Goodsprings, Nevada: Haunted Pioneer Saloon

Hollywood luminaries from Clark Gable to Cheech & Chong have drowned their sorrows here. Bullet holes from past squabbles in the wall. Maybe all the ghosts want is a little peace and quiet?

Pioneer Saloon

Address:
310 W Spring St., Goodsprings, NV
Directions:
Pioneer Saloon. I-15 south from Las Vegas. Turn right at Exit 12 and head west on Nevada Route 161 for seven miles. The Pioneer Saloon is on the right.
Phone:
702-874-9362
Admission:
Free.
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Bullet holes. Haunted Pioneer Saloon

Great food and great locals.

[DsquaredRacing, 07/15/2014]

Visitors can buy a drink while examining three bullet holes still visible in the saloon's pressed tin walls, one with the slug embedded. An adjacent newspaper clipping describes a saloon shooting death in 1915.

Carol Lombard and Clark Gable Memorial Room. Haunted Pioneer Saloon

Seven miles down Nevada Route 161 you'll run smack into the Pioneer Saloon; Goodsprings' main place of business, and pretty much the entire town.

Chances are, too, the place will be packed! Bikers, businessmen, tourists, limo drivers and any other "type" you can conjure up may be found partying at the Pioneer twenty-four hours a day. Allegedly, a few otherworldy guests, not so visible to the naked eye, also enjoy hangin' around the local "waterin' hole," tippin' back a few.

Supposedly, this is the tavern in which Hollywood icon Clark Gable drank himself "blind" awaiting news of his wife, Carole Lombard's plane crash at nearby Mount Potosi. According to legend, search crews were unable to reach Lombard's downed plane for days, so Gable sat, all the while, abusing his liver, passing out, inadvertently burning holes in the bartop with cigarettes that would periodically slip from his exhausted fingers, as he awaited the outcome of his wife's disappearance.

Tragically, Lombard died in the crash but claims of her spirit wandering the premises in order to console her distraught husband linger to this day, and the holes left by Gable's mishandled Marlboros along the cherrywood bar top are still all too visible.

Carole Lombard's spirit isn't the only ghost said to haunt the Pioneer Saloon, though. Far from it.

According to one of the venue's regular mixologists, the full-body apparition of a kindly, aged prospector sits at end of the bar in the wee hours of the evening, just makin' certain things don't get outta hand.

A back room to the Pioneer Saloon houses a memorial to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, as well as a showcase for the numerous Hollywood blockbusters that have been shot in this "Little Slice of Nowhere."

Pics of Cheech 'n Chong poundin' beers at the bar, and publicity shots of Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality II" (portions of which were filmed here) line the walls.

One spirit without the best of intentions at the Pioneer Saloon is that of Paul Coski -- a once-physically massive man who loved booze more than life itself and boasted the menacing reputation of being able to beat up any two other men, simultaneously.

Supposedly, Coski was sent "six-feet under" by a pair of bullets to his side when caught cheating at cards one evening. The coroner's report for the ill-tempered bar brawler still hangs on a wall of the tavern.

According to tale, Coski's ethereal presence can be seen from time to time in the darker regions of the saloon, glaring down at unsuspecting clientele, bleeding from its side and sporting the antiquated clothing of the Wild West. Just as quickly as this menacing apparition is spotted, though, Mr. Coski's ghost vanishes.

[Paul Bottini, 06/24/2008]

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July 24, 2014

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