By: Joshua Hill
Fall is finally here and that means it’s time to get in the Halloween spirit! If you’re looking for a spooky Arizona day trip filled to the brim with ghost tours and scary stories, then you’ve come to the right spot. We’ve put together a list of the best haunted places in Arizona.
Our first haunted place in Arizona is the Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff. Brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan were Flagstaff businessmen and co-founders of the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company. They married the Metz sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth, and built the Riordan Mansion, which is actually two separate homes linked together by a billiard room.
It’s in this game room that the family reported that a mysterious ghost would occasionally show up to play pool while no one was home. There was also a lightbulb in the home’s chapel that the housekeepers would change out frequently to make sure it never went out. One day, while the Riordans were on vacation in California, a housekeeper saw that the light had gone out – even though she had just changed it. Moments later, Timothy Riordan called to notify the house that his wife, Caroline, had died at the exact time the light had gone out.
You can take a Halloween tour of the mansion, or explore the grounds on your own self-guided tour.
Hotel Monte Vista
Hotels are the perfect places for ghost stories because of the many people who visit them. One such haunted hotel is the Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, located right off of historic Route 66. Staying at this hotel will bring you back in time in more ways than one. In fact, rumor has it that you can actually encounter a few of the hotel’s former guests.
Room 220 – The Meat Man
The Meat Man was a long-term guest at the hotel who hung raw meat from the chandelier in his room. One day in the 1980’s, he was found dead in his room. Soon after, a maintenance person was doing a few repairs in room 220 and when he left the room to grab a few additional tools he turned the lights off and locked the door. Upon his return, the television was on at full volume and the bedding had been scattered around the room.
To this day, guests are still reporting that the TV in room 220 has a mind of its own.
Room 305 – The Rocking Chair
Hotel Monte Vista’s rocking chair room has been featured in a few paranormal shows. Guests staying in this room have mentioned seeing a woman sitting in the rocking chair by the window as well as seeing the chair move by itself. A few guests have even heard knocking coming from inside the closet.
While this room is one of the most famous haunted hotel rooms, no one knows who this woman is or why she is lingering in the hotel.
Room 210 – The Phantom Bellboy
If you’re staying in room 210, you might hear a knock on the door and someone announcing “room service.” However, if you open the door, you won’t see anyone…unless you happen to catch a quick glimpse of a bellboy in an old fashioned red coast with brass buttons.
There are more tales of permanent spirit residents at the Hotel Monte Vista, but you’ll have to visit the hotel yourself to learn more.
Arizona is also full of once bustling mining towns turned ghost towns like Jerome. Jerome holds the nickname of “The Wickedest Town in the West” and offers multiple ghost tours. One of the ghost tours lasts about 2 hours and provides guests with EMF readers and flashlights to walk through haunted locations.
Throughout the tour, you’ll be able to take pictures of orbs and other ghostly sights while the tour guide will explain the history of the different haunted places.
Jerome Grand Hotel
The Jerome Grand Hotel was originally built in 1926 as the United Verde Hospital and remained in operation until 1950. In 1993, the property was purchased by Larry Altherr and, one year later, re-opened as The Jerome Grand Hotel.
Due to the hotel’s long history as a hospital, it is fair to imagine that a few spirits might still haunt the halls. In fact, some have called it the most haunted place in Arizona.
When the hotel first opened in 1994, there were only six rooms and yet, almost immediately guests began reporting the sound of voices and a hospital gurney in the hallways. Room 32 of the hotel receives the most haunted reports due to the fact that it’s the site of two possible suicides.
Even a hotel front desk clerk has told stories of receiving calls at the front desk from rooms in the hotel, only to go to check on the guest and find the room vacant.
If you’re interested in meeting some of the Jerome Grand Hotel’s ghosts, you can stay at the hotel or simply walk around the halls.
Prescott, Arizona is home to a few spooky tales but none are as well known as the story of Faith Summers who haunts the Hassayampa Hotel. Her story begins in 1927, recently after the hotel’s grand opening. Faith and her husband checked into the hotel for their honeymoon. However, Faith’s husband left to buy cigarettes and never made it back.
No one is quite sure if he was running away intentionally or if something tragic happened that inhibited his return to the hotel. Either way, Faith waited for him for three days at the hotel before taking her life in room 426.
