Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Discover Wild West ghosts in Arizona

Arizona is a land full of exciting history and unexplained phenomena. With old mining ghost towns, historic hotels and Wild West towns with a history of violence, you'll find some interesting destinations in Arizona, especially if you are a fan of the supernatural.

The stained glass at the Gadsden Hotel is worth a visit.
Can you picture Poncho Villa on a horse on the stairs?
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Haunted Hotels
Arizona's Wild West history makes the state an ideal place for ghostly activity.
Way down south on the Arizona-Mexico border you'll find The Gadsden Hotel in Douglas. The Gadsden is home to a headless ghost who has been seen in the hallways and in the basement. Legend has it that this is the ghost of Pancho Villa. 

Legend has it that that Pancho Villa rode his horse up the stairs and chipped the 7th stair from the bottom. And the chip is still there for visitors to see.

Employees, staff members and guests alike have seen a rather startling apparition wearing old-fashioned, khaki army clothing and with a cloth cap perched on its headless shoulders. More about Hauntings at the Gadsden Hotel.

Walk through the Monte Vista lobby and
cocktail lounge. You never know what you will
encounter!
Up in the Arizona high country you'll find an old railroad hotel. The Monte Vista Hotel opened on New Year’s Day of 1927 and during the 1940’s and 1950’s was a popular spot for Hollywood guests.  More than 100 westerns were filmed nearby. One of the ghosts you'll hear about at The Monte Vista is the phantom bellboy who knocks on doors and then vanishes. Sometimes the bellboy is joined by the ghost of a woman. This female ghost has been seen outside of the Zane Grey suite. Another ghost, a former bank robber, is said to haunt the saloon. More about the Ghosts of the Monte Vista.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
A visit to Yuma in southwest Arizona is not complete without a visit to the scary looking historic prison. The first seven inmates entered the Territorial prison at Yuma, Arizona on July 1, 1876. These seven inmates were locked into cells that they had constructed with their own hands.  During the time the prison was open, 111 of the prisoners died, mostly from tuberculosis.

Watch re-enactments at the old prison in Yuma
Source: Gathering of the Gunfighters
You'll find many of them buried in the prison graveyard, which is within walking distance of the prison. Legend has it that ghosts still inhabit the cells.

Remains of the prison include cells, an entrance gate and a guard tower. A museum at the park houses artifacts and interpretive displays of prison life a century ago. Park hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Entrance fee is $6 for visitors 14 or older and $3.00 for those 7 – 13 years of age. Those six or younger get in free. Read More About Yuma's Territorial Prison.

A great time to go is during the Gathering of the Gunfighters at the prison. Gunfighter re-enactment groups in traditional dress will bring the Wild West alive.

Ghostly Towns
Bisbee
Bisbee is thought to be one of the most haunted towns in southern Arizona. Founded in the late 1800's as a mining town, Bisbee has been the scene of mining accidents, saloon brawls, and tragedy in general. Bisbee, with its old brick buildings and hillside stairways is a fascinating place at Halloween. Visiting Bisbee.

Jerome
Jerome is another hillside mining town. And, like Bisbee, has many intact old buildings with ghostly inhabitants. More on the Ghosts of Jerome.

Vulture Mine
The old Vulture Mine, and Vulture City, just outside of Wickenburg, Arizona is said to be one of the most haunted places in Arizona.  Paranormals have been invited to visit the ramshackle buildings on the site and have held ghost tours.  The conclusion. It's definitely haunted! You can visit Vulture City on Saturday mornings and see what’s left of the town and the mine.

Ghost Tours
Bisbee:
Bisbee is an amazing old mining town in southern Arizona. Visitors can take a walking tour of the 125-year-old town. The 90-minute guided Old Bisbee Ghost Tour tells the stories of local haunts, including Nat, the miner, who owed money and paid with his life; and the lady in white, who saved three children’s lives.
Bisbee is an old mining town with hillside hotels
and plenty of stairs.

The Old Bisbee Ghost Tour takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday  evenings and begins at 7:00 pm MST. Tickets (save $2 by reserving online) cost:  Adults - $15.00, children Under 12 - $13.00, free private tours are available upon request. Here's more about the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour.

Jerome: Tours of Jerome, located near Sedona, offers daily ghost tours. Whether you believe in ghosts and haunted spirits or not, you will be fascinated and entertained by this trip into Jerome’s back streets while hearing local legends and visiting sites known to be haunted by spirits from the past.

More Information