Writer Joseph J. Airdo // Photo Courtesy of The Haunted Group

Less than two hours north of Phoenix, Jerome is a historic copper mining town that is nestled on top of Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley. Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome is now known for its vibrant art scene and quirky boutique store fronts.

It is also home to Audrey Headframe Park, where visitors can stand on glass above a 1,900-foot shaft; Jerome Historical Society’s Mine Museum, which displays everything from old mining equipment to remains of gambling in saloons; and several spooky spots that have given Jerome a reputation of being haunted. One of those spots is The Haunted Hamburger, which offers not only breathtaking views but also an eerie atmosphere.

Eric Jurisin, owner of The Haunted Group, notes that The Haunted Hamburger is not just a name, as the restaurant’s employees and guests have reported countless occurrences and oddities throughout its 27 years in business.

“Guests flock from all over for the chance at an encounter with one of our spirits, but they stay for our hauntingly-good burgers and the stunning views from our large outdoor patio,” Jurisin says. “It is the perfect spot to catch the sun setting over the Verde Valley before the spirits come out to play in the darkness of Jerome nights.”

It all started when Jurisin was taking a road trip through Jerome and fell in love with the town.

“We purchased the building that would later become the restaurant and began renovating,” he explains. “From the very beginning, strange things happened. In particular, we could not keep track of our hammers. One hammer, then two, then three disappeared, and they would show up later in the oddest of spots.”

One day during construction, as Jurisin went upstairs to finish a project, a nearby door spontaneously slammed shut as soon as he reached the top floor.

“I had just sealed up all of the windows, so I knew it was not a cross-breeze,” Jurisin assures. “After that day, I was convinced we were not alone here.”

As he neared the end of renovations, he ran into a friend who asked, “How is that haunted hamburger place you are working on?” The name stuck.

“Over the years, we have experienced so many oddities here,” Jurisin adds. “You would be hard-pressed to find an employee who does not believe the restaurant is haunted. Cans flying off shelves, the hot water being turned on in the middle of the night, distinct smells in the stairwell and even photographs guests have taken capturing the vague image of a woman — all have happened here.”

From skeletons scaling the exterior of the building to spooky decor, The Haunted Hamburger wholeheartedly embraces its theme. But its creepy concept is just the beginning, as its menu features burgers that range from classic to ornate — with the haunted burger and Southwest sourdough burger being two of the restaurant’s most popular options.

However, two other menu items are also responsible for placing The Haunted Hamburger — and Jerome — on the map: “boo-zy” shakes and chocolate cake.

“Imagine the milkshake of your dreams, handspun with premium vanilla ice cream and rich whipped cream on top,” Jurisin says. “Then, add your favorite liquor and premium toppings. Flavors on the menu include orange creamsicle, salted caramel copper miner, bourbon and bacon, chocolate devil and mudslide.

“Finish your meal with our house-made, ooey, gooey, layered chocolate cake. Eight inches high, this cake features alternating layers of decadent chocolate cake and rich, fudge frosting. It is a showstopper. They are best enjoyed on our outdoor patio while taking in views of the Verde Valley.”

The Haunted Hamburger // 410 Clark Street, Jerome // 928-634-0554 // thehauntedhamburger.com