The legendary Vulture Mine offers visitors a glimpse of a vanished world, the chance to meet some ghosts, and an object lesson in the grim cost of striking it rich. One of finest true ghost towns in the American West, Vulture city grew up around the mine discovered by Henry Wickenburg. Twelve miles southwest of the city that now bears Wickenburg's name, the Vulture Mine and Vulture city once had a population of almost 5,000 souls.
Although the Vulture was the largest producing gold mine in Arizona, it never paid off for its investors or its discoverer, Henry Wickenburg. The mine changed hands several times due to theft (better known as "highgrading"), the lack of a reliable water supply, and a series of financial scandals and setbacks. Its history continues to be marked by violence and tragedy. Eighteen of Vulture city's former residents swung to eternity at the end of a hangman's noose dangling from the branches of the ancient ironwood tree that still thrives next to the ruins of Henry Wickenburg's old cabin. More died in robberies or through many other acts of terminal lawlessness. It shut down for good in 1942. A few of those souls are said to haunt the many buildings of the
Speculation holds that the Vulture’s doors will once again open to a flow of gold, as local lore hints that most of the mine’s rich resources still lie untouched. Overhead, vultures soar in the thermals as a grim reminder. Visitors and people working at the mines as tour guides have both reported strange elements such as apparitions, haunted faint voices, distant footsteps shuffling and dark shadowy forms on the walls when no one else is near.
As the castmembers of Ghost Adventures could attest, the Vulture Mine is a truly spooky place indeed. Paranormal investigators from the Travel Channel reality show paid a visit to the abandoned 1880s-era former gold prospector's paradise two years ago, and - if their exploits are to be believed - had rocks thrown at them, captured recordings of apparitions telling them "Get out!" and "You're gonna die," and had the willies scared out of them.
The Vulture Mine is open for a self-walking tour. The mine is open on most weekends. Some tips for touring the mine – Wear a hat to keep your head clean of possible falling dust and droppings, wear some good walking shoes and bring plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Also, special arrangements for an over night paranormal investigation can be scheduled with the caretakers of the mine.
36610 N 355th Ave
Wickenburg, AZ 85390
(70 Miles Nortwest of the Valley)
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