A hauntingly good time

October!  With a briskness in the air, it’s the time of year to enjoy fall colors, carving jack-o-lanterns, sipping pumpkin spiced lattes, and embracing ghosts and goblins.  Halloween is one of my daughters favorite holidays and since this October finds her living in Phoenix, Arizona, I knew just the place to take her for a ghostly adventure.Jerome

JeromeFirst – on the home front, it didn’t take Ashton long to settle into her new home. She’s become quite proficient at moving.  This however, is the first time she’ll be living with two straight guys – her roommates (one of which is her brother).  Her entrance into the home might be compared to that of a tornado whipping through Kansas.  She obviously has no trouble taking charge of a situation.

The first thing the whirlwind did was reorganize the kitchen and clean out the fridge, followed by some house cleaning and the rearranging of furniture.  I’m not sure the guys initially knew what hit them, but they seemed to be ok with her take charge attitude and actually like some of the changes she made.  I know they certainly aren’t complaining about Ashton’s culinary skills.Jerome

So once she felt settled, I took her on her first Arizona excursion.  A little over an hours drive north of Phoenix is the quaint mountain town of Jerome.  Jerome prides itself as being America’s largest ghost town.

Jerome This former copper mining town grew from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community and is now a bustling tourist and artistic community.  On the outside, Jerome doesn’t appear to have changed much over the past 100 years.  Many of the buildings built in the late 1800’s are still standing and have been proudly renovated.  However, due to the 30 degree incline of the mountainside, some of these historic buildings have slid a bit down the hill from their original location;  the most famous being the town jail.

Ashton in front of the sliding jail

Ashton in front of the sliding jail

Checking out the famous sliding jail was first on our list followed by shopping.  My daughter and I always enjoy strolling through shops  especially when there are unique, one of a kind items like the huge kaleidoscope assortment at Nellie Bly’s.

the most unique kaleidoscopes you'll ever see can be found at Nelly Bly's in Jerome, Arizona

the most unique kaleidoscopes you’ll ever see can be found at Nellie Bly in Jerome, Arizona

JeromeIn addition to the world’s largest collection of kaleidoscopes there are other one of a kind collectibles.  Ashton and I were enthralled with the creative talents displayed in the numerous shops in Jerome.  But all that shopping had us working up an appetite.

Haunted Hamburger

Skeletons seem to be invading the Haunted Hamburger Restaurant

After climbing a bunch of stairs (remember this town is built into the side of a mountain and there’s nothing flat around here), we arrived at the Haunted Hamburger.

Dining with a view

Dining with a view

Someone is scaling the wall wanting to join us

Someone or something is scaling the wall wanting to join us

note the skeletal fingers as Mr. Skeleton attempts to join us

note the skeletal fingers as Mr. Skeleton attempts to join us

We dined outside and enjoyed drinks, a great meal, and an awesome view.  But no ghosts.  Only skeletons.  Supposedly the building is haunted and you can read the story here if you’re interested.

JeromeWith nothing spooky happening at lunch, we continued our search and trekked up the road to the Jerome Grand Hotel.  Constructed in 1926, this Spanish Mission style building was once home to a modern and well equipped hospital.

By 1950, the hospital closed due to the slow down in mining, and the building stood vacant for 44 years.  In 1994, the building was purchased, renovated, and turned into the Jerome Grand Hotel.  There seems to be a high level of alleged hauntings, from strange moans, to coughs and images, to doors slamming without explanation making this a very popular destination for amateur ghost hunters.

The Jerome Grand Hotel displays some of the most gory Halloween decorations. Daughter love it. Me? Not so much.

The Jerome Hotel displays some gory Halloween decorations. Daughter loved it. Me? Not so much.

Zombies, blood, and gruesome are the things I dislike about Halloween much preferring little kids dressed as princesses and teddy bears

Zombies, blood, and gruesome are the things I dislike about Halloween much preferring little kids dressed as princesses and teddy bears

Glass BlowingAfter I was totally grossed out by some of the decorations, it was time for me to pull daughter out of the haunted Jerome Hotel…… not that we had any paranormal encounter mind you, but the place in general gave me goose bumps, and not in  good way.  Was it the decorations or the aura?  Didn’t matter, it was time to move on.  Somehow I didn’t sense Casper, the friendly ghost, lived here.

