- The Jerome Grand Hotel opened in 1927 as United Verde Hospital, which closed in 1950
- More than 9,000 people died at the hospital
- The building was sold by Phelps Dodge Mining Corp. in 1994 to the Altherr family
- It opened as Jerome Grand Hotel in 1996
It’s believed that nearly 9,000 people died in the Jerome Grand Hotel during its previous life as United Verde Hospital. That’s a lot of sickness, pain and death.
There must be some residual spirit energy left over from all those souls, right? Right.
Ghostly figures, sounds, unexplained orbs of light and other paranormal activity permeate the halls of this ghost-hunting cult mecca high above the turn-of-the-century Yavapai County mining town making it one of the most haunted places in Arizona.
“We were skeptical and didn’t believe it in the beginning,” says general manager Chris Altherr, whose father Bob and uncle Larry bought the boarded-up 30,000-square-foot building from the old Phelps Dodge Corporation in 1994 after laying fallow for more than 40 years. “We only had six rooms open at first and immediately began receiving reports from guests hearing voices and a (hospital gurney) in the hallways, but no one was there.”
Scores of visitor accounts
Whether or not you believe in ghosts — or more specifically ghosts at the Jerome Grand — scores of visitors have signed guest books in the lobby noting their experiences.
“We fill a 300-page journal each year,” Altherr says. “We have four or five of them right now.”
Activity happens throughout the hotel, but the third floor in particular. Most of the deaths occurred in the operating room there. The sound of a hospital gurney, wheels across the floor, spook the uninitiated.
“We’ve made changes with carpet and you can still hear it at 3 in the morning,” Altherr says.
Guests also report the ghost of a cat on the third floor. Like a feline jumping onto the bed and walking around.
“I have heard that one a million times,” he says.
The room that receives the most comments is No. 32. Altherr says it’s a former hospital guest room with a balcony and the site of two possible suicides. One former miner confined to a wheelchair reportedly climbed over the balcony railing to this death, and a businessman shot himself there.
There’s lots of creepy stories at the Jerome Grand Hotel, such as the caretaker who committed suicide in the boiler room, or when maintenance man Claude Harvey was found in the basement crushed by the elevator in 1935. He’s thought to ride the 1926 Otis at all hours.
“I once received phone call at the front desk from an unoccupied room and heard a lady say something, but it was inaudible,” Altherr says. “I called back, and there was no answer. I walked up there and the room was vacant.”
The hotel’s reputation led to The Travel Channel filming an episode of “Ghost Adventures” in 2011. Doors slammed, voices captured, unexplained dark masses documented, and the crew felt numbness and tingling in their extremities.
“We have the real deal up here,” Altherr says. “It’s not just a gimmick, we acknowledge it.”
Contact “Only in Arizona” columnist Mark Nothaft at email@example.com. Send him the weird and fun facts and places found #OnlyInArizona.
Jerome Grand Hotel
200 Hill St., Jerome