Spirits of Vulture Mine

Vulture mine –  Wickenburg, Arizona.

The Vulture Mine was at one time a very busy section of Maricopa County.  People had migrated here after learning of the mines striking gold. Just like everyone else already there, the influx of people hoped to strike gold and become rich.  Most people know this time in history as the great American Gold Rush.

With gold there is always greed or the attitude of ‘each man for himself’ so, yes there were many of miners or workers attempting to take the gold. The ones who tried to steal the gold from the mine faced the wrath of the hangman’s noose deep within the caves.

There were also many reports of rapes, murders and other similar heinous tales.. those of which keep stories of paranormal activity alive.

Historic Marker at Vulture Mine - the story of vulture mine
Historic Marker at Vulture Mine

Spooky Happenings at Vulture Mine

Once a bustling and booming mining city, Vulture Mine is now almost a completely deserted ghost town. There are rumors and tales of evil, angry spirits which roam around the dusty grounds, hiding amongst the condemned and dilapidated buildings.

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.

Ghost of the Mines - Unknown figure standing in Vulture mine
Ghost siting in the Shafts of Vulture Mine

The Story of Jimmy

There are many ghost stories from the history of Vulture Mine. One of the stories relates to a young man named ‘Jimmy’ who’s life came to a sad end while working with big machinery at the mine’s power house.

Paranormal teams have passed down this story and claimed that the young man died when a belt loosened from the pulley and came down, breaking his neck.  James Davis was popularly referred to as ‘Jimmy’ by friends and family, he was an industrious young man, who only made it to the young age of twenty years-old.

Jimmy migrated to Arizona from New Mexico, in the early 1900s with his family. Around 1912, the attraction of the Vulture gold mine made his parents, ten brothers and sisters move to the Vulture City.

The Accident

Just like any other day, Jimmy was hard at work in the Vulture Mine on  May first in 1916.  He had noticed a malfunction in the system,  and  wanted to replace a belt which had been moved up off a pulley so he climbed up onto a wooden ladder to perform the repairs..

Jimmy’s colleagues never told him that he was moving too near to the large center-shaft and let him be.  The belt was thrown over the central shaft and he had one of his arms inside the loop, intending to tug the belt downwards into place onto the pulley.

Doing this made the belt tighten on the shaft and quickly swung Jimmy round and round in the air. His body had hit a number of heavy pieces of equipment, and fell down from the shaft.. this accident broke literally every bone inside of his body.

Painful Death

Jimmy’s colleagues had not noticed the danger he had gotten himself into, until he screamed for help but by then it was too late. He fell from the shafting and despite the terrible pain wracking his body, managed to utter his last words. His final words were, ‘Someone help me, for God’s sake.’

The accident happened around 10 o’clock at night and he clung to dear life until 3 am when he died without becoming conscious. Among the employees at Vulture Mine, Jimmy was a very well-known man. Jimmy Davis’s body was put to rest at Wickenburg Cemetery where many of his fellow co-workers and family attended.

Jimmy’s Haunting Presence

There have been many reports of Jimmy’s ghost at the mine, from visitors and caretakers alike. The sounds of the pulley belts whipping around, and a man bellowing in the distance is one repeated occurrence. This reported presence has led several paranormal investigators and ghost hunters to observe the mines. One report of the investigators has confirmed the presence Jimmy’s spirit at the mine’s power house by using electro magnetic frequencies and tools used to detect spiritual activities. At times, the team has claimed to have heard the distant sounds of men working in the mines, along with the pick axes being thrown. One investigator even heard a man begging for help, during his over night stay at the mine.

Other Strange Discoveries at Vulture Mine

The gold from Vulture Mine was stored at the Assay office in vaults placed underground. The office fell victim to thieves many times who eventually, supposedly stole more than $200,000 worth of gold. At the time of these thefts, lawyers did not exist and there were no trials. Instead of the Justice System we now know, a vigilante committee hung the thieves and they were buried on the spot or at the cemetery.

Hanging Tree at Vulture Mine - Ghost of a Thief Hanging from Tree
Hanging Tree at Vulture Mine – Ghost of a Thief

Nowadays, there is a belief that this playground for dead men has many bodies buried there. They have a feeling that the miners’ spirits lurk around, protecting the gold they once had to dig.

Tourist groups exploring the mines have reported rocks being thrown at them through the mine windows, the sounds of invisible footsteps scuffling about and the sound of ghostly voices in the distance, sometimes calling the tourists by name.

Ghost Adventure Boys’ Experiences at Vulture Mine

The investigators (Nick & Aaron) began at the Assay office of Vulture Mine where it is reported that rocks fly through windows often. Also, they were able to capture an EVP which said, ‘You are going to die.’ From above, boot steps were heard as dirt fell onto the group of investigators.

Assay Office Door
Assay Office Door

After this startling experience, the group then proceeded to the Bordello. Shadowy figures have been sighted by people and voices have been heard in this building as well. The Generator was another active place, where a worker heard a voice say, ‘I do not have freedom‘.

Inside the Assay Office at Vulture Mine
Inside the Assay Office at Vulture Mine

The next stop was at a quarry where it is reported that seven miners went at night in 1923 to steal some high quality gold ore. As the miners removed the gold from the column, it became thinner and was unable to sustain the mine, collapsing onto the greedy miners.

The miner’s bodies remain unrecovered and encapsulated within the earth. Some believe their spirits still lurk there in this spot and haunt the area. In fact, it has been proven by paranormal investigators. The EMP meter which Zak had, indicated activity close to the quarry, which is currently a large hole. The men could feel the dead miners’ eyes glaring at them… as if they were beckoning them away from their treasure.


The investigators then visited the old school house nearby. Another investigator informed them that she was shoved by hands into her colleague and saw a form inside the building walking around. This was obviously an angry spirit who did NOT want any visitors, she warned them.

Visiting the Mine

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.

Entrance to Vulture Mine
Entrance to Vulture Mine