The Arizona frontier was full of dangers: grisly accidents, tragic circumstances and dark acts in a lawless land. Visit some of Arizona's most haunted places in the dark of night, and see if you can find a spirit or two.
Did the mayor's son kill respected prostitute Sammie Dean in her home—where her spirit still lives—one night in 1931? Does Headless Charlie still haunt the mine where he met his end in a gruesome accident?
Guides try to answer these questions and more in three separate tours by Tours of Jerome. The two-hour walking "Just Jerome Haunted Tour" covers haunted locations in the old mining town. The four- and five-hour "Spirits of Jerome" and "Classic Haunted" tours include a van ride to nearby Clarkdale and Cottonwood. ("Spirits" features a bonus credit toward dinner or drinks at Grapes Restaurant.) Each tour includes plenty of lore and use of equipment to locate spirits.
Five tours and ghost hunts by Old Bisbee Ghost Tour bring you close to the spirits of one of Arizona's major mining boomtowns.
The Bisbee Inn, known as the Hotel LaMore when it first opened in the early 20th century, is a popular stop to find odd stuff going on. One resident spectral is a calico cat that died when it accidentally got locked in the saloon's storage room and starved. People staying at the hotel have reported feeling the cat brush by and heard purring. (Tip: Book Room #23 for a chance of your own ghostly feline visit.)
Among the stories guests on the one-hour Tombstone Ghost & Murder Tour will hear is that of 1888 ill-fated lovers George Daves and Petra Edmunds. Edmunds was a flirt and Daves spied her one night walking down Third Street with another guy. Daves shot at Edmunds, who fell from a minor wound. Thinking he killed her, Daves fatally shot himself. In death, he may not be as certain of his decision as it's said his ghost hangs out on Third Street.
Twelve other sites on the tour show there's a lot more to Tombstone than the infamous 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral.
Tucson Ghost Company leads 90-minute walking tours through downtown, which preserves many territorial relics among its modern entertainment spots. Book the "Tucson Ghost Experience" for a more immersive adventure and spend two hours ghost hunting inside an allegedly haunted building.
Husband and wife owners, Becky and Will, also host one-off special events in October and November at locations such as the Slaughterhouse—a real-life former 1950s meatpacking plant. Spend the night surrounded by rusted equipment and who knows what else as you investigate whether the plant's former occupants (or victims) still roam the floors.
A Haunting Experience Tours takes you on a two-hour walk in search of ghosts that haunt downtown Prescott. The stories are so tragic and scary, guides warn that the tours may not be appropriate for young children.
One such tale is that of Faith Summers, who spent her honeymoon at the Hassayampa Inn in 1927. Her new husband stepped out to buy cigarettes and never returned. Faith waited for three days, then publicly took her life. Today, her presence lingers on at the Inn, still waiting for her lost love.
By the time it was completed in 1910, the Gila County Jail and Sherrif's Office in the mining town of Globe vigilante violence was more likely to claim the lives of inmates than the hangman's noose. In one case, an unknown assailant shot and killed a suspect awaiting trial by hiding in a second-floor window in the courthouse across the alley.
Though closed in 1981, the old jail remains a haunting place. Guides with AZ Ghost Tours take guests on a 90-minute tour through the jail's sordid past and its history of infamous inmates.
For more of a haunting good time
Haunted Arizona: Head to the state's storied towns for autumn nights filled with eerie tales and ghostly apparitions.
5 Arizona Ghost Towns You May Have Never Heard Of: Towns of Arizona's past that paint the picture of what the Copper State was was all about.
Ghost Town Getaways: In a state full of ghost towns, you have your pick from the famous (Bisbee) to the infamous (Tombstone). Here's a list of some of Arizona’s most distinctive ghost towns, each with its own quirks and curiosities.