By Joe Carrel, Buffalo Exchange Tempe
I once visited the hotel from “The Shining.” A slow, steep drive up the snowy south side (tongue-twister apologies) of Mt. Hood, Oregon brought me to the Timberline Lodge. Unfortunately, its beauty only slightly tempered my disappointment. It wasn’t simply that I discovered the lodge was only used for exterior shots (and had no hedge maze); it was more that there was absolutely no acknowledgement of the classic film to be found.
So it was refreshing when I learned of a hotel that embraced its inner spookiness. That place is northern Arizona’s Jerome Grand Hotel, called by ghostlyfavorites.com “one of the most active haunted locations in the world.” It opened as a Spanish mission style hospital at the peak of Jerome’s mining boom in 1927. After lying dormant for 44 years, it was resurrected as a hotel, retaining all of its roaring twenties spirit, or spirits as it were.
Two of the site’s more storied apparitions are a clipboard-carrying nurse who stops to peer over hospital beds that are no longer there, and the lady in white, who stalks the premises for her deceased child’s final resting place. Amongst the numerous unnatural deaths in the hospital’s history is a maintenance man who was crushed by the elevator in a case of rumored foul play. The hotel will even equip those who want to get their Ghostbuster vibe on with a camera, electromagnetic field meter and infrared thermometer.
For those of us whose scariest Halloween experience is seeing the color the milk turns when we ill-advisedly mix Franken Berry & Boo Berry with Count Chocula, it’s strangely comforting to know that creepier things are still lurking.