Sleeping With Ghosts in Arizona


The Black River in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona

The Black River in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona

Apache-Sitgreaves National ForestsDiamond Rock Campground – Once called home to the Apache Indians, this campground in the White Mountains sits alongside the East Fork of the Black River. The campsite in a forested valley, shaded by tall ponderosa pines, is said to be the site of paranormal activity. According to reports, photographic anomalies of a phantom woman have appeared in photos taken here. Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, P.O. Box 640, Springerville, Arizona 85938, 928-333-4301.


Bisbee Inn, Hotel La More – Built in 1916 by S.P. Bedford, the substantial 24-room hotel was leased to Mrs. Kate La More just one year later. Over the years, the old hotel changed hands several times until it was fully renovated in the 1980s and again in 1996. Today, the spirit of an old woman is said to lurk about the hotel, especially in Room 13. Bisbee Inn, Hotel La More, 45 OK St., Bisbee Arizona 85603, 520- 432-5131.

Bisbee Grand Hotel – Constructed in 1906, the hotel was originally called home to traveling mining executives. In the late 1980s, the entire hotel was closed and renovated to become the elegant Victorian hotel that it is today. Travelers visiting experience rooms and suites appointed with antiques and family heirlooms. They might also experience a couple of resident ghosts. Known as quiet ghosts, a male spirit has often been spied downstairs, while a female is seen on the upper level. But, of these ghosts, all they do is show themselves as they are not known to make a racket or move things around like many apparitions that tend to lurk about hotels. Bisbee Grand Hotel, 61 Main St. Bisbee, Arizona 85603, 520- 432-5900 or 800- 421-1909.

Clawson House Inn – This former mansion turned guest inn has been standing in historic Bisbee since its copper mining heydays. Built by Spencer Clawson, a mine manager in 1895, the inn is said to continue to be haunted by his wife. Also lurking about are the spirits of three miners who were murdered in the late 1890s. It was during this time that a labor dispute erupted between the miners and the Queen Mine. As a result, the mining company brought in outside “scabs” to cross the picket lines. Three of these men who were bunking at the Clawson House were killed by the strikers. Clawson House, 116 Clawson Ave. PO Box 1152, Bisbee, Arizona 85603, 520-432-7434.

Copper Queen Hotel, Bizbee, Arizona

Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee, Arizona

Copper Queen Hotel – Built in 1902 by the Copper Queen Mining Company, the hotel attracted numerous dignitaries and mining executives, as well as flamboyant Old West cowboys and miners during its early heydays. Today, it is said to continue to play host to three resident ghosts. The most famous of its ghosts is a former prostitute by the name of Julia Lowell. Alas, poor Julia made the mistake of falling in love with one of her customers, and when he rejected her, she killed herself at the hotel. She, an older gentleman, complete with a top hat, and a young boy have all been seen at this historic inn. Other phenomena include the aroma of cigar smoke, objects that mysteriously move, the sounds of footsteps running through the halls, and electrical appliances that turn on and off by themselves. Copper Queen Hotel, 11 Howell Avenue, Bisbee, Arizona 85603, 520-432-2216.

Oliver House – Built in 1909 by Edith Ann Oliver, the wife of a local mining official, the house now serves as a 12-room Bed and Breakfast. The building served as a residence, a mining office, and a boarding house over the years. According to reports, 27 people died in the house since it was built, including mass murder and an unsolved murder. Today, it is allegedly haunted by five different spirits. Phenomena include ghostly footsteps roaming the hallways at night, strange cold spots throughout the building, a rocking chair that moves of its own accord, doors and shutters that open by themselves, and the sound of water running through pipes that no longer exist. Oliver House, PO Box 1681, 26 Sowle, Bisbee, Arizona 85603, 520-432-1900.


San Marcos Hotel and Golf Resort – Setting the standard for luxury in 1912 and beyond, the San Marcos was the first golf resort in Arizona. Today, several strange things are said to occur at this historic resort, including phone calls received to the desk from non-existent extensions, the moaning of man, and the ghostly figure of a woman has been seen.  San Marcos Golf & Conference Resort, One San Marcos Place, Chandler, Arizona 85225,  800-528-8071 or 480-812-0900.


