Top 10 Haunted Colleges in the Southwest

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If you’re at the stage of your life where you’re thinking to the immediate future about where to go to college (I’m not speaking to those of you who just graduated in May or June who should already have your plans laid out), here are ten schools for your consideration listed here due to their haunting factor.

10. Utah State University – Logan, UT
9. Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, OK
8. Johnson & Wales University – Denver, CO
7. Texas A&M University – College Station, TX
6. University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ
5. New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, NM
4. University of Colorado, Denver
3. University of La Verne – La Verne, CA
2. University of Texas at Austin
1. University of Nevada – Reno, NV

This link directs you to short blurbs about how each school is haunted: full story

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John Ringo Grave

John Ringo Historic Site Monument

The Historic Site Monument at the Ringo Gravesite.

If you’ve read about the untamed American frontier and have never heard of Tombstone, Arizona, for shame! This little town is a great place to learn about frontier life in a mining boom town. Tombstone is rife with legends and stories that would keep anyone interested for weeks on end. It was a silver mining town known for its rough-around-the-edges citizens. Names like Wyatt Earp, Curly Bill Brocius, Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday– are a dime a dozen in the annals of Tombstone history. Tombstone is noted for the longest poker game in history (8 years, 5 months, and 3 days) and the infamous gunfight at the O.K. corral which was primarily between the Earps and the Clantons and McLowerys.

Part of the culture of the “Wild West” was to bury a body along the trail where the person passed away. There was no transporting the body anywhere unless the deceased was close to the rail lines at their time of death. Decomposition was rapid because food didn’t have preservatives and embalming was still in its infancy. Bodies still relatively intact that were found on the trail were buried deep enough to keep the coyotes, vultures or other desert scavengers at bay. Most makeshift graves were covered with rocks and marked with a simple wooden cross near the place the body was found and buried. The practice of leaving a cross or headstone is still observed in parts of the American southwest– though, the bodies are typically transported and interred in an actual cemetery instead of beside the road.

One such body that was found and buried on the trail is the source of much historical intrigue as there is some disagreement over the death of this man whose personal legend is linked to the infamous “Town Too Tough to Die”– Tombstone, Arizona. The body of John Peters Ringo is interred near the oak tree where he was found. A coroner’s inquest was held to determine his cause of death, but not everyone agrees with the verdict. Continue reading

Todd’s Return

The following is a story one of my new coworkers has shared with me. I’ve been given a written copy to share, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Enjoy!

~Jadewik

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I met Todd Apel upon my return to Phoenix from Louisiana in April of 1964. We met in 4th Grade and were fast friends until his very early and untimely death on Christmas Eve in 1969. His father was driving and rear-ended a big truck. Todd and his sister Debbie were both killed instantly.

The years passed and I was working the swing shift at Arizona MVD. I returned home at 1 am on Wednesday morning. I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk. I sat down on the living room couch to eat and relax, when I saw a dim light down the hallway. I thought one of my parents had awoken and went to the bathroom, but I heard no sound. The light slowly grew brighter and moved towards me as it did so. I began to get concerned as to what this was all about– maybe a bad guy was sneaking back out after doing something he should not have done. The light got brighter but still no sound at all.

Then it happened– I saw what was causing the light– it was a pair of feet and lower legs that were glowing with a bright white light. I saw the feet and legs first because I was looking at the floor when they first appeared in the hallway. The legs were very slowly approaching me in a manner which indicated a reluctance to be seen. Then I saw the hips and the torso come into view. The “image” was stopping and then slowly advancing again. He was very reluctant to come into full view.
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Haunted Libraries: Scottsdale Public Library

When we think of hauntings, our minds tend to zero in on houses, theatres, hospitals, etc. Rarely do we think of libraries, being so benign as they are. I found a list of the top 10 haunted libraries and will explore each of their stories in detail in this short series.

