Arizona Ghost Towns
Arizona’s perfect fall weather makes it a perfect time to visit our historic ghost towns.
Arizona has over 275 ghost towns, including Tombstone, Jerome and Goldfield.
For a full list of Arizona ghost towns go to www.ghosttowns.com.
Tombstone “The Town too Tough to Die”
Located in Southern Arizona, Tombstone is one of the most renowned old mining camps of Arizona. Ed Schieffelin came to Camp Huachuca with a party of soldiers and left the fort to prospect, his comrades told him that he’d find his tombstone rather than silver. In 1877 Schieffelin named his first claim the Tombstone, and rumors of rich strikes made a boomtown of the settlement. Truly a Historical American Landmark, Tombstone is America’s best example of our 1880 western heritage.
The streets of Tombstone are said to be full of many lingering spirits, including Marshal Fred White, who was accidentally shot by Cowboy faction leader, Curly Bill Brocius on October 28, 1880. Another spirt of a cowboy moving along in a long black frock coat, has also been seen on a number of occasions. Crossing the road, the apparition is often seen near the site where Virgil Earp was ambushed and shot in the arm, crippling him for life. The spirit never makes it across the street, leading many to believe that this may the ghost of Virgil Earp. A woman in a long white dress has also been seen on on the streets of Tombstone. One legend tells that she is a mother whose child died from the yellow fever in the 1880’s, and devastated, she took her own life later. Another version of the tale claims that she was a brothel madam who was hanged and continues to stalk to streets in search of her executioners
More than 40 men lost their lives in the crowded saloons and brothels that burned to the ground. Their ghosts are said to appear complete with drastic burns. Others have reported the smell of smoke and burning materials when there is no explainable reason.
OK Corral: Days of lawlessness and violence
The OK Corral, was the site of the best-known gunfight of the Old West. The battle was fought near the rear entrance of the O.K. Corral, on October 26, 1881. The gunfight made a legend of Wyatt Earp and brought Tombstone, Arizona fame.
The 30 second shoot out, which left Frank and Tom McLaury, as well as Billy Clanton dead. Also involved in the gunfight for the Cowboys were Ike Clanton, Billy Claiborne and Wes Fuller. In the Earp party were brothers, Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan, as well as Doc Holliday.
The O.K. Corral is allegedly haunted by the ghosts of the Cowboys. People claim to have seen the fading apparitions of men dressed in cowboy attire.
Originally called the Tombstone Cemetery, it was later named the Boot Hill Graveyard, because many of its occupants died with their boots on. Used primarily from 1878-1884, there are more than 250 graves. The names were never known of some that were laid to rest here or they were only known by a nickname. Men such as those killed at the O.K. Corral Gunfight, Marshal Fred White, George Johnson who was hanged by mistake, the five men hanged for the vicious killings labeled the “Bisbee Massacre,” gunfighter Charlie Storms, and dozens more, ranging from prospectors, to outlaws, lawmen, and prostitutes. Spirits have been seen on numerous occasions, and even appear in photographs. Billy Clanton, killed in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral is said to rise from his grave before walking along the road back to Tombstone.
Helldorado Oct 15-17
In July 1881, a disgruntled miner writes the Tombstone Nugget newspaper stating that instead of finding their “Eldorado” of riches, many men ended up washing dishes or other menial jobs, finding instead, their “Helldorado”.
Helldorado, started in 1929 and is Tombstone’s oldest festival celebrating the days of the 1880’s.
Helldorado is held every third weekend in October and consists of gunfight re-enactment shows, street entertainment, fashion shows, a family oriented carnival, and the Annual Helldorado Parade on Sunday at 11am. Helldorrado attracts many steel horse riders, so don’t be surprised if you see some really nice Harley Davidson’s in town.
Jerome: “Wickedest town in the West”
Due to the number of saloons and brothels, Jerome was once known as the wickedest town in the west.
Founded in 1876, Jerome was once a prospering mining community in the 1920s; until the mines and the mining economy began declining during the Great Depression. Jerome was home to miners, prostitutes, gamblers and drinkers, some of which are said to walk the streets in a ghostly form. Jerome is a State Historic Park with a museum, and many of the original buildings, including the jail, and the mine. Jerome has many haunting tales, including the brutal strangulation of Sammie Dean, the tragic mining accident of “Headless Charlie” as well as many other tales of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem!
