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Most Haunted Destination

Yuma, Ariz. — Yuma’s Territorial Prison has been named the country’s  MOST HAUNTED DESTINATION by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards.  The announcement was made Friday morning after weeks of online voting and intense competition.  “The prison’s haunted history is fascinating. We are certain the award will attract visitors from all over the world to experience the hauntedness of the establishment,” said Linda Morgan, Executive Director of Visit Yuma.


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.  The prison was in operation for 33 years dating back to 1876.

“We are excited that people will come to Yuma to experience the prison and all of the other great things Yuma has to offer,” explained Morgan.  

Yuma’s territorial prison competed with a former sanatorium, a lunatic asylum, a lighthouse, a penitentiary, and even The Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner docked in Long Beach, California, for the nation’s Best Haunted Destination award.   

The prison is open for visitors Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.  The park will be closed for maintenance from September 23-30. Starting in October, the park is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

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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