I Am a Ghost Hunter!!

My husband is obsessed with the show Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel.  He and
our older sons could watch that show episode after episode for hours on end!  I had a little bit of a different opinion about the show until I went to Arizona last year...
So before I went to Arizona I found the show pretty much stupid.  The host of the show, Zak, is a bit over the top.  Everything was sooo dramatic!  The littlest noise and he was exclaiming ghosts were surrounding him or he felt something touch him!  He just plain annoyed me!  (his hair didn't really help either)  Although, Zak's antics were over the top for me, I do believe in that kind of thing, just not too much when they were doing it! It looked made up to me for the show or like they were forcing things!  The show isn't all bad.  I did like seeing different places around the country and hearing the stories surrounding the old buildings.   Shamefully, I also like when they lock one of the hosts in the darkest, scariest places by himself!  It is so mean and he is always so scared - a bit funny for the viewer though... (I'm ashamed I take humor out of his sheer terror- sorry!)

Last year, I met Ry out in Arizona while he was on a business trip.  When I got there the business stopped and the fun started!  (of course!)  I planned out an entire itinerary of things to do and places to see.  We had an absolute blast and eventually I will share everything we did, but right now I want to tell you about our experiences as Ghost Hunters!

I drove a little compact car from Sedona, Arizona up a narrow road that wound itself around a mountain.  It was the kind of road that you don't want to maneuver quickly or in the dark!  One glance over the side of the road and sheer panic would set in!  However, this was the only way to get to our destination; Jerome.

Jerome is literally a ghost town.  In it's hay day it was a copper mining town.  It had over 15,000 people on top of that mountain!  When the mines closed the population dropped to as low as 50 people!  Today the population has increased a bit, but it definitely is not how it once was!  The mine is still closed and has been turned into a National Park along with the mansion with the copper roof.  Many buildings like the schools are now empty or home to artists, historians, and musicians. 

The old jail that slid down the mountain with inmates!
Jerome has a rich history filled with brothels, prohibition, accidents at the mine, and shoot-outs! (a true Wild West town) It was called the wickedest town in the West.  Today if you go down the narrow one way streets through town you can see were the actual jail that was rocked off of it's foundation during a mine blast and slid down the mountain side to settle on an entirely new street!

Street of Jerome
We walked the streets in no time flat as there is not a ton of things in Jerome, but what is there is worth seeing!  It does have cute shops and a ton of history!  As we walked through town we couldn't help but think of all of the possibilities for this little ghost town!  It was just so cool!  If someone could restore some of the buildings a little and put in a few shops that cater to people curious about the actual ghosts in the town, it could be really booming with tourists!  Yes, I did say ghosts!
The Grand Hotel
I chose to book us a room in the Grand Hotel for the night.  This hotel was once the hospital of Jerome and sits on the top of the mountain, towering over the town.  It is also said to be haunted.  This is why I wanted to stay there!  I'm a bit naughty sometimes and I knew Ry would be freaked out because of how into Ghost Adventures he gets!

There are many stories about the hotel and what has occurred there.   All of these are written down in the guest book which of course we read through!  There are stories of strange noises coming from empty rooms; coughing, labored breathing, and even voices. Sometimes these noises come from a dark corner of a guest's room! Others report lights or TVs turning on and off. There are unexplained smells of flowers, dust, cigarettes and whiskey. Ghostly presences and unexplained activities lure many to this haunted hotel.  Two female apparitions have been seen by numerous visitors. The first, a nurse carrying a clipboard, seems more to be a memory than an actual ghost. She roams the halls, pausing at intervals and leaning down, looking at beds that no longer exist and patients long since dead. The other, a woman in white, has been identified as a woman who died in childbirth. Neither she nor her baby left the hospital halls. According to legend she is distraught over the treatment of her dead child, who was buried in an unmarked grave. According to the locals, she stalks the hotel, searching for her child's final resting place.
The elevator where the famous ghost, Claude Harvey, was found moves on it's own.

To begin our night of fright we went on a Ghost Hunt!  We had a local woman as our tour guide.  I was prepared to have a person who had some spiritual gift and make things over the top, but our guide lived in Jerome and knew all of the stories of the town and was very down to earth.  She took us from place to place telling the history of different buildings and areas.  We were given special equipment that measured the electricity in the air and would signal to us that ghosts were around.  She was an excellent guide and the tour was great!

