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This year’s theme, the Story of Ann Hopkins, pays tribute to just one of Jerome’s many interesting past residents. According to the Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, in the early 1900s Ann’s husband, Clarence, was the chief engineer with the United Verde Copper Co. while Ann was a businesswoman in her own right, buying and renting out properties. Ann began to suspect her husband of an affair and eventually he admitted to a relationship with a teacher in Jerome. Ann became consumed with her husband’s affair and sought a divorce. When it appeared Clarence was going to seek custody of the couple’s children, Ann flew into a rage, tracked down the teacher at the Connor Hotel in Jerome, and threw a glass of carbolic acid in her face. Ann was arrested, tried, and served several years in jail in Florence. After she got out of jail she moved to California where she raised her children, worked as a nurse, and spent time trying to clear her name, insisting there was more to her story. Each walk, led by a costumed volunteer portraying Ann, chronicles her life in Jerome. Walks begin at Spook Hall, end at the Bartlett Hotel, and include lots of stair climbing – the walks are not wheelchair-accessible and the evening is rated PG-13; Annie strongly recommends kids stay at home for the Ghost Walk. Wear comfortable shoes and don’t plan on taking a seat until the end of the tour.
Directors have been hired this year and about 30 volunteer actors from the community of Jerome portray characters in Ann’s life. Costumes come, in part, from the historical society’s archives, and walkers are also encouraged to dress up. Proceeds from the evening go toward maintaining the town’s archives, renovations, and grants for restoration of historic buildings. Shops, restaurants, and bars tend to stay open late for the Ghost Walk and Annie says, “it’s a big ol’ party” in Jerome that night. Don’t miss out.
To get to Jerome drive south on Hwy 89A through Cottonwood and Clarkdale (the highway turns into Main St.). Free parking is available in several lots and along the street. The Ghost Walk begins at Spook Hall on Hull Ave., just below Main St. For tickets, call 928-634-1066 or visit www.jeromehistoricalsociety.org.
2: Halloween in Uptown/Cliff Castle
It’s not just for kids – every year adults, with and without costume, wander around Uptown Sedona on Oct. 31, enjoying themselves just as much as their pint-size counterparts. For the 22nd year, the Sedona Main Street Program sponsors the Halloween Safe and Fun Trick or Treat, where hundreds of adults and kids fill Uptown, wandering from merchant to merchant in search of candy, hot cider, and cookies. In years past, Sedona Main Street has reported giving away more than 2,000 pieces of candy. Sinagua Plaza at Sedona Center always goes all out with a pumpkin patch, cobwebs, and plastic spiders in windows and on walkways. Live entertainment has included a dance troupe re-enacting Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, stilt walkers, contortionists, and belly dancers. Police officers and firefighters are also on hand, distributing glowsticks to children.
Holly Epright, executive director of the Sedona Main Street Program, says the Uptown Halloween bash began as a way to keep trick or treaters safe. “In Sedona we have dark skies, arroyos rather than sidewalks, no streetlights, javelina and coyotes – it’s not necessarily a place where it’s easy or safe to trick or treat,” says Holly. “Plus you can visit so many more storefronts in Uptown than you can visit homes in our rural neighborhoods. In this community, nothing makes more sense than gathering everyone in Uptown.”
Holly says more and more people have been attracted to the party since the Uptown enhancement project was completed. Instead of walking in the street and threading between parked cars, people can now gather with their neighbors on wide sidewalks and sit in several open seating spots. “It’s made a big difference,” she says.