On my friend and my trip to Sedona Arizona we spent an evening in the Ghost Town of Jerome enjoying a Haunted Ghost Tour. While we were waiting for our tour to start we had just enough time to explore the little town and grab some dinner. We walked up one of the main streets and noticed the town hall, the mine museum, and visitor center. We decided to stop in at Grapes as it was recommended by the tour guides as one of the few restaurants open late in town on a Sunday night.
We walked inside and the place was very busy. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating and inside has a bar-like atmosphere with low lighting, stone and wood walls and interesting pictures hung on the walls. We stepped up to the bar where you could easily see the food being prepared behind it and spoke with one of the servers. She was extremely helpful and nice, especially since we were on a time crunch and there was a sign I saw that said Dine-In Only on my way in.
We needed to be sure we could order, eat, and finish our food all in time to be at our tour by 8:00pm so we asked for a little extra help. Our server offered us an option of a few quick meals. We decided to order some sandwiches, turkey and cranberry sauce, and chips. The food came very quickly and was delicious. We packed our leftovers to go and dropped them off in the car. Then we headed to our tour with a little time to spare. If you’re in Jerome and need a place to eat you should give it a try.
About 45 minutes west of Sedona is the largest Ghost Town in America, Jerome. With a population of only 450 people now and over 15,000 at it’s peak in the 1920’s, it was a copper mining community sitting above the largest copper mine in Arizona and one of the fourth largest cities in the Arizona Territory also known as the wickedest town in the west. Between 1894 and 1899 it suffered four disastrous fires destroying large sections of the town. Much of what you see there today has been rebuilt and restored since then and more buildings are planned for restoration.
While in Sedona, my friend and I realized that there really isn’t much to do at night time. I had noticed a groupon for Haunted Ghost Tours in Jerome and since we were so close we decided to drive over and check it out. We found one of the few places that do it and signed up for a tour at 8:00pm. We made a quick detour to get dinner at a local restaurant, Grapes, and then headed to Ghost Town Tours to meet up with our guide, Scott, received our EMF “Ghost Meters,”and to get started on our tour.
Our tour consisted of my friend and I and a small family with 3 children ages 6 to 15. They seemed just as excited to get started as we did. We turned our phones to airplane mode, readied our cameras, and headed out to our first stop right outside the store. I can’t remember the story, but I took my first picture and after looking at it later that night realized that it was the first picture with orbs in it. Wow, orbs in the first picture! Amazing!
We walked the short trek to the original town jail that has been sliding down the mountain and used to be located about 4 streets up. This is where we were told the first story I actually remember. A cute love story about a boy and girl from different walks of life. There are often sightings of the boy through the jail window as there was a fire and he didn’t make it out alive. We didn’t see anything or get any readings so we continued through the town.
We stopped at the old copper mining machine which was three times the size of the piece of machinery we saw. Scott told us about the town’s records and how many people died but only a few were buried at the graveyard. “Where did the rest of the bodies go?” he asked us. We can only assume that many were burned in the machine and made into the walls of the town. Surprisingly, there has never been a reading at this machinery on any of the tours and we were no different that night.
We continued on and the next stop was the theater, where the eagle fell off the building and someone on a trip was pushed down the stairs. Next to that is the Hotel Conner that had two fires neither which killed Mr. Conner and where men say that they feel uneasy staying in the room closest to the theater. We still didn’t get any readings so we continued on.
We headed to the church where Scott lives and on the way he told us about the three hospitals in town. Since medical care back then was not what we have today, when people got hurt in the mines and it was serious without any hope of healing, the person would get 10 days to live and say goodbye to their family. It was the least the town could do to honor them and their time spent working in the mines. Today, it is said that after sundown within the hospital halls screams and moans of pain can be heard. Carts are still pushed down the corridors with doors opening and closing. There is so spiritual activity it is too much for any grown man to handle and stay the night.
