Across the valley from Sedona, nestled mile high in the Cleopatra mountains of the Black Hills of Arizona is the artist’s haven Jerome, Arizona. Once the site of the largest copper mining operation in the world, Jerome is resurging as an artist colony a Bed and Breakfast Mecca and ‘The most haunted ghost town’ in America. With less than 500 permanent residents there is plenty of room for all of them.
As you would expect in a mountain town, the roads twist and turn, switch back and then back again. Slow down and enjoy the view. The Verde Valley spreads out below, with a verdant river running through it. And keep a look out for unique houses perched precariously on the hillside. Some of the oldest homes and buildings are more than 100 years old. Many of the old homes on the hill have been turned into Bed and Breakfast. Most are historic and almost all have a tale to tell. We stayed at the Ghost City Inn. Once a boarding house, this B&B has more than one resident ghost. Reasonably priced and a good breakfast make this a great place to stay.
When visiting the Town of Jerome, park in any of the many public parking areas and walk up and down the streets. There are at least 3 wineries to check out, and a good handful of restaurants to choose from. Be sure to check out The Haunted Hamburger for a huge burger and ghost photos taken during the recent renovation. Ask about the hammers. Make time to meander through the various shops and art galleries. Some artists live and work in Jerome, including. others live in the Verde Valley and show in Jerome and Sedona. One artist we met was V. Norton, she works in multiple mediums and is very passionate. Ask her about her “Spirit Seekers” masks.
Be sure to take a ghost tour one evening. Richard at Ghost Town Tours was very knowledgeable about the town’s history and a great guide. We happened to book a Ghost Tour on a week night in May and we had Richard all to ourselves. We were lucky because he gave us a lot of history and introduced us to more than a few of the town spirits. Richard went above and beyond. If you want a Ghost or History tour contact Ghost Town Tours. You will not be disappointed.
Jerome is a great day destination, but you need to stay a day or so to take in all this city has to offer. And since all the bed and breakfast inns, including Ghost City Inn, and the Connor Hotel are said to be haunted, you just might have an ethereal experience of your own!