Monday, April 12, 2010

A Bloody Past Haunts The Jerome Grand Hotel


latimes - The bedcovers provide false security. People died on this floor, on the ones above and below. The Jerome Grand Hotel's history has chapters written in blood. Souls at unrest loom, folks say.

Pulling the sheets over your face won't hide the questions that hit seconds before slumber: Is the darkness empty, or is someone there?

The caretaker who hanged himself in the boiler room. The handicapped man who wheeled himself off the balcony. The executive who shot himself in Room 32. The unfortunate maintenance man, Claude Harvey.

Of Jerome's supposed spectral residents, maintenance man Harvey is perhaps the noisiest. The 1926 Otis elevator killed him -- came down on his head in 1935. Accident, murder, suicide? Still unclear. But visitors say strange noises emanate from the shaft where he was found.

The cab moves, unbidden, at all hours. "They say he plays with lights too," said front desk clerk Debra Altherr.

As haunted hotel legend seems to dictate, there's also a "Lady in White." A guest reportedly woke one night to see her standing at the end of his bed, waving her finger.

In a book at the front desk, guests report these and other paranormal testimonies: footsteps, moaning, heavy breathing and untouched doors flying open. But the devoted hunt for digital proof on the hotel's ghost tour, which provides an electromagnetic-field meter, infrared thermometer and a camera.

"Most hotels are down 20-30% in the area," said Bob Altherr, Debra's husband and co-owner of the Jerome Grand Hotel with his brother, Larry. "We were down only 2% last year." Of approximately $500,000 in tourism the town of 450 receives annually, Mayor Al Palmieri figures the ghost-hunting crowd deposits a sizable chunk that is still expanding.




Film crews hoping to catch ghosts materialize often, and lately have been trespassing in the cemetery or in supposedly possessed buildings. "That's starting to become an issue," said Police Chief Allen Muma, who owns the Ghost City Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Ghost-hunters' favorite spot in town is the Grand, which sits 5,200 feet above sea level, edged into Cleopatra Hill, watching over the town and the Verde Valley.

From its high perch, the five-story, Spanish Mission-style building brings to mind the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." (One half-expects a hedge maze and a deranged man pounding a typewriter: All work and no play . . .)


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THE HAUNTED JEROME GRAND HOTEL

The Jerome Grand Hotel on Cleopatra Hill was originally opened as the United Verde Hospital in 1927. It was constructed by the United Verde Copper Company to treat injured and sick miners. As the copper deposits played out, the local population dwindled and the hospital was closed down in 1950.

The building had always had a reputation for being haunted as ghostly sounds of coughing, moaning and labored breathing could be heard throughout the wards. In addition, a man named Claude Harvey was killed when he was caught underneath the hospital elevator in 1935. Since that time, lights have been seen in the shaft and during a period when the building was vacant, the elevator could be heard slowly traveling up and down... even though it had been parked at the top of the shaft and no power was connected to it.

After the hospital closed down, the spooky old building remained vacant for 46 years, until it was re-opened in 1996 as the Jerome Grand Hotel. Accounts still say the place is haunted! In July 1997, a guest claimed that the bathroom door in his room opened by itself. He was so frightened that he remained in the lobby for the rest of the night! Other guests and staff members have reported doors that open and close, footsteps heard in empty halls, ghostly cries, lights that turn on and off, and of course, the groaning sound of an elevator that continues to operate on its own!

AN OBSERVATION

The minute you walk into this historic building you can feel its ominous past all around you. Like stepping back into days gone by. As you walk through the corridors of the hotel you can't help but feel the essence of those long gone. The hotel and the town itself have been featured in several paranormal television programs and magazines. If ever in Arizona this hotel is a must to visit and the town Of Jerome and the story of the men and women who once worked this old mining town is a wonderful tale indeed. You can't help but feel their presence all around you when you enter the Jerome Grand Hotel. We caught quite a few apparitions with our cameras while in the hotel and also on its balcony which over looks the valley below. The one above is of an apparition in the hotel bar which was vacant at the time we were in it not to open for a few hours later on that night.

Sources:
www.latimes.com
www.prairieghosts.com
paranormalphotos.tripod.com
www.jeromeghosthunting.com
www.jeromegrandhotel.com


A Bloody Past Haunts The Jerome Grand Hotel

2 comments :

Autumnforest said...

I remember my stay there. At the time, I had no idea of its history. I just needed a place to stay for the night. During the night, I kept waking up to the sound of coughing in my room. Right near the door to the hall. I went and swung the door open and looked. No one anywhere in site. Coughing sounded again behind me as I stood in the doorway. I closed the door and turned to the room, locating the exact spot this was clearly coming from. As a very good debunker, I was absolutely baffled. I went back to sleep, woke up again to more coughing. Early in the morning, I just yelled "Enough! Stop coughing or leave the room!" I ended up sleeping in. Not one more cough. The place has a very melancholy and "old person" feel to it, like a sick room. I later found out it had been a hospital and many miners with lung disease were housed there. I felt kind of bad for yelling at the old geezer.

ceressnowenterprises said...

Stayed here just before this past Christmas...believe it was December 20th. Most active ghost haunt in my life. Started almost immediately after checking in. The hotel did not have a lot of checked in guests and we arrived at approximately 12-1 pm. We explored a bit (the hotel is greatly decorated in period art, furniture etc.) and on the 4th floor I believe (may have been 3rd floor only cannot remember) we were about to enter the elevator when a very audible and very loud and exaggerated "Whoooo?" echoed down the hall. We were the only ones on the floor...no explanation. It continued after we went out and about the town and returned. There were definite bangings and knockings that could not be explained (some could such as the steam radiator). In the middle of the night I was first awakened by a VERY loud thump of what sounded like a boot right next to my bed (we stayed on the 2nd floor). After finally getting back to bed, was awakened again but this time the sheets were actually pulled off me. After being startled initially, I grabbed my camera and actually stayed up for 3 more hours (this time it was around 11:30 at night) just walking calmly around the floors snapping pictures. I did not capture any pictures but heard unexplained footsteps and witnessed the elevator moving on it's own (it's an old fashioned one that only works with a key and when the door is manually closed).

The following day after logging my events in the log-book at the front desk I went up to the room to retrieve my bags. When I opened the door to the second floor, right in my ear was the creepiest sounding breath I've ever heard. Quite disturbing.

Though I did not get much sleep, was definitely startled at times, I cannot wait to return here. Quite amazed at the level of activity.

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