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David Fisk (Lens of
The Ghosts of Jerome
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The revived copper mining
not only filled with historic buildings and a rich history, but is
also said to be the home place of a number of lingering ghosts.
is an artist’s and tourist’s community of about 400 residents, but
that has not always been the case. During its prosperous copper mining
years, the town boasted some 15,000 residents, and was so filled with
vices that it earned the nickname of the "Wickedest City in the West”
by a New York newspaper. During those days, people died in mining
overdosed on opium, and a number of other unnatural events. With its
ribald past, it comes as no surprise that the city is allegedly filled
with wandering spirits.
Kathy Weiser. This image available for
photographic prints and downloads
fact, one of the town’s most well known ghosts is said to lurk at the
town’s Community Center. Formally called Lawrence Memorial Hall, the
building is more often familiarly termed as "Spook Hall” due to a
number of strange happenings there by its resident ghost. Named for a
major contributor of the Jerome
Historical Society, Lawrence Hall was once the old J.C. Penney
However, before the building was built, in its place, stood
a number of small shacks, referred to as "cribs” used by the "sporting
ladies” who lived there and entertained their guests. In one of these
lived a prostitute who was stabbed to death by a miner. It is this
forlorn soul that is said to be often seen in front of Spook Hall,
lingering there momentarily before moving onward toward a hotel, here
she suddenly vanishes.
Jerome's heydays, the town was teeming
with vice, including, by some estimates, more than 100
The Spook Hall ghost was not the only unfortunate girl who lost her
reputation, as well as her life, in a mining camp filled with rowdy
Mile High Inn
of the more popular ladies of the evening was a woman named Madam
Jennie Banters, who became one of the richest women in northern
Mile High Inn was originally built in 1899 and was known as the
Clinksdale Building. Built over the ashes of a burnt out building, the
new structure had 18 inch thick walls to make it as fire-proof as
possible. Some time later, the building became the home of Madam
Jennie Banters’ popular bordello, where Jennie and her "ladies”
entertained numerous men.
Later, when the town
began to take on a more "civilized” manner, the bordellos were forced
to move their businesses off Main Street and "Husband’s Alley” was
born. Though Jennie had done well for herself, she too, allegedly lost
her life to a client after moving from her Main Street location. By
this time, prostitution was illegal, but continued to thrive in
Jerome until the 1940’s.
In the meantime, the
building became a hardware store on the lower level and the upstairs
portion was used as apartments. Over the years, a number of businesses
were housed here until it became the inn that it is today.
The charming eight guest room inn not only
caters to Jerome tourists, it continues
to play host to Jennie Banters, herself, as well as a number of other
resident ghosts, including a phantom cat that walks the halls and
leaves its footprints on the beds.
As in life, Jennie is the most popular of
the inn’s unearthly guests. The former madam of the brothel is often
seen in the Lariat and Lace Room as well as keeping an eye on the
kitchen, where she lets her presence be known by flying objects that
come off their resting places when they are not put away properly. She
has been known to move things about throughout the inn, including
furnishings and smaller objects, as well as rotating ceiling fans.
Often, she is said to turn on the radio in rooms, just as the maids
come into clean them.
The spectral cat has
been seen a number of times by both staff and guests, who often stoop
to pick her up. However, before they get the chance, it vanishes. The
cat has also been known to brush up against people, especially in the
kitchen and restaurant and its paw prints have been seen on the made
up beds. Visitors to the inn have also reported hearing the cat’s meow
and the sound of a cat sharpening its claws. The cat is thought to
have been Madam Jennie’s pampered pet.
An elderly gentleman
is also said to roam about the inn. A friendly apparition, he has been
seen dressed in vintage work clothes and a felt hat, looking down at
the alley from the window in the "Pillow Talk” room. In this room he
also reported leaves his indentation on the bed. Also blamed on this
old man are wall hanging and pictures that are often rearranged or
placed in the armoire in the "Kiss and Tell” room. The armoire doors
here also have been known to open and close of their own accord.
Another younger man, who isn’t so friendly, evidently loves to startle
guests and staff alike. Though he doesn’t hurt anyone, he allegedly
loves to blow cold winds through guest rooms and has been known to
appear as a shadowing figure in the Victorian Rose Room as well as in
the restaurant. The hazy figure is seen wearing a grumpy look of
disapproval on his face.
Other phenomena includes locked doors that open and close by
themselves, furniture that is mysteriously rearranged, utensils that
fly off their resting places in the kitchen, cold winds blowing
through the rooms, and a statue that turns itself around. In the
Victorian Rose Room, the smell of roses or perfume is often detected
and the water faucets tend to turn on and off of their own accord.
The most active place
in the building is probably the restaurant and kitchen. Here,
whistling is often heard in the bar area, metal signs have flown off
the wall, glasses slide off tables with a crash, a woman has been
heard singing, and electrical devices seemingly have a mind of their
own, turning on and off at will.
Today, the Inn at
Jerome includes eight guest rooms, that
have been remodeled and designed in their original Victorian style.
Located in the heart of historic Jerome,
the Inn also provides a restaurant and bar.
309 Main Street
P.O. Box 901
Continued Next Page - Conner Hotel Haunting
Jerome - Copper Queen on
Sleeping With Ghosts in
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