Next stop; the glass blower.  Watching this artist create little glass blown pumpkins was much more to my liking, although daughter is still laughing about my unease at the hotel.  Aren’t these glass pumpkins adorable?Glass Blower

The town of Jerome is well-known as being haunted and has been featured in several paranormal television programs and publications, but the over all history and vibe to this town is what keeps many returning…. me included.

"Mommy, I want that"

“Mommy, I want that”

interesting items available in a shop

interesting items available in a shop

Jerome is home to some fabulous art galleries

Jerome is home to some fabulous art galleries

Be sure and stop in at Nellie Bly

Be sure and stop in at Nellie Bly

Ashton and I shared a fabulous day exploring Jerome and October seems to be the perfect month to visit for a hauntingly good time.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for the mine tour or wine tasting (much to daughters dismay) or exploring some of the side streets.  Having merely scratched the surface of this quaint town, she and I are already talking about a return visit.  Next time Ashton wants to spend the night, some place haunted preferably.  I don’t think so!!!

Numerous places for wine tasting

Lots of great dining options


Could this place be haunted?

There isn't a bad view in Jerome

There isn’t a bad view in Jerome


The Everything Ghost Hunting Book: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Exploring the Supernatural World


59 thoughts on “A hauntingly good time

  1. Jerome is probably my favorite town in AZ. We had many pieces of furniture and accessories in our Sedona home that came from the shops and galleries of Jerome. Always fun to go to the Haunted Hamberger. Terry and I did the obligatory dining at the Asylum on Halloween one year. Lots of fun!

    • Oh, how I would’ve loved to see your place in Sedona. Sounds like a fun time living there and enjoying the local sights. Do you ever miss “the stuff” (artwork, etc.)?

      • I have to admit that I do sometimes miss the stuff that makes a house feel more like a home. The artwork is one of those things. Hope you are doing well Ingrid.

  2. Jerome looks like so much fun! I’m such a sucker for “haunted” attractions like that. Just last week I visited the Winchester Mystery House in CA, and found it to be a worthwhile visit — though I did not get a ghost sighting. 🙂

  3. Interesting idea to turn a disused hospital into a hotel. It looks like a fascinating place. I’d also like to try the Haunted Hamburger restaurant since it seems the burgers are not very fattening.

    • The former hospital turned hotel definitely had an eerie feel to it. I can see why it’s a popular place around Halloween. I’m always interested in a burger that isn’t very fattening 😉

  4. I’d enjoy the artist’s studios but I’m with you about the rest. If it is not a friendly ghost like Casper, I don’t want anything to do with ghosts.

  5. Can’t wait to get out and explore the area, we’re waiting one more day to see if they’ll move us or we’re out of here.

  6. WE WERE JUST THERE! Actually it was our third trip to one of my most favorite places in Arizona. We stayed overnight in the hotel during Halloween last year. Not one ghost was found. And a few days ago we went and enjoyed two winery tastings then we spent the day up at the Gold King Ghost Mine. I am going to share a post of all the trucks very soon. I love old rusty trucks and I was in heaven!
    However, your amazing photos reminded me that I forgot to go to the glassblowing place! So I guess when my friend comes into town I will take her there.
    These photos show the Momma, daughter fun that you must be lovin’!
    But best of all… This my dear, was an amazing post of a fabulous little town that everyone needs to go visit! FABULOUS!

    • There’s so many unique little crannies to explore in Jerome. I’d love to go back and just focus on photography. I look forward to your post and photos on you Jerome visit 🙂

    • Mother – daughter time was so much fun. No I did not buy a glass pumpkin, but I wanted to. Glass in a bouncing RV = broken glass pumpkin 😦

  7. Looks like an interesting little town with lots to see. Cool that you were able to spend time with your daughter and share it with her.

