This is my line of articles about places to do day trips from the Phoenix area to haunted and historic sites in AZ.
The trip to Mayer is a good one. It's about a 1 hour 16 minute drive from Phoenix. Take I-17 north to AZ-89 towards Prescott. Very soon there will be a turnoff for Mayer at Goodwin. Take Goodwin towards S. Marina St. Turn left onto S. Marina St. Turn right onto Gurley St, turn slightly onto AZ-69 E. Turn right onto Main St. Main Street is awesome because there's a couple of charming antique shops. My ghost hunting partner and I were very comfortable in the building on the left with the outdoor display, but the building on the right we kept thinking we heard someone over our shoulders calling our names inside. Very strange. I'd like to learn a bit more about that building.
You can head on towards the cemetery which I think is the best cemetery in AZ as far as location and very old west feel. At the antique shops there's a stop sign at Oak. Turn right on Oak and then take 1st or 2nd Street left to Jefferson. Jefferson turns to dirt. Follow that dirt road and you'll hit the cemetery.
It's divided in two. The newer buries are on the left, the older ones on the right. We spent all our time in the right side up on the hill. It's really the most amazing location and something almost spiritual about it and extremely old west feeling.
If you have a chance to be there after dark, you're extremely brave. It's not a long jog into Prescott to stay the night (Abby's room at Hotel Vendome recommended haunted stay), but if you plan to head back home, at least try to stay till sunset. It has an amazing feeling up there on the hillside. The wind whistles and the graves feel very unsettling. Watch out for rattlesnakes, though. No one cuts the grass there. In fact, you'll feel quite isolated. We were on edge more about locals finding us alone up there than anything the graveyard had to offer. The photos you take here will be guaranteed to be gorgeous and moody. Consider using black and white exposures. They're keepers!
I'd say if you want a day trip to see some antiques in a town you've probably never seen and walk around a cemetery that'll make your skin crawl, this is the place.