MEDIUM: Encaustic Collage
ARTIST: Judy Vars
Once Upon a Time I was staying overnight at a retreat the Saint Mary's Art Center formally the old hospital in Virginia City, Nevada. Virginia City was a boom town with something going on 24 hours a day for its nearly 30,000 residents. There were visiting celebrities, Shakespeare plays, opium dens, newspapers, competing fire companies, fraternal organizations, at least five police precincts, a thriving red-light district, and the first Miner's Union in the U.S. The International Hotel was six stories high and boasted the West's first elevator, called a rising room, instant millionaires built ostentatious mansions. Today the town has less than 500 residents.
I was a denizn of Virginia City for a time, it drew me there like a magnet. I can tell you from experience the town is haunted!
I lived in town but the ladies at the artist retreat invited me to stay overnight. We had some fun getting ready for bed, putting our hair in curlers and telling stories about our family.
Soon I fell asleep, then I was awakened by a sound like an old wood screen door banging. I fell back asleep and soon experienced the feeling of someone stroking my neck and running their fingers sensuously down the inside of my arm and palm and talking softly in my ear. I remember how good it felt and then I woke up saying: "Oh shit! this is real!". I rose from my bed to explore the haunted hospital, sometimes I wonder why and where I got the courage to explore the halls of this abandoned hospital alone but I did. The hair on the back my neck was standing up my fear was palpable (it tastes metallic). Out through the window at the end of the hallway was the old cemetery named Our Mother of Sorrows, the full moon was casting tombstone moon shadows on the ground. I took a ghost picture on the grass in front of the hospital which I have since lost. I am haunted still today by the town and the spirits in my dreams.
The next morning I asked the ladies if they noticed anything unusual and they said noooooo??? So I kept my nocturnal adventures to myself.