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Tales from the Asylum Restaurant in Jerome

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The Jerome Grand Hotel sits high on a hill overlooking the unearthly happenings in the Arizona town of Jerome—otherwise known as the “Ghost City.” The five story structure was once the United Verde Hospital serving the busy mining area. Not only did these hospital walls see accidents, diseases, and other illnesses—it was the birthplace of many Jerome residents.

When Jerome’s mining operations shut down, the population of the city began to decrease. The hospital closed in the 1950’s. Eventually the town literally became a ghost town. The menacing looking building began to deteriorate like many of the abandoned structures in Jerome.

Phelps Dodge sold the building to the current owners in 1994 and renovations began at once. Within two years the old hospital was turned into the Jerome Grand Hotel with the upscale Asylum Restaurant serving dinner and drinks to tourists who came to see art, crafts, and even a ghost or two.

The dining room of the Asylum Restaurant was once the entrance and lobby of the old hospital. During the month of October the entire town of Jerome gets into the theme of Halloween, and of course the Jerome Grand Hotel and the Asylum Restaurant take part in the ghostly traditions.

One of the ex-bartenders shared an experience he witnessed as the veil grew thinner in the month of October. It was a week day night in Jerome. It had snowed and all was still and quiet. Not a breeze was in the air. Only the cook, a waitress, one guest and the bartender was present in the restaurant. The cook was busy in the kitchen while the waitress and bartender chatted in the dining room.

Suddenly the front door burst open and a large steady wall of wind whirled into the dining room. It headed past the greeter stand and tossed a novelty skeleton Halloween decoration up into the air. Normally this would not be very surprising factor...until he described what happened next. The skeleton literally walked along the ceiling for several feet, then walked down the side of a nearby pole, eventually landing on the floor below.

The cook entered the dining room, his face pale as a ghost. He described running into the blast of wind out in the hallway as it rushed down the corridor on its way to where the emergency room was formerly located. The employees looked at each other in disbelief. Once again, everything had became still and quiet on that snowy evening. But, they all knew they had just encountered a ghost or unexplained energy field of a tragic emergency of the past.

Look for the blinking “Vacancy” sign at the Jerome Grand Hotel and drive up the narrow road to the old hospital. The Asylum Restaurant has lunch, dinner and spirits guaranteed to cure your needs. Grab a table near a window and see breathtaking views of the Verde Valley, Sedona and Flagstaff. It’s like taking a dose of tranquility. Be ready to encounter one of the ghosts. You would be insane to forget your paranormal equipment!

Jerome Grand Hotel
200 Hill Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
928-634-8200

The Asylum Restaurant
200 Hill Street
Jerome, AZ 86331
928-639-3197

Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner: Debe Branning nazanaza@aol.com

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