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Meet the 'ghost' of V W Munson at Dining Among the Dead 3

The 'ghost' of V W Munson may be appearing at Dining Among the Dead 3
The 'ghost' of V W Munson may be appearing at Dining Among the Dead 3
Photo by Debe Branning

The acclaimed “Dining among the Dead” fundraiser held each October at the old Pioneer & Military Memorial Park (cemetery) features eerie luminary lighted pathways to the gravestones of some the early Phoenix pioneers. The Dining guests never know who they might meet along the way as costumed re-enactment players tell their tragic stories.

Stories, such as the devastating tale of V. H. Munson, will be unveiled. Munson was Swedish and was born in 1854. Unfortunately, it seems that Munson's death was one of those cases of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was believed he may have been staying at the Minnie Powers House on the night the woman was murdered. Although he was innocent of any participation in the crime, he kept secret the fact of his presence on that fateful night and it just may have unbalanced his mind. He admitted to friends that he was the man seen running away from the brothel after gunshots were fired in the early hours of the morning. He had spent a good deal of the previous evening in the presence of the ladies at the brothel and was afraid he would be accused as a cohort to the crime.

He carried the guilt of that evening for nearly six months. Then one day he decided to commit suicide by drowning himself in a nearby irrigating canal. Munson’s body was found in the Maricopa Canal, about eight miles from town in the Cartwright neighborhood. It is thought when he walked into the canal and was upon the point of bending to immerse his head, the strong current swept his feet from under him and the heavy sand and silt rapidly filling his clothing bore him under the water. (About 75 to 100 pounds of sand came from his clothing).

Munson died in March 1899. He was merely 45 years old. He was buried in the Rosedale section of the cemetery---within yards of his beloved Minnie Powers and her murderer, William "the Cockney" Belcher who shot himself in the head after shooting the Madam.

Learn more about this love triangle and other tales of the underworld at the Dining Among the Dead fundraiser. The Pioneers' Cemetery Association presents the 3rd annual “Dining Among the Dead—an Evening of Food and Frivolity." The elegant Victorian dinner party will grace the Gazebo Patio in the midst of the early Phoenix pioneers who grace the old Pioneer cemetery. The event will be held at the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park at 14th Avenue and Jefferson Streets in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday evening, October 11, 2014.

Package includes: Salad, Dinner (Choice of a Meat or Vegetarian Dish) & Dessert, Iced tea or Lemonade, and entertainment. Meet the legendary "Doc Holliday" as he regales you with stories of his historic life. Ticket also includes one raffle ticket, and a luminary historic tour of the old cemetery featuring live re-enactment players.

Cost is only $45 per refunds.

Proceeds to benefit the Pioneers' Cemetery Association for the Gravestone Preservation project.

This event is by reservation only. There will be NO tickets sold at the gate. To order your tickets and reserve a space at the dining tables, please contact Debe Branning--a member of the PCA ASAP. She will place your name on the reservation list and will send out your tickets after you have paid. Invite all of your friends, family, neighbors, paranormal teams, or other lively organizations.

Make checks/money orders payable to: PCA (Pioneers’ Cemetery Association)

For more information, email Debe Branning at:

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