Gadsen Hotel, Douglas, Arizona

Gadsen Hotel, Douglas, Arizona

Gadsen Hotel – First built in 1907, the hotel quickly became the home-away-from-home for miners, ranchers, businessmen, and dignitaries, including numerous Arizona Governors and Eleanor Roosevelt. Leveled by a fire, it was rebuilt in 1929. Over the years, it slipped into despair until it was rescued in 1988. Today, it is said to be haunted by a headless ghost who some say is Pancho Villa, who often spied in the hallways and in the basement. The young spirit of an Indian boy is also seen on the mezzanine, and an elderly woman called Sara has been seen on the fourth floor. Gadsen Hotel, 1046 G Avenue, Douglas, Arizona 85607, 520-364-4481.


Hotel Weatherford – This historic hotel has been serving guests since its opening on New Year’s Day in 1900, with such visitors as newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, former President Theodore Roosevelt, and lawman Wyatt Earp. Along with its rich history, a couple was reportedly murdered in the hotel in the 1930s. The staff has reported that one employee staying in the hotel awoke in the middle of the night to find a bride and groom sitting at the foot of the bed. In addition, another guest relayed that while taking an early morning stroll through the hotel, he spied the silhouette of a young woman darting from one side of the room to the other in the hotel’s ballroom. Other reports tell of low whispers and voices coming from the empty lounge. Hotel Weatherford, 23 N. Leroux St, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, 928-779-1919.

Monte Vista Hotel, Flagstaff, Arizona

Monte Vista Hotel, Flagstaff, Arizona

Monte Vista Hotel – Opening on New Year’s Day, 1927, this historic hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been fully restored to its former glory and continues to serve the traveling public today. Haunted by several ghosts, including a phantom bellboy that knocks on doors then disappears, a female ghost has been seen walking the halls, a 1970’s bank robber who died in the lounge, and a long-ago resident of the hotel that can be heard clearing his throat and coughing. Hotel Monte Vista, 100 N. San Francisco St., Flagstaff, Arizona 86001, 928-779-6971 or 800-545-3068.


Noftsger Hill Inn – High above the Cobre Valley in the shadow of the Old Dominion mine, this building was built in 1907 as a school. Today the six-room inn is filled with rustic elegance and framed by mining-era houses, stands as a monolithic monument to miners, academics, and architects. Today guests tell of continuing to hear the sounds of ghostly children’s voices at the inn, phantom guests often appear, and footsteps are heard when no one is there. Other phenomena include ghostly spook lights that appear and objects that inexplicably move of their own accord. Noftsger Hill Inn, 425 North Street, Globe, Arizona 85501, 928-425-2260 or 877-780-2479.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand View Trail, Grand Canyon, 1906

Grand View Trail, Grand Canyon, 1906

El Tovar Hotel – Built just twenty feet from the very edge of the south rim of the Grand Canyon, the El Tovar Hotel opened amidst much fan fair on January 14, 1905. Built by the Fred Harvey Company, the log, and stone hotel out-shone every other area hotel of its time. In the front of this historic hotel in the middle of the U-shaped parking lot is the grave of a former Harvey Girl who died long ago.

The spirit of a black-caped figure has often been seen walking along the pathway leading from the El Tovar Hotel, passing by the grave, and then disappearing behind the Hopi House. The ghost of Fred Harvey himself has been seen on the third floor during the holiday season, inviting guests to the annual Christmas gathering. Allegedly, the third floor and the kitchen are the most haunted places at the hotel. Grand Canyon Lodges, West Rim Dr., Grand Canyon Village, Arizona. 303-297-2757 reservations only; 928/638-2631 direct to hotel (no reservations).


