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Unexplained Cases | Haunted Hotel and More in Wickenburg, AZ

Written by: Darren Dedo
Case Filed: 03/29/19 - Wickenburg, Arizona
Executive Producer: Rick Garner

Wickenburg, Arizona - where the old west meets the new west. A town that was founded on "there’s gold in them hills" has quite the past! That past has merged into a paranormal present: spiritual energy, phantom apparitions, things that go bump in the night. This old western town is supercharged for super natural activity!
To get a good idea why this town is so paranormal--  we first need to take a trip to the past.
“Back in 1863, gold was discovered just outside of town in a place that became known as the Vulture Mine," shared Madam Mariah of Wickenburg Legends and Ghost Tours. "And  and any time the word "gold" is shouted from the rooftop you soon have all the men, prospectors, and miners clamoring around to get their fare share as well. That’s exactly what happened here. At any one given time, there were 5,000 souls outside working that hard rock mine, many of them making quite good for themselves. And, as it turned out many of them wanted to stay in our area.”

It was an immigrant Henry Wickenburg who struck it rich at the Vulture Mine - digging up tens of millions of dollars worth of gold from what turned out to be the richest mine in Arizona. He ended up establishing a town bearing his name, Wickenburg, born in 1863. And, like many places out west, the law was loose and fast: frontier justice. Besides train and stage robbers, settlers and the U.S. Calvary had to deal with deadly skirmishes in the Indian wars. And, many lives were lost when the Hassayampa River dam failed.

“Wickenburg, the largest burg of them all, was never notified. So, wouldn’t you know at 4am that damn burst forth like a cork out of a champagne bottle! That water came ripping and tearing and taking everything with it in its wake! All the buggies and animals. When it reached Wickenburg below, all of the men, women and children perished.”

It’s no wonder with such a turbulent past this town is haunted.

So, the Unexplained Cases posse saddled up and road into Wickenburg to seek out those spirits.Yours truly; my 15-year-old twins - those trailblazing teens - Gracie and Caroline, my Gen Z ghost hunters; as always my buddy and Executive Producer Rick Garner; and our guest investigators, Jaime Veik and Lara Davis from the Phoenix Arizona Paranormal Society.

Our first stop, a place with a sinister past.

“Well, this was, indeed, the famous Texas Hotel where one of our more infamous villains use to find his victims while he lived here. None other than Dr. Pierson. He came out west going from town to town leaving death and destruction behind him all across west. When he got up to the Vulture Mine, at least 18 bodies became rather evident before once again before he moved on.”

Old Dr. Pierson got into cahoots with the hotel’s owner and cooked up a scheme to poison guests and steal their stuff.

“A note would be sent to the doctor and it'd say something like "I’ve got a live one here!" The doctor would come calling and take them to dinner and drinks and of course poison them quite handily as they went alone. By the end of the night, they’d no longer be alive.”

So, it’s easy to see why the Texas Hotel is said to be haunted. The hotel is now Antiques and Artisans Emporium. It’s current owner, Beth Gallant, told us a few tall tales about the ghosts who supposedly roam her shop.

“Things move, fall of the shelf and I hear things all the time. I heard a voice say to me, “I can see you. I was here one night and it sounded like (knocks several times on counter) from one corner to the a golf ball on wood. Well, upstairs it’s carpeted.

Most of the activity is said to happen in the upstairs of the shop. Apparently, one of Beth’s customers talks with a couple of ghostly characters, too.

“So, Allison lives upstairs and she won’t leave, because, she likes it here. She worked here back in the day and she doesn’t want to leave. Now, she has a little girl up there who is driving her nuts because she won’t leave her alone. Allison says she just doesn’t have anytime for herself anymore because the little girl clings to her. The little girl wont’ leave because she's afraid of the angels.”

No one knows who Allison and the little girl are and why they haunt the building. Apparently, they are most often heard in "the boot room." It was a place that certainly caused a fright for Caroline.

"That room terrifies me. It makes me feel very vulnerable." 

The only way to find out who or what haunts the old Texas Hotel is to investigate. Lara and Jaime busted out an arsenal of high tech ghost hunting gear to get answers. One of those devices measures changes in the electric magnetic fields – a possible sign of spirits.

“So, this is a REM-pod," says Jamie. "We are going to leave it in this room, very active room. It goes off, with this antenna it creates a bubble of energy. So, when it is broken these lights go. So, I’m going to leave it in this room while we are in another room.” if 

Along with the REM-pod, Jaime and Lara also use a KII meter. The theory is that it also measures changes in the electromagnetic field. Fluctuations could mean that spirits are using energy to try and manifest.

Plus, a digital voice recorder, which picks up disembodied voices. The twins along with Jaime and Lara hoped to do just that.

Gracie sits alone in a room.“Hello, Allison are you in here? I just heard something fall and I’m not sure you did it. But, if you did can you tell me?"

