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These 5 Haunted Places in Arizona Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

Cheyenne Reed

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There is an abundance of haunted places in Arizona. From old hotels in mining towns to saloons with a rowdy history, there are many frights to be had.

1) Museum Club

ncptt.nps.gov
ncptt.nps.gov

Located in Flagstaff, the Museum Club was originally owned by Dean Eldredge. Back in 1931, he opened this pine lodge to showcase his collection of oddities. Among the items that people came to gawk at were taxidermied animals that commonly had too many legs, too few eyes, or too many heads altogether. This creepy collection was only the start of an unfortunate history for this location.

After Eldredge, the Museum was opened under its current name as a roadhouse not long after Prohibition had ended and later converted to a honky-tonk bar by Don and Thorna Scott. Fate was not in their favor either, though, and Thorna fell down a staircase, fatally breaking her neck. The loss of his wife led Don to commit suicide not even two years later.

Undaunted, new owners assumed responsibility for the Museum Club, but things around the lodge have been a little strange ever since. Many people report hearing creaking and footsteps or even voices when no one is around. Employees have often seen liquor bottles move on their own and come in to find a mess after have cleaned the bar up previously. Rumor has it that people even see the image of a woman wandering sometimes. Occasionally, people will even try to order her drinks, but she always vanishes before they can be delivered.  Richard Bentley, who was a handyman at the Museum Club promptly quit his job and fled after reportedly waking up in the middle of the night with a woman on his chest pinning him down. Catch a show here if you dare!

2) Bird Cage Theater

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travelingsnyders.files.wordpress.com

The Bird Cage Theater can be found in the town of Tombstone, one of the Wild West’s most infamous deadly cities. Nicknamed the “Town Too Tough to Die,” it has overcome countless hardships like floods and fires to soldier on. During the time when cowboys roamed the west, Tombstone was a dangerous place to be.  

Opened in 1881, the Bird Cage Theater saw plenty of notable guests, like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Back then, the theater was a one-stop shop, functioning as an opera house, saloon, brothel, and gambling hall. Today, the theater is still largely unrenovated, and plenty of evidence remains to illustrate the theater’s violent past. A tour of the building turns up a total of 140 bullet holes throughout the walls, floors, and ceilings. At least twenty-six people are known to have lost their lives here! Those who work at the theater, though, insist that it is far from empty.

Not only is it filled with historic artifacts that harken back to a much more dangerous era, but it would also seem that many of the inhabitants have stuck around. The site supervisor, Teresa Benjamin explains that, if you take any pictures or videos, you’re almost guaranteed to spot something odd. As it turns out, apparently these eternal guests like to be included in the festivities! People often report being overwhelmed by the scent of cigar smoke, lavender, or even death, and occasionally feeling a pinch or a shove.

The Bird Cage Theater has a reputation for convincing skeptics, so don’t hesitate to pay them a visit, believer or not. The conversion rate is substantial, making the Bird Cage Theater one of the most haunted places in Arizona.

3) Yuma Territorial Prison

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50states.s3.amazonws.com

There are plenty of reportedly haunted prisons from coast to coast across the United States. Yuma Territorial Prison, one of the most haunted places in Arizona, is no exception.

This prison was considerably scarier in its heyday, between the years 1876 and 1909. It is now operated as a museum and a State Historic Landmark. Once housing over 3,000 prisoners, including women, the inmates were all transferred in 1909 due to overpopulation. But, it would seem that many of the former occupants simply refuse to go.

Cold spots and catching movements out of the corner of your eye are common all around the prison. Though some spots are more active than others. One of these areas seems to be a common site for paranormal activity is the “dark cell.” Used as a punishment for prisoners, the dark cell was a barren, concrete room measuring ten feet by ten feet. Prisoners placed here were stripped nearly naked, bound with shackles, deprived of sunlight and fed bread and water only once a day. Legend has it that prisoners leaving the dark cell were often transported directly to the insane asylum. You can imagine that this terrible experience might result in some angry spirits. Not everyone agrees that the energy they feel in the dark cell is angry, but people often agree that they don’t feel as though they are alone.

The park is open most days during the peak season; check their website for hours and schedule a visit to see for yourself!

4) Oliver House

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s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com

The Oliver House, nestled in the quaint, small town of Bisbee, Arizona, is a little different than the abandoned, uninviting ruins that often boast ghost hauntings. In fact, the Oliver House is now a bed and breakfast where you can spend a night if you dare. The Oliver House was originally founded as an office by Edith Ann Oliver, wife of successful miner Henry Oliver.

The bridge across a moat at the Oliver House in Bisbee, Arizona.
Today, you have to cross a footbridge to get over the moat that encircles the building.

Once you enter this house, you’ll quickly realize that it’s one of the most haunted places in Arizona. No one has been able to accurately determine the number of deaths that occurred in this red brick house. But some estimates place the number at nearly thirty.

The mysterious, unsolved murder of Nathan “Nat” Anderson in 1920 is one legend that provides some background for all of the curious happenings in room thirteen and other rooms. Chairs moving, shutters and doors opening and closing, unexpected cold spots, and mysterious footsteps make this bed and breakfast a destination for those with nerves of steel who skipped out on their healthy dose of fear!

5) Acadia Ranch

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c2.staticflickr.com

Acadia Ranch lies in the town of  Oracle. This town is just north of Tucson and was once the site of Buffalo Bill Cody‘s mine and homestead. The ranch was established in 1880. It has served many roles over the years including a post office, hotel, guest ranch, and most chillingly, a boarding house and morgue for tuberculosis patients.

Acadia Ranch’s location made it an ideal destination for tuberculosis patients. It was believed that sunshine and fresh air might help them improve. Some did… and others didn’t live to leave the ranch again. The bodies of those who failed to improve were often stored just outside the front door until they could be properly buried.

Ever since 1978, the Acadia Ranch has been the property of the Oracle Historical Society. Their restoration efforts have revealed some seriously bizarre incidents. Swinging chandeliers, flickering lights, and ghostly footsteps are not uncommon here. Nor is feeling the presence of a spirit who volunteers have cheerfully nicknamed George. Typically making his presence known only if one is alone, no one is quite certain about the actual identity of George. The only thing we know is that he was likely one of the unfortunate tuberculosis victims who never recovered.

Pay the Acadia Ranch a visit and check out all of the historic artifacts that have been restored. Volunteers are more than happy to tell you all about the history of one of the haunted places in Arizona and its enduring resident, George.

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