Investigation Report

Location: Jerome Grand Hotel, Jerome, AZ.
Date: 16 July 2005
Weather Conditions: Mostly cloudy
Humidity: 32%
Geomagnetic Storm Activity: Quiet to Inactive
Temperature: 90
Number of Photos taken: 120
Number with possible targets: 1
Average EM Readings: N/A
Average M fields Readings: 1 nt
Average E Field Readings: 1 vpm
Cold Spots detected: None
Olfactory Phenomena: None
Visual Phenomena: None
Type of Investigation: Ghost Hunt

All information and photos Copyright 2005 by Cody Polston, Bob Carter and SGHA. All Rights Reserved.

Location Description and History

The town of Jerome, Arizona, began in the 1900's as the United Verde Copper Mine, employing hundreds to dig deep within the mountain for copper, gold and silver. The town, often referred to as a den of sin and vice by the local newspapers of the time, was typical of most mining towns.

It was in 1926 that the United Verde Copper Company began construction on the United Verde Hospital to treat its sick and injured miners. By the time it opened in 1927, it was an amazing site to behold. At 30,000 square feet and five stories of poured concrete, the hospital was designed to be fireproof as well as resistant to the shock of 260,000 pounds of dynamite exploding within the mines.

By 1930, United Verde Hospital was widely regarded as the most modern and well-equipped hospital in Arizona and quite possibly the entire southwest.

The building was constructed in Spanish Mission style and is four stories high. The roof top deck and balcony were added in 1929.

The first "self service" Otis elevator (an elevator not requiring an operator) was installed in St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, in 1925. The Otis elevator located in the Jerome Grand Hotel was installed in October 1926. It is fully operational and provides service to all five levels of the Hotel. Never having been modernized with automatic doors or any other upgrades available, this is the oldest original "self service" elevator in Arizona and possibly the United States. It has been out of order for a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes in the past 8 years;, far exceeding the dependability of most modern elevators. It was originally installed to carry patients to the operating room on the third floor.

The Many patients were brought in to have their mangled bodies examined, to recover from disease and to even bear their children. While many of them were nursed back to health, a large percentage of patients simply went to the hospital to die. Many women perished during childbirth, and many men coughed their last gasping breaths within the walls. The building also served to care for the mentally unstable, housing them until they either died or were "cured."

The ill and infirmed were not the only deaths that occurred at the hospital. In 1935 an orderly named Claude Harvey was killed when he was crushed beneath the hospital elevator. No autopsy was done on his body, and though the death was ruled a tragic accident, rumors circulated that he was murdered. Another rumored murder concerned another orderly who fell, or was pushed, from a balcony on the fifth floor. Though no arrests were ever made, the popular notion was that both deaths were deliberate acts against the two men. A suicide occurred when a patient in a wheelchair moved over to the balcony and pulled himself over the railing, falling to his death below.

Bob in the hotel's Ottis elevator

When the copper mine dried up, United Verde began phasing out its operation, and the town began to slowly die. So few people stayed, in fact, that the hospital was closed down in 1950.

For the next 44 years the massive building sat vacant on the hillside, looking over the remains of the town. The hotel deteriorated and was often a home for vagrants. Although there was no electricity, locals claimed to see lights burning brightly in the windows.

Many locals claimed to hear shouts and screams coming from the old hospital, and those that ventured close enough swore they heard coughing and labored breaths.

In 1994, Phelphs Dodge sold the building to Larry Altherr and his brother who began turning it into the Jerome Grand Hotel. When it opened its doors in 1997, the hauntings began again with even stranger phenomena reported.

Reported Phenomena

The most common occurrence is the sound of labored breathing and coughing coming from empty rooms. Worse, these sounds often emanate from a dark corner of a guest's room. The guest in question usually describes a sharp drop in temperature, followed by a dusty smell. Then the coughing begins, along with wheezing behind it. One patron actually left his room and spent the night in the lobby after hearing such noises.

Claude Harvey, the man killed in the elevator incident in 1935, is believed to haunt several floors of the hotel and its basement. supposedly he is the most famous ghost at the hotel and many speculate that he was murdered.

Many guests have also heard voices coming from rooms on the third floor. These voices can be heard conversing from various places, especially Rooms 31, 33, 39A and 39B. Guests on this floor also smell cigarette and cigar smoke in non-smoking rooms.

Other phenomenon commonly observed are ghost lights. Employees have noticed flashing lights in unoccupied rooms. When they go to check the room for any sign of mischief, the room is empty.

