Ghost Towns of Arizona
Arizona Travel News ( Press Release )
Trick or Treat: Arizona Offers Ghoulish Fun and Haunted Hangouts for
Arizona, USA: September 2003: As those who have been to the Grand Canyon State can attest, the
spirit of Arizona is a compelling and enticing force that is not soon
forgotten. When the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, that
spirit becomes a little stronger, making Halloween an enchanting time in
Arizona. From haunted hotels to ghost sightings, Arizona is full of spirit
- of the supernatural kind.
Jerome is Arizona's most well-known ghost town, but not because of a high
level of paranormal activity. With the official closing of the last mine in
1953, Jerome's population dwindled down to between 50 and 100 residents and
it was listed as America's largest ghost town during the late 1950s. But,
beginning in the 1960s, Jerome came back to life with museums, art
galleries, antique shops and restaurants, and the town is known today as one
of Arizona's most unique towns.
While Jerome is no longer a ghost town,
several of the town's hotels have not been able to escape their haunted
past. The Jerome Grand Hotel opened in 1927 as the United Verde Hospital,
then lay dormant after closing in 1950 until an extensive renovation
converted it to a hotel in 1996.
The building, which offers breathtaking
views and quaint accommodations, had a reputation for being haunted as
ghostly sounds of coughing, moaning and labored breathing could be heard
throughout the wards. In addition, a man named Claude Harvey was killed when
he was caught underneath the hospital elevator in 1935. Since that time,
lights have been seen in the shaft and during a period when the building was
vacant, the elevator could be heard slowly traveling up and down... even
though it had been parked at the top of the shaft and no power was connected
to it. This spirit only adds to the unique and colorful nature of Jerome.
Bisbee is another Arizona mining town with a ghoulish reputation. Once
known as the best drinking and entertainment venue in the territory, Bisbee
still boasts many of the fine commercial buildings and Victorian houses that
sprouted up during the copper mine's boom years. Due to its incredible
climate and scenery, Bisbee didn't run the risk of becoming a ghost town
when the mine closed up. Guests at the Oliver House, a bed and breakfast,
can have a taste of the paranormal, since the inn can boast five different
ghosts. The house was built in 1909 by Edith Ann Oliver, the wife of a local
mine official. It was used originally as mine offices and later became a
boarding house before its present incarnation as an inn. According to former
guests, footsteps can be heard roaming the hallways at night and the sound
of water running in pipes that don't exist can often be heard. Most of the
strange activity occurs around Room 13, where a man was killed in the
hallway outside his room in 1920.
Further perpetuating the link between mining towns and haunted spirits,
Oatman is no stranger to the paranormal. The Oatman Hotel, sits on the main
street of this former mining metropolis, which is known today for its
charming nature and wild burros roaming the streets. According to the
stories, the mischievous ghosts in the hotel are responsible for leaving
human outlines on beds, eerie voices and for haunting a room that once was
home to a miner. This miner was an Irishman who would often get drunk at
night because he missed his homeland.
One night, he passed out in a trash
pile behind the hotel and died. His body was found two days later and he was
carelessly buried in a shallow grave. His ghost has been part of the Oatman
Hotel ever since and he opens the window in his former room and pulls the
covers off the bed without warning.
In Arizona's North Country, Flagstaff sits at the base of the state's
tallest peak. One of the town's historic properties, the Monte Vista Hotel,
hosts a number of otherworldly guests and staff members. The hotel opened on
New Year's Day in 1927 and was a hot spot for Hollywood celebrities starring
in westerns filmed in that area during the 1940s and 1950s. While Bing
Crosby, Jane Russell and Gary Cooper are some of the hotel's most well-known
guests, one of the infamous guests is a phantom bellboy who knocks on doors
Dozens of guests have encountered this phantom over the
years and he is often joined by the ghost of a woman who has been seen
outside of the Zane Grey suite and a man who endlessly paces in one of the
rooms. Another ghost, that of a former bank robber, is said to haunt the
saloon. After robbing a nearby bank in 1970, the three robbers stopped in
the lounge for a celebratory drink. One of the men had been shot during
their escape and while having his drink, the wounded man died, and some
claim he haunts that area of the building.
Prescott was the first territorial capital of Arizona and at least one of
the state's resident ghosts is still there. The ghost of Abby Byr and her
cat, Noble reportedly haunt Room 16 at the Hotel Vendome. Abby came to
Arizona searching for dry desert relief from tuberculosis and soon married.
She and her new husband bought the hotel but they eventually lost it because
of some unpaid taxes.
Regardless, the new owners allowed Abby and her
husband to stay on in the hotel for no charge. She died in 1921 and her
ghost, along with that of her cat, began to be seen after World War II. The
stories report that Abby died of starvation, along with Noble, after her
husband deserted her and the pair has been haunting the place ever since.
If a haunted hotel seems a bit eerie, Arizona hosts several haunted events
in October to give visitors a taste of the spirit that lives throughout the
state. Nighttime tours of the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
give a glimpse into the past and into the lives of the people that once
spent time there. Their spirits still linger in the "solitary" confinement
area. The 6th Annual Ghostwalk in Prescott is a guided tour of the Sharlot
Hall Museum, featuring costumed storytellers relating eerie tales of
Prescott's spirits past and present. The Fall Festival and Ghosts of Globe
Tour is a lesson in the history if downtown Globe featuring a tour through
some of the old buildings along with a ghost story of that particular site.
Consumers may call toll-free at
1-866-275-5843 or visit www.ArizonaGuide.com.