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Jerome Ghost Town

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on October 30, 2013

Formerly a mining camp, Jerome, Arizona once boasted 15,000 inhabitants and now has a population of around 480. A popular ghost town for visitors, it’s a fun place to visit. Founded in 1876, the town rests in a picturesque setting with buildings scattered across multiple levels on the mountainside. The mines used to produce three million pounds of copper per month. Eighty-eight miles of tunnels still exist beneath the town. The mines closed in 1953. Now considered a National Historic Landmark, Jerome’s historical buildings are converted into shops, art galleries, museums, and eateries. Put on your walking shoes if you plan a visit. The steps are steep between levels.

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The five-story Spanish Mission-style Jerome Grand Hotel, formerly a hospital for the copper miners, was built in 1926 as the United Verde Hospital. Made of solid concrete to withstand underground blasting, this structure towers over the entire town at the top of Cleopatra Hill. You have to drive along a twisty incline to get there, and in one place, it fits only one car at a time. When mining diminished, the hospital closed in 1950. It reopened, newly refurbished as a hotel, in 1996.

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The hotel was hot, despite it being October. Although there are radiators in each room, there is no central air-conditioning. Keep this in mind if you book a reservation. Our room, number 26, was one of the few that had a noisy wall A/C unit. The rooms are tastefully decorated with wood furnishings. There’s a tiny old-fashioned TV in the room and framed pictures of copper sculptures. Bathroom amenities are generous, and there’s a modern shower. Coffee and Danish are served mornings in the lobby beginning at 7 AM. The rooms don’t have any coffeemakers.

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We took a mid-day break for lunch at the Asylum Restaurant, the hotel’s appropriately named café. The restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner until nine o’clock in the evening. We appreciated their Halloween decorations and the view as we sat on a covered outdoor patio.

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Afterward, we explored the town and its interesting buildings like an old brothel, saloon, hotels, and theatre. Then we checked in for our Ghost Tour (see prior post) in the modern lobby below.

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For dinner we ate again at the Asylum, glad to relax after roaming the hotel looking for ghosts with our EMF meters. The restaurant had red brocade clothes over tables covered with changeable white papers and a very pleasant ambience. We had shrimp on a skewer and the house salad. From here, we retired for the evening. Despite my ghost hunting enthusiasm, I sincerely hoped an apparition wouldn’t visit me in the night. Guest have written their paranormal experiences at the hotel into a journal in the lobby. You’ll get chills up your spine reading the entries. As for those orbs that appeared in my photos, decide for yourself if they have ghostly origins or not.

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What ghost town is your favorite to visit?

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9 Responses to “Jerome Ghost Town”

  1. I’ve never visited a ghost town, but I do enjoy taking ghost walks in some of the historic areas we visit on vacations. We’ve done the ghost walk in both Newport, RI and Colonial Williamsburg.

  2. Betsy said

    I grew up in So.California. Every year my mother would take the family to Jerome. I loved it. I still have photos of me on horseback and in front of the hotel, which was closed at the time. I’d love to stay there. I understand there are wonderful ghosts on the premises.

  3. I’m enjoying your trip reports. I agree that Jerome is a great little town to visit. Just read your Sedona post, but couldn’t comment there. It showed a 401 error several times. It’s interesting to hear how you plan to weave your experiences into your stories.

    • Sorry, I deleted the Sedona post. It wasn’t supposed to go up today. I published it by mistake and then rescheduled that one for Tuesday. Yes, I plan to weave many of these experiences into my stories. Marla will hear about some ghosts at the dude ranch where she’s staying.

  4. I enjoyed your photographs of Jerome. Next time I’d like to stay longer. We ate lunch in Sedona and short changed Jerome on our trip to Prescott.

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