Pioche was abuzz last week with the film crew of the Travel Channel’s show, Ghost Adventures, in town. The crew of the hit tv show has been to Nevada a number of times, visiting Goldfield, Virginia City and Tonopah. Nick Groff, co-investigator and executive producer, who resides in Las Vegas discovered the area and sent crews, says Dan Rohn, production coordinator. “I thought we knew every ghost town in Nevada until we found this one,” he said.
The crew stayed Thursday through Saturday, having locals to dress up for the extras and portray actual people, as best they could be recalled, involved in Pioche happenings.
Women such as JoeLee Hiatt, Angelyn McCrosky and Diane Mason, dressed up like saloon girls of the western days. Bartenders Joe “Hose-B” Dunn and Jim Kelley were complete in western attire, and many locals were invited to the main scene location of the Overland, dressed in full western character.
Dave Carlson also attended and participated in a skit. “I got shot in the a--,” he said as his character was running away.
Ron Robinson, Jeff Hadland and Amy Asperheim were solicited to reenact an actual event involving Raymond Free, former owner of the hotel and saloon, that was allegedly murdered one night while he was in the safe. Robinson hovered in front of an antique safe while Hadland and accomplice Asperheim had snuck up behind him, pistol-whipped him over the head, and made off with the loot.
Nikki Bailey, Pioche resident who volunteers at the historic Million Dollar Courthouse, said, “we’ve all kind of got the bug from their show, and now they they’re here, we’re all excited and getting into it.” Bailey took local youth into the courthouse for tours and to do some of their own filming. More than a dozen children were in the courthouse last Thursday night. Unexplainable movements and noises gave everyone a fright.
Dylan Phillips made sure to get his sister who is in college in Utah an autograph from the film crew. “It made her day,” Phillips explained.
Pioche is no stranger to old historic sites, and the crew found themselves visiting Boothill Cemetery, the Thompson Opera House, and the Million Dollar Courthouse. No investigation was done at the opera house. Rohn explained it was for their “B-Roll.”
The crew rented the entire Overland Hotel for Friday night’s investigation. Doors closed at 8 p.m. April 25, and Ghost Adventurers set up their cameras, sound equipment and the like. They left the hotel vacant for the entire night, and are now processing any “evidence” they might have caught on tape.
Kelley said there has been reports of strange activity in rooms eight and 10 of the hotel.
Candice Mortenson, owner of the Overland Hotel and Saloon, said “We loved having the crew at the hotel. It was quite the experience.”
Buddy Whitaker, also a production coordinator said, “everyone was friendly here, and so welcoming. They all had good stories.”
Crews from the reality show ‘American Restoration’ were also in Pioche last week finding a treasure to “pick” for restorer Rick Dale, owner of Rick’s Restorations in Las Vegas. The filming of recent Dodge vehicles in Pioche for promotions as well as the Paranormal Researches of Nevada slated to be in Caliente during the Memorial Day/Homecoming week celebration is spreading the popularity of Lincoln County territory and history.
Greg Hicks, a cashier at Tillie’s, said, “I’m still excited because there are three shows airing in the next two months, and people will actually know how to pronounce ‘Pioche’ correctly.”
Mortenson said currently the Ghost Adventures is the number one show on the Travel Channel, and that they’re episodes repeat up to 18 times a year. “It’s a potential 97-million viewership for us [Pioche].” Mortenson has seen a number of ghost-type exploration over the years. “I’m sure we’ll see more once the show airs.” Overland will be hosting the first annual “Chills and Thrills Night,” June 21 at 9 p.m. for the airing of the television episode.