View Full Version : Anyone help a British journalist to go ghosttowning?

09-25-2004, 10:22 AM

I am a novelist and journalist here in England. I have been checking out this excellent and fascinating site, and become hugely enthusiastic about the idea of ghosttowning. As a result I have approached my newspaper with the idea of ghosttowning - and I have been commissioned by The Times newspaper, here in London, to write a travel piece on this theme - visiting some ghost towns in the western USA.

I hope to travel in October/November. My idea is that, in terms of weather and richness of ghost towns, somewhere in Arizona might be the best place to visit. My editor thinks it would be good if, for the purposes of the piece, I take in one or two famous ghost towns - say Tombstone, or someting similar - and then go hunting for one of my own.

Do you guys think I am on the right track? Is Arizona a good bet? Also, does anyone know someone who might be willing to help The Times? What I am thinking is that maybe they might want to come along with me - and probably a photographer - for a day or two. Obviously I am a complete novice at ghosttowning, so it would be good to have an expert on board. I don't particularly want to fall down a copper mine! In return I will happily publicise any websites/tours in my piece, and anything else the expert would like to advertise.

Thanks very much - and congratulations again for one of the best websites I've seen in years...

My best

Sean Thomas

Ryan Hill
09-26-2004, 04:20 AM
Dear Sean,

I believe that Arizona is the best choice for a Ghost Town 'beginer' as yourself. I too am visiting AZ in October, and I am looking forward to it very much. In regards to finding a town for yourself, I would recomend buying a good GT related book for the AZ region.

Good luck and best wishes from a fellow Brit!!


09-26-2004, 08:01 AM
Tombstone & Jerome AZ,Virginia City Nevada, and some other ghosttowns have become tourist traps infested with traffic jams, fake cowboys and latte stands......If you're going to write about those you might as well just read the plethora of articles already written about them and save your air fare.....The Gold rush towns of the Sierra are the worst.....However,Bodie California is a ghost town preserved, by the state, as it was when abandoned decades ago...No cars, businesses or tourist stands are allowed and only a few rangers are allowed to live there..It is located just east of the Sierras on the Nevada border..
If you want to find a rough ghosttown where the spirit of the old west remains you might try Granite Oregon, an old mining town inhabited by a few hermits..A few months back a fellow who'd insulted another mans wife was shot 6 times by the husband, who was then aquitted..A few years back a Grant county sheriff was murdered by an escaped New Jersey mafia guy who was hiding out in Granite and had taken up with a pair of hermits, mother and daughter, who were also convicted in the sheriffs murder...To venture into the surrounding hills is to risk being confronted by shotgun weilding prospectors telling you to "Get the **** off my claim"...In Grant county a local dentist was run out of town for shooting another mans cattle which had strayed onto his property.....

09-27-2004, 02:32 PM
Hi kissingengland,

I'm english too, lived in Vegas for 7 yrs.

come to vegas, my friends and i will show you one of the best off road desert trips ever!

09-28-2004, 10:59 AM
I suppose your intent would be the best place to start. If you want a "well known" ghost town you are going to get a tourist trap, not an uninhabited town. I would recommend Utah for your journey. There are literally hundreds of towns and sites around. I run an expedition company here in Utah and I would be willing to "donate" an expedition in trade for publicity. I am currently trying to raise some awareness and solidify preservation methods of towns and mines in Utah. I also provided locations and history for a documentary (Golden Rhoads by Gibran Begum) that was up at Sundance film festival two years ago. If you are interested please contact me. My email and phone # are listed below. Thanks!!

10-05-2004, 01:11 AM
Whenever I go hikeing or trailing through the desert I for one never go alone and if im on foot I carry my HK assault rifle with a few extra clips. Call me paranoid but shotgun weilding freaks is exactly what I dont need on a stroll through the desert unarmed haha. I always take my gun with me now up in places like that. Playin it safe...

10-06-2004, 11:37 AM
No offense meant... and Im usually armed as well, but I rarely run into anyone and when I do they have never been "Shotgun wielding freaks". Usually just tourists or ghost towners. Even the locals are usually pretty good guys.. If you are running into a lot of "shotgun wielding freaks" then they are probably others, like yourself who are being paranoid about the same thing you are. One thing I have discovered is that in the desert you will get out what you bring in, meaning that if you looking for trouble you will find it. Keep it friendly and others will respond the same way...
That aside, why carry an HK, Im assuming its the assault style shotgun, but that is a heavy beast to carry along. I have a few assault rifles but if I do feel the need to go in with some sort of rifle it is usually my chinese AK-47. its maybe 7lbs unloaded, probably about 15 with a 30rd clip. thats far lighter than an AR or a shotgun for that matter, its more reliable than than my bushmaster... and its versitile... effective and accurate from 0-75 ft or so...

10-06-2004, 01:50 PM
yep, i carry a Glock-23 and shotgun in the truck, all my crew carry.

I carry two clips of these too

10-06-2004, 09:34 PM
I carry a pre-ban HK91 .308 win. I use Premier Scirocco rounds. I just like how they fire I switched to those over the core-lokt. I usually have about ten 30 round mags with me. Good rifle perty intimidating looking so hopefully if some hillbilly will think twice about confrontation.

10-06-2004, 09:37 PM
I do like the .357 rounds from that site tho I will have to check it out.

10-07-2004, 03:27 PM

Being in Arizona (I live in Tucson) I can tell you that it's a great place for what you want to do, but New Mexico, Nevada, California, Utah and Colorado are also great.

Tombstone has already been mentioned, but what's always been of more interest to me are the sites around Tombstone such as Gleeson, Pearce, Cochise, Courtland and Charleston (this one will require a foot journey). All in Cochise County which is probably the most historic in Arizona.

The one that is of the most interest to me is Ruby which is located close to the Border with Mexico. This requires owner's permission and a fee, but well worth it. I have a family connection to it as my great grandfather served there as the postmaster from 1937-1940 and a great uncle who was Justice of the Peace during that same time. You can read about that here. (http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/rubypaper.html)

Up the road from Ruby is Arivava. Arivaca is not a ghost town, but a historic old community that is worth a visit.


03-03-2005, 11:43 AM
yep, i carry a Glock-23 and shotgun in the truck, all my crew carry.

I carry two clips of these too
Glocks are most used by German Police and other Goverment-employes

03-17-2005, 01:49 PM
err ok thanks for that information..

back to the subject, i wonder if this guy ever did his peice, i got an email from him and offered a ton of help, but never heard nothing back.