Jerome ghost tours concentrate on a number of specific locations and buildings that give this little municipality at such a high altitude its nickname as “the Largest Ghost Town in America.” One outdoor location is the town’s old cemetery from its glory days of gold and copper mining. This cemetery is also a stark reminder of the reputation that Jerome had during the mining days, as the “wickedest town in the West.” Many of the graves at the Old Miners Cemetery are enclosed by metal fencing or completely covered in concrete because the ground is too hard to keep animals from digging up the bodies, and visitors to the cemetery are often said to hear footsteps or see dark ghostly shapes among the graves.
Jerome Grand Hotel Exterior
Perhaps the most famous of the Jerome ghost tours is that offered on vacation packages to guests of the venerable Grand Hotel, which began life in 1926 as a hospital. What was once considered one of the country’s most modern medical facilities was closed in 1950 and stood vacant until it reopened in 1997 as the Grand Hotel. It is said that its hauntings began again as soon as the hotel opened. Amateur ghost hunters come from around the word to hear strange noises, heavy breathing, coughs, and voices. Guests have reported televisions and lights turning themselves on or off and ghostly smells. The apparition of a nurse with a clipboard has been seen, as well as that of woman who is said to have died in childbirth at the hospital.
Jerome Hotel Connor
The Grand is only one of the haunted hotels in Jerome. The Connor Hotel was among the first Jerome lodging options. It had already burned down twice when it was rebuilt again in 1898. This time it was a rebuilt of stone and was a very upscale establishment—far too upscale for the mining town’s prostitutes. But a false storefront allowed the “gentlemen” guests of the hotel to visit them frequently. There are rooms in the hotel where apparitions are said to appear and sounds are heard. Once known as the Clinksdale Building, the current Inn at Jerome is also said to be haunted. Like the Grand Hotel, the Inn at Jerome and the Connor Hotel both offer their own ghost-hunting tours.
Grand Hotel Ghost Tour Shadows
Most Jerome ghost tours are held at night. Those that are not sponsored by hotels will go to many different locations throughout and outside town. They usually last for a period of about two hours, and they’re led by experienced guides and interpreters who are well-versed in the haunted history of the town. Some of these tours are staged as scavenger hunts, with a prize that might be secreted in the Old Cemetery or some other notorious haunted spot in town. There are some ghost tours that go much further afield to one of the many Arizona ghost towns, some of which are located near Jerome. These include the ruins of buildings and ranches that were once part of the town itself, and some of these can be seen from town. There are houses overlooking town streets, the old jail dating to the 1860s, abandoned copper and gold mines, and old miners’ dormitories.