Friday, June 19, 2009

Oatman, Arizona -- The Ghost in the Oatman Hotel

I'm taking off a little later this morning, flying to Las Vegas, and then traveling to Oatman, Arizona, a dozen or so miles east of Bullhead City. Part of the action in The Desert Hedge Murders takes place in and around Oatman, an old historic Route 66 gold mining town which is now a tourist attraction. In addition to the Oatman Hotel, which is where Clark Gable and Carole Lombard are supposed to have spent their wedding night after their marriage ceremony in Kingman, AZ, Oatman features an old west main street complete with wild burros looking for a handout and staged robberies and gunfights in front of the hotel. This highway is also a favorite for motorcycle buffs who want to travel the famous Route 66 trail as they live their inner Easy Rider personas.

The Oatman Hotel is rumored to be haunted, not by Clark and Carole, but by a miner named Ray, now nicknamed Oatie. Ray was despondent after the death of his wife and children who were emigrating from Ireland to join him. He eventually, it is said, drank himself to death. His body was found behind the hotel. I wish I could say we heard or saw Oatie on one of our visits to Oatman. We did not. But one of my protagonists in The Desert Hedge Murders sees Oatie three times.

I'll try again on this trip, although I'm not staying overnight in the hotel again. My son and daughter-in-law live in Oatman, and my daughter-in-law owns Sweet Sally's, the ice cream shop in the hotel lobby. Her mom runs the hotel and its excellent restaurant. I plan to interview them about the ghosts for a future blog.

Have any of you ever encountered a ghost? Was it fun...or scary?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hope you have a great trip!

Well--I'll bring up my encounter. I don't know what it was, but here goes: It was the middle of the night and my infant son was crying. I went into the nursery and started rocking him. My hairs stood up on end. I turned around and saw an elderly lady, leaning around the doorjamb and smiling tenderly at the baby and me. And she was gone a minute later. So....either an older lady broke into my house and left, or... I've got chills again as I write this.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Karen Walker said...

Happy ghost-hunting, Patricia.
Karen Walker

The Practical Preserver said...

See why Elizabeth is a writer?? She's good. My own experience has to do with hearing voices. I know. I know. However, several years back I was headed to town to buy groceries. While opening the gate at the end of the road, I distinctly heard my father's voice saying, "Don't go."

Looking around, I admit to feeling a bit strange. After all, Dad had been residing in heaven for the last 20 years. Still, it was a powerful moment. I decided to return to the house, have a cup of coffee, and wait a bit. The next trip out, there was no warning, so I went on my way. I still wonder what would have happened had I ignored that voice.

N A Sharpe said...

Interesting story - can't wait to hear the interview!

I don't have any ghostly experiences, but my great aunt used to tell me that the spirit of her mother still lived in their old house. She would tell me that often at night she would see her there. My mom swore she saw her one night too wandering the halls upstairs, went into her old bedroom and vaporized out the window. People who bought the house when my great aunt passed away also claim to have seen her - and she showed them where there was a hidden room, boarded up and wallpapered over when they were renovating. None of us knew anything about the room but they didn't find anything strange there (other than the fact that it was boarded up and wallpapered over). Weird.

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Anonymous said...

Nope, never. But I do believe in spirits... Does that mean I believe in ghosts? Have a good trip!

Anonymous said...

What a fun thing for you to be able to VISIT the site of your book.

This is a bit off the mark, but a dear friend of mine - Joan Hall writes books about Haunted Jails and Haunted Theaters. They're nonfiction, but you might shoot her an email. Joan is a JEWEL. : )