Today, Faith remains at the hotel and has appeared to many people throughout the years. She sometimes has been seen crying at the end of a bed or near a door leading to the balcony. Other guests have said they’ve seen her walking through the hallways in an off-white wedding gown.
Guests that have stayed in room 426 have stated that female guests receive phantom foot massages, while men typically have nightmares in the room. The room often smells like flowers and guests have heard crying. Guests of room 426 have also reported missing toothbrushes.
A few of the hotel staff have also met the spirit; namely, one of the staff members was talking about Faith’s tragic tale when her cup of coffee lept out of her hand and spilled all over her.
Hotel Hassayampa has one other ghost who seems to be quite popular with the guests and hotel staff. He’s been given the nickname of “The Watchman.” Legend has it that he was an old watchman of the hotel who enjoys reading the newspaper by the fireplace or pacing the hallways to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you’re looking for an epic Arizona ghost tour, then look no further than the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour which covers over 45 different ghost stories. On this tour, you’ll learn about ghost sightings at the Horseshoe Inn and the Gadsden Hotel – or even the Yuma Territorial Prison. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding of what life was like in this old ghost town – and get to meet some of Bisbee’s old residents in real life.
Copper Queen Hotel
One of the more haunted places in Bisbee, Arizona is the Copper Queen Hotel which is the oldest hotel in Arizona. The hotel first opened its doors in February 1902 and had 72 rooms with two hallway bathrooms (this was considered a luxury hotel). As the years have gone by, the hotel has made some modern adjustments by decreasing the number of rooms and adding in additional bathrooms as well as a hotel pool.
There are 16 different ghosts who haunt the halls of the Copper Queen Hotel. A few of the most frequent invisible guests are Howard, Billy, and Julia.
When Howard is around, guests have mentioned that they smell a floral pipe smoke in the bathroom. One woman even detailed seeing the reflection of a gray-haired man in a top hat standing behind her and when she turned to say hello, there was no one there.
A man staying in room 317 described a thin veil of smoke creeping into his room around 4:15 am, but when he got out of bed to check on where it was coming from all he saw was a vague outline of a man in a waistcoat. The man quickly vanished once he had been noticed by the guest.
Billy is a young boy who will often cry whenever a guest turns on the shower. Guests have said they believe Billy to be a mischievous ghost around 9 years old. When Billy visits a room, he has a tendency to move the guests’ belongings around, and even take rings off of fingers in the night. He also enjoys opening and closing doors suddenly. According to hotel employees, Billy is less likely to move around belongings if the guest leaves candy out for him – just don’t be surprised at the empty candy wrappers in your room the next morning!
Julia Lowell is thought to have been a lady of the night, who frequently took calls at the Copper Queen Hotel. Her ghost has been caught whispering in the ears of sleeping men, tickling their feet, or even ripping off their covers in the middle of the night.
Couples staying at the hotel have also said that they felt like someone crawled into bed with them. One couple mentioned seeing a woman walk from the window and through the door in room 315, when they opened the door to see where she had gone, all they heard was a woman’s laughter and caught a quick glimpse of a black skirt disappear in front of their eyes.
Staying at the Copper Queen Hotel is certainly not for the faint of heart, but if you think you can handle a ghost interaction or two, it’s nearly guaranteed to offer a nice story afterward.
With a name like Tombstone, Arizona, it unsurprisingly is a town with quite a few spooky tales. The Bird Cage Theater was once a gambling hall and many people lost their lives within the theater’s walls. The Bird Cage Theater is considered to be the most haunted place in all of Tombstone.
The theater opened in 1881 and was open all day every day. It was operating as both an opera house and saloon which provided an excellent opportunity for mischief and local drama. For example, there was a murder in the barroom and the person who lost their life that night, a woman by the name of Margarita, has been reported to haunt the theater.
Visitors to the theater have also described seeing the ghosts of men in cowboy hats and even hearing the sounds of laughter, yelling, and music.
The OK Corral was the site of a deadly shooting in Tombstone. Actually, the most famous shootout in the wild west. The fight was between a group of cowboys and a group of lawmen who didn’t get along with each other. This resulted in a gunfight which led to the death of three cowboys and multiple other men were injured.
