KOLO 8 News Now's Lauren Garber and cameraman Ray go ghost hunting in Virginia City.
Virginia City, Nev. - Virginia City is in the running to become The Most Haunted City in America. It's part of SyFy Channel's Ghost Hunters' contest, and it's already made it to the top three.
The former mining town is full of stories of people who died too young, and some ghost hunters believe many of them are still there.
Debbie Bender leads ghost tours for Bats in the Belfry in Virginia City. She says, "tales of ghostly images and things that go bump in the night abound here."
"People get touched. People feel like they're in cold spots," said Brett Robards, who also leads ghost tours.
"We've gotten (Electric Voice Phenomenon (EVP)) asking, 'are there any spirits in the room, dead people in the room?' and they'll answer, 'we're all alive.'" said Robards.
KOLO 8 tagged along with the Bats in the Belfry ghost tour group to do some ghost hunting for ourselves.
First stop, The Silver Queen hotel, where the spirit of a pregnant prostitute named Rosie, committed suicide, and is said to haunt the chapel and some of the rooms.
Rosie starts by lighting up our EMF meter, which measures electromagnetic fields. She responds to our questions by lighting up the meter again and again.
Then, Bender asks people on the tour, who want to be touched by a spirit, to put their hands out. She asks Rosie to touch our hands. Almost immediately, people begin to notice something change.
"When a spirit enters a room, it kind of almost sucks the heat out of the room, and you feel a drop in temperature," said Bender.
Lindsey Oglivie is along for the tour that night. She said she felt Rosie touch her hand.
"It was just cold, like a light little touch," she said.
Next, the tour takes us behind the old court house, where it's said that a man committed a crime so heinous, the judge ordered him hung outside his window that very day.
Bender begins to communicate by asking questions and holding out the EMF meter.
She asks, "if the man who was hung is here, can you please light up my meter," and seconds later, the group hears a strange noise.
Playing the sound back, it sounds eerily similar to the sound a trap door might make on a platform they would have used to hang people back then.
At the time the group heard the sound, the wind chimes were not chiming, and there was no one in the area the sound came from. Ghost hunter Tomas Cruz searched the area with the KOLO crew, and nothing was found to be out of place, or knocked over.
"Noises happen in Virginia City," says Cruz, who also works with Bats in the Belfry.
Later in the tour, the group stops across the street from what is known as the "Orb Tree," where there is another spirit who's said to mourn the loss of her son.
Bender says this spirit is especially drawn to mothers and women who are expecting.
After a series of questions using the EMF meter, the spirit lights up the meter when a member of the group decides to ask if she is pregnant.
After communicating with other spirits on the tour, we end at the crypt inside the Old Washoe Club.
Bender tells us this is the place they used to store dead bodies in the winter when the ground was too cold to bury them.
Here, the group felt unexplained cold spots, and noticed a ribbon that would move, even though there was no air moving inside.
If you would like to try some ghost hunting yourself, the Bats in the Belfry tour takes about an hour and a half, and goes through the most haunted areas of Virginia City.
The winner of the Most Haunted City in America will be announced Halloween night. Virginia City is up against Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.