Ghost Adventures: “Vulture Mine”

“Ghost Adventures” interacted with the inhabitants of ghost town Vulture City, Arizona. The Vulture Mine was discovered in 1863 and produced over $200,000 of gold ore by 1930’s prices. Corruption ruled Vulture City from the mine owners, to workers, local Native Americans and the US Army who was called in to clean up the mess and then booted out for behaving the same way as everyone else.

On older man named Marty, and paranormal investigators Craig Johnson, Dee Roberts and Kim Mann all contributed to GAC’s walk-through.

Craig said the Vulture Mine town experienced a number of murders, rapes and trial free hangings. Marty showed Zak the town’s ironwood Hanging Tree. The condemned were strung up just high enough to be forced to stand on the toes to avoid strangulation. Over time they would become exhausted and when they could no longer hold their own weight on their toes they would hang themselves.

As this charming practice was being detailed I heard a ghost of one of the 18 documented hangings emit a choking gurgle.  

Marty said sometimes the executed were not even given the decency of a grave, but left in the sun to rot. I suspect that is where Vulture Mine may have gotten its name as it fed more than man’s greed.

Craig elaborated that many people killed in Vulture City were not buried in the local graveyard, but interred where they fell. Consequently the area is believed to be full of unmarked graves.

Investigator Dee Roberts recounted the time a rock flew through a broken Bordello window apparently under its own power.

Kim Mann was investigating the second floor of the old Assay Office with her son. The second floor housed the guards for the office. Kim’s son was poking around what was likely to old gun closet when he captured a creepy EVP that said, “You’re gonna die.”

Craig told the story of the ghost of a former bordello prostitute nicknamed Mexican Rita. He said sometimes when investigators called out to her paranormal activity would kick up. Kim had seen shadows in the old Bordello and once recorded an EVP asking, ”Do you know the way out?”

Marty pointed out the Generator Building to Zak, but didn’t seem inclined to go inside.  He told Zak he had once been inside and heard a disembodied voice come from behind the main engine claiming, “I’m not free”. The experience shook Marty up so much he got chills just recounting it to Zak.

Zak was shown the location of a massive 1923 cave-in. Marty said the huge depression marked the spot of a 1923 cave in when seven minors and twelve burros were buried alive as they looted gold ore from the mine supports. Their bodies were never found. Marty got the chills again and reluctantly commented, “I feel something. It’s like they’re watching us.” He was right.

 I saw the ghosts of many of those clandestine miners. They were closer to the outer edge of the cave in. One man wore baggy dusty pants and a well-worn vest over a limp shirt. Another had a huge handlebar mustache. A third sported a beat up bowler hat. I believe the ghosts appeared above where they fell and died. I was surprised the ghosts didn’t show up more towards the middle of the cave in. Possibly nearly making it out gave their deaths a more disturbing twist.

One of the ghosts of the 1923 miners told me he had wanted to use his share of the gold taken out of the mine supports to buy a car. He commented that he and his buddies were, “Stupid,” “Knew better,” and thought, “Our luck would never run out.” It ran out in a major way.

The cave-in was the darkest spot in Vulture City. Some reluctant psychic probing revealed a particularly nasty dark entity dwelling in the bowels of the mine. It had been drawn there and fed off the miserable ghosts of the 1923 miners and even the burros they brought with them to carry off the remaining gold ore. Archangel help was summoned and the icky thing was destroyed in the presence of the divine. As part of the energetic clean up of the site a vortex at the bottom of the mine was sealed and the ghosts of the miners and their burros were released. Their transition to the other side was marked by shouts of excitement and jubilation. One of the miner’s ghosts rode his burro into the great beyond.

Marty pointed out the huge, long-living saguaro cactus dotting the landscape. Zak noted some of those cacti were around when Vulture Mine was a roaring concern. At least one man was impaled on a saguaro cactus and left to die in the sun. I was given a full color visual of his death. He essentially mummified in the sun.

Craig toured the Old School House with GAC, explaining that miners families lived with them in Vulture City. After cautioning the guys to be careful of a scorpions nest in the front wall he shared the story of a training investigation member who watched the silhouette of a ghostly figure walk to the door, look around and vanish.

Dee told Zak about the time an unseen presence violently shoved her five feet across the floor of the Old School House.

Just as Zak was trying to interview Kale Kelly of East Valley Paranormal in the Old School House, everyone heard footsteps on the second floor above them followed by the disembodied scream of a girl that echoed through the building. A quick inspection showed nobody else was there. Zak mentioned he felt weirdness in the air that Kale described as an electrical charge.

