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Make Yuma Territorial Prison the Number One Best Haunted Destination

Yuma, Ariz. —USA Today is holding its 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards, with 20 options to vote on for Best Haunted Destinations. The Yuma Territorial Prison jumped up from a lower rank to the first position within the last few days. "With six days left to vote, we're asking for Arizonans to make it number one," said Linda Morgan, Executive Director of Visit Yuma. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 26th.


The Yuma Territorial Prison is the only location in Arizona on the list. Others on the list come from all sorts of other spooky locations like a former sanatorium, a lunatic asylum, a lighthouse, a penitentiary, and even The Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner docked in Long Beach, Calif. 

At the Yuma Territorial Prison, legend has it that the spirits of inmates on death row roam within the prison walls. Visitors have said they can hear and have seen glimpses of a moaning woman wandering the bank of the Colorado River, looking for her daughter who drowned. Other visitors and staff have reported a little girl in a red dress who pinches passers-by then runs away. "There's no doubt that it's spooky here at night," said Tina Clark, the City of Yuma's Historian and the prison's doyenne. "We have non-profit organizations beg us to let them raffle off an overnight stay here in the prison, but we don't think that's a very good idea."

Since anyone can vote once a day per computer or mobile device, Arizonans around the state could add a sizable number of votes to the tally and keep the infamous prison in the lead. "Following the Grand Canyon, the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park is the next most-visited site in Arizona," said Clark. "I hope we can all keep at it to get to number one in this poll and take top honors."

"With USA Today's daily readership of more than 2.6 million people, the publicity from being ranked as the Best Haunted Destination would draw in even more visitors to the prison," said Morgan."We hope they'll stay an extra day or two in Yuma-- float on the Colorado River or check out the Imperial Dunes or do some shopping and dining around town."

Vote here.

The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.

Visit Yuma team can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment.  We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."

You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.

YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.

For more information, contact Linda Morgan at 928-376-0100 (office), email Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.

'Anytime' releases:

Around & about - a quick Yuma overview

Brilliant! Yuma wears 'sunniest' label with pride

Last link in river restoration under way


Background info:

Fast Facts About YVB

 Fast Facts About Yuma 

Yuma history - narrative

Yuma historic timeline


Research and statistics

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018 Executive Summary

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