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Actual History
According to Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who has written extensively about his hometown, the most likely story as to how the town received its name was that when George Frederick Colton was looking for gold in the area in 1897, he supposedly said that it would take a searchlight to find gold ore there. Shortly thereafter he found gold, leading to a boom era when Searchlight had a larger population than Las Vegas. Between 1907 and 1910, the gold mines produced $7 million in gold and other precious minerals, and the town had a population of about 1,500.
Searchlight declined after 1917 but hung on as a stop on the Arrowhead Highway. In 1927, U.S. Highway 91 bypassed the town, and its population dropped to 50. The town had a resurgence in the 1930s and 1940s with the construction of the nearby Hoover Dam and was home to the El Rey Bordello in the 1940s and early 1950s until it burned. The last gold mine ceased operating around 1953.

Our Revisions
The first miner to carve up the Searchlight landscape wasn't content with its natural boon of precious metals. In 1907, seeking to ensure his wealth, Colton "struck a deal with the devil", so to speak. He laid a circle of stones in the dirt, each carved with a sigil. This black magic was intended to guarantee that the mining company struck gold, again and again. It worked! But it also seemed to curse the town. Random killings, sightings of mysterious creatures, you get the drift. In 1917, the stones were hastily built over by a church. Things calmed down. Unfortunately, so did the reaping of gold and silver. Too bad the town council didn't know about all this... That building was demolished in early 1985. Oh no! These days, the sigils aren't channeling wealth, so much as acting as a beacon. Our intrepid heroes don't know this illustrious history, but they are feeling that pull, subconscious or not. The blood being spilled there is just making the sigils go haywire.

So...
We don't anticipate this being a great big group plot. It's just helpful to know when you're writing your character's arrival.

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