Jerome, Arizona has had a turbulent past, enjoying its heyday in the mining boom of the 1920s, when gamblers, drinkers and prostitutes inhabited the town; today, it is a more ‘respectable’ community of artists and gallery owners. Jerome is also frequented by the many tourists who visit year round in the hope of seeing a ghost at one of Jerome’s many haunted hotels. Popularity of this small town in Arizona heightens at Halloween, when haunted hotels are booked for up to a year in advance.
The Early History of Jerome Grand Hotel
Jerome Grand Hotel is said to be the most haunted hotel in Jerome; Jerome Grand Hotel was originally built in Spanish Mission style in 1926, and opened in 1927 as the United Verde Hospital. At the time, the United Verde Hospital was considered to be one the best hospitals in the West but closed in 1950, with the demise of the mines.
The building stood empty until 1994 when it was acquired by the Altherr family from the Phelps Dodge Mining Corp for conversion into a hotel; as the building had originally been built to withstand explosive blasts from the mine and was built high on the hill side, the Jerome Grand Hotel today is a well preserved historic treasure. However, the Jerome Grand Hotel is also home to some more ghostly guests.
Ghost Sightings and Hauntings at Jerome Grand Hotel, Arizona
There are many ghostly sightings and haunted happenings reported at Jerome Grand Hotel, including routine furniture moving, doors opening and closing and shadowy apparitions appearing to guests and hotel employees. Perhaps some of the more interesting hauntings are:
- The Bearded Apparition – believed to be a miner, the bearded apparition is said to be a friendly ghost who roams many rooms of the hotel
- The child – the ghost of a six year old boy is reported to appear on the third floor
- Claude M Harvey – the 1936 hospital fireman engineer was crushed to death by the elevator. Some believe the death of Claude M Harvey was not an accident but murder and sightings and strange happenings around the elevator today are attributed to Claude M Harvey’s restless ghost.
The Early History of the Connor Hotel in Jerome
The Connor Hotel in Jerome was built in 1898 by David Connor and has had a turbulent past; the Connor Hotel has been burned to the ground, not once but twice, and has been both one of the most luxurious hotels in the West and one of cheaper hotels in the West.
However, even in the early days, when the Connor Hotel was considered to be one of the more classy places in the town, there was a false store front in the west of the building allowing access to Husband’s Alley, the domain of the prostitutes.
Ghost Sightings and Hauntings at the Connor Hotel in Jerome
Guests and visitors to the Connor Hotel are often ‘helped’ by the ghostly residents, even if the assistance is not always welcomed! Some of the reported sightings of ghosts and hauntings at the Connor Hotel include:
- the Lady in Red – this ghostly lady appears to people alone at the bar or in other parts of the hotel; it is thought the Lady in Red inhabits Room 1 of the Jerome Hotel and she has appeared in the dreams of an artist (whose picture of her hangs in the the Spirit Room bar) and possibly attempted to get into bed with a lone male guest (her advances weren’t welcomed!)
- Electrical malfunctions in Room 5 – electronic gadgets belonging to guests, the TV and the lights in Room 5 are reported to malfunction and switch off and on by themselves
- artisan shops on the first floor – the first floor of the Connor Hotel is rented out to artisans who sell their work; it is reported that ‘assistance’ is given to unsuspecting customers by friendly ghosts.
Hotels Haunted by Ghosts in Jerome
There are many other hotels in Jerome which are reputed to be haunted including Ghost City Inn and the Mile High Inn; however, Jerome Grand Hotel is thought to be the most haunted hotel and the Connor Hotel has had a turbulent past, perhaps resulting in some more interesting ghost sightings. A side trip to Jerome from either Route 66 or the Grand Canyon is worth the trip for a ghostly experience.