The Story

Everyone had gathered in a small building near the museum. The window AC unit was blowing but it was so old that it made more noise than cold air. Pit stains started appearing on Charle’s shirt. He knew it was going to be a long day.

Each of the 5 people around the table had a specific purpose for being there. They didn’t want anyone that wasn’t necessary in on the details. The fewer that knew, the more they could control the story. The meeting had finally been called after the last “accident”.

“We have to find a solution…” Marie started before being cut off.

William was losing patience. “The foundations have failed and now it’s affecting the minds too. We have to evacuate the whole town!” 

If they weren’t careful, the secret would get out. 

“We can’t evacuate. If we do that, it will require state and national directives. We can’t let that many people know about this.” Jim wanted to wash the whole thing under the proverbial rug. But then, he lived down in Cottonwood and wasn’t affected by the events now playing out.

“So there’s really no way to contain it?” asked Rose.

Charles knew where this was going. He’d seen it in the military. It would stop being about what was good for the people and start being about escaping blame.

Almost 40 years ago the town had incorporated under a communal belief system. What was produced by one was shared by all. The mountains around them were rich with copper, a mineral in high demand, so they began to mine and sell the copper to provide for the town. 

About 3 years ago, they first discovered that the mine blasting had shaken loose something much more than just the copper they were trying to free from the rock. 

At first it was just showing up as gasses coming up through the earth and they ignored it. But then they started noticing the effects it was having. They expected some issues with the movement of ground and anticipated the toll it might take on the houses. But the mining was what provided for the community and a few houses were worth the good of the many. More and more people reported seeing things. And the men entrusted to bring up the copper stopped showing up for work.

They’d had some scientist come out to test the gasses. And the look on his face chilled Charles to the bone. “It isn’t gas,” he’d said. “I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t gas.”

He had quickly packed up all of his things and left without another word. 

That had been a year ago.

“Do you smell that?” asked Rose.

Charles began to feel the floor shifting beneath him. It started slowly at first but built with ever-increasing speed. He quickly reached out for William on his left as Marie grabbed for him on his right. They were all falling.

The last thing he remembered was seeing the light 10 feet above his head as the earth swallowed him up.

The mysteries of Jerome remain as the ghost town thrives. If you decide to go there and notice something off, get out as soon as you can.

The History

This is the final part of my 5 part Historic Jerome series. While all of the stories are made up, I pulled some historical facts into some of them as well.

This building is located near the Jerome State Historic Park. Due to Covid-19, the park was closed at the time of my visit and I could not locate any information online about this building’s original purpose. If you have any information, please let me know.

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