The Haunted Palace at Prescott’s Whiskey Row

The Haunted Palace at Prescott’s Whiskey Row
Mick Zano

Have you ever stopped at Prescott’s Whiskey Row? For those unfamiliar with the southwest, Prescott is a town nestled in a mountainous section of central Arizona. There’s a time I would have loved this rustic row of bars…er, like shortly after it debuted in 1877. But there’s at least one place on that block worthy of a stop. The Palace Saloon is old, historic, and quite haunted. It’s also the focus of The Ghost Blunder’s latest para-abnormal investigation.

Truth be told, we did this investigation a couple of months ago and I lost all my notes, so bear that in mind as I try to piece together this entire sinister episode…hopefully before Mr. Winslow fires me again. First, let me take a moment to sum up the rest of Whiskey Row:

Don’t go there if you’re over 21 and if you’re under 21 you can’t go there. Do the math. Keep in mind, this is a great place for those underagers with fake IDs.

About a year ago I started an article to review these bars, but I shifted that forsaken quest to my laptop’s trash can before my first pee break. I do remember one story, though, as I was strolling into Matt’s Saloon the bouncer said, “Sir, we need to take your backpack while you’re in here.

I responded with, “Okay, what’s your best beer?”

He replied, “Uh, we got Michelob.”

“No. You cannot have my backpack.”

As I hyperlinked to Matt’s website for your enjoyment—which, in retrospect, I really shouldn’t have—I made the mistake of reading the whole thing. Wow. It’s really called Matt’s Longhorn Saloon, which was apparently too longhorn for the sign out front. Help, I really can’t stop reading this website. Someone call my therapist. The cute one, please…she’s helping with my sex addiction.

Here’s an excerpt from the site:

“Matt’s Saloon has become an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed destination place for country music. Great country western acts such as Buck Owens, Lee Hazelwood and Waylon Jennings….”

Wow, Waylon Owens! And to think he once opened for Willy Rogers. It reminds of that Blues Brother’s line when they end up at Bob’s Country Bunker and someone goes, “We got both kinds of music here, country and western.” Geesh. Sorry to go on a tangent, but it’s my M.O. It sure beats when I’m focused. Did you read that last article when I was focused? Yikes.

For some historical context, Whiskey Row suffered two major fires, July of 1883 and May of 2012. I can assure you I had nothing to do with the fire of 1883. The history of paranormal occurrences at the Palace Saloon is considerable; in fact, the Discord crew already scored an apparition before we were even ghost hunters. My sister took a picture of the Discord’s Crank at the Crystal Palace a few years back. In the mirror above a ghostly apparition appeared. The picture was taken on old style film so we don’t have a suitable version for you, but I was sure we’d get plenty more…in fact, I’ll bet my reputation on it. Hell, I don’t have a good rep anyway.

For this mission, Cokie McGrath, “Vegas Great” Bald Tony, and our two interns Helena and Barb made the arduous 300 yard journey from The Raven Café to the Palace Saloon. Don’t laugh; I don’t like to leave that place, especially when the rooftop bar is open. Thankfully Prescott Brewing Company was en-route, or I’m not sure we would have made it.

When we arrived at The Palace, six pints later, I realized the mirror in question—the one my sister captured that ghostly apparition—was no longer there. Apparently, it was removed a couple of years ago and is probably stored in Warehouse 13 or something. Cue spooky music.

The Palace Saloon opened in 1877 and Matt’s “Longhorn” Saloon is right next door. I don’t know when Matt’s Place opened. I finally managed to pry my eyes off his God forsaken website and I’m not going back. Holy shit! Clint Presley’s playing there! Sorry.

After doing some research I discovered the Palace Saloon was not your average watering-hole—way back in the day people came there from miles around to eat, drink, dance, socialize and screw. Okay, not much different from today. Oh, and you can still see actual bullet holes in the high ceiling from an old western-style gunfight. I’ve lived near Newark, New Jersey, so that doesn’t particularly impress me, but I still thought it was worth mentioning.

I’ve visited the Palace about five times, and every time it’s like walking into a polder. Not that guy from the X-Files—a polder, a liminal land beyond space-time, like Briga-La or Shangri-Doon. Did I mention I’m an idiot? When you walk into the place there are always people dressed like cowboys, or civil war soldiers, or drag queens. No wait, that’s that other bar.

