Ghost stories and ghost towns have always been a part of the legend and lore of Arizona. As Halloween once again approaches, no Arizona haunt could be more “unique” and ghostly than the Asylum Restaurant located in the Jerome Grand Hotel.
To celebrate this hallowed evening at the Asylum Restaurant will be a night to remember. The fun begins again at 9:00 p.m. and it is guaranteed to be a celebration you won’t soon forget. This yearly gathering at the Jerome Grand Hotel is a huge social event in the Verde Valley, so be sure to call the Asylum Restaurant for the ghostly details!
Jerome, Arizona was one of the many boom-mining towns of Arizona. Built on the slopes of Cleopatra Hill, the first miners’ tents began to appear in 1876. When the United Verde Copper Mine began operations in 1883, Jerome’s population exploded to over 15,000 Wild West characters.
Americans, Irish, Mexican, Croatian, Spanish, Chinese and Italian miners all soon made up this special population so common in Arizona’s mining camps. As the vein of copper ore ran deeper and deeper into the earth, the town and its people prospered.
By the late 1920s a hospital was needed to serve this mining town and all the Verde Valley. A Spanish-mission style building was designed and soon a five-story, 30,000 square foot, poured, reinforced concrete building was constructed on a 50-degree slope of Cleopatra Hill. The building was designed to withstand dynamite blasts of 260,000 pounds that on occasions were set off by the copper mines.
The United Verde Hospital is the highest building ever built in the Verde Valley, at an elevation of 5240 feet. It served the medical needs of all the Verde Valley until 1950 when it closed as mining operations ceased.
With the closing of the mines, Jerome, an Arizona boomtown of over 15,000 citizens from every corner of the world, became home to only 50 hardy souls. When the copper ore ran out, the classic Western Ghost Town was born.
The United Verde Hospital building would now sit idle and empty for the next 44 years. Finally, in 1994 the Altherr Family bought the building from the Phelps Dodge Corporation with the intent to renovate it and to convert it into a unique Arizona hotel.
In 1996 the Jerome Grand Hotel opened for business. Being an old hospital it had a history of many unusual medical happenings and surely was the site for both many beginnings and endings of life. The ol’ building is said to be haunted and weekly Ghost Tours are a part of the hotel’s unique offerings.
For hotel guest only, each Tuesday night is Ghost Tour nights. For a tour-fee of $20.00/person, modern day Ghost-Busters are provided emf meters, infra-red thermometers, and digital cameras to search for any out-of-this-world guests who might be hanging out in the old hospital now hotel building. This tour may not be for the faint of heart, so be pre-warned. The Tuesday night, 2-hour tour ends in the town’s old silent movie theatre that is now part of a historic museum.
If you can’t make it to this year’s Halloween party at the Asylum Restaurant, just know that the Jerome Grand Hotel is still a great place to experience a night in the Verde Valley. The views of the Verde Valley from the hotel windows are truly spectacular.
So next time you’re looking to Get Out, think about spending a night at the Jerome Grand Hotel in one of the most famous Ghost Towns of Arizona. If that night just happens to be on a Tuesday evening, prepare for a fun-filled ghost-busting adventure. If it happens to be on the night of All Hallows’ Eve, remember, you were warned - Boo!
|The Grand Hotel sits high on the hillsides of Jerome.|
|View from the Grand Hotel|