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Ghost Towns of Arizona
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Ghost Towns of Arizona
  Arizona Travel News ( Press Release )

Trick or Treat: Arizona Offers Ghoulish Fun and Haunted Hangouts for Halloween
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 then vanishes.
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.
More Information
Consumers may call toll-free at 1-866-275-5843 or visit www.ArizonaGuide.com.

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