Connor Hotel – Built in 1898 by David Connor, the original hotel offered 20 guest rooms and a saloon, card rooms, and billiards on the first floor. However, before the turn of the century, the hotel would burn to the ground twice. Rebuilt each time, the hotel was known as one of the finest hotels in the West and was often filled to capacity. However, when the mines began to die, so did the hotel, and in 1931 it closed. The lower space was then leased for a variety of shops during the next several decades. In the 1960s and 1970s, the building again became a hotel, albeit low budget. In the 1980’s it closed again due to safety violations and remained empty up until the 21st century. After extensive renovations, the hotel opened once again. Today, the hotel sports several odd stories, including a guest who stayed in Room 1, who heard whispers and women laughing, objects that move of their own accord in Room 2, and a ghostly dog who growls beneath the door of Room 4. Connor Hotel, 164 Main St., Jerome, Arizona 86331, (928) 634-5006 or 800-523-3554. More …

Mile High Inn – Built in 1899, the structure was known as the Clinksdale Building. Serving various purposes through the years, it was the one-time home of Madam Jennie Bauters Bordello. Today, it serves as a charming eight guest room inn. It is also said to host several resident ghosts, including a phantom cat that walks the halls and leaves its footprints on the beds. In addition, the former madam of the brothel is often seen in the Lariat and Lace Room, as well as keeping an eye on the kitchen. Another ghost of an elderly gentleman has also been spied as well as a grumpy younger man. Other phenomena include locked doors that open and close by themselves, mysteriously rearranging furniture, and utensils that fly off their resting places in the kitchen, cold winds blowing through the rooms, and more. Mile High Inn, 309 Main Street, P.O. Box 901, Jerome, Arizona 86331, 928-634-5094.

Jerome Grand Hotel – Constructed in 1926, the building first served as the United Verde Hospital. By the 1930’s it was known as one of the most modern and well-equipped hospitals in Arizona. However, when the mining played out, the hospital was closed in 1950. It then sat silent and unused for the next 44 years, until it was renovated into the Jerome Grand Hotel. Almost immediately upon opening its doors in 1997, ghostly reports began to be told.   From those many patients who suffered and died within the confines of this building, the sounds of labored breathing and coughing are often heard coming from otherwise empty rooms. Ghostly lights are often known to appear in empty rooms as well. Two female apparitions have been spied. One, dressed in white with a clipboard is thought to have been a former nurse. Another is thought to be the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth. Others have reported seeing a ghostly child running through the bar area late at night. Other phenomena include the sounds of screaming, doors that open and close by themselves, and footsteps heard in empty hallways. Jerome Grand Hotel, 200 Hill St., Jerome, Arizona 86331, 928-634-8200 or 888-817-6788.

Ghost City Inn – Built around 1890, this building has been utilized for several purposes throughout the years, including a boarding house, funeral home, art gallery, and a religious retreat before undergoing a major renovation to become the Ghost City Inn. Today, this historic building is said to remain home to a female spirit which is most often seen in the Cleopatra Hill room. However, another male spirit has been spied in the hall outside the Verde View Room. Other unusual things occur at the inn, including doors slamming shut by themselves and spectral voices heard when no one is in the building. Ghost City Inn, 541 Main Street (HWY 89A), Jerome, Arizona 86331, 888-634-4678.


Oatman, Arizona Hotel Sign

Oatman, Arizona Hotel Sign.

Oatman Hotel – Built in 1902, this historic hotel was first called the Drulin Hotel. The eight-room hotel did a brisk business to area miners, especially after two miners struck a rich vein that would end up being a 10 million dollar gold find in 1915. The hotel continued to cater to travelers of the Mother Road when Route 66 barreled through this historic town and continues to please customers today. One spirit that is said to haunt this old hotel is referred to as “Oatie,” an Irish miner who was found dead behind the hotel long ago. Today, he often appears in the guestrooms and has been seen running down the stairs and out the front door. Hollywood stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their wedding night here and today are said to return to Room 15.  Today, the Oatman Hotel no longer provides accommodations for guests but still serves as a museum. Oatman Hotel, 181 Main Street, Oatman, Arizona.