Arabian Library, Scottsdale, Arizona

Arabian Library, Scottsdale, Arizona

10. Scottsdale Public Library – specifically the Civic Center branch and the Arabian Library branch.

History

The Scottsdale Public Library System serves the residents of Scottsdale, Arizona as well as the rest of Maricopa County and all visitors to the area. It is run by the City of Scottsdale. The first library for Scottsdale opened in 1955 in the Adobe House which was, at the time, also serving as the community center. It was open only 2 hours, 2 days a week and had a collection of 300 donated books. Four years later, the Friends of the Library non-profit was begun to raise additional funds for the library and offer additional support. In 1960, the town of Scottsdale assumed responsibility for the library and in 1968 a new 37,000 square foot main library was opened. Today there are five branches, including the main branch, Civic Center. Four of the five branches are named for horse breeds: Mustang, Palomino, Arabian and Appaloosa.

Haunting(s)

As stated above, the main branch and the Arabian branch are the two which are alleged to be haunted. It’s not easy to find any stories of what seems to go on at either location other than vague references to books flying off the shelf and unexplained voices being heard. Whoever or whatever haunts each of the two branches is not malevolent in any way, according to the investigation team Sonoran Paranormal Investigations, the team who has been to both branches to attempt to help the library gain some answers in 2010.

At the Arabian branch, voices were recorded, one of which was heard without the aid of a recording device. There were also responses on the team’s K-2 meter to verbal prompts in the children’s reading room, especially when one of the investigation team members read “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. Also, a video camera which had been left on its own to record any ghostly activity was inexplicably knocked over when no one was around.

The Civic Center investigation found some moderate activity in the room containing historical documents. A photograph of the late Scottsdale Mayor Bud Tims hangs in the room and whenever it is moved, electronic devices start to “act funny.” A male voice was recorded three times saying the word “no” in response to various questions.

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If you find yourself passing through or visiting Scottsdale, Arizona for a little while, you can find each of the branch’s hours here: ¬†Scottsdale Public Library¬†Details of the investigation can be found on SPI’s website. Lastly, you can hear the recordings captured at each branch location and judge for yourself the validity of the captures.

A Ghostly Good Time

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City Park, Bisbee, Arizona

Old City Park is a sprawling 9,000 square-foot park located at 62 Brewery Ave in the mountainous City of Bisbee, Arizona. The park boasts an amphitheater, bleachers, a Ramada, slides, a basketball hoop, concrete court, and activity center. In the daylight, the park looks colorful and inviting, and there are often music or theatrical events hosted here. In the evening, City Park is fairly well lit and, being close to Old Bisbee, it’s not a bad location to spend some time hanging out… unless one is familiar with the history of City Park and knows that City Park used to be the Bisbee Cemetery.
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A Tragic Death in Western Film

I must have driven State Road 79 to Phoenix a dozen times. On each of those travels I’d pass the Tom Mix Wash and, in passing, wonder who Tom Mix was and what he did to be famous enough to have a wash named after himself. It wasn’t until his name came up in connection with a certain Santa Rita Hotel that I remembered the name “Tom Mix” long enough to look him up. That’s when I learned that Tom Mix Wash was where silent film star Tom Mix spent the last moments of his life.

The names Clint Eastwood and John Wayne have been synonymous with western film for as long as I’ve been alive. What I didn’t know was that there was another name that had made the genre popular long before I was born. That fellow was Tom Mix.
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More ghost towns

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Of course not every ghost town really looks like a ghost town. There are a few – like Bodie, CA – where buildings exist in a state of “arrested decay” and others, like Virginia City, NV where people still live in the towns even though they’re designated as ghost towns.

I hit another jackpot on Yahoo where they have a list of nine ghost towns in the US that typically date to the 19th century. The link at the end will be where you can see photos and read information about the history of these towns. Also, if you enjoy ghost towns as much as I do, a great resource for ghost town exploration is ghostowns.com. It is a very well organised site and will tell you how to get there – if you can drive up by car, if you have to rent a 4×4 or if you have to abandon motorized vehicles of all kinds and simply hike. The ones in Colorado and parts of Nevada and California are where you’ll typically find those.

These are the sites listed on the Yahoo article:

  • Rhyolite, NV
  • Bodie, CA
  • St Elmo and Tincup, CO
  • Calico, CA
  • Ashcroft, CO
  • Grafton, UT
  • Gleeson, AZ
  • Kennecott, AK
  • Fairbank, AZ

Full story