Updated for 2012
If you are looking for something different to do this Halloween, spending Halloween in Jerome, Arizona may just be the ticket.
Jerome, a small former ghost town is perched quite literally on the edge of Cleopatra Hill in the Verde Valley. Mining towns once abounded in Arizona, but even in their hey-day, Jerome was still a bit against the grain. Local residents might tell you that the small town was once labeled the “wickedest town in the west”. Jerome’s eternal battle with gravity is as much a part of its character as its lawless past. The march of time has sent many buildings crumbling downhill, including the local jail, a fitting symbol of the town’s twin histories.
Jerome, known for its artisan community and tourist-friendly bars and restaurants is a fine stop for anybody at any time of year, but for Halloween you might want to leave the kids at home.
This year Halloween festivities will take place properly on October 29, 2012. By nightfall residents and tourists will fill the streets with some rather creative costumes, striking a fun balance between humor and horror. Last year I saw everything from Dracula to Eric Cartman to a pair of Mormon missionaries, complete with bike helmets.
One can enjoy the Halloween revelry from nearly any place in town, but the centerpiece event is the Halloween Dance Party held in Spook Hall (Lawrence Memorial Hall). Live music, lots of drinks and proceeds help fund the Jerome Volunteer Fire Department.
Jerome Grand Hotel is an excellent place if you need to stay for the night. The hotel offers ghost tours to guests and will be happy to oblige your need for a scare. The Asylum restaurant inside the hotel offers upscale dining. If you want something more casual try the Haunted Hamburger and make a point of getting a table on the balcony – the food is good but the view is even better. For more drinks and live music outside of the dance party, the Spirit Room is Jerome’s typical venue and should not disappoint on Halloween night.
Table of Contents for the Haunted Southwest Series:
Haunted Hotel: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Vulture Mine, Wickenburg, Arizona
Haunted Hotel: The San Carlos, Phoenix, Arizona
The Haunted Shores of the Great Salt Lake, Utah
Haunted Tombstone, Arizona
Haunted Mines: Ghost, Goblins and Tommy Knockers, Southwest
Ghost Camels of the Southwest
Haunted Dawson Cemetary, New Mexico
Haunted Inn: Who Haunts the Brook Forest Inn, Colorado
The Mystery of the Missing Locomotive, Colorado
The Ghost of La Posada Resort and Spa
Ogden and Salt Lake City Ghost Tours