Spooky Building Tour

Oct. 29, 2020


It's no secret that our building at 1502 W. Washington Street is old - almost 100 years old, which is pretty impressive for Phoenix! Built in 1921, it originally served as the El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium. In 1991, it was renovated in order to become the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, but it still retains some spooky features from the century-old building. (Click here for full history of the collection.)

We recently captured some photos of the museum's creepiest and not often shared corners - from the basement 'pit' to the underground mining equipment of days past, all with a little help from a skeleton friend. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!


Let's start with one of the spookiest stairwells in the building, leading us to the basement. Do you know what resides on the other side of that door?
It's our skeleton friend, resting from his job of inventorying minerals!
Some say he put so many hours into organizing the collection that he died. He still haunts the museum to this day, but he helps out with the collection, so we don't mind at all.
Going up? Let's see what spirits lurk in the offices and storage spaces of the second level.
There's something in this room. I didn't want to take any chances, so I snapped a photo and let it be.
On the other side of the museum rests the 'pit,' a space known well by our Monday Crew but an enigma to others. Are you sure you want to open this door?
Here it is, 'THE PIT,' once an actual pit under the stage of the Shriner auditorium. We use this area to store minerals and mining equipment supplies. There's no way out now. You have to use the crawlspace under the floor...
Which looks like this. Who's going to crawl in first? Any takers? (Also: is that a ghostly orb in the lower lefthand corner of the photo?)
Assuming you made it out of the pit alive, let's head outside. Did you know our mining equipment was actually used at historic mines back in the day? The 5-stamp mill from the Swallow Mine dates back to the turn of the century. Stamp mills can be dangerous to operators if strict safety procedures are not followed. You could potentially lose a hand!
Headed over to the honey dipper. Sometimes even skeletons need a (potty) break.
And finally, some animal friends! Did you know we have an undead cat colony on the museum grounds? The live cats have some competition.
Another one! I heard they feast on dead pigeons. That's a whole other story.

That is it for today, folks! We hope you enjoyed this spooky virtual tour. Thank you for your understanding and support during these uncertain times. This time last year we held our first public event and we look forward to doing that again once COVID permits. We'll keep you updated. Happy Halloween from the AMMNRE Museum!