At first we just listened to the stories and dismissed the mention of ghosts.  Our little meters were not lighting up or doing anything.  We didn't see movement or feel the presence of anyone.  I was disappointed!  That is until we went into an old hotel on the Main Street!

We went upstairs where someone had been killed and was known to haunt the halls.  My reader went crazy!  The lights were flashing, noises were going off and I was ecstatic!  I called over to Ry and showed him that I must be surrounded by a ghost.  He shook his head, sighed, rolled his eyes, and pointed to the electrical box I was pointing my meter at!  There was my ghost! Not cool!

On our way out we continued to look for readings and got them in unusual places like door knobs and a trap door.  We were true skeptics though and looked for the electricity that may be making the meters react.

We traveled through the streets, to the old jail, to the copper mine, and then finally to the old high school.  The high school is now used by day by artists as studios so no one is around at night.  We went to the side of the building by the fire escape.  A boy had fallen to his death here and people say he frequents this area.

We got out our meters along with the two other people on our tour and went to work.  When we got to one part of the fire escape the meter when crazy!  I looked for the electrical box before I got excited because the truth is that I wanted to find ghosts!  I called Ryan over and his meter went nuts as well.  We couldn't find anything relating to electricity where we were.  Ryan kept saying there had to be something inside the building that was causing it.

I was getting pretty excited and the hair was standing up on my neck.  I'm not sure if it was a "presence" or if it was just because of the excitement and the thought that there was a ghost there.  The reading on the meters started getting weaker.  We moved to a different area and the meter reading went up again!  It seems the ghost was moving!  For a long time we stayed in the same spot with the meters going crazy and Ryan looking for the logical explanation.  Then suddenly the meters were silent.  He was gone.  Nothing around us had changed.  No lights had gone off, there was no one in the building.  The ghost had left!

I have to admit it was at that moment that Zak's behavior on Ghost Adventures didn't seem so out of place!  I was FREAKING out!!  There was something about how I felt in that moment that made me a true believer!

Ryan on the "moaning steps"
When our ghost hunt came to an end, we went to the hotel bar.  It is the restaurant called the Asylum Great food and a favorite of locals and celebrities alike, this bar and restaurant is attached right to the Grand Hotel.  There are steps leading up to the restaurant that are called the "moaning steps" because miners would gather on the steps in pain waiting for a bed to open up in the hospital!

We headed for the bar because honestly I was a bit too wired to go to bed in our haunted room!  As we sat sipping a drink we chatted with the bar tender.  I was also flipping through my pictures on my camera and was stopped short by an image I had captured!  I showed the bartender and he casually said that it was a ghost and yup he's seen a bunch of activity in the bar even.  I was really hyped up then and ready for another drink!

I was really hoping I would see something with my bare eyes.  Ry thought I was crazy talking into mid air in our room, but who cares!  He acted all tough and not worried about ghosts, but I did notice that he piled pillows on his side of the bed blocking him from the edge and snuggled unusually close to me!  In the morning he jumped out of bed saying he didn't dare pee in the night!

I didn't sleep well at all.  I heard a cat meowing in the hotel.  No, pets were not allowed, but in the morning I read that other guests had heard similar sounds in the middle of the night at other times as well.  Later in the night I woke up to see a nurse standing over me taking my pulse.  My arm was extended out over the side of the bed.  She wore a white uniform, white tights, and a white hat.  I had been coughing in my sleep and my thought was that she was checking on me because she was confused and thought I had been in the mine.  I told her to leave me alone and grabbed my hand away.  At that point she was gone!  You decide whether this was a dream or not, but I know what I think!

If you ever get a chance to visit Jerome, take it!  We had a great time!  It was educational and entertaining! 

The reason I thought to tell you about this today is that Zak and his crew from Ghost Adventures have gone to Jerome again to do a show!  We saw one show they did at the hotel after we got back from our trip.  I was glued to the TV!  They only stayed in the basement however.  This time it will be a little different and I hope they go in some of the rooms!  It aires tonight on the Travel Channel at 11pm.  It's called Paranormal Challenge.  I can't wait!!  I just hope Zak keeps reels it in just a little bit!

The above pictures were taken seconds apart of the same building.  The only difference in the pictures is that the top one has an orb in it.  When I zoomed in with on my camera there was a definite pattern and design on the inside.  This is what the bartender told us was an orb/ghost and he had seen ones in shapes of people before!


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