Hotel San Carlos Inn – Competed in 1927, the Italian Renaissance-inspired hotel was touted as one of the most modern hotels in the Southwest at the time. Being the first high-rise, fully air-conditioned hotel of the day, it soon became a gathering place for Phoenix’s elite and numerous Hollywood stars. Built upo9n the original site of Phoenix’s first elementary school, several spirits of young boys have often been seen at the hotel. However, its most famous ghost is that of a woman named Leone Jensen who killed herself in 1928 by jumping off the roof of the seven-story hotel. Most often spied as a white, misty figure, eerie moaning sounds often accompany her spirit. Other reports include the sounds of children running through the halls and playing in empty rooms. Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Ave, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, 602-253-4121 or 866-253-4121.

Panographic Map, Phoenix, Arizona, 1885

Panographic Map, Phoenix, Arizona, 1885

The Pointe Hilton Tapitio Cliffs Resort – Featuring dramatic views of the Valley of the Sun, the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort offers over 500 rooms within a three-acre oasis of waterfalls, streams, and gardens. It also provides guests with the potential to spy a ghost. Some 20 years ago a drunken man attending a wedding reception walked up to the cliffs behind the hotel’s ballroom and fell to his death. Today, he is said to continue to haunt the main ballroom as well as the boiler room. Pointe Hilton Tapitio Cliffs Resort, 11111 North 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85020, 602-866-7500 or 800-947-9784


Hassyampa Inn – In 1927 the Hassyampa Inn opened as Prescott’s grand hotel. Almost from its beginning, it was destined to be haunted when a honeymoon couple checked in as two of the hotel’s first guests. Checked into the balcony suite, the groom soon stepped out to buy a pack of cigarettes. However, as the hapless bride waited, her groom never returned. Finally, after three days, the devastated bride hanged herself off the bell tower above her room. Today her ghost, called Faith, apparently continues to wait for her long-lost love. Numerous sightings of her spirit have been seen throughout the inn, crying at the end of a bed, holding flowers, and floating through the hallways in a pink gown. She is also thought to be behind such pranks as shutting off the gas burners in the kitchen, spilling coffee, and flapping bedsheets. In addition to the forlorn bride and child is thought to lurk within the hotel, as guests and staff often hear a bouncing ball. Hassyampa Inn, 122 East Gurley Street, Prescott, Arizona,  86301, 928-778-9434 or 800 322-1927.

Hotel Vendome –  Built in 1917, this two-story landmark hotel has hosted travelers and several Hollywood celebrities over the years. At some point in the early 1900s, Abby came to Prescott in an attempt to heal herself of tuberculosis, then called “consumption.” She soon met and married a man and the pair bought the hotel. After a time, they lost the hotel due to unpaid taxes. However, the generous new owners allowed the couple to stay at the hotel at no charge. Somewhere along the line, when her husband went out to get medicine, he never returned. The devastated Abby refused to eat or drink and died of starvation in Room 16 in 1921. After World War II, guests began to report seeing Abby and her cat in the room that she died. Apparently still waiting for her husband’s return, she is described as a benevolent ghost, friendly to those that she encounters. Hotel Vendome, 230 South Cortez Street, Prescott, Arizona 86303, 928-776-0900 or 888-468-3583.


Hermosa Inn – Built by cowboy artist Alonzo (Lon) Megargee as his home and studio in the late 1930s, he worked without formal plans using adobe brick and wooden beams from an abandoned mine. To supplement his income, he began running the property as a guest ranch. In 1941, he was forced to sell the Casa Hermosa and many of its furnishings and original artwork. Today, the beautifully restored inn welcomes guests to a secluded oasis that is tastefully decorated to reflect the region’s rich heritage. But Lon never really wanted to leave his beautiful home, even after he died in 1960. He is said to continue to make appearances in his cowboy dress and flushing toilets and sometimes breaking glasses. Hermosa Inn, 5532 North Palo Cristi, Paradise Valley, Arizona 85253, 602-955-8614 or 800-241-1210.


Coronado National Forest – Cochise Stronghold – Located to the west of Sunsites, Arizona in the Dragoon Mountains, this beautiful woodland area was once the refuge of the great Apache Chief, Cochise, and his people. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, Cochise Stronghold lies in a protective area of granite domes and sheer cliffs. In this area, the spirit of a man playing a flute has often been seen atop the boulders that tower over the campsites. Cochise himself is said to walk among the hills. Coronado National Forest, Douglas Ranger District, 3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd., Douglas, Arizona 85607, 520-364-3468.