Early in the evening, Gracie sat down on the floor of a room. After sitting for a few moments, she hears a loud thump near here, like something fell. She had hoped that Caroline or Rick, in the hallway outside had heard the sound as well but was disappointed that they did not and her digital recorder wasn't on. Thankfully, her chest-mounted GoPro recorded the sound. 

"I definitely feel that you're here right now. I can feel your energy. For some reason, I feel a bit of pain. Did someone hurt you? I think I had a dream last night with you in it. I’m curious....were you trying to talk with me?

“There's a lot of ambient energy on the whole floor," shared Lara. "In certain areas there's been some traveling, thicker energies. Kinda moving around with us. I’ve heard some whispering which I will check later on my recorder. I’ve been marking it. I’m hearing some male and female voices. They know we're here.”

Speaking of energy, the boot room is said to be one of the most active spots in the upstairs of the old Texas Hotel. Caroline seemed to feel that.

"You guys have ghost hunted before and are used to or maybe okay with that feeling. For me, it's unsettling."

To reach out to the ghosts, Jaime and Lara used another piece of equipment: a spirit box. It’s a device that scans radio frequencies with the idea the spirits can communicate through white noise. In the boot room, a spirit with an apparent potty mouth makes themselves known.

“Did you just hear that?" asks Jamie. "It sounded like 'What the hell?' I could be wrong but I swear that was what I am hearing."

Gracie had mentioned hearing something drop and hit the floor upstairs. To figure out what was going on, we set up cameras to roll when no one was in the building and captured lots of strange sounds ranging from bangs, thumps, and knocks.

Were these noises Allison or the little girl trying to let us know they’ve never left this world? It's impossible to tell. But is the old Texas Hotel Haunted? Lara believes it could be.

“I think the first building was more active. That happens a lot when you’re investigating. One person picks up on something and another investigator picks up on something else. So, for me the first building was more active physically, energy levels, disembodied voices. But I think overall we picked up on some good evidence.”

Our next stop, just across the road,  is Cactus Maddy’s Mercantile. Another Wickenburg business…that has a supposed deadly past. It was the quarters for a Calvary Captain and his wife and children. After he died in the Indian wars – the mother allegedly did the unthinkable.

“So, on the day that they were going to be coming for the boxes to take her over to the church house she had finally had enough and she broke. She took a knife and she killed the 3 children right on the floor inside the back of the building here. Which was the captain’s quarters. Then she ran out into the night and kept running no one knew what had happened.”

Legend has it—a small child …. Maybe one of the ones who were murdered… haunts the building --- we asked the stores owner Bob Fuller

“We hear the ball bouncing as far as playing jacks. We’ll hear it coming from different places in the store and things will get moved.”

So, we broke out the ghost hunting gear, again, to investigate Cactus Maddy’s for spirits. This time, we used another piece of a equipment called an Ovilus. It has a word bank with the theory being a ghost can use that word bank to communicate. The Ovilus was very busy speaking to the team.


Jamie explained that the words can seem random but when pieced together, they make sense. For example, we were in a business location and the twins turned 15 last week. Who or what was trying to get the girls attention? The next response sent shivers up our spines: Paranormal. It's a word that doesn't come up often.

You’d think that would be the topper. But, according to Jaime what happened next with Caroline using the Ovilus was jaw dropping. Caroline had asked aloud if anyone was in the room with them. The device interrupted as said "For Me."

"This is a groundbreaking moment. This has never happened before. Look at the bar at the bottom, it is all the way to the right, and it has two words. It never comes in two words."

The spirit continued to reach out to Caroline.

“I said 'Does anyone want to talk in here?' and it said 'Men.' Maybe there's men in here. It said property. We’re on their property. The RemPod was going off in the crawl space back there, the battery is now dead. The Ovilus just said for me. One word all the way across the energy bar. Wow.”

While that Ovilus was popping, so were the digital audio recorders. Lara and Jaime captured some good evidence of a possible ghost trying to communicate to the team.

“Help me. I heard that so distinctly. That’s not what I was even looking for. You were looking for something else and that came across

It wasn’t just audio evidence gathered at Cactus Maddy’s but also visual. While Lara was asking questions on the spirit box I captured a strange light anomaly. You can see it moving around that then floating out of screen. Many paranormal investigators call these orbs—possible spiritual energy. Skeptics might say this is dust—but, if you look at the pattern of movement—it doesn’t appear to be a dust particle. Unexplained indeed.

Just like at the Texas Hotel we also used static night shot cameras – and, let them roll when nobody was in Cactus Maddy’s. We got much of the same results: bangs, thumps, knocks, what sounded like a door slamming, and what sounded like breathing.

The big question – is the shop haunted? Jamie thinks so.

“First impressions, I would say probably the second building we were in probably was the most active. Not to say that we won’t get more EVP’s here or the second place it’s kind of hard to tell. I think heard more disembodied voices. So, that kind of tells me there’s more activity in there.”

While Cactus Maddy’s was super charged with spiritual energy, the same could be said about the old doctor’s office which happened to be our next stop on our paranormal tour of Wickenburg.

