VIRGINIA CITY - Ghost stories from Virginia City will appear this fall on the History Channel series "Haunted History."
Two of the five segments being filmed this week across Nevada will feature Virginia City. The Greystone production company from North Hollywood videotaped scenes Tuesday and Wednesday at the Silver Queen and Old Washoe Club, both on Virginia City's main street.
"Virginia City is stock full of ghost stories," said Jim Lindsay, director of the one-hour episode being called "Haunted Nevada." "You go to towns where people are reluctant to talk about ghost stories. Here? No problem. The sheriff's department was openly talking about, 'Did you hear about this ghost story or that?'"
The production started as "Haunted Las Vegas" but Greystone found ghosts beyond Sin City and the title dropped Las Vegas in favor of Nevada.
"Quite frankly, there are so many more interesting stories outside Las Vegas," said Lindsay, who directed "Unsolved Mysteries" for nine years before going on the ghost circuit.
In coming days, Lindsay will shoot in Las Vegas, at Hoover Dam and Boulder City, and in the Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, south of Las Vegas.
Greystone staff interviewed Virginia City locals about ghost stories and assembled nine tales that will appear on the two nine-minute segments devoted to Virginia City. Lindsay said the tales are genuine items from Virginia City folklore.
But are they true?
"Everybody always asks me that question," Lindsay said. "We interview people who firmly believe what they say and we re-enact what they say."
At the Silver Queen, they re-enacted a ghost story about a miner who pulls pranks like knocking on hotel room doors or yelling fire. A second segment had the reappearance of the ghost of a pregnant prostitute who committed suicide.
"I had to make her a pregnant pad in about 10 minutes to go under her floozie dress," said costumer Sally Bair, who lives in Washoe Valley and more often than not outfits headliners at Caesars Tahoe.
Bair got the "Haunted" job Thursday, didn't get the measurements for the nine actors until Monday afternoon with taping starting Tuesday.
"I was scrambling for everything," said Bair, who rented costumes from House of Black and White in Reno.
Casting director Toni Suttie, owner of Integrity Casting in Fernley, supplied photos of about 100 acting hopefuls - 10 for each role - from which Lindsay chose nine to appear in the non-speaking roles.
Lindsay used the unique spiral staircase with no nails or center support at the Old Washoe Club to tape the scene of the ghostly appearance of a 13-year-old girl who was killed by a horse-drawn oil truck outside the Old Washoe Club.
The camera literally had to be roped into place high on the steep, precarious staircase to capture the severe angle of the girl near the bottom.
"You can't design sets like this," Lindsay said about all the sites used in Virginia City. "This was like walking into a Hollywood stage but it's real. It is truly a unique city and there aren't many of those left in the country. There's not a Wal-Mart, McDonald's or Red Lobster. It's just great fun."
What: Episode of Haunted History
Where: The History Channel
When: In fall
Why: Two segments of an episode called "Haunted Nevada" were shot this week in Virginia City