A few of the cowboys involved were Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLuary against the Town Marshal Virgil Earp, Morgan and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday. Billy Clanton and both Tom and Frank McLaury lost their lives that day.
In present day, Tombstone visitors can check out the OK Corral and might even have a chance to meet some of the cowboys involved. Many visitors have claimed to see the brief outline of cowboys with their guns drawn before they disappear again. There are also cold spots throughout the corral and phantom horses have also been heard.
The Hotel Congress, built in 1919, is located in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The hotel prides itself in maintaining as much of the authentic original ambiance as possible (this includes an iron bed frame, vintage radio, and lack of television in the bedrooms).
Aside from the authentic vintage feeling that you might have when you visit the Hotel Congress, you also might get a chill or two from some ghostly tenants. The hotel has a bit of a tragic past and experienced a deadly fire in 1934, which means that this hotel is full of creepy ghost encounters.
Rooms 242 & 214
Guests who have stayed in room 242 at the hotel have told stories of being awoken in the middle of the night by a woman in a long white dress who sits at the foot of the bed. Guests who have stayed in room 214 have told stories of seeing a man in the window of the room. He is dressed in a seersucker suit and has also been seen in the hallways of the hotel a few times.
It is unclear who these spirits are and why they remain at the hotel.
Room 220 is haunted by a ghost named Vince. Vince lived and worked at the hotel for 36 years before he died in 2001. According to those that knew him, he had a well-known routine of waking up and heading downstairs to get coffee with a small plate and butter knife for a bagel. Then he would return to his room and leave the empty cup and plate by the door.
Now, after his passing, the housekeeping staff continually find butter knives outside of room 220.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is a large air force “boneyard” based in Tucson, Arizona where the military and government can stow their excess aircraft. Many of these aircrafts were driven by pilot’s who have since passed and there is one pilot in particular who enjoys stopping by the air force base every so often.
The pilot flew a plane during World War II and appears at the boneyard on occasion. Whenever he is there, employees have reported power outages and the sight of a man walking through fences and then suddenly disappearing. Other reports claim that the pilot is dressed in WWII-era pilot clothing and walks through the old planes – likely in search of his plane.
Hotel San Carlos
The Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, Arizona is a great local ghost site. Built in 1928, the hotel was a frequent spot for celebrities, but the hotel is still best known for its haunted history.
It all begins with the story of Leone Jensen, who was a 22-year-old staying at the hotel right after it’s grand opening. She jumped out of the window on the 7th floor after an alleged break up with her boyfriend who was a bellboy at the hotel. Prior to her sudden death, she left a note apologizing to the hotel manager for checking out prior to paying her rent. Many hotel guests have given reports of seeing a woman in white at the foot of their beds before disappearing.
Other guests have also described the ghost of an even younger girl sitting and crying in some of the hotel rooms. Prior to the grand opening of the Hotel San Carlos, there was a school called Little Adobe on the same plot of land. To this day, some of the school’s young children have been heard laughing along the halls of the hotel.
Clifton, Arizona is so haunted that A&E’s Ghost Hunters actually filmed an episode in the small mining town. In the town of Clifton, it’s not unusual for there to be mysterious screams or footsteps reported at the Elk’s Lodge, Clifton Hotel, Chase Creek Boarding House, and the Clifton Jail.
In Wickenburg, Arizona between the 1860’s and 1990, many miners were hanged for stealing gold. Because of the unfortunate fate of these miners, many Wickenburg visitors have stated various sorts of paranormal activity. People have heard random mumblings in German and others have even felt multiple “cold spots” surrounding the tree where these miners died.
Haunted Oatman Hotel
The Oatman Hotel, formerly known as the Drulin Hotel, was built in 1902. The hotel is rumored to be haunted by Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The couple checked into the hotel on March 29, 1939 after their wedding in Kingman, Arizona and returned frequently to remember their special night. However, their joyous marriage was short lived when Carole died in a plane crash in 1942.
Years later, there have been reports of a couple laughing from the room that they stayed in. A professional photographer also took a photo in the room and saw the ghostly figure of a man and a woman appear in the background.
We hope you enjoyed our list of haunted places in Arizona to get in the Halloween spirit. If you’re interested in buying a non-haunted house, be sure to reach out to us at The Hill Group. Happy Halloween!