The Top Ten Most Haunted Places in Arizona

Posted by blogger in Phoenix Ghosts

Arizona. The Copper State. The Valentine State. The Grand Canyon State. The… haunted state? Yes, the deserts of Arizona carry a spooky secret. They’re filled to the brim with ghosts and spirits. The days of the Wild West are long gone, but the spirits of the outlaws, gunslingers, and coal miners live on. Much blood was spilled during the days of the Old West, and before that, the state was home to the Apache tribes and Native cultures of the Southwest. Even today, the Navajo Nation is one of the largest Indigenous nations in the country. With such a long and diverse history, it’s hard to imagine that Arizona wouldn’t be chock full of ghosts. From haunted hotels to abandoned gold mines to old dusty saloons, Arizona can give New Orleans or Savannah a run for its money. So what kinds of haunts does the Southwest have in store? Keep reading to find out!

10. Jerome Grand Hotel

Jerome Grand Hotel at night illuminated by dim yellow lighting
The Jerome Grand Hotel is home to at least 9 ghosts.
Source: Flickr/Jason Schultz

Jerome is a sleepy mining town high up in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Overlooking the small town is the ominous Jerome Grand Hotel. Once a state-of-the-art hospital, the Jerome Grand is haunted by the spirits of nurses and doctors who, for some reason, still insist on doing their jobs. The patients are still there too, as the wheezing and labored breathing of tuberculosis patients can sometimes be heard echoing through the halls. The ghost of Claude Harvey also haunts the hotel. Claude was a maintenance man who was found crushed by an elevator under mysterious circumstances. He is usually seen keeping an eye on the boiler room at night.

9. Copper Queen Hotel

Bisbee is a spooky town a stone’s throw from the border with Mexico. Like most small towns in Arizona, it was mainly a mining town. The Copper Queen Hotel was built to accommodate the miners and investors who passed through Bisbee. Over the years, the lively parties and colorful characters became part of the Copper Queen’s spiritual imprint. The ghost of a sex worker named Julia Lowell is said to seduce men who stay on the second and third floors. Described as an attractive woman in her thirties, Julia committed suicide in her hotel room after falling in love with one of her clients. The ghost of a boy named Billy also haunts the hotel. After drowning in the nearby San Pedro River, Billy now spends his time playing tricks on unsuspecting ghosts.

8. Oliver House

Also in Bisbee, the Oliver House is a long-standing bed and breakfast for those looking for a cheap place to crash. Back in its early days, the building was a boarding house for miners and travelers looking for work. They say that over 26 people have either died or were killed in the Oliver House, twelve of them killed in a mass murder when a policeman went on a killing spree after finding his wife in bed with another man. The ghost of Nat Anderson, who was also killed by a jealous husband in a separate incident, is said to haunt Room 13. His apparition has scared off quite a few guests.

7. Hotel Monte Vista

Black and white photo of the facade of the Hotel Monte Vista
The Hotel Monte Vista has always been the most happening place in Flagstaff.
Source: Flickr/Logan Brumm

For over 90 years, the Hotel Monte Vista has been the center of nightlife in Flagstaff, from the days of the Prohibition speakeasies to that one time where a bank robber died at the bar after getting shot in a botched robbery. Bar fights, poker games, and shootouts were the norm at the Monte Vista. Hollywood actors stayed at the Monte Vista when Western movies became all the rage, and it was actually John Wayne who discovered that the hotel was haunted after a ghost appeared in his room. The Monte Vista is home to a phantom bellboy who knocks on doors in the dead of night. There are also two sex workers who were murdered on the third floor, and they like to haunt male guests, forcing them to relive the night of their murder.

6. London Bridge at Lake Havasu City

In 1967, entrepreneur Robert McCulloch decided to build a city in the middle of nowhere. It was to be called Lake Havasu City. But Robert needed something to tie the city together, a landmark of sorts. One thing led to another, and he somehow acquired the old London Bridge. Yes, the real London Bridge… from London. Today’s residents of Lake Havasu City are proud of their landmark, albeit a bit scared to cross to the other side of town. The London Bridge came loaded with its own set of very British ghosts. It’s common to see Victorian Era phantoms appear out of thin air, and many residents report being chased by dark spirits after crossing the bridge, especially at night.

