After spending almost 9 months in Arizona, I have become very familiar with many of the small towns carrying a spooky history. Some towns like Bisbee, seem to be oozing of energy. Other towns like Ajo, have one or two specific locations that are extra active.
This will be a brief overview of some of my favorites and later I'll do a post on each town individually.
I thought I'd start with one of the most popular destinations. Sedona is widely known for its energy vortexes and beautiful red rocks. While I often felt nothing but good vibes throughout my entire stay here, I heard countless stories of extra-terrestrials and UFO's, cryptids, portals to hell, and caverns filled with negative energy. I've done a few podcasts on this area which you can listen to here:
While the downtown area is fun and full of life, you'll find some of the more spooky areas off the trails. Honanki Ruins, Bradshaw Ranch, and the secret vortexes that only locals really know about are some of my favorite places to take people to so that they can experience the gamut from history, to portals, to hauntings and more. I highly recommend bringing whatever paranormal equipment here because you can almost guarantee that you'll have some sort of experience here. I had multiple experiences, and while I view all of them as positive and enlightening, others have had experiences that filled them with dread and have seen things that cannot be explained. I'll be offering Private Guided Tours here in 2022.
Ajo is a charming town before you get to Organ Pipe National Monument in Southern Arizona. The town was once a busy mining area which as I've discussed on the podcast before can lend way to more paranormal activity due to the conductive nature of certain rocks and minerals (or so they say).
The town itself is very cute, quiet for the most part since most of the populous left after the mine was shut down. There's a good thrift store, cafe and Mexican restaurant. You could easily spend just a couple days here and experience a lot the town has to offer.
Once used for the filming location of a horribly done movie about giant, terrifying rabbits called "Night of the Lepus," most people come through Ajo on their way to visit the National Monument. Ajo is not a tourist destination per se, but it should be on any spooky traveler's destination list merely for one specific location and that is the Phelps Dodge Hospital aka the Copper Canyon Paranormal Research Center. I've since learned that the hospital has been sold and the research center closed, but I still wanted to share because this is the first location I ever visited where I caught multiple EVP's on my recordings.
Jerome is a beautiful, historic town that sits midway on a mountainside. When staying in Sedona you can see the town lit up at night. Filled with historic buildings, the town offers unique stores, restaurants, ghost tours and more. Unfortunately, my visit was during Covid so a lot of the places were closed, but I was able to snap some photos of some must see places.
In 1899 the Arizona Republic called the town "Wicked." And the name stuck. Over the years, multiple newspapers declared Jerome to be the "Wickedest town" filled with wild women, hard drinking men, lawless people, and wicked pursuits. The town embraces its haunted history and wicked lore. The Haunted Hamburger for example, was a lovely place to eat, and their patio is Pet Friendly!
Jerome is filled with legends of hauntings. The Grand Hotel which overlooks the valley below, used to be a hospital and is home to over 9000 deaths, making it one of the most haunted locations in Arizona. Tales of apparitions, voices and more can be found all over the web. Other locations in the town are said to be haunted as well. There is even supposedly a haunted car in the town of Jerome.
The Grand Canyon
Now you might be thinking, "Seriously??? The Grand Canyon?" But hear me out!
Not only is there a Pioneer Cemetery in the Grand Canyon, but there is a grave in one of the parking lots right across the El Tovar hotel. People have seen apparitions along the South Rim walkways at night. There are legends of the Grand Canyon being a portal of some kind. And as you walk along some of the trails down into the canyon you will find mysterious ancient drawings of cryptid-like people similar to that of the Honanki drawings in Sedona.
The Grand Canyon is unfortunately home to many unexpected deaths, as tourists from around the world get too close to the edge, or attempt hiking without doing proper preparation and research. There is even a book that you can read about many of the ghosts that are known to haunt this National Park.
My experiences here have too been mostly pleasant, but that may have been because I mainly visited the park during the day. I bet if you came at night, there would be experiences galore. And you know what they say about the witching hour...
I've saved the best (well, in my opinion) for last. Bisbee is a hidden gem in Southern Arizona. Also, a mining town, Bisbee contains so many intriguing spots and is full of culture and kitsch. I was lucky enough to visit during Halloween and even though this was during Covid, the festivities did not disappoint.
Before you drive into the town of Bisbee take a stop on Erie Street, part of Historic Lowell. This street looks as if it was frozen in time in the 1950s. Residents of Bisbee keep the street looking this way on purpose, to remember a time that once was. After walking down Erie St. park somewhere in downtown Bisbee. There's so much to do and see - we spent multiple days walking around, shopping, eating, hiking and more.
The Copper Queen Hotel is perfect for the guest wanting to stay in a historic, haunted hotel. We had a couple drinks at the bar which I highly recommend. The Bisbee Grand Hotel also has some guests who have never checked out. Many believe that the Lavender Pit is one of the reasons for the high levels of paranormal activity. You can learn more about the history of Bisbee on one of their great ghost tours or by visiting the Seance Room which is a fun history/magic show.
There are a lot more spooky destinations in Arizona filled with scary stories and horrific history. These are definitely some of my favorites though! Since we'll be living in Arizona a portion of the year, if you are ever interested in visiting and doing a paranormal investigation at any of these locations just let me know! I'm happy to arrange it and look forward to visiting all of these places again now that everything's a bit more open!