Friday, April 11, 2014

Hauntings: Jerome, Arizona Ghost Town


Jerome, Arizona

Jerome, Arizona, is the largest ghost town in the US.  When huge deposits of ores were discovered, mines opened, and the town grew from 250 residents in 1890 to 15,000 in the 1920s.  One mine produced nearly 33 million tons of copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc ore from 1876-1953.  After the mines played out, the population fell to less than 100.

During its prosperous copper mining years, the town was called the "Wickedest City in the West” by a New York newspaper.  In those days, people died of diseases, in mining accidents, in gunfights, were stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death, overdosed on opium, or committed suicide.  With its colorful history, it’s no surprise the city is filled with restless spirits.




The town’s Community Center has had so many ghost sightings, it’s nicknamed “Spook Hall.”  One of the ghosts is a forlorn lady dressed in 18th century clothes and was allegedly a prostitute stabbed to death by a miner.


At the turn of the century, prostitution thrived in Jerome.  Madam Jennie Banters ran a bordello.  The building is now called Mile High Inn, but the ghosts of Jennie and her employees are still seen on the premises where they move things and turn on the radios and ceiling fans in the rooms.  A spectral cat has been glimpsed walking down hallways only to vanish, and sometimes it leaves pawprints across freshly made beds.  The cat is believed to have been Madam Jennie’s pet.

The Jerome Grand Hotel used to be a hospital.  Guests now report hearing coughing, moaning, and the sounds of labored breathing.  In 1935, a man named Claude Harvey was accidentally crushed beneath the elevator.  Since then, strange lights have appeared in the shaft, the elevator doors open and close by themselves, and guests report hearing the elevator moving up and down even after the power’s been shut off.

At the abandoned Phelps Dodge Mine, a miner was  decapitated in an accident.  His head was found, but his body fell down a shaft and wasn’t recovered.  People who visit the old mine report hearing footsteps, horrible screams, and seeing the apparition of a headless man.





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35 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Hmm... maybe a place to visit someday.

Kate Larkindale said...

My sister lives in Arizona, so if I ever make it over there to visit, guess where I want to go?

Heather Holden said...

I grew up in Arizona, but never heard of Jerome? *shame*

Continuing to love these posts, Lexa! That headless man ghost sounds especially creepy...

Sean McLachlan said...

I've been to Jerome. Creepy cool place. It's not entirely abandoned , however. There's a small art community there making money off visitors.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm going to Google it and see what the town looks like now.

JeffO said...

Interesting stuff. Abandoned places are kind of creepy.

Mina Menon said...

imgine living in a otel n waking up to laboured breathing ... phew!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

How does a headless man scream?

Al Diaz said...

You saved the creepiest ghost for last. Headless man in a shaft might give my dwarves nightmares.

L.G. Smith said...

Yikes. Everyone who gets killed in Jerome comes back to haunt the rest.

Julie Flanders said...

Considering the way the Old West was, this place had to be something else to earn the "Wickedest" title. The elevator story absolutely creeped me out. I am claustrophobic and hate elevators. Getting trapped in one is one of my worst nightmares.

Sophie Duncan said...

I don't think I'd like to visit this place alone! The headless miner sounds like the worst apparition, although you wouldn't catch me in that elevator on my own either - imagine if it got stuck!
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

mshatch said...

That would definitely be an interesting place to visit.

Ava Quinn said...

Yowza! Wickedest City int the West? Sign me up! A ghost cat...hmmm. Love it!

Danielle L Zecher said...

That sounds like an interesting and scary place, with a lot of cool history.

S.K. Anthony said...

The Wickedest City in the West! I like that old nickname and I would totally visit it now even with the restless spirits hanging around :D
oh and yikes with that elevator!

Crystal Collier said...

Ooh... A whole town? Yes! I loved hitting ghost towns when I was younger. It opens so much to the imagination. What did happen in these streets? What kind of people occupied these buildings? What really mattered to them? Fodder for a writer, eh?

Robin said...

I have never been to Jerome... but now I want to!!! Naming an old bordello The Mile High Inn... Priceless!

cleemckenzie said...

Jerome deserves a visit if only to have that cat trapise across the bed! I'll steer clear of the mine. Headless ghosts are the worst.

Bish Denham said...

I visited Jerome way back in the early 80s. It was just beginning to evolve into an artist colony type of town. I was only there for a day, a kind of drive-through visit so I didn't experience anything supernatural.

Mere Joyce said...

I would love to visit a ghost town someday, and this seems like a good possibility!

Stephen Hayes said...

You're providing us with a good education on haunted places. Let me know where I can find spooks here in Portland, Oregon.

messymimi said...

Abandoned towns are sad, so it doesn't surprise me they have so much lingering bad feeling.

Sean @ His And Her Hobbies said...

The Wild West is what I think of when they say ghost town. Now I know there is a real ghost town in the wild west. Looking forward to the next installment.

Sean at His and Her Hobbies

klahanie said...

Hi Lexa,

Penny the Jack Russell dog, due to getting exhausted commenting on this amazing alphabet challenge, has allowed me take over the computer.

I never realised that Jerome, Arizona was the largest ghost town in the US. I thought it was "Casper", Wyoming :)

Gary

Cindy Amrhein said...

Oh I love your theme! My kind of stuff. :) This sounds like a place I would enjoy visiting. History Sleuth's Writings - Blogging A-Z

Rachna Chhabria said...

Lexa, all these haunted places will make a good setting for a MG murder mystery. Though I am getting scared of these spooks I am also enjoying reading about them.

Medeia Sharif said...

Quite a history. No wonder it's haunted.

Zoe Byrd said...

Very cool...would love to tour a ghost town

Munir said...

The only ghost town I knew of was fictional in Brady Bunch.

Jean said...

Interesting story about the town.

Jean, visiting for the A-Z Challenge from Rantings and Ravings of an Insane Writer

Liz Fichera said...

Small world!! I've been to Jerome many times. It's a couple of hours north of Phoenix by car. It's a cute town--very artsy with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Lots of haunted B&Bs and such. Filled with the kind of history you can only get from The Wild, Wild West. Love it!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I don't care how many steps I had to climb, no way would I get into a haunted elevator. But I LOVE the idea of a ghost cat. They are already such sneaky animals while alive, I can only imagine how tricky a ghost one would be.

Kim Graff said...

I find ghost towns totally fascinating.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I've been to Jerome several times (all on a motorcycle). It is an intriguing town in many ways but I didn't know about the ghosts and hauntings. Will next time!

Donna B. McNicol
A to Z Participant

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