October 23, 2016

The Haunts of the Jerome Grand Hotel

Many have heard that the Jerome Grand Hotel is haunted--it's been featured on cable television.

But few know exactly what kinds of paranormal activity to expect if he or she is brave enough to stay there.

Would you spend the entire night if the following creepy things happened to you?

First, a bit of history: The building began life as the hospital for the United Verde Mine, opening its doors in January, 1927. In fact, the structure is an engineering marvel--even by today's standards. It is fireproof, built to withstand a 130-ton dynamite blast, and all erected on Cleopatra Mountain's 50 degree slope. (*1)

The hospital closed in 1950 (along with the mine,) and sat empty and unused for 44 years. Then, the Altherr Family bought the building in 1994 and began work to refurbish it into the hotel it is today. (*1)

From the start of the restoration, paranormal activity was witnessed. The third floor was formally the burn unit and was the place of many miners' grizzly and painful deaths. "They say you can still hear those guys screaming," according to a former waiter who remembers sneaking into the abandoned hospital as a teenager. (*2)

Site of the elevator death.
Bob Altherr divulged that the location began its haunted reputation even before the hospital closed. In 1935, a man was crushed by the elevator and the hauntings began. (*2)

Even when the building was empty there were many sightings. Ron Ballatore who was Jerome's Police Chief for 11 years, "went up to that hospital at least 100 times." Around 60% of those were trespassing kids, but 40% were for the paranormal. (*2)

"He was called more than once to check out lights on the third floor. He would see half the floor lit-up, and the empty building had no electricity!" (*2)

Ballatore stated that "half the people in town would call" and report seeing a lady in white in the building. (*2)

Guest's photo of the "Lady in White" in the hallway (*4)

In the 1990's, a television program brought a psychic into the building. She sensed that the man crushed by the elevator was murdered. "He was a maintenance man who had gotten the job after a debilitating mine injury," she said. (*2)

As far as the lady in white goes, the psychic felt that she had been a nurse who felt guilty "because a patient in a wheelchair had pulled himself up and over the third-floor balcony and fell to his death in a suicide." (*2)

A 1997 newspaper account stated that the psychic "was uncannily accurate about some of the hotels past events, relating things that Ballatore knew as police chief, but others did not." (*2)

An informative listing of 9 cryptozoological animals that have been seen in Arizona. Includes a Bigfoot update near Prescott.

The Jerome Grand has compiled an e-book which contains several spooky stories left by guests of the hotel. Here are a few highlights from that work:

Room 26:
Room 26 used to be the old X-ray room in the hospital.

"Upon arrival, all was quiet. We took pictures and we had the occasional orb or two in each picture. Further inspection of the photos revealed a grey cat under one of the beds. That is when our frightening night began. We saw it all, from dark figures standing over our beds, dark orbs, white lights, door knobs rattling and strange screams, to the occasional flicker of lights." (*3)

Another guest reported this: "Much ghost activity outside our room last night. Metal doors kept opening and closing, metal gurneys were being pushed along the hallway with people talking quietly about the person on the table. I felt they might want to enter (my room)!" (*3)

Another reported: "We stayed in room 26, the old x-ray room. We had a lot of paranormal activity with (the) EMF machine. Two of us laid in the bed and had the EMF going off on our bodies like someone was laying there with us!! We felt a heaviness on top of us!! Quite exciting for me. One friend saw a large woman in black walking across the room. We also heard the door handle (trying) to be opened and the curtain pull handle kept moving around." (*3)

"I woke up last night between 2:30-3:00 and could hardly breathe. I was paralyzed by the chills running down my spine and the cold that I felt surrounding me. I remember (just) having a dream where a ghost was present. But, as I laid on my bed, I felt trapped somewhere between nightmare and reality. I tried to call for help, but I couldn’t find the air to push my words out. At last, a whisper slipped from my lips; enough to wake my older sister. She called my name and I finally could answer back. The chill left as she came to my side, leaving me shaking, breathing heavy, pulse racing. Now as I sit and write, (I'm not sure) where the truth lies. The memory of last night stays trapped where it was found...between nightmares and reality. I, hoping it was one; knowing it to be the other." (*3)

Room 10:
In room 10, voices are often heard:

"My sister, brother, mother and I stayed in Room 10. At 12:30, and again at 4:00, we heard singing, a band playing and something like a cocktail party. When we went in the hallway, nobody was there and the music stopped. The blankets were also pulled off my mother’s bed in the middle of the night." (*3)

"At approximately 2:15 am, a woman was heard singing for about 5-6 seconds. It was quite loud and very clear. It was loud enough where it (seemed) to have been inside the room. Also, around 11:30 pm, the room door was rattling." (*3)

Room 20:
"At about 2:45 am, I felt someone whisper in my ear saying, “Be careful, I am in here.” I immediately sat straight up and looked around. I did not see anyone, but I felt them linger in my room for about an hour. There were strange things happening with the shadows in the room, too." (*3)

"My BF fell asleep early, but throughout the night (it was) crazy. I saw a figure several times in the bathroom. The TV shut off. There was banging on our closet door and talking while we were in our bathroom." (*3)

"About 2:30 am was when the fun started. I heard the floor creaking outside our door. Then I would hear a lady screaming. I (felt) something to the right of me, but there was nothing there." (*3)

Room 39 A/B:
According to many guests staying in this room, a young child is looking for his father and people report a baby crying. While working on the renovation, a worker also described a small boy who went into this room and then couldn’t be found... (*3)

"At approximately 3:30AM, I woke, but could not move or speak because I felt compression on my ribs. It felt like my body was being confined and held down. I was scared; very scared. Then, it lifted and I was able to move and speak. In the morning, I spoke with Chris at the front desk and he confirmed similar experiences from other guests in this room." (*3)

"We invited Kitty to sleep on (the) Murphy bed. The following morning, you could see actual imprints of Kitty's feet where he had laid and slept!" (*3)

"Four of us were sleeping in 39A-B. When one of us went to the bathroom, the TV turned itself on. Also, (when) we went drinking and came back to the room, the TV had turned itself on--on white noise." (*3)

There are many more haunted rooms at the Jerome Grand and the hallways are highways for paranormal activity.

Do YOU have the nerve to spend an entire night at the Jerome Grand Hotel?

Tourist Tips:
If you do, here is the link to their website. There you can find out room rates and even book your stay online!

Also available: Click here for information on the hotel's Ghost Hunt, where modern ghost hunting equipment is provided as well as a tour guide. You, too, can be a real ghost hunter!

Now Available!
Books by Drew Desmond and Brad Courtney:

"Murder & Mayhem in Prescott"
"True Tales of Prescott" 

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(*1) http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/Jerome_Hotel_history.htm
(*2) Prescott Daily Courier 10/31/1997 p1 c2
(*3) http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/eBookFull.pdf
(*4) http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/ghost_hunt_gallery/index.htm

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