5. University of Arizona

Bronze statue of a wildcat at the University of Arizona
The UA is one of the most haunted colleges in the country.
Source Wikimedia/Jscarreiro

One of the top research schools in the country, the UA is known for its astronomy and physics program, as well as the Wildcats. GO WILDCATS! Being that the school’s a beacon of science, one would expect skepticism to be the norm. But the university is so haunted that even the brightest students can’t explain some of the supernatural phenomena around campus. Murders, deadly duels, suicides, the U of AZ has seen it all. At least eight different buildings and structures on campus are said to have ghosts. The legacy started when the lead construction worker for the university was stabbed in the throat back in the 1880s. His ghost still haunts the halls of Old Main, the university’s oldest building.

4. Vulture Gold Mine

The Vulture Gold Mine was the most prosperous mine in Arizona during the days of the Gold Rush, producing over 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver. That’s a lot of precious metal. Of course, with that much loot, the mine was ripe with thieves. Pocketing some gold or silver was common at the Vulture Mines, but when they were caught, it was straight to the gallows! The infamous Hanging Tree was where high-graders were hung, and their bodies were often left to dry out and rot in the sun. The ghosts of the hung thieves are known to taunt tourists who step too close to their graves. The ghost of Jimmy Davis has haunted the mineshafts of Vulture ever since a freak accident led to his gruesome death. Jimmy’s been heard wailing and crying for help from the mines at night.

3. Yuma Territorial Prison

Wooden tower atop a stone foundation at Yuma Territorial Prison
The guard tower is home to a ghost guard who still keeps watch over his subjects.
Source: Wikimedia/Pretzelpaws

Back in the late 1800s, doing hard time in Arizona meant going to Yuma Territorial Prison. The outdoor prison brought the best of the Arizona Territory all in one place. The heat, the gunslingers, the spiders, the scorpions; it was all there. Even the toughest criminals feared having to do time at Yuma Territorial. If they misbehaved, they were sent to the Dark Room, a pitch-black room where they were chained to the walls for days. Sadistic guards would throw some snakes in the room to add to the fun. Today, Yuma Territorial Prison is a museum, but some of the prisoners never left. Visitors might hear the sound of rattling chains and echoes from the guitars of the old prison band. The bravest souls step into the Dark Room for some good ‘ole solitary confinement, but of course, no one’s ever really alone in the Dark Room.

2. The Domes at Casa Grande

The Domes are often mistaken for a UFO landing site, and the paranormal happenings are as strange as one would expect from huge concrete domes in the middle of the desert. The Domes are known to Casa Grande locals as a roadside curiosity, shrouded in mystery and all sorts of urban folklore. The graffiti-covered structures regularly hosted Satanic rituals. It’s said the rounded shape of the Domes helps to channel dark energy that can summons demons, inspiring dozens of robed occultists to flock to the Domes for their chance to worship the Dark Lord. Animals were sometimes sacrificed in these rituals, and dog and human remains have been found nearby. Some say the Domes are surrounded by a dark entity, and a few have been followed home by an unseen presence. Others report malfunctioning electronics and knocking noises on their vehicles when driving by. Perhaps the occultists were successful in summoning their demonic demigods.

1.The Birdcage Theatre

Closeup of the Birdcage Theatre showing the top of the building with the blue sky in the background
The ghosts of the Birdcage Theatre are just as rowdy in death as they were in life.
Source: Sarah Nichols

Tombstone was one of the rowdiest towns the Arizona Territory has ever seen. In the center of the chaos was a saloon called the Birdcage Theatre. Barfights, shootouts, and murders were common at the Birdcage; the place was a microcosm of the Wild West. The saloon offered drinks, prostitutes, live shows, and gambling. It was where the miners went to entertain themselves. The longest-running poker game was played at the Birdcage, running non-stop for over eight years. The Birdcage is haunted by the ghost of a prostitute who was brutally murdered by a rival when her heart was carved out of her chest with a stiletto. The ghosts of the Birdcage are as rowdy as they were when they were alive. Ghosthunters and mediums have been attacked, and one psychic was even strangled when attempting to communicate. Not surprising, considering the old saloon still has over 120 bullets still lodged in its walls.

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