At least two of the ghosts are women, have been seen by numerous visitors. The first, a nurse carrying a clipboard, seems more to be a memory than an actual ghost. She roams the halls, pausing at intervals and leaning down, looking at beds that no longer exist and patients long since dead. The other, a woman in white, has been identified as a woman who died in childbirth. Neither she nor her baby left the hospital halls. According to legend she is distraught over the treatment of her dead child, who was buried in an unmarked grave. According to the locals, she stalks the hotel, searching for her child's final resting place.

The Investigation

Our investigation of the hotel was done by two different groups during two separate times.

The first group consisted of Cody, Kristin and Kat and started around 10:00pm. We searched the 2nd, 3rd and fourth floors, taking photographs while doing EM sweeps. Nothing interesting was found during this first look. Bob and David conducted interviews with some of the employees during this time.

The second group, Bob, David and Kat started another search of the hallways around midnight. No interesting EM fields were located. The team did hear a strange sound that sounded like a cart being wheeled down the hallway but after examining the area, they now believe that the sound was caused by the ice machine.


Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image

Dave looking

Orb or dust?

Orb or dust #2

Dave and Bob in the elevator

Pre-hunt meeting

Dave finds a ghost

Kristin searching the 4th floor

Most likely dust

4th Floor

Nothing yet

Dave says "Boo!"

3rd Floor

Bob trying to intimidate the ghosts

2nd Floor

Still trying...

4th Floor



What's down the hall?

Time for bed

Initial Conclusions

Photo 1

There is an unusual inconsistency between two photos taken back to back. In photo 1, there is an orb-like structure that lacks definite diffraction rings. However, in photo 2, there is a "shadow" on the back wall that is not visible in photo 1. the difference between the two photographs is what makes this interesting.

The "shadow" appears to be human size although 3 dot syndrome may make it appear "human-ish". The photographer's position has not changed and there is no reasonable explanation as to why a "shadow" should come out in one photo and not the previous.

Despite this, no EM readings were obtained during this episode, so the cause of the shadow is still a mystery.

The elevator in the Jerome Grand hotel (where we stayed) is supposed to have a haunted elevator. Here's the story as it is related on the in-room historical video:

Close up of shadow in Photo 2

Photo 2

A man was in the elevator shaft working on the machinery in the 1930s. The story has it that while he was in there, a nurse took the elevator down to the first floor and crushed his skull. The coroner's report was hastily done, with no real autopsy performed, and a verdict of 'accident' was handed down. This was suspicious, because of the speed with which the investigation was performed. They completely overlooked the fact that the safety interlocks had to have been bypassed for the lift to come down and crush the man's skull. The company just wanted to sweep it under the rug and be done with it.

Several problems with this whole conspiracy/murder theory.

1: The elevator is *sloooooooow*. You'd have to be a deaf paraplegic to A: not hear it, and B: not be able to get out of the way in time. Or even just shout up the shaft to let someone know you are in it. At that point it is a simple matter to stop the elevator in motion. Just open the bloody door a crack, it will stop wherever it happens to be, even between floors.

2: A building maintenance worker DID die, this is true. However, when his body was found in the bottom of the shaft, the only visible sign of any injury was blood seeping out of his nose and ears. His head and everything else was perfectly intact. This is consistent with a massive stroke/hemorrhage. He suffered from his stroke and fell to the bottom of the shaft, between the big springs which would have kept the elevator from crushing him anyway.

3: There's a *ton* of space on the bottom of the shaft. A full grown adult can *easily* simply crouch down and wait for the elevator to stop moving. No crushy skull.

4: A person would have to be about 7 feet tall to get his skull crushed between the bottom of the elevator and the maintenance room floor landing as the lift came down. Otherwise, it'd simply force a man to his knees, if he were standing on the bottom of the shaft. Unless he was REALLY obstinate, then I suppose if he locked his knees it could theoretically break his neck. Still no crushy skull.

5: A man standing next to the lift machinery on the maintenance floor would have to be knocked to the floor with his head in the shaft to cause a head injury. However, this would decapitate. No crushy skull.

6: NO readings found anywhere in the elevator. No odd noises, no cold spots, nada. The workers themselves at the front desk have *never* heard or 'felt' anything in it either.

It does not make sense. It makes a nice ghost/murder story, but it doesn't add up with the known facts. The Grand is haunted enough without needing to come up with even more stories.

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