Want some expert info on haunted places in Arizona? Then you’ll like this guest post from Nicole, who runs the Haunted Arizona website. Here’s what she has to say!
Since I was a young child, I’ve been interested in ghost stories. Enough that, as an adult, I started my own website about them (specifically, about reportedly haunted places in Arizona, my home state). When I was invited to write a guest post on WanderingJustin.com about my favorite haunted places in Arizona, I enthusiastically said yes! I will admit I was only asked to write about my top five, but it was hard to narrow it down, so the only logical thing to do, in my mind, was to throw in one extra.
#6. London Bridge, Lake Havasu City
There’s something fascinating about a bridge that was built in London now being in Arizona. Even if there were no supposed hauntings surrounding it, the fact that an entire bridge was removed from its original home in London, transported to Arizona, and put back up in Lake Havasu City, would still be an interesting tale. Add some ghosts into the mix — and not just any ghosts, but British ones — and it becomes something else altogether. The bridge is made of granite, which is said to be one of the best materials for storing residual energy, explaining why most of the paranormal activity at the bridge appears to be residual rather than what we consider spiritual or conscious entities. It is said that some of this energy, and therefore some of the apparitions, were transported from London along with the stones of the bridge. Reports of a British policeman and other ghosts are common, and ghost tour guides claim that patrons of their tour (which takes place daily) are frequently touched and witness ghostly activity on a regular basis.
#5. Hassayampa Inn, Prescott
This is one haunted places in Arizona I’ve been hearing about for years, dating back to my days of recording TV shows like “Scariest Places on Earth” on VHS. The Hassayampa’s most famous story is about a young bride named Faith, who, on her wedding night, committed suicide by hanging herself from the bell tower above the honeymoon suite, after her groom left to buy cigarettes and never returned. Faith frequently haunts the hotel to this day, generally being kind to female guests who stay in her old suite, while male guests tend to have nightmares in the same room. There are many other ghosts reported in the hotel as well, including a young boy, and the “Night Watchman,” a spirit in old west attire who seems to be checking the doors and windows to see that they are locked.
#4. Jerome Grand Hotel, Jerome
As someone who works in a hospital, they are often some of my favorite locations to hear of hauntings. The Jerome Grand Hotel was originally built as a hospital, giving it an entirely more interesting history than the majority of hotels out there. It is certainly not hard to understand why a hospital, or former hospital, would be haunted, considering the unfortunate amount of pain, confusion, sadness or frustration associated with many patients before their deaths. There are said to be at least eight different ghosts lurking in the hotel today, most prominently the ghost of an engineer who was employed by the hospital and who died in the boiler room by having his head pinned underneath the elevator car. Other ghosts from the hospital era include a nurse, and a young mother who died giving birth to a stillborn baby. It is said that the mother will not rest because she is still upset by her child being buried in an unmarked grave. The ghost of a miner has also been seen for decades, even by nurses and patients before the conversion from hospital to hotel. Hotel rooms that used to be inpatient rooms frequently have reports of labored breathing and coughing sounds, whether the rooms have guests staying in them or not.
#3. Yuma Territorial Prison, Yuma
Like hospitals, prisons are another favorite category of mine when it comes to haunted places in Arizona. The Yuma Territorial Prison was used until 1908, when all of the inmates were moved to the current state prison in Florence. It remained empty and the building was abused for many years, and it is now in use as an historic state park (definitely convenient for us ghost hunters!) When the living inmates were moved to Florence, they left behind the graves of up to 119 prisoners who died during their detainment, eight of which were shot by guards while attempting to escape. The prison graveyard no longer has any headstones, but one recovered stone is now on display in the visitors’ museum (which has a lot of reports of activity, so if you get a chance to visit, make sure to stop in at the museum). The most haunted area to seems to be the Dark Cell, which was used for solitary confinement. A reporter from Arizona Highways magazine willingly let herself be chained up in this cell with as much historical accuracy as possible, but even she didn’t stay long before claiming there was a presence in the cell with her.
#2. The Birdcage Theatre, Tombstone
It’s almost difficult for me to give this one the rank of number two. It could almost be considered a tie for number one, and I’m sure some people would argue that the Birdcage is in fact the rightful owner of the first place title. Quite possibly the single most-haunted place in Arizona, this is the location you are almost guaranteed to see if you are, like myself, the type to watch a marathon of paranormal shows on TV near Halloween. Legend says that as many as 26 different ghosts call this Old West theatre their permanent home. This is the same number of murders that were reportedly committed during the eight years the theatre was in business, and it is said that there are over 120 bullet holes that still remain throughout the building. The amount of activity reported at the Birdcage is so much that I wouldn’t even know where to begin if I were to attempt writing it all. All I will say is that this theatre was considered one of the roughest places in the Wild West for the eight years it was open, and those who gave it that reputation seem to have remained as wild in death as they were in life. This is definitely one place that deserves your time if you feel the desire to research these haunted locations more thoroughly.
#1. The Domes, Casa Grande
I’m not sure what exactly it is about the Domes. I’ve researched the story of how and why these structures were built and abandoned, and it isn’t anything particularly spooky. Still, simply looking a photo of the place, even just an aerial shot from Google Earth, gives me a very strange feeling. Something about these odd, dome-shaped buildings in the middle of nowhere is extremely intriguing to me, enough that they even beat out the famed Birdcage for my absolute favorite haunted place. Don’t get me wrong, the stories surrounding the domes can get pretty sinister — skinned animal carcasses, concrete slabs covered with the dried blood of Satanic sacrifices, a menacing shadow person, things being thrown at visitors’ heads — but in all honesty, I’m not sure how many of the stories can be believed. Regardless of how much of this is true, there is just something sincerely creepy about the place, from the shape of the buildings, to the fact that they were abandoned halfway through construction, to the tunnels underneath them. Throw in the shadows, the whispers, the tapping on visitors’ cars, and the legends about the evil deeds that have taken place there, and this is a place worthy of #1 on my list of haunted places in Arizona.
All of these locations can be read about in more detail (including visitor information such as prices, hours, addresses, etc) on my website, Haunted Places of Arizona: www.hauntedarizona.freeiz.com. You can also like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hauntedarizona.