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10/7/2013 1:41:00 PM
Scary times in Jerome as Ghost Walk returns
Crowds stroll through the streets participating in the Jerome Ghost Walk
Crowds stroll through the streets participating in the Jerome Ghost Walk
If You Go ...
• What: 11th Annual Jerome Ghost Walk

• When: Oct. 11 and 12, shows begin every half hour starting at 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

• Where: Spook Hall

• Cost: $15 Friday, $20 Saturday

• Find out more: or call 928-634-1066

Yvonne Gonzalez
Staff Reporter

The Jerome Ghost Walk has become an October highlight for a town known for its grizzly history, drawing large crowds and volunteers from all over the Verde Valley.

Written and directed by resident Michael Gallagher, the "moving audience play" will take patrons from Spook Hall to famous sites around the town.

"They sit down as if they're going to see a normal show," he said. "Sometime in the first scene, they're asked to rise by whoever's narrating and go on a short tour of the town visiting spots that tell the theme for that year."

This year, the theme is audience participation, Gallagher said.

A "postmortem prison" will be housed in the old Bartlett Hotel, a coin toss by day. There, actors will perform some of the most famous and gruesome crimes to take place in Jerome.

One vignette will feature the beheading of a Chinese restaurant owner during the copper boom mining days, a grizzly and true story that happened when there were 15,000 people living in the town.

"The audience is empaneled by a ghost judge to decide who is the most wicked in the city," he said.

Their programs will have ballots and they will be provided with golf pencils to vote on the criminal who is the most evil.

"Invariably, it ends up in some kind of a gunfight with a twist at the end," he said. "The audience loves the gun play, it's expected. People would be disappointed if there wasn't one."

The Historical Society worried the play was roving a bit too much, making it difficult to trek up and down the steep streets.

"It's a more streamlined show this year than it has been in the past," he said.

While it does feature violence and prostitutes, staples of any mining town, the event is kept PG-13.

"It never crosses the line," Gallagher said. "All the actors are instructed to be conscious of that."

Tickets are $15 on Friday and $20 on Saturday.

"The money will go toward the historical society to maintain what they do here in Jerome," he said.

A small budget provides costumes, whatever effects are needed and some compensation for the cast, made up of Jerome locals and residents of the Verde Valley. Most of the event is run by volunteers.

"Everybody volunteers for it and gives up their time and makes the effort," he said. "People at the society do the research that I base the script off of. It's a lot of people that come together and put it together every year. It's a very Jerome-y thing."

Tickets can be purchased from the Jerome Historical Society's website.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Article comment by: Murray Cludmeyer

It is spelled grisly, not grizzly. Proof read much?

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