After a great walk-through “Ghost Adventures” lockdown was thwarted for two days by a massive weather system that boasted 70 mph winds and dumped more rain on Maricopa County in three hours than total 2009 rainfall in the area. GAC tried to get through but were stopped by flash floods that closed the road 12 miles away from Vulture Mine. The guys unwisely decided to splash around in the flash flood waters. The entire episode was punctuated by warnings for the general public to not follow suit. Water play was brought to an abrupt halt by Maricopa County’s finest who escorted GAC back to town about eight feet from their rear bumper. I can just imagine the liability and finger-pointing that would have ensued if local law enforcement had allowed “Ghost Adventures” to drown themselves in a flash flood. Confronting ghosts is one thing, but a little common sense seemed to be missing in action.

A couple of days later the sun came out and GAC were able to get down to business. Zak had brought along several trigger objects. One was a period pistol filled with blanks and he also had a few silver dollars the ghosts in Vulture City would have recognized from their own era.

The X camera’s were set up in the Old School House, the ground and second floors of the Assay Office and in the Bordello.

“Ghost Adventures” started their investigation in none of these locations. Instead they poked around the old supervisor/caretakers house. An interview with Marge Osborne who along with her husband had lived in the house for 35 years recounted the reason they suddenly left their home and belongings behind. Marge’s husband had been sleeping in a bedroom and woke to see a man standing in front of the fireplace in the living room.

I got a look at the figure. It was a cowboy shadow figure that stood with its legs widely braced staring into the ashes in the grate. It was wearing chaps and a cowboy hat. I don’t know what it was doing there, but I am not surprised the Osborne’s were spooked as it gave off a grimly brooding energy. I asked him who he was, but was told, “Nobody.” I tried again asking why the cowboy was there. He told me, “I worked here.” I think he worked as hired muscle back in the day when the structure was the mine supervisor’s house.

GAC used a new type of extra sensitive EMF detector that was set up to also sense changes in alternating and direct current. Zak explained that if any spirit disrupted the background geographic energy nearby the specialized EMF detector would pick it up.

In an attempt to avoid intimidating the ghosts, the guys split up, each taking a separate room of the house. (As if GAC is EVER low-key?!!!) Nick headed into the master bedroom where Mr. Osborne had seen the cowboy ghost. Aaron heard a loud crashing sound from the back patio. GAC rushed to the back porch to try to identify the source of the crash. They didn’t figure it out but they did pick up an EVP that said, “…what’s that?” in a female voice. Even the ghosts were puzzled. The enclosed back porch was jam-packed with stuff. It seemed plausible that something may have tumbled off a pile onto the floor.

Next Zak saw the figure of a woman standing behind a door he was in the process of closing. His camera picked up a ball of energy that shot out from the door and headed for the ceiling before it vanished.

The Hanging Tree was investigated using an electronic word database. As Zak started asking questions, the database spit out, “..tied” Zak asked why the men were killed. The box answered, “running”. I got a brief look at a condemned man running for his life that was shot in the back. Unfortunately the bullet wasn’t fatal and he was dragged back to the tree and hung.

As the database was throwing out responses Zak felt a whirlwind of energy around his head that Nick and Aaron didn’t experience. Zak asked how the condemned were tortured prior to death by hanging. The database threw out a string of words in response, ”Judge… cable…pray.”

Once things wound down at the Hanging Tree GAC tried their luck at the Bordello. As they approached the building, they heard disembodied footsteps that sounded like a person pacing back and forth was wearing cowboy boots. Aaron started to comment on a soft sound he heard but was interrupted by Zak who told him to point his camera in a window. Although not captured on camera, both Zak and Aaron saw a female ghost in the upper left window on the second floor of the Bordello.

GAC headed inside the Bordello and Zak started asking if Charles Stanton’s ghost was present. Stanton was a documented Vulture City gold thief and rapist who had molested a local 14 year-old girl back when the mine was active. In typical style, Zak invited Stanton’s shade to throw booze bottles at his head. Lucky for him Stanton didn’t take him up on it.

Out of nowhere a stone was thrown through a broken window near Aaron. That window had been the location of past reports of poltergeist activity. That fit because I saw the stone thrown by the ghost of a middle-aged prostitute with dark hair. She was tired, sore and had had enough o the world’s oldest profession for one night. GAC picked up the first part of her tirade in an EVP that said, “Get out!” followed by, “Leave”. For good measure the prostitute also screamed, “Leave me alone! We’re closed!” as she headed upstairs for presumably well deserved rest. The tired hooker was reacting to men from her own era hassling her while looking for some after hours fun. I think “Ghost Adventures” presence triggered the repeat of an imprint haunting. It isn’t easy for the living or the dead to ignore Zak.

