Top Ten Spooky Places of the Wild West
Few times in history have captured the popular imagination like the Wild West. Deeply romanticized by most people, the West was a rough place where people struggled to survive—and many didn’t make it. Listen to the stories of the Wild West and there is no wonder why this blend of gun fights, duels, hangings and widespread disease has produced some of the most actively haunted spots in the nation.
10. The Copper Queen, Bisbee Arizona
When the Copper Queen was built in 1902 it was one of the fanciest hotels in the West. Unfortunately, it quickly became the site of some decidedly less-than-fancy activities. Local history tells of a rather popular prostitute named Julia who spent a considerable amount of time on the third floor with her gentleman callers. When she fell in love with one and her feelings were spurned, she killed herself. Many reports have been made of a young woman appearing at the foot of men’s beds, dancing and smiling at them. Another frequently seen ghost is that of Billy, a five year old boy who was said to have been the son of a woman who worked at the hotel. Billy was a rambunctious child who loved to run down the halls of the fourth floor while his mother was working. His death drowning in a near-by river seems to have made no difference in this activity, as his footsteps are often heard and he is often seen playing in the yard or peeking around corners at guests.
9. The Silver Queen Hotel, Virginia City Nevada
Another Queenly hotel, this one in Virginia City Nevada, the Silver Queen is apparently home to another prostitute who became disenchanted with her lot in life and chose to end it all. This one, referred to as Rosie, climbed into the bathtub of Room 11, her favorite room at the hotel, and slit her wrists. Reports have been made of cold chills in this room as well as the sound of a woman whispering and water running in the bathroom when there is no one there. Downstairs in the bar a spirit seems to still be enjoying herself and serving drinks, appearing to guests and investigators as a blue mist.
8. The Jerome Grand Hotel, Jerome Arizona
If there is one word that immediately conjures up thoughts of pain, sadness and unfinished business it is “hospital”. While this hotel came a bit after the time of the Old West, its position as the grand darling of a ghost town that rapidly went from a population of 15,000 when the mines were active to only 100 when they closed down gives it fantastic creepy cred. It seems that the building’s original identity as a hospital from 1926 to 1950 had the most effect on its haunting energy. The most prevalent spirits are those of a woman thought to have died in childbirth in the early 1930s who wanders the halls and a nurse carrying a clipboard who is seen walking into rooms and leaning over beds that are no longer there as if still checking on her patients. Guests have also noted hearing coughing and wheezing from unoccupied areas of the hotel. Another spirit dated to around the same time is that of a man named Clyde who was decapitated by an elevator in 1935.
7. Vulture Mine, Wickenburg Arizona
This spot lured thousands of adventurous prospectors with high aspirations of getting rich mining gold. Within just a short time, however, corrupted men and incredible greed bubbled over and resulted in a number of gruesome deaths. It is not just the mine that is thought to be a hotbed of spiritual activity. The entire area, including the schoolhouse and the assayer office, hold energy from the past that seems to think the old mining days are still going on. The most prevalent hauntings are said to be sounds of miners coming up from deep within the mine and voices in the schoolhouse that seem to be children playing.
6. Waverly Hills Sanitarium, Louisville Kentucky
It sounds as though this hospital was for the mentally ill, but it was actually a treatment center for those suffering from the “White Death”—tuberculosis. Also referred to as consumption back in the day, tuberculosis was difficult to treat and reached epidemic proportions, killing thousands in just a few years. Waverly Hills was revered as the most advanced treatment center for the disease and used a variety of treatment methods from the accepted fresh air and sunlight exposure to the barbaric and experimental surgical removal of ribs and chest muscles to allow the lungs to expand. In the back of the building was a secret passage referred to as the Body Chute through which the corpses of those that didn’t make it through either the disease or the treatment were sent down into waiting trains to be taken away. The thought was that if the living patients saw how many were dying on a daily basis the impact on their mental health would be so devastating it would destroy their efforts to heal. Later the building became a geriatric home rift with rumors of abuse and horrific conditions. Hauntings include ghostly children frolicking through the hallways, bloody patients asking for help and a ghostly hearse appearing in the back to collect bodies.
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