So the picture above is not that unusual. Cokie’s always hitting on old Civil War era guys. For a related ghost adventure, check out the Ghost Blunders in Haunted Gettysburg. That was back when I had a real passion for this shit. You’ve sucked the life out of me, Winslow! You bastard!

Meanwhile, the two gentlemen above are not ghosts, because we asked them. We’re professionals, after all. Since I had lost my notes, which were meticulously written on a bar coaster, we will call them Bill and Ted. And they told us of their most excellent adventure. Now both of these guys had some strange experiences in that old place. One time they were getting photographed in the backroom and their images ended up surrounded by countless orbs. I went back there to conduct my own photo shoot, but had no such luck. Especially after Cokie warned Helena about my standard “I’m going to make you a star” line, women. They’re smart and stuff.

Bill and Ted also told us of the strange noises often heard after hours as well as some other bizarre tales of macabre…and even some about men wearing fishnets and singing show tunes. No wait, that’s that other bar again. This pair really did believe the place was haunted. In fact, everyone we spoke to had a tale to tell. It’s all written on that coaster. If you find it please hit our contact button at the bottom of the page. That could reeeally help me out about now [or maybe not; it’d also help the FBI].

The team wasn’t surprised this was a very active spot, after all, The Palace had both elements we have come to associate with hauntings: a bar and stuffed animal heads on the wall. You see, the Ghost Blunders have discovered ecto-pilsner, a substance as yet unknown to science, which is either manifested through beer or…awe, heck, I’m not going through this again. You can read our important theories for yourself as summarized in my Haunted Durango feature. That one is sure to win me a Pulitzer. Hey, while you were doing that I found some orbs!

On closer inspection, the orbs between each mounted deer head turned out to be track-lighting, which is not exactly paranormal in origin, or particularly interesting…but it looks nice.

The mannequin next to me, or more accurately womennequin, is a doppelganger. When staff arrived one morning the first model was found shattered on the floor after presumably being shoved from the balcony. This Who-Dummied-It is still a cold case file—a very cold, almost plastic-like. We interviewed the new womennequin and her quotes are also on that coaster. Could you imagine what she goes through? Umm, sorry we’re going to lock you in here alone again tonight, oh, and the last chick who had this gig was murdered by a ghost. The heartless bastards! I’m coming back for you tonight, honey, and we’re going to start a new life, together. Yep, time to call that therapist lady again.

After interviewing the staff, Bald Tony decided to conduct an EVP session (electronic voice phenomenon) [reverse acronym joke], during which we captured a slew of truly chilling sounds and voices. They are also on that coaster. It was a big coaster…and I used the back as well.

I was beginning to think I’d really botched this case, which is not uncommon, but in double-checking all of the photos I noticed something strange. Even though I hadn’t captured any orbs during this investigation, I did find this:

The caption of the picture says Gurley Street circa 1870s. Gurley Street is one block over from where the Palace now stands, but what’s with the shadow dude? Who’s giving off that one prominent shadow of that one prominent looking man? There’s no one with a matching hat and, besides, he’s around the wrong side of the building. Then, when I zoomed in (to the image you see above), you can clearly make out he’s wearing a white cravat/ascot thing…um, white…in a shadow? BWTF? It’s actually BWTFCAT? But Why The F***ing Cravat/Ascot Thing?

Did they do ghost hoaxing in the 1870s? I remember the Loch Ness Mobster and the Abominable Hippie, but this far back? And he’s looking right at the camera! Can anyone explain this? If you have a theory, hit the contact button. Well, the picture is still hanging on the wall somewhere in the Palace Saloon in Prescott so you can check it out for yourself. Unless, like that mirror, they already smuggled it off to Warehouse-13. The womennequin isn’t there anymore either. I don’t know what happened to her. What? I don’t…really. So just drop it…but not off a balcony (badum bum). My therapist wants me to bring her to our next session, but I don’t know…

I still think that last picture is downright chilling. Heck, I might not sleep for a week. Okay, I’m not really that scared, I just snorted way too much meth tonight. Who knows what evil lurks in the old photos of men? The shadow of the BWTFCAT knows! Mwhahahahah.

That’s a rap. Mick Zano, “Vegas Great” Bald Tony, Cokie McGrath and our interns Helena and Barb signing off. But don’t worry, folks, Alex Bone will be back in our next thrilling episode Night at the Route-66 Museum Club. Oh wait, he’s barred from there too. Well, we’ll get someone…anyone free Friday? Holy shit, Garth Haggard is playing next weekend!

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.