If you’ve lived in Arizona any length of time or visited Jerome, you’ve probably heard of the Grand Hotel. The hotel was once a hospital, which opened their doors in 1927, but then closed in 1950. 44 years later the hotel opened in 1994. Who would have thought a hospital would be renovated into a hotel.
I read on the Internet there had been 9000 deaths during the time the hotel was a hospital. But that number just seems grossly inflated. I think it was the actual size of Jerome during the great Spanish influenza epidemic, which I found on a more reputable site. Many in the town did die from the epidemic but that was in 1918. As with any hospital, there were deaths, and many were caused by injury or illness, and but some lives ended suspiciously. No wonder there have been so many reported hauntings!
There is Claude Harvey. He was a maintenance man for the hospital. He was found dead at the bottom of the elevator shaft. His neck was pinned by the elevator. At the time the coroner reported the elevator didn’t cause Claude’s death. Even though his death was not from natural causes, there wasn’t an autopsy done on his body. It was believed United Verde Copper Company, the owner of the building, didn’t want any investigation done, fearing bad publicity.
There was also a suicide in 1982 by a Manoah Hoffpauir. He was found hanging from a steam pipe in the Engineer’s Office.
The history alone is enough to stay the night.
On one trip I took for a writer’s retreat we went down into the boiler room. They have a haunted tour and just before 12 midnight the tour guide takes the hotel guests down to wait until just after midnight. If you listen very carefully you’ll hear a ghost cat meow. We actually did! I have to admit I was a little shocked at hearing the cat!
From what I understand there is a spirit cat that roams the hotel. No one knows where the cat came from, but people have heard it meowing. A number of guests and staff have felt the cat also brush up against their legs or visit them while they are in bed.
Actually, one year, a friend of mine reported feeling something on the foot of her bed one of the nights she was there. I didn’t have such luck, and I’m probably glad I didn’t have a visitor during the night.
Another experience I had was the smell of cigarette smoke in the hallway. The staff had mentioned you might be able to smell it, and we actually did one evening. We searched the floors above and below for anyone smoking and couldn’t find one person with a cigarette, and smoking is banned in the hotel.
I plan on visiting the hotel this month. Or rather the Asylum Restaurant. I love to go up to Jerome to visit and write. They have a great coffee and wine place on one of the main strips called Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room. The last time I was there they had a couple of sofas you could sit on and drink coffee or wine and it’s a perfect place to write for a bit. At least they didn’t kick us and our laptops out.