The Haunted Goldfield Ghost Town and ‘The Devils Playground’

The Haunted Goldfield Ghost Town and ‘The Devils Playground’

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town brings the Wild West (and some of its dead) back to life, making this one of Arizona’s most haunted locations. The town was originally founded back in 1893 after being inundated by miners hoping to get a taste of the gold struck in the nearby mountains. The town grew rapidly gaining 1,500 residents during its first year. The space was quick to erect buildings and businesses including stores, a blacksmith, butcher, brewery and three saloons. The town of Goldfield met its demise just as quickly as it was built up. After five short years the gold dried up and people vacated, securing its ghost town status.

Goldfield Ghost Town's cemetery.
Goldfield Ghost Town’s cemetery, The Last Dig.

Not all were so quick to give up hope on Goldfield and striking it rich. The lure of a mysterious legend kept a select few nearby. The aptly named Superstition Mountains are at the forefront of a prevailing myth that continues to entice treasure seekers to this day. Local legend states that many riches are hidden deep within the mountain in the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. It’s a pity the mountain is so cursed and nobody has yet been able to discover this gold, while staying alive.

These few adventurers were not able to sustain the town of Goldfield and it quickly became a shell, left to crumble and deteriorate in the desert’s hot sun. That is, until the 1980’s when the town was purchased out of fascination of the mystery that surrounds the area. The town was lovingly rebuilt to become an authentic representation of what the community once would have been. Now the Ghost Town attracts tourists from all around the world, as well as some visitors who have since departed this world.

Goldfield Ghost Town's church.
The church at Goldfield Ghost Town.

The Ghosts of Goldfield Ghost Town

Being classified as a ghost town doesn’t necessarily mean a place is haunted by ghosts. This is not the case for the Goldfield Ghost Town. There’s plenty of documentation and investigations that point to Goldfield being a paranormal hub.

A mysterious figure lurks within the shadows of the Goldfield Ghost Town’s bordello. It is unclear who this spirit would have been in life, yet it is commonly believed he was once a miner who lived in the town. Unexplainable knock and bangs are heard in this building and some unfortunate visitors have been scratched. This activity is attributed to a dark character who is usually seen wearing a cowboy hat.

Haunted bordello at Goldfield Ghost Town
Exterior of the very haunted bordello at Goldfield Ghost Town.

The bordello is also home to a far less sinister spirit. Plenty of staff have reported feeling the presence of Karen, a co-worker who passed away within recent years. She is believed to have returned to the place she worked and loved so much.

The Legends of The Superstition Mountains

Just on the horizon of the Goldfield Ghost Town sits a landscape made ominous by its name and the legends surrounding it. The Superstition Mountains are cloaked in mystery and at the center of many fables making them notorious among the paranormal community.

Receiving their name after the Pima Indians who displayed fear of the area to European settlers, the Superstition Mountains carry many secrets, the most famous being the location of a supposed deposit of gold and riches in the ‘Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine.’ A curse has kept this treasure safe since the days of Goldfield’s mining boom. Many have set out to locate these riches and many have returned empty handed or found only death. Countless adventurers have perished in the Arizona heat pursuing this chase, their ghosts are said to now haunt the mountainside.


The Mysterious Superstition Mountains
The Mysterious Superstition Mountains


But wait, there’s plenty more folklore surrounding the Superstition Mountains. The Pima Indians believed the mountain to be a place where evil spirits hid and told stories of a Devil that lived behind the mountain. There’s also a rumored apparition of a hugely tall skeleton named the Borego Phantom, which appears to those exploring the mountain after dark. Another layer of creepiness is added to the mountain by the local legend that reptile looking people surface there after dark.

All of these creepy mysteries are summed up pretty nicely in the Superstition Mountain’s name, yet the Apache Indians coined a nick name that may be even more fitting for the mountain. They know it as the ‘Devil’s Playground.’

Visiting Goldfield Ghost Town

During the day the Goldfield Ghost Town is a bustling place. Tourists move rapidly about taking photos, participating in the many attractions and buying souvenirs, blissfully unaware of the area’s mysterious past.

Walking through the Ghost Town.
Walking through the Ghost Town.

I visited later during the day as the attraction was winding down to close. The place slowly took on a different feel as the many tourists loaded out and the true ghost town was slowly revealed. During the day Goldfield opens up its many buildings to visitors who can tour the town, museum and watch spectacles like fake shoot outs. Even after the park officially closes one can still enter and look around, or hang out at the saloon, which is open until 9pm.

Visiting the town is free. It will cost for food, drink, tours and attractions. This is one cool place to visit and knowing the places back story makes it all the more interesting. I’d also highly recommend this place for people with young children.

Goldfield Ghost Town's saloon.
Inside Goldfield Ghost Town’s saloon.

Find the Goldfield Ghost Town just 35 miles out of Phoenix at 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road in Apache Junction.

Want to check out other spooky spots? Take a look at my blog on LA’s abandoned and haunted zoo.

Thanks for reading!


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About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (8)

  • Kayce

    Posted by Kayce on December 11, 2018

    Can’t wait to check this place out!!!


      Posted by Amy on December 13, 2018

      Thanks for commenting Kayce. Hope you have a good time! When I was there it was mostly closed (we got there very late), but the Saloon was still open and we were able to enjoy a drink. We could still roam the town and explore amongst the buildings, too. During the day, a lot of the buildings are open to explore.

  • Lex Luna

    Posted by Lex Luna on March 25, 2022

    I actually live in Mesa Arizona!! I have always been drawn to goldfield ghost town as a medium. I have also visited during the night quite a few times. Most recently my roommate and I gathered some equipment and headed out for an investigation! We also did use the handy dandy GhostTube apps, I got a lot of responses it was fascinating! The angry cowboy, some people have named him Dennis, is definitely still present in the Bordello, we both silently had adverse reactions out front of the Bordello, his negative energy leaks out of the building. All in all it was a great investigation!


      Posted by Amy on April 3, 2022

      Hi Lex. Thank you so much for sharing your experience at the haunted goldfield ghost town. I am so glad you got a chance to go.

  • Stacey LeAlcala

    Posted by Stacey LeAlcala on April 3, 2022

    Thank you for the info Amy, I am headed there now! Stacey


      Posted by Amy on April 3, 2022

      That is so cool, I hope you enjoy it. Have a great time and let me know if you have any paranormal experiences.

  • CJ

    Posted by CJ on September 16, 2022

    I live out in Chandler hoping to find someone to explore this area. I’m new to the paranormal scene.


      Posted by Amy on October 16, 2022

      Cool, thanks for sharing. Happy investigating. Be sure to try out GhostTube if you’re just starting out. It’s an app we made, but it has a great resource for finding haunted locations in your area, as well as a suite of paranormal tools.

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