We arrived at the church, but didn’t get any readings outside. We went inside and Scott told us about the priest that still walks the halls and how he doesn’t like it when people visit. Still no readings so we headed out to the back where psychics have said that there is a body buried, but no readings. Sometimes they didn’t have or couldn’t afford headstones so they would plant trees instead.
We continued on and Scott seemed kind of stumped. This was the first tour that he had gotten this far and hadn’t gotten a single reading along the way. We stopped again and he talked about the saloon fire. I suggested that we go over and check it out. He agreed and we headed that way. Something had drawn me to it earlier that evening and I was hoping there was something still there. We came to the front, but no readings. One of the kids started beeping and it was just the electrical meter, but as we walked away and held our meters we started beeping. It was crazy. Soon we were beeping everywhere, high, low, left, right, even out near the street away from the building. My hunch had paid off and Scott seemed super surprised. He had never heard of anyone receiving any readings there. Maybe hearing some cries of a woman looking for her child or a baby crying, but never any readings. We had found something new. I took multiple pictures all around the area and into the saloon and found orbs in many of them. The one at the backside of the building had the most. It was insane how much activity was there.
We continued to the edge of the town where the mexicans lived further down the mountain. Jerome was very segregated and the white people didn’t even count the mexican or blacks into their town population so who really knows how many people lived there. We got a few readings at this corner as they are in the process of restoring some of the buildings.
We finished our tour through the “Cribs District” in a back alley where all the buildings were are part of Jerome’s ill-famed “prostitution row.” With both brothels and bordellos were in this area and there was lots of fighting. The police officers were often just hired help to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. We didn’t get any readings here, but did hear another story about one of the bordello’s window girls dating both the mayor’s son and chief of police’s son. I won’t give away how that ended, but you can probably guess.
The Ghost Adventure Tour was so much fun. I would recommend everyone checking it out. There’s so much history in this little town and I plan on going back for sure. I know Halloween is far away, but if you plan on checking out this town as an additional Halloween scare this year you would be best to do it soon as haunted hotel rooms are booking up and ghost tours are close to being full already.
In the morning on my first day of my Salton Sea trip I excitedly drove up the west coast and made my first stop at Bombay Beach. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going, but I reached a sign that clearly labeled Bombay Beach and drove into the little town toward the water. I came to the only entrance which allows you to drive to the shoreline and made my way up the slight incline. I parked my car stepped out and took it in. I was there, Bombay Beach, and if I hadn’t already known I would have been surprised by it being in ruins.
It is hard to imagine that this beach used to be a popular vacation spot along the Salton Sea in the 1950’s and 1960’s. With resort complete with a pool and a golf course, docks that reached out into the sea filled with sailboats and motorboats, and a beach cluttered with beach umbrellas and people sunbathing and swimming it must have been an amazing place to go. Now, the resort is completely gone, the dock has been removed with only the pilings left and it would be an extremely rare sight to see anyone sunbathing on the fish bone covered beach or swimming in the brown goo bottom covered sea. Bombay Beach is just bare, stark and uninhabited.
It is a fact that every year the Salton Sea shrinks and its salinity increases. The pilings along the shore at Bombay Beach are a clear sign of both. The water seems to just reach the edge of them on the day I visited. Maybe with some rain it will rise a bit, but I can’t imagine the skies producing as much rain as would be needed to bring the water back to its original height. I was also intrigued by the white residue that has been left on the pilings by the sea and can only believe that they have been calcified by the salty water.
I moved away from the shore and into what I can only call the ruins. You can find anything there. The area is scattered with tires, toilets, a piano, and items that the residents clearly left behind because they were too big to take with them. The most captivating ones are the trailers that look like they have been engulfed by the ground and an old rusted and crushed boat. There are also foundations of buildings and a few that are almost still standing except without any walls.
I finished my exploring and headed back to my car. As I drove through the small town on my way out I noticed that there were many small rundown beach houses and trailers. I wondered if the people lived here when the community was thriving until now, what a story they would have to tell.