When it comes to states with a large number of ghost towns, Arizona takes the cake. We have more than 275 scattered around the state and while many of these have faded in memory, a good number still make quite an impression when you pay a visit. One in particular has managed to survive the ravages of time and makes for an incredible visit. We welcome you to…
1. Oatman's location along Route 66 has been the town's saving grace.
When Oatman's economy was on its last leg, the Mother Road brought in roadtrippers and other tourists, helping to prevent the town from truly becoming a ghost town.
2. Oatman is a relatively young ghost town! It was founded shortly after two prospectors struck gold in 1915.
Their find amounted to about $10 million in gold and led to a short-lived boom time for Oatman.
3. The town was named after Olive Oatman, a young woman who was allegedly taken captive by the Yavapai and later lived with the Mohave.
Oatman claimed she lived as a slave, was mistreated, and prevented from leaving her captivity but much of her narrative is believed to be highly exaggerated.
4. The main place to stop when visiting Oatman is the Oatman Hotel.
The adobe building went up in 1902 and almost perished in a huge 1921 fire that swept through most of the town. As a result, it is one of the oldest buildings in town.
5. The hotel has had at least two famous patrons: Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.
The couple famously stayed in the hotel during their honeymoon--perhaps to escape the paparazzi--and visited periodically for the duration of their tragically short marriage.
6. The hotel is haunted! The resident ghost is Oatie, who is though to be the ghost of an Irish miner named William Ray Flour.
Apparently Flour wasn't found until a couple of days after his death and was buried in a shallow grave nearby.
7. Today, the Oatman Hotel functions mostly as a restaurant and saloon. There are some other playful ghosts that dwell here, doing things like turning out the lights, lifting glasses, and other benign acts.
Do you think the spirits ever try walking away with a few dollars from the walls?
8. And, of course, there's the wild burros that wander throughout town from sunrise to sundown.
These little guys are the descendants of prospector livestock from nearly a century ago. They are also federally protected by the Department of the Interior.
9. The town today flourishes as a tourist ghost town with a touch of sass. Many of the shops you'll find in town have names that are a bit tongue in cheek, risqué, and Western-themed.
Notable business names include the Jackass Junction, Fast Fanny's, and Outlaw Willie's.
10. One of the most renowned events to occur in town is the annual Egg Fry every Fourth of July!
If you want to test out your sidewalk cooking skills or see if an egg really can be cooked with just Arizona's sun and heat, this is the place to do it!