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Is Ruby, Arizona Haunted?

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Ruby, Arizona, one of the most preserved ghost towns in the state, was yet another lawless mining camp of many in the American West. However, its location, just four miles north of the Mexican border, at the time that the Mexican Revolution was in full swing after the turn of the century, made it even more prone to violence. Within an 18-month period, two double murders took place at the Ruby Mercantile and post office.


With it's bloody history, it would come as no surprise if this old ghost town is haunted. But, search as I might, I could find no stories or tales of any spiritual goings-on there. Well, .... there is one old legend that tells of the mercantile having been built over an old padre's grave. After the first double murder, while a police officer was investigating, he was told by an old time local that there was a curse on the building. Explaining further, the old-timer said: "Old Tio Pedro died years ago. He predicted evil for the occupants of the post office ‘cause it was built over an old padre’s grave.” The investigator confirmed the superstition with the local peace officer, who informed the investigator that, yes; the legend was common among the Mexicans of the area.


Slide behind Ruby School

An old slide stands behind the Ruby school. Photo by Kathy Weiser. This image available for photographic prints HERE!




Perhaps, there was something to the superstition, as murder and mayhem were not yet over at the Ruby Mercantile. The store was sold and the next occupants of the building were also killed a year and a half later.


I visited the fascinating ghost town in April, 2007, enamored with its many historic buildings. While, I don't consider myself a ghost hunter, it seems, that I frequently "run into" them, whether it's a story or tale I read or hear about, or, on a rare occasion, a "glimpse" of one. In any event, we had roamed the Ruby buildings for about an hour and as we made our way back out, we stopped at the old Ruby school along the way.


A fascinating building that still holds its historic chalk boards, as well as some furnishings, I was immediately hit "in the chest' with a feeling of a presence. When I do "glimpse" a ghost, this is usually the way it first portrays itself - with an extremely heavy feeling in the chest. I walk into the next classroom where Dave is snapping photos, when we hear footsteps in the other room. But, when we quickly return, there is no one there. Suddenly, the footstep sounds begin again in the the room we just left. Again, no one there.


Because, my focus is not the ghosts, but rather, the ghost town, I would ordinarily let this drop. However, the feeling is so intense I insist on going back and talking to the caretaker. Have they heard of a ghost in the school house? Dave argues, "they're going to think you're crazy." Oh, well. I forge forward. No stories of ghosts in the school house. In fact, the only thing that has been heard, is a story of a long dead old miner that has made himself known.


But, I am sure that something unnatural was in that schoolhouse, which happens just happens to be close to the old Ruby Mercantile. The presence; however, didn't feel "malevolent," just there.


In any case, it was interesting and I'm now wondering if anyone else has any tales of Ruby ghosts?


Zap us an email


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March, 2010.


Also See:


Arizona Ghost Towns & Mining Camps

Arizona Ghost Town Photo Print Galleries


Ruby, Arizona School Interior

Inside Ruby's school, photo by Dave Alexander. This image available for photographic prints HERE!


Ruby, Arizona School Outhouses

A row of outhouse is fronted by what was once a basketball goal, photo by Dave Alexander. This image available for photographic prints HERE!


Ruby Ghost Town Slideshow

All images are available for prints and downloads HERE.


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Legends of America's Photo BlogLegends Blog - Follow our travels as we make our way across AmericaLegends' Photo Blog - Follow our travels as we make our way across America finding bunches of out of the way places, legends, historic sites, ghost towns, and great photo opportunities. Here, is where you'll also get a more personal view of our travels -- from the many great folks we meet, to what we think about the places we visit, and, of course, hundreds of photos & slideshows that we hope you enjoy.


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