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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan


Oatman Hotel Ghost

Story and Photos By Laura and Bill Escobar

My husband and I were on a haunted tour of Laughlin Arizona which also took us out to historic Oatman Arizona along Route 66.

We went to the historic town of Oatman, Arizona. Nestled in town sits the haunted Oatman Hotel. The Oatman Hotel is one of the biggest attractions of the small town as many speak of it's many ghosts. The ghosts are those of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, who evidently had so many fine memories of the old hotel that they simply refuse to leave. Continuing to celebrate, guests and staff have often heard the pair whispering and laughing from the room when it is empty. According to one report, when a professional photographer took a picture of the empty room, the ghostly figure of a man appeared on the developed print.

Oatman Hotel

Oatman was first established as a tent city in the early 1900s and the historic hotel, called the Drulin Hotel, was built in 1902. The eight room hotel did a brisk business to area miners, especially after two miners struck a rich vein that would end up being a 10 million dollar gold find in 1915. Prior to that time the town had been little more than a mining camp. The rich gold discovery brought hundreds of new settlers and within one year’s time, Oatman had grown to more than 3,500 residents.

Oatman Hotel  ghost photo

In 1952, Route 66, the main route from the Midwest to California, bypassed this stretch of mountains to be I-40 from Kingman, Arizona to Needles, California. Oatman and Goldroad became real Ghost Towns.

Oatman Hotel Ghosts

I took a picture of the upstairs window in the Oatman Hotel. You can see an image of a person in the window. A few minutes later I took another picture of the same window and it looks totally different. This was at about 10:30 pm. This town has about 90 residents in it but no one lives in the main drag where the hotel is located, and that second level has not been used for over a year due to the poor condition of the buildings flooring.

On March 29, 1939 Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their wedding night at the old hotel after having been married in Kingman, Arizona. Remembering this memorable night, the couple often returned to the hotel for the peace and solitude it afforded them. Clark was known to spend many a night playing poker with some of the miners. Sadly, Carole Lombard was killed in a plane crash in January 1942. Though devastated, Clark continued with his life and his career and later married again. The owners told us that the doors are always locked and no one is ever allowed to go up there due to safety concerns.

Hardyville Pioneer Cemetery

Hardyville Cemetery in Mohave County

We also went to Bullhead cemetery and it there seems to be a spirit passing under the sign.

Bullhead City is in Mohave County in northwestern Arizona, near the state borders of Nevada and California. Originally home to the Mojave Indians, the Bullhead City region was first seen by outsiders in 1540 when the Spanish explorer Melchlor Diaz passed through with his party. Europeans were not to return until 1776, when Father Garces crossed the Colorado River here nearly a month before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Indians remained undisturbed until the mid eighteen-hundreds, when steamboats began to make regular trips upriver from Port Isabel in the Gulf of California.

Once gold and silver was discovered along the river and at what was to become Bullhead City, prospectors began arriving in droves. Bullhead City was first called Hardyville, for its founder William Harrison Hardy who settled here in the eighteen-sixties. Hardyville was quick to become a thriving river port, where miners came to for supplies and entertainment. Largely demolished by fire in 1872, Hardyville became a ghost town at the turn of the century when the mines were finished and the new train line passed it by. When gold was discovered at Katherine, (in what is now the Lake Mead National Recreation Area), the few remaining hopefuls left Hardyville behind. All that remains of this early settlement is the Hardyville Pioneer Cemetery in Bullhead City and the items in the local Colorado River Museum.

Also see: My Dog The Professional Ghost Hunter: The Oatman Hotel Ghost