So, we visited Oatman, and it was alive with entertainment and burros and people and at least a place or two to ask directions. Though not a "ghost town" we didn't think Swansea would be SO ghostly! No, we didn't have any paranormal experience while there or anything, but it was a lot like the previews for the horror movie "The Hills Have Eyes."
I could appreciate the history - the town had been there since the early 1900s and only lasted about five years before becoming a ghost town after the gold mining boom. We drove for about an hour, and just when we thought we had gotten haplessly turned around (since all we ever came to in the way of civilized directionals was a 4-way stop) we found the site of Swansea. Literally very much in the middle of nowhere.
I kept looking across the landscape, just waiting for a cougar to prowl out from a building infrastructure and down at the ground, sure there would be a rattlesnake waiting for me. Definitely WEAR your children in a framed pack or somesort of carrier, at the very least a stroller -- if you're paranoid about desert critters like we are from the frozen north!
We didn't see anything living. Not so much as a bird or lizard that seem ubiquitous in other areas of the state. It was a really neat site and I think history buffs or gold-era enthusiasts would like it, but for young kids, it's just a wide open expanse of crumbly buildings and somewhat dangerous old mining remnants.
For older kids, they might get a kick out of having walked an actual old ghost town. And it's cool to say we've been there, but I wouldn't make a day out of it and for the crazy desert drive I would say this is something you can skip unless you have your heart set on it.
It's a wild place. There are apparently 4WD vehicle races there sometimes that can be sketchy and you are told to "watch out" for them -- but I didn't see another soul the whole trip! Make sure you have plenty of water and snacks, just in case you do get lost or stranded. It is very much a desert environment that is deserted.