. Thanks to the area’s pioneer roots, many old, historic cemeteries exist in the area. With a mind to be respectful of the final resting places of some of Reno’s founding residents, take a creepy crawl through history and visit these local cemeteries this Halloween season.
Old Hillside Cemetery
Dating back to 1875, the Hillside Cemetery, located off Nevada Street near the university, is the oldest cemetery in Reno. Found among the gravestones are those of the men whose names will be familiar to residents, like Frank Orr, George Peckham and Edmund Plumb. Originally one cemetery, plots were later sold off and became the Knights of the Pythias, Grand Army of the Republic and Hebrew cemeteries.
Multiple instances of paranormal activity have been reported in this cemetery, including ghostly apparitions. It remains a popular spot for ghost hunting for those looking to catch a glimpse of the woman in black or the spirits of two girls who have been seen here. Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP, have also been collected here, purportedly recording voices from beyond the grave.
Silver Terrace Cemetery, Virginia City
Rolling across wind-swept, sage-covered hills at the end of North E Street in Virginia City, the sprawling Silver Terrace Cemetery looks like something out of a horror movie. A testament to the fast growth of the town, Silver Terrace soon came to cover the hillsides on the outskirts of town, including burial yards for groups such as the Masons, Knights of Pythias and the area’s Roman Catholic population.
Among the ghosts said to roam the hills are a woman in a bustled brown dress seen with a child playing at her feet and a ghost of a little girl. Ghost hunters have captured what they believe to be the spirit of a man in a coat and tie, who appears after storms have passed through the area. It’s also been said that there is a glowing gravestone located somewhere within the cemetery, though is grows dimmer as brave souls search it out, making its exact location difficult to pinpoint.
Pioneer Cemetery, Carson City
Walsh Cemetery (so called, as it originally was located on Walsh Ranch), was Carson’s first cemetery. Located at the bottom of C Hill and Fifth Street, the remains of this cemetery wind along the hillside behind homes, gravestones dotting the landscape. Though many of the people originally buried here have been moved to the city’s Lone Mountain Cemetery, there are still gravestones to be found, as well as a monument marking the first resting place of Major William Ormsby before he too was moved to his new home at Lone Mountain.
The ghost of a woman in burgundy has been seen here, and is said to watch over the grave sites of the Schieffer family. She’s also occasionally been seen motioning people to the cemetery from the roadside, according to local legend.