    • If you haven’t spent any time exploring this area of AZ, I highly recommend it. I never pass up an opportunity to spend time with either one of the kids. I’m hoping this winter is filled with plenty of adventures.

  8. I never could get into the whole zombie thing. Rick loves the series…I won’t watch it. But I love the Haunted Hamburger and all the skeletons! 😀

    • I thought that gory baby was the worst. My daughter laughed at my reaction to it…. actually, there was a fair amount of laughter that day. Yep, wonderful memories!

  9. Perfect timing, we still have to go there, for now Im just viewing the town from a distance. We can see the town from our campground. Im nursing a head cold and jetlag and no desire to go anywhere but stay home. We will attempt to hit the spots the mother daughter tandem enjoyed at.

    • I’m sure resting right now is in your best interest after the past few weeks. You might even consider just going to Jerome for lunch without hitting up the whole town (not that it’s big). There are some good restaurants in Jerome, although I seem to return to the Haunted Hamburger every time I visit due to the great view. Take care of yourself!

  10. What a fun mother-daughter adventure! But I’m with you — I don’t like the zombie/gruesome side of Halloween at all. But I do enjoy the jack-o-lanterns and the fun costumes!

    • It’s been great being able to hang with my daughter. When my kids were little, I always had fun making their costumes and carving pumpkins with them, but I’ve never embraced the gruesome side of Halloween, nor will I 😉

  11. We rolled thru Jerome, (with the Fireball in tow), from the north two years ago. Knew nothing about it, but we were intrigued enough to want to stop. But, we could NOT find anywhere to park for even a few minutes, so gave up, and passed thru. Haven’t managed to get back that way since. Bummer.

    • It’s not easy to park a truck in Jerome let alone one pulling a trailer. Next time through, you’d enjoy staying at Dead Horse Ranch SP and exploring Jerome and Sedona. October seems to be a great month to visit.

  12. The first time we were at Jerome was in the early 80’s, after dark. (No RV involved, we didn’t own one then.. Den’s Uncle drove us up that steep mountain in a rental car…I never want to do that ride after dark again.) Second time we were there was mid 90’s and it was nearly deserted. Mostly it was old “Hippies” living by the seat of their pants, and most of the stores were not open. We really never heard of anything haunted there at that time. I would love to re-visit it now. It looks like the powers that be have been working hard to find a theme….and it works..Jerome looks haunted to me now!! I love that stuff…but, Hey!..I lived in a cemetery once too!

    • I can see that road being scary for Illinois flatlanders and especially at night. It’s obvious there’s a concentrated effort to market Jerome as a tourist location. Some of the places are real nice, and some…. well, could use some attention, but the ghostly theme seems to be working. Hmm, wonder if you ever had any ghostly encounters living at that cemetery? The best Halloween party’s, for sure!

  13. Some really spooky images here, Ingrid. So glad to hear that Ashton has taken charge of the boys. I’m sure they needed a woman’s touch, especially around the kitchen area. 🙂 I envy you all that climbing. Florida is so flat. I really miss the uphill walks.

    • Yes, a woman’s touch was sure needed and the guys even agreed. Whenever I visit flatland, it doesn’t take me long to miss the mountains and there was plenty of elevation change in Jerome to give the legs a good workout 🙂

  14. Looks like you had a good time on the mountain. We visited a few years ago while staying in Sedona but it was pretty dead in early Dec – no ghost though.

    • It seems I’m not the only one that gets behind on my posting 😉 Towns do have a way of changing and sometimes the first visit is the best visit.

  15. Every time I look at your daughter’s pictures I think of you. She sure seems to have inherited your enthusiasm and joie de vivre! It must be fun to have her close again.

    • Thanks Lenore. I have missed spending time with her. We always have a great time on our excursions and I’m hoping to have plenty more in the next year.

    • There does seem to be some fun and interesting restaurants/bars in Jerome. I definitely recommend stopping in at Nellie Bly – very unique.

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