The Jerome Grande Hotel
The Jerome Grande Hotel use to be a Hospital, and many believe that patients of the past, haunt the hotel today. Guests claim to have seen ghost, unexplained moving objects and heard “ghostly” noises during the night. Visit the Jerome Grande Hotel website, to book a room. http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/
House of Joy: Former Brothel is now Brothel Boutique
The former brothel, House of Joy is located in the center of Hull Avenue, former “legal” red-light-district in the 1920’s. It has now the Brothel Boutique. I was recently in Jerome, and visited the Brothel Boutique. Great hand crafted jewelry and vintage items.
Crib District: Ladies of the night are said to haunt this historic alley.
The life of a prostitute was dangerous and a number of women lost their lives to the men they “entertained”. Women who didn’t work in one of the brothels, “worked” from small shacks that lined the alley, referred to “cribs”, the Crib District was also called ” Husband Alley”. The Cribs District is found below Main Street, as you enter Diaz Street. When visitors wander through this historic alley, they report paranormal phenomena including the feeling of being watched, the sounds of phantom footsteps, a persistent odor of perfume, and strange shadows that move around at night.
Ladies of the night that worked the Crib District, often fell prey to drunken men who would beat them and sometimes even slash their faces as was the case with a girl known as Fannie. During the 1930’s a high class prostitute, Sammy Dean was strangled to death, and it is believed that her spirit haunts the town today.
Prepare for a “chilling” 2 ¼ hr. haunting experience on our evening tours to
eerie sites in Jerome Hear the historic tales of murder and mayhem that took
place in “The Wickedest Town in the West”. While this is primarily a tour in a
van, we do suggest you wear comfortable walking shoes and dress warmly.
EVENING TOURS DAILY AT 6:30 PM
SPECIAL MIDNIGHT MADNESS TOURS
TOUR BEGINS AT 9:00 PM AND ENDS AT MIDNIGHT IN THE MOST HAUNTED
PLACE IN JEROME.
Call Today to Book Your Tour! 928-639-4361
In 1892, gold was found in the Goldfield area, and the town quickly sprang up. The settlement was
situated atop a small hill between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains. Five years after it began, the gold miners moved on and the town found itself quickly dying. The legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine, which had been circulating for years, was enough to keep some of the towns optimistic miners from moving. George Young, who was the secretary of Arizona and the acting governor, brought in new mining methods and equipment to recover the ore and the town was resurrected. Others tried to reopen the existing mines, but all attempts were unsuccessful until a man named George Young, who was the secretary of Arizona and the acting governor, arrived on the scene in the first decade of the 20th century. Young brought in new mining methods and equipment to recover the ore and the town began slowly come alive once more. A mill and a cyanide plant were also built, and the “new” town was called Youngsberg. Unfortunately, the gold was quickly gone and the town’s rebirth only lasted 5 years. One section of this mining town was quickly closed down in 1894 after miners complained of abnormal and haunting events, the Mystery Shack.
480) 983-0333 | Tickets $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children 6-12
This miner’s house still generates a vortex that defies gravity. People walk at 45 degree angles, water runs from faucets without being connected to pipes, the ghostly pool-table refuses to let you hit the balls straight and always seem to go into the same pocket, objects hang from the ceiling at 45 degree angles and no matter how hard you push them back, they will always swing back to their ghostly, slanted position. Sitting in one of the chairs located in the Mystery Shack is easy but trying to get up from it is almost impossible. There is also a ten-pound iron ball that rolls uphill along the walls, and upon exiting the Mystery Shack you will have to pass over the 1,500 ft mineshaft that creates the gravity defying anomalies.
Goldfield’s Historic Museum
(480) 677-6463 | Admission $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children
The Museum includes the exhibit on the Lost Dutchman gold mine, perhaps the most famous mine in the country despite the fact that no one knows where it is.
Goldfield Mine Tour
(480) 983-0333 | Admission $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 children 6-12
An underground guided tour that takes you back in time to 100 years ago. Learn the history of the mine, town, gold mining equipment and procedures. Hang on tight as the mineshaft shakes from exploding dynamite!
(480) 983-0333 | FREE shows every hour | Sat. & Sun. | High Noon -4:00 pm
Gold Panning at Prospector’s Place
Call (480) 982-0276 for Gold Panning Group Rates
Goldfield Livery Stables
Horseback riding for all riders, from novice to experienced. Singles to large groups and many families.
Call for reservations | 480-982-0133