Wizard of Windy Hill

The Wizard of Windy Hill is rarely seen in person. Only a few people in the last century have had that experience and it was rather spooky.


The Wizard of Windy Hill lives in a mansion above the road. Windy Hill is on a back road that circles up around Reno, Nevada, southwest of the city. We usually take that road when heading home to avoid heavy traffic down on the main boulevards. It is a peaceful drive overlooking suburban farms below and huge mansions, some with private vineyards, up behind Windy Hill. Yet at night it is very different. There is an aura of mystery and unseen activity going on.

There is one mansion, the most beautiful and the most mysterious, for, although it is well kept and lit up at night, there is never any sign of anyone actually living there. Many believe the Wizard lives there. It is similar to an Italiante architectural home with the softer look and features of a Spanish style. It is enormous and sits high on the edge of the hill, overlooking the whole valley. From Windy Hill it is the back side of the mansion we see. Its elegant terrace is larger than my entire apartment.

Once a year, on the Fourth of July, Windy Hill is so packed with people that the entire road is filled with parked cars for at least two miles. It is the best place in Reno to see all the fireworks. It is also the place where a lot of strange happenings go on that particular night.

People have searched half the night for their cars and found them much further away than they remembered. An old man dressed in dark clothing out of time and a floppy hat has been seen by many people as he wanders up and down the road. He disappears when someone points him out to others. He has been seen standing up on the terrace of the mansion, often holding up a stick of some kind, maybe a wand? Then a few seconds later will be back on the road or in the little park where the crowd is gathered. Arguments have broken out among the people when personal items are missing and found with someone else who had no clue how they came to have it.

I almost could have lived in that mansion at one time, many years ago when I first came to Reno. I was looking for a job and saw a classified ad for a caregiver. If I remember right the ad read: “I am an old man who lives alone in a huge mansion high on a hill. I will give a woman ten million dollars if she will live here and take care of me and be my assistant.” When I told a friend about the ad, she said that man has run the ad at least once a year for several years now.

Apparently no one ever applied for the caregiver job. The mansion is still as beautiful as ever, but no one is ever seen there, except on the night of the Fourth and only on the terrace.

My brother and I joined the crowd on the Fourth, but never did so again. We stayed in our car watching the crowd more so than the fireworks. When the wizard stopped and asked my brother if we would be so kind as to join him on the terrace, we left.

We are anxious to hear if the Wizard of Windy Hill appears this year on the Fourth.

Darn! I could have had ten million dollars if only I applied for the job he advertised.


© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns

Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I am an author on TCE and write mainly in poetry and short stories. I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am currently an author on HubPages. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

8 thoughts on “Wizard of Windy Hill

  • July 3, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Great story with plenty of “possibilities” threaded into the telling of the tale – be careful on that hilltop tomorrow…..

  • July 9, 2017 at 9:10 PM

    I am often mesmerized by tales likes yours. I had a couple of my own encounters over the past 10 years and they still are a mystery to me today. I loved how you weaved this story about the wizard and the mansion. Only the believers know the truths and magic beyond our understanding. Well written Phyllis, you held my attention.

    • July 9, 2017 at 9:54 PM

      Thanks, Vincent, I appreciate it. There are a lot of strange and mysterious phenomena in Nevada. It is a great place for spirits, ghost towns and such.

  • February 6, 2022 at 3:23 PM

    This held my attention too. Spooky places have an accumulative effect, I think. Certain places certainly have particular vibes!
    Love the idea of the wizard!
    A great read, Phyllis.

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