The first time that my family and I visited Jerome Arizona my cousin and I thought it would be funny to tease my little brother about the town being haunted.
We came up with a ghost named, "Jarred" and brought my little brother to the point of tears as we came up with a spooky story about how "Jarred" had met his demise in the mining town.
Little did we know at the time, but we were actually in the most well-known ghost town in the entire state.
Jerome was once known as the Billion Dollar Copper Camp with a booming population of 15,000. The first mining claims were staked in 1876 when it was discovered that the area was rich in high-grade copper ore. Sitting literally on a mountain, the town is a mile above sea level and the mine would often shake buildings off their unsteady foundations.
Speaking of an unsteady foundation, the town's jail actually slid across the road and down a hillside where it still sits today. When I was a bit older many of the teenagers in my small town would drive up to Jerome to check out the jail and to see if there were any "ghosts."
Workers in the mine had a very difficult and tedious job. At the end of the day, they were always looking for a distraction which is why gambling, drinking at the twenty-four known saloons, and even prostitution was common. A combination of these acts alongside the garbage in the streets and dirty air caused Jerome to be infamously referred to as "the Wickedest Town In America."
Jerome's economy was completely dependent on the demand for copper which diminished after World War II. In 1953 the Phelps Dodge Mine closed down and the population of Jerome dwindled from 15,000 to around 50.
If you visit Jerome today you can enjoy the tourist attraction for its shops, historic sites restaurants, and scenery from which you can see Sedona's red rocks and even eastern Arizona's Mogollon Rim.
To really immerse yourself in the ghost experience, you can also stay at one of Jerome's haunted hotels.
What do you think? Are you ready to visit this historic ghost town?