Wrong Turn in Death Valley Junction: The Amargosa Hotel & Opera House

posted in: California, Nevada | 0

While on the way to Death Valley National Park, CA, we reached a fork in the road and were not sure of which way we were supposed to go as we had seen a straight shot on the map before we headed out. We had been driving for close to 2 hours from Las Vegas and noticed a little diner sign reading “café” to the left. We figured we’d stop in and eat something and ask for directions to make sure we didn’t end up lost as the roads were very long and turning back would have been way worse. The place looked very run down but we noticed a hotel to the right and some cars in the lot. We had stumbled upon the Amargosa Hotel and Opera.

The Amargosa Cafe

The Amargosa Cafe off Death Valley Junction
Amargosa Cafe in front of Amargosa Opera House and Hotel  Image: ©  2012 Offthetour.com


We walk into the Amargosa Cafe and all eyes are on us, but the waitress was very pleasant. She informed us we were at Death Valley Junction and that we should have made a right at the fork onto 127 from State Line Rd/Ash Meadow Rd and a quick left onto 190. We walk out and exchange glances feeling the same eeriness of the place at that moment but decided to eat since it might be awhile before we hit anywhere else on our way to Dante’s View in Death Valley National Park. She offered us the specials of the day but we chose to skip the mushroom cheddar burger. The food was amazing. I just had a simple grilled cheese sandwich with chips but it was the best damn grilled cheese I had ever had. Jason also enjoyed chicken tenders with a zesty homemade bbq sauce that he raved could only be found in the wild west.

The Amargosa Hotel at First Glance

Hallway at the Amargosa Hotel
The hall of guest rooms at the Amargosa Hotel. Image: ©2012 offthetour.com

Before leaving, I wanted to hit up the restroom; no need to pop a squat on the side of the road! The waitress pointed me to the Amargosa Hotel advising the café did not have a restroom. I walked into the hotel and it was old and weird. The décor seemed like something stuck in the 70’s with green carpets and a striped couch by a fireplace at first glance. The dining area has paintings painted directly on the walls. The hotel attendant points me towards the bathroom at the head of a long poorly lit hall with rooms on either side and a huge mirror far down the end. I was pretty creeped out with this sudden feeling of dread and felt the urge to leave. So I quickly did my business and left back towards the Amargosa Cafe.

When I get back into the café, Jason is chatting away with the waitress and I come to find that the hotel is actually haunted! She told us all about how the guys over at the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures series came to do an overnight investigation and they ran out of the hall screaming. The sight of three grown and muscular men running from ghosts was incredible she said. She suggested we do a tour of the Amargosa Opera House and take a walk around the hotel. Marta Beckett the owner performed in the Opera House for over 43 years and when she wasn’t performing she painted the halls and murals herself.

Haunted Amargosa?

Haunted Room Amargosa Hotel
Room at Amargosa Hotel thought to be haunted. Image: ©2012 offthetour.com

We were short on time to wait for someone to provide a tour for us of the opera house, but since walking around the hotel was no problem on our own, we decided to take a look. As we walked down the hall we found a little café table and seat area before the start of all the hotel rooms. They were mostly open for us to see. I hadn’t ventured this far into the hotel when I came in before but the eeriness just felt more and more foreboding. Each room had wall murals and pretty outdated décor as was the theme of the hotel. We had never heard of the Amargosa Hotel or Opera House so we didn’t know which rooms were rumored to be haunted. We walked into a couple of them and I took several photos. We reached the end of the long hall and there was the large creepy mirror that seemed to be waiting for something to appear in it. Can you say “Bloody Mary” three times into the mirror and let me know what happens? There were also cut outs in the floor that apparently led to sewage ports. Didn’t want to fall in there! There was more past the hotel rooms, but it was blocked by a locked door. We later found out it was an abandoned area that used to house the miners hospital and morgue back in the day. The hotel attendant informed us that many people do stay in the hotel and request to sleep in the most haunted rooms and do in fact experience a paranormal phenomenon. But, that is for someone else to test.  Walking around was spooky enough for me.

Entrance to Amargosa Hotel
Entrance to Amargosa Hotel. Image: © 2012 offthetour.com

The Amargosa Hotel  area was very interesting to visit and I wish we had more time to explore the Opera House because I truly felt the strange vibes coming from the place even before I knew it was haunted. But with daylight burning, we simply could not afford the time wasted this time around.  We also later found out that they still host Operas on certain nights. It is a definite must see if you are approaching Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas and are into haunted attractions. Even if you don’t see any apparitions or feel any of the terrors the Ghost Adventures guys experienced, I guarantee you will at least leave with a feeling of uneasiness from the place and great stories from the staff.

Here is a Youtube of the Ghost Adventures Episode: