BOO! It’s Scary Time in Sedona!

Tlaquepaque’s chapel decked out for Dia de los Muertos.

Feeling freaky this month? Spend some time exploring Sedona’s and Jerome’s haunted past. You can dine with ghosts, try to capture spirits with your camera or honor the dead during Dia de los Muertos at Tlaquepaque. The real question is, are you brave enough?



Dia de los Muertos

Don’t fear the dead – honor them at Tlaquepaque’s Dia de los Muertos Celebration on Oct. 29. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican holiday that celebrates loved ones who have passed away. The Sedona event began in 2010, and it gets bigger and better every year. This year’s celebration kicks off with the Marigold Mural Project Oct. 25-29. Anyone, regardless of their artistic talent, can honor deceased friends, family or pets by contributing to the public mural from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Previous murals will be on display.

The Dia de los Muertos lineup includes aerial performers at Tlaquepaque and Tlaquepaque North; sugar-skull workshops from 2 to 5 p.m.; vendors selling food and Day of the Dead merchandise; face painting; altars; live music; and flamenco and ballet folklorico dancers. At Tlaquepaque, Anthony Mazzella and The Old Souls will perform with the Circus Farm Fire Dancers from 6 to 8 p.m. Across the street at Tlaquepaque North, check out Urban Electra, a rock ’n’ roll electric-string quartet, from 6 to 8 p.m. All performers will be in Day of the Dead makeup and, based on recent years, so will many of the visitors.

Tlaquepaque’s Dia de los Muertos Celebration takes place Oct. 29, 2-8 p.m. The event is free. For more information, visit or call 928-282-4838.

Haunted History

If you prefer your hauntings a bit more tongue and cheek, actor, tour guide and history buff Michael Peach will perform Haunted History at the Sedona Heritage Museum on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Most of the show is done in cowboy poetry form, though Michael will also read a Charles Dickens ghost story just for fun. One of his poems is about Richard Wilson, who was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear in 1885. Richard is the namesake for Sedona’s Wilson Canyon and Wilson Mountain. Then there’s the one about the “red ghost,” a camel abandoned by the U.S. Army in the 1850s that terrorized central Arizona, causing several deaths. Michael has lived in Sedona since 1983, and he’s passionate about Sedona’s myths, legends and unsolved mysteries. If you go to the show, ask him about the alleged murder at Van Deren Cabin.

Haunted History takes place Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. at the Sedona Heritage Museum. Admission is $6. For more information, visit or call 928-282-7038.

Jerome Ghost Walk

Jay Kinsella, general manager of the Jerome Historical Society, has lived in Jerome since the 1970s. He’s also been a part of the Jerome Ghost Walk since it began in 2003. Jay says the mission of the Ghost Walk, which happens Oct. 7 and 8 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., is to get the word out about Jerome’s history without fabricating the facts. “We’ll be telling six stories this year, and we have the archives to prove them all – even the ones that are farfetched,” says Jay. “There’s some really juicy stuff in our archives.”

The tagline for this year’s walk is “Voices From Jerome’s Past: Gone But Not Forgotten.” During the event, participants will be escorted around town (the walk is not handicapped accessible, and walking shoes are mandatory) by an undertaker guide. The walk begins at Spook Hall and ends at the Bartlett Hotel with a visit to a staged cemetery along the way. Walkers will even witness a brawl between two soiled doves (leave the kiddies at home – Ghost Walk is PG-13). More than 30 actors in costume will participate in this year’s event. Tours depart every half hour and last about 50 minutes. Take note that the walk sells out almost every year. In early August, nearly 150 tickets had already been sold.

Though the walk celebrates its 13th anniversary this year, Jay says there’s no way the historical society will run out of material any time soon.  “We have the most extensive archives on mining history in northern Arizona,” says Jay. “Jerome was a rough town, and the Ghost Walk focuses on the seedier side. We’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg.”

The Jerome Ghost Walk happens Oct. 7 and 8. Tours start at 6:30 p.m., and the last tour departs at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 for Friday and $20 for Saturday. Arrive at Spook Hall 30 minutes before your walk departs. For more details, visit or call 928-634-1066.

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