Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Ghost Town of Stanton, AZ

Charles Stanton in front of his home/store in the late 1800's.
(Unknown source) Original publication: Immediate source: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/stanton.html
Tuck inside Weaver Mountain in the Rich Hill District of Arizona, sits the eerie little ghost town of Stanton.  When you travel on Arizona Highway 89 and hit the north end of Congress, you will find a dirt road which will lead you there.  The trek on this road is only 6 miles to Stanton, and is currently used as an RV park.  The only old buildings standing are the hotel, stagecoach station, and the red brick general store.

It all started in 1863 when Pauline Weaver guided a group of explorers to the area.  Weaver’s Needle in the Superstition Mountains and the mountain range where Stanton is located were named after Pauline.  They hit the motherlode (about a half million in gold), and in 1868, the place was known as Antelope Station.  At one time, over 3,000 souls called the place home, and it was a decent place to live until Charles Stanton turned up in 1871.  Stanton decided that he was running the town and ruled with an iron fist by hiring meanest ne’er-do-wells he could find to keep order.  Stanton once studied for the priesthood, but was kicked out after being charged with immorality.  Stories are told that he enjoyed drinking blood, eating fried rattlesnakes, and fighting mountain lions.  I am not sure if these are true, but given the nature of his personality, it does seem possible.  Also, every time someone was slain in the settlement, he was usually accused but never convicted.  Even when the general store manager, Barney, along with his family were run out of town and then later found massacred, all fingers pointed to Stanton.  He no doubt sent his henchmen after the innocent family to have them killed.  By 1886, his luck had run out and he met his demise by a man from Weaver who shot him to death.  This man was known to be the leader of a notorious gang of bandits.  His body was buried about a mile outside of town.

After Stanton’s passing, the community still flourished for numerous years, but could not get rid of the bad omen that Stanton put on the town.  This place could not shake the stigma of being an unsafe locale.  By the early 1900’s, the gold was all but gone, the post office closed, and the town was left empty. 

Today, all that is roaming on the quiet streets of Stanton are all the souls who died there.  They say that it is haunted by Stanton’s victims who are trapped amongst the walls of the old buildings which are still standing.  Sharon and I, along with another fellow investigator, have permission to wander the streets and buildings of what is left of Stanton.  We will conduct an investigation this week in each structure and hopefully the very haunted cemetery nearby.  There will be other ghost investigators there as well.  It promises to be a great night, and I will share every detail of the place.  You know me; I will have tons of pictures to share.

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