Jerome Ghost Town

Formerly a mining camp, Jerome, Arizona once boasted 15,000 inhabitants and now has a population of around 480. A popular ghost town for visitors, it’s a fun place to visit. Founded in 1876, the town rests in a picturesque setting with buildings scattered across multiple levels on the mountainside. The mines used to produce three million pounds of copper per month. Eighty-eight miles of tunnels still exist beneath the town. The mines closed in 1953. Now considered a National Historic Landmark, Jerome’s historical buildings are converted into shops, art galleries, museums, and eateries. Put on your walking shoes if you plan a visit. The steps are steep between levels.

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The five-story Spanish Mission-style Jerome Grand Hotel, formerly a hospital for the copper miners, was built in 1926 as the United Verde Hospital. Made of solid concrete to withstand underground blasting, this structure towers over the entire town at the top of Cleopatra Hill. You have to drive along a twisty incline to get there, and in one place, it fits only one car at a time. When mining diminished, the hospital closed in 1950. It reopened, newly refurbished as a hotel, in 1996.

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The hotel was hot, despite it being October. Although there are radiators in each room, there is no central air-conditioning. Keep this in mind if you book a reservation. Our room, number 26, was one of the few that had a noisy wall A/C unit. The rooms are tastefully decorated with wood furnishings. There’s a tiny old-fashioned TV in the room and framed pictures of copper sculptures. Bathroom amenities are generous, and there’s a modern shower. Coffee and Danish are served mornings in the lobby beginning at 7 AM. The rooms don’t have any coffeemakers.

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We took a mid-day break for lunch at the Asylum Restaurant, the hotel’s appropriately named café. The restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner until nine o’clock in the evening. We appreciated their Halloween decorations and the view as we sat on a covered outdoor patio.

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Afterward, we explored the town and its interesting buildings like an old brothel, saloon, hotels, and theatre. Then we checked in for our Ghost Tour (see prior post) in the modern lobby below.

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For dinner we ate again at the Asylum, glad to relax after roaming the hotel looking for ghosts with our EMF meters. The restaurant had red brocade clothes over tables covered with changeable white papers and a very pleasant ambience. We had shrimp on a skewer and the house salad. From here, we retired for the evening. Despite my ghost hunting enthusiasm, I sincerely hoped an apparition wouldn’t visit me in the night. Guest have written their paranormal experiences at the hotel into a journal in the lobby. You’ll get chills up your spine reading the entries. As for those orbs that appeared in my photos, decide for yourself if they have ghostly origins or not.

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What ghost town is your favorite to visit?

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Fall into Reading Contest, Oct. 28 – Nov. 15

Enter to win an ebook copy of Dead Roots, my haunted hotel mystery and a $10 Starbucks gift card or one of 3 runner-up prizes! Enter here: https://nancyjcohen.com/fun-stuff/contest/

Ghost Hunt

Have you ever hunted ghosts at a haunted site? We had the chance to go on our own ghost tour at the Jerome Grand Hotel in Jerome, Arizona. This five-story concrete structure used to be a hospital for miners populating the area in the early 1920’s. Our ghost hunt ($20 per person) began in the boiler room of the hotel with an orientation talk. The original 1926 steam boiler still provides heat for the hotel. Our guide told us ghost tales and the hotel history (see post on Jerome coming next). Here’s the boiler room. Can you spot the orbs? You might have to enlarge the photos.

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One ghost was a fellow who used to hang out at the bar and who disappeared for three days. He was found by the police chief hanging in his bathroom down a short corridor from the boiler room.

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Another ghost was a man who was found with his head smashed under the elevator that had stopped working. The coroner said the back of his head should have been bashed in, but the front had contusions. Had he been hit with blunt force and his body laid out there so it would appear to be an accident?

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Ghost number three was a 24-year-old female schizophrenia patient, who’d been drugged and restrained at night. On her last night there, she got loose and jump from the balcony to her death.

And finally, the fourth ghost could be the man who shot himself in his room.

Then we were given our instruments which included a Digital Camera, an IR Thermometer, and an EMF Meter that blinked red near electric sources.

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The ground floor has the lobby and boiler room, plus a gift shop. The lobby used to be an emergency entrance for ambulance patients. The men’s wards were opposite the women’s and children’s wards on floors two and up. Room 26 (our room) used to be the x-ray department. This was spooky in itself, since my husband is a retired radiologist. Room 27 was the nurse’s station.

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Floors one through four contain the hotel rooms and former patient wards, the former operating room, cafeteria, x-ray department, and solarium. The old-fashioned Otis elevator is enough to spark your imagination. You have to close a grate and then the outer door. A key is needed to reach the higher levels. Below is the incinerator where body parts were disposed along with other bio-hazardous materials after surgery.

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The third floor was the psychiatric ward. The fourth floor had been an enclosed rooftop and was converted to rooms for wealthier private patients. (If I get any of this wrong, it’s due to my note taking and not to the lecture). The cafeteria was off one end of a floor. The operating room was at another end at a different level. There was also a solarium.

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All are being converted into guest rooms. We walked through these sites on the ghost hunt tour, including the new areas under construction.

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As we went around, we didn’t find any cold spots. I took a lot of my own pictures, hoping something would show up later when I put them online. We were promised a disk of everyone’s photos from the hotel cameras, but so far, this item has not arrived. However, a lot of orbs showed up on my photos as you’ll see. If you want more information on this phenomenon, check out these resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb_optics

http://www.ghostweb.com/orb_theory.html

http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/o/orbs/

http://strangeoccurrencesparanormal.weebly.com/orbs-explained.html

What do you think about orbs? Are they spiritual entities, or are they artifacts like dust motes and water vapor droplets?

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Fall into Reading Contest, Oct. 28 – Nov. 15

Enter to win an ebook copy of Dead Roots, my haunted hotel mystery and a $10 Starbucks gift card or one of 3 runner-up prizes! Enter here: https://nancyjcohen.com/fun-stuff/contest/

 

 

JUPITER, FL

Last weekend, I gave a talk at Jupiter library, but first, my husband and I drove around to explore the town.   Jupiter Lighthouse

We  stopped at Dubois Park but it was Memorial Day weekend and the park was mobbed with picnickers. It looked to be impossible to get a parking spot so we drove on. We went next to Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, in service since 1860 with a museum and gift shop. Tours cost $7 but you can get a good photo from the parking lot. We took another photo from across the Intracoastal where we ate lunch at The Crab House. Another trendy restaurant, Guanabanas (http://www.guanabanas.com/), is down the street but self-parking is a few doors down and the skies were heavy with threatening rain clouds. We’ll have to try that one next time. I am grateful to my Internet Fan, Suzie Burrows, for traveling to the library to meet me, and the other authors who attended: Melissa Alvarez, Traci Hall, and Marilyn Campbell. Readers filled the other seats and we had a lively discussion. Thanks, too, to Classic Bookshop from Palm Beach for bringing my books to sell. You gotta love our libraries and indie bookstores!

Jupiter Lighthouse                      

View from Lighthouse

Coming on Tuesday, June 8th:  Interview with author Sandra Sookoo

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