“For the most part, the hospital was used for the miners and ranchers. There were accidents happening out at the mine. The building located next to the hospital was the doctor's office. He saw many grizzly things. One night, a young boy was rushed in after being crushed by the machinery at the Vulture Mine. Those great big huge wheels that were used to create energy pulled him into their wheels crushing about every bone in his body. No one could believe he was still alive!”

The miner eventually died and where he perished today is a State Farm Insurance agency. Yeah, I'm not kidding - an insurance agency. Employees say it is haven for the paranormal. So much so the staff won’t stay there after dark.

Jimmie Renouf has worked here at State Farm for the last 14 years. She says experienced lots of paranormal activity. 

“A coworker and I were sitting in the kitchen having lunch - just talking - we heard this noise. It was like a squeaky wheel on a gurney. I could hear it going down the hall. We heard it and when we came around the corner and looked, there was nothing there. 

She describes another incident. "I was sitting at the one corner desk. It felt kind of weird, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. But, then. all of the machines one at a time started going off all the way around the room until they got to my desk. Then, I went outside because it scared me!"

J.D. Johnson owns the State Farm agency and, he’s felt cold chills and spirits since moving into the building.

“There’s a concrete cellar that’s underneath the floor. There use to be a trap door and you could open it up and walk down into this cellar area. But I had no use for it, so I filled it in. I’ve heard that’s where doctor would put any dead bodies waiting for the undertaker to come.”

Nancy Ramos says doors fly open on a cabinet in the backroom. It’s so bad, they taped them shut. But, it's a strange shadow that caused a fright, too.

“I’m usually turned the opposite way to doing my work. So, I can usually tell when someone comes up behind me. And, that particular day, out of the corner of my eye I thought someone was standing behind me. I glanced over at the phone, it looked like there was something - a shadow or something. So, as you can see it does kind of give you that image. I turned around and everybody was in their desk. At their desk, sitting down. So, it was impossible to have someone behind me at the moment. At least I would've seen them walking away! Everybody looked at me weird and were like, 'What?' You will not believe me. I swear there was someone one behind me."

It's obvious the staff are little spooked by the spirits. So, we set up our equipment inside the old doctor’s office to investigate the paranormal activity there and things went crazy immediately.

Jamie and Lara's REM-pod began sounding off and wouldn't stop. Jamie says,“There’s a lot of natural EMF in the air that can make it go off. But, at this point I can’t tell if it is natural or spiritual.” He said that's not normal behavior for the device. 

In addition to the REM-pod, the PAPS team fired up another piece of paranormal gear to measure changes in the atmosphere inside the building. The Eddi measures three things which could indicate the presence of ghosts: the temperature, vibrations, and electromagnetic fields.

Apparently, the ghosts were trying to tap into energy sources to communicate. For example, I had a fully charged battery on my camera and then it suddenly was drained to a quarter, This also happened to other cameras.

Just like over at Cactus Maddy’s, we tracked several light anatomies shooting across our camera screens. These spherical balls of apparent energy popped up on camera multiple times. Were they ghosts or spirits? That's up for debate. We tried to debunk these orbs as dust but, the pattern of movement seems to indicate they are some kind of a ball of energy - neither bug or dust. Something unexplained.

The visual evidence captured was yet again compelling – but, it was the words from the Ovilus that really helped connect us with the other side. Remember this was the old doctors office—the hospital right next door.


Other words from the Ovilus: Store...Human...Story...Light.. and, if you look carefully you can see light anomaly coming from the Ovilus.

Could this be a ghost? Using the energy from the device to try and manifest right before our eyes.?

The atmosphere was ripe for activity so Jaime and Lara turned on the spirit box and reached to the other side. While they let the white noise play - hoping to hear a word or two to answer their questions about who are what was in the room with us - the camera captured another series of light anomalies zipping across the room. 

These circular forms of energy stayed in the room with us – as we continued to get responses related to Christianity. The word Thurifer was spoken and no one was familiar with that word. Rick searched for the word and shared its definition, “The Episcopal Church...The server or acolyte who carries and swings the thurible in which incense is burned during the Eucharist and other liturgies. So, the thurifer has the thurible.

Before that, the words "Bible" and "Mommy" were spoken. One of the State Farm employees shared that when they play Christian music during the workday, things are calm. When they do not, activity increases. 

And, after we cleared out the building, we left a couple of cameras running in hopes of catching more strange activity. Again, bangs, bumps, thumps, and a male and female voice were captured. 

Is the doctor still accepting ghostly patients? Are the phantoms looking for a life insurance policy? Well, they’re a little late for that. All joking aside, it seems like the old building is buzzing with spiritual activity.

Wickenburg, an Arizona town with a rich wild west history! And some real ghost stories, too! During our investigation, we captured phantom sounds, light anomalies, and spirit energy with apparent messages from the dead. I think from our time investigating Wickenburg it’s safe to say this Southwestern town is haunted. 


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