The Assay Office was investigated. Zak had the old silver coins in one hand. Before he could ask “Do you want this money?” an EVP was captured in response. It said, “I want your money.” That was a great example of how ghosts read the minds and intent of investigators in the blink of an eye.

Nick headed into the trap door accessed vault of the Assay Office. Up on the first floor above him Zak fired the blank filled pistol. Nick asked right about this time, “How much gold was in here?” Just as Zak fired the pistol Nick recorded an EVP that said, “…take the gold.” Zak’s voice over took credit for provoking Nick’s EVP. I disagree. I think it was Nick’s question that prompted the EVP response.

GAC trooped up to the second floor of the Assay Office where they used seismic sensors to try to document past reports of the sound of booted footsteps shaking the dust between the floorboards onto the first floor. Twenty-seven minutes after GAC left the sensors and a DVR camera in place the seismic sensors lit up in response to movement of the floor boards. This was closely followed by an unexplained scream.

Back at the Bordello GAC used a white noise machine to allow ghosts to talk through the static. Zak asked, “Do you need help” and got an immediate response of, “Yes.” Meanwhile Nick’s camera picked up an orb that briefly hovered next to Zak’s gun and seemed to head for the butt. Zak speculated that perhaps Mexican Rita wanted to grab the pistol. An EVP of a woman crying was captured. I saw the spirit behind the crying jag as a 20-something prostitute stripped down to her girdle and garters. She had been assaulted. 

As Zak was in the process of setting up a camera in the Old School House a jarring bang shook the walls of the building. EM pods were used instead of flashlights to try to engage spirits in a game of turn on/turn off the lights. As the setup was going on Aaron and Zak heard a kid chuckle at Zak. Unfortunately this was not recorded, but both guys responded to it at the same moment.

When influenza swept through Vulture City some of the students at the school died of it. I saw that the school was used as a community hospital during such outbreaks. So it was entirely possible that some of the former students literally died in the school building.

This seemed to be borne out when Zak felt a static charge building in the school room. A MEL Meter indicated a presence at about the height of a child near the door. In an attempt to further engage the ghost children Aaron was left alone in the school room with an assortment of white and red EM pods. Aaron promised any ghostly students recess for eternity if they would respond to him. He was excited when both the red and white pods lit up in response. The best part was a Class A EVP he captured that said, “…hey bowling ball…looking at you.” Zak speculated the ghost behind this EVP may have been the same one to turn on the red EM Pods. I am not sure of that. There were a number of child ghosts in the school with GAC. Some were simply watching, others were taunting.

Aaron decided to head back to base to get an additional camera. The base was the new school-house. Zak thought perhaps a ghost had followed Aaron from the Old School House because as he entered the room a loud bang was followed by piano music as the frozen keys of the old piano played solo. Luckily the movement of the keys and the  music were both captured on camera. No matter what GAC did, they could not get the piano to play again. They showed how the keyboard was frozen, how the innards of the upright were full of dust and no amount of jumping around on the floor jiggled a single note from the old piano.

I saw the shade of a former female teacher playing the piano. She had been playing a tune as part of a school exhibition. Such exhibitions would have featured dramatic recitations, singing and skits about historic figures.

The episode ended with a session back home with “Ghost Adventures” EVP expert Billy Tolley.  He replayed the assortment of Class A EVPS’s gathered during the investigation. One thing he mentioned was that ghosts recorded on EVP’s speak at twice the speed and at a higher frequency than living people do. He demonstrated the difference between Aaron’s bald head EVP at recorded speed and then slowed down to normal speech rates. It was a dramatic difference that helped explain why EVP’s are frequently difficult to hear. Mark and Debby Constantino have assured me on several occasions that an untrained ear also makes it difficult to hear EVP’s. I wonder, would other ghost shows have better luck with presenting their EVP evidence if they compensated for the speed and frequency difference between how ghosts and living humans speak?  That may be considered taboo tampering with the evidence. Yet how good is evidence if your audience cannot hear it? I don’t know what the standard in the EVP field is for this. If I am lucky maybe Billy or Mark and Debby will weigh in.

Overall, it was another great episode for “Ghost Adventures”.



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About Lynne Sutherland Olson

Professional Psychic Medium
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