Jerome Grand Hotel
Perched above downtown
Jerome high upon Cleopatra Hill is another haunted hotel – the
Jerome Grand Hotel. Originally, this building served as the United
Verde Hospital, opened in 1927. Constructed by the United Verde Copper
Company for its many employees and their families, the hospital was a
much needed facility in a town that had grown to a population of some
15,000 people. A show-place building, it was the highest structure in
the Verde Valley and was the last major building constructed in
Jerome. Built to last, the structure was of a fire-proof design
and could withstand the many nearby mining blasts of up to 260,000
pounds. While other area buildings crumbled or slid down steep slopes,
caused by the mine blasting, that sometimes could be felt as far away
as Camp Verde, the 30,000 square foot hospital wasn’t fazed. The
building was an engineering marvel, even by today’s standards, as it
was constructed on a 50 degree slope.
The Jerome Grand Hotel by Kathy Weiser. This image available for
photographic prints and downloads
By 1930, the five-story Spanish Mission style building and its
facilities were written up as one of the most modern and well equipped
like the Copper Company itself, the hospital couldn’t survive once the
copper deposits played out. The town’s people moved on to other
opportunities and the hospital closed in 1950.
For the next 44 years
it stood abandoned; however, until 1971, it continued to be
maintained, just in case it was needed in an emergency situation.
Then, for the next two decades, it sat silent and neglected. But, in
1994, the building was purchased by the Altherr family from the Phelps
Dodge Mining Corporation and the restoration to its current glory as
the Jerome Grand Hotel began. All effort was given to maintaining the
interior and exterior integrity of the historic building and in 1996
it reopened as the Jerome Grand Hotel.
Almost from the
beginning, the building has had a history of hauntings, perhaps
because of the many people who died there or the emotional trauma
suffered by the many who were housed in its asylum. It is said to be
one of the most haunted buildings in the state of
a number of strange phenomena occurring over the decades.
Shortly after the
hospital opened, both patents and staff began to tell stories of
hearing people talking, coughing, moaning, and cries of distress
coming from empty rooms. Some believed they may have possibly have
been coming from some of the many lingering spirits who had died in
the deathly flu epidemic in 1917. Though the hospital wasn’t even
built at that time, perhaps these lost souls found the building,
wishing that it had been there.
One of the first
reports of a spectral soul was that of a woman dressed in white that
began to be seen on a hospital balcony shortly after its opening.
Thought to have been a nurse, the phantom lingered for years, but
apparently has moved on as she has not been seen since the building
became a hotel.
One spirit that is
has lurked in the building for many years is that of an old bearded
miner. His "appearance” was first reported by a hospital patient who
reported having seen the bearded man gliding down the hall, turning on
all the lights on his way. Another nurse during the building’s
hospital reign reported having seen a bearded man standing at the very
end of a hallway. However, when she approached, him, the man
mysteriously vanished. Today, guests of the hotel continue to report
spying the ghostly vision of a bearded man, especially on the second
and third floors.
Another spirit, just
that of a small boy, described to be about six-years-old has also been
spied on the third floor.
described in the historic hotel includes all manner of strange
occurrences including the sounds of phantom footsteps going up and
down the stairs and hallways, doors that open and close of their own
accord, objects that inexplicably move of their own will, and
electrical appliances that turn on and off by themselves. Many of
these bizarre happenings occur before the housekeeping staff, who have
seemingly become favorite targets, sometimes hearing their names being
called out by phantom voices. However, they say that the ghosts are
accommodating enough, as when they ask them to stop, it does, at least
for a few days.
The hotel lobby is an
active place for many of the spirits. Here, the lobby doors have often
been seen opening and closing by themselves, like someone is arriving
or leaving; chairs have been rearranged while desk clerks turn their
backs; items have flown off the shelves in the gift shop, as well as
from the walls in the lobby. The lobby desk has also received a number
of phone calls from empty rooms. It comes as no surprise, when the
line is picked up that no one is on the other end.
Near the old 1926
elevator, that is still operational, a finely dressed elderly woman in
white has often been spied standing.
But, the most famous
ghost of the hotel is that of a man named Claude Harvey, who was a
hospital maintenance man in 1935. Harvey, who was well-known in
Jerome, was more familiarly called
"Scotty” by townsfolk who were shocked to hear about his death at the
hospital. When Harvey’s body was found pinned under the elevator in
the basement, his death was ruled an accident. Strangely, though, the
inquest into his death determined that the elevator did not kill him.
Some said perhaps he jumped to his death; but, the vast majority
suspecting instead, that the man was murdered and his body dumped at
the bottom of the elevator shaft. The elevator was found to have been
in perfect working order and Harvey was an experienced maintenance
man. Strange, that he was found beneath the elevator, with his neck
broken and the only other mark on his body – a small scrape behind the
ear. Rumors abounded with a number of theories and potential suspects,
but the cause of death remained officially and "accident.” Almost
immediately after his death; however, strange occurrences began in the
building, especially in and around the elevator. Lights in the
elevator shaft have been seen and the sound of the creaking elevator
has long been heard, even when the building was vacant, no power was
one, and even yet today, when it is unused.
Other have claimed to
see the figure of a shadowy man in the basement, on the stairs, and
near the elevator. The spectral man has been described as appearing
furious. Others have simply "felt” an angry presence. Many speculate
that Harvey has unfinished business here on earth, not resting until
his murderer has been implicated. Though his spirit is said to make
those who he encounters uncomfortable, Harvey has never hurt anyone.
Other spirits are
also said to roam throughout the hotel, attributed to a number of
tragic events in the building including a man in a wheelchair who fell
from a balcony, a shooting, and a caretaker who hanged himself. A
woman in white is sometimes been seen roaming the hallways and a small
child has been seen running through the bar area.
Guests and staff
continue to report being pushed in the hallways, doors that slam shut
by themselves, the sounds of ghostly cries, and photographs that
persistently develop with ghostly hazes and numerous orbs.
The Jerome Grand
Hotel was featured in a segment of the popular Sightings television
series several years ago and has been investigated by a number of
ghost hunter groups who have reportedly recorded paranormal activity
on film and audio.
Today the Jerome
Grand Hotel currently provides 23 fully restored, modern rooms, with
more rooms available in the future as the hotel continues to renovate.
It is Jerome's only full service hotel
with its own bar, restaurant, gift shop, and 24-hour front desk.
The Jerome Grand Hotel
200 Hill Street
928-634-8200 or 888-817-6788
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