Buford House Bed & Breakfast – This adobe home was built in the 1880s by George Buford, a prominent mine owner. Before becoming the bed and breakfast of today, it was called home to two sheriffs, a mayor, a state senator, and none other than Hollywood star John Wayne. Today, it is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young man who committed suicide after his girl rejected him. Both the owners and guests have seen him walking inside the home and along the street in front of the old adobe structure. Often, the doorbell rings in the middle of the night, seemingly, of its own accord. Others have reported hearing knocking on walls, faucets turning themselves on and off, and strange lights appearing. Once in a while, women report that they have felt someone touch their hair or stroke the back of their necks when no one is around. Buford House, 113 E Safford St, Tombstone, Arizona 85638, 520-457-3969.


Hotel Congress – Built in 1919, the hotel was constructed to serve the growing cattle and railroad industries. The roaring 1920s saw the hotel filled with both genteel travelers and high rollers. However, this changed temporarily when on January 22, 1934, a fire started in the hotel’s basement and spread upwards through the elevator shaft. As the firemen helped the guests out of the windows via aerial ladders, an astute firefighter recognized several men as members of the John Dillinger Gang. Passing the information along, a stakeout was established and in the space of just a few hours, the Tucson police had captured the gang that the combined forces of several states and the FBI had not been able to do. Today, the hotel has been artfully restored to its original Western version of art deco. Though no known ghosts of the Dillinger Gang haunt the hotel, it is home to a couple of other unearthly spirits. One known ghost, who is often spied staring out of a window, is a man who suffered a heart attack and died in the hotel. Room 242 is also said to be haunted by a troubled woman who shot herself in the bathroom after a standoff with the police and a SWAT team. Her apparition has been seen in the bathroom and in the hallway outside the room. Others have reported hearing strange noises and having nightmares when staying in the room. The Hotel Congress, 311 East Congress Street, Tucson, Arizona 85701, 520-622-8848 or 800-722-8848.

Royal Elizabeth Bed & Breakfast – The oldest Victorian-era inn operating in Arizona, this adobe-crafted mansion was built in 1878. Utilizing a combination of architectural styles, the classic 19th century home hides an abundance of period antiques and beautiful woodwork inside. Originally serving as the personal home and offices for a prominent Judge Blenman, his descendants continued to occupy the home into their old age. Afterward, the building began to fall into disrepair and was converted into small apartments. In 1998, it was fully restored to become the beautiful bed and breakfast inn of today. Judge Blenman seemingly doesn’t wish to leave his old home as he has often been spied in the inn, most often in the Sydney Marie Suite that once served as his law office. He has also been seen at the private entrance to the patio that adjoins the room and in the grand main hall. The Royal Elizabeth Bed & Breakfast Inn, 204 South Scott Avenue, Tucson Arizona 85701, 520-670-9022 or 877-670-9022.


The Red Garter Bed & Bakery in Williams, Arizona

The Red Garter Bed & Bakery in Williams, Arizona

Red Garter Bed & Bakery – Located in an 1897 restored saloon and bordello, this two-story Victorian Romanesque brick building with twelve-foot ceilings, skylights, and antique furnishings captures the 1890’s old western atmosphere without giving up the comfort and security expected by today’s traveler. Once considered the rowdiest business on William’s Saloon Row, the saloon and brothel continued to be operated until the mid-1940s, when a murder committed on the stairs of the Red Garter led to a city-wide crackdown on saloons and houses of ill repute. The building then served several different businesses, including a general store and a rooming house. In 1994 it opened as the Red Garter Bed and Bakery. Guests enjoy not only the bakery delicacies but also that of a resident spirit called Eve. Described as a shy Hispanic girl, she has appeared in photographs, left her impression on mattresses, and has been heard coming up and down the stairs when no one else is present.  The Red Garter Bed & Bakery, 137 Railroad Avenue, Williams, Arizona 86046, 928-635-1484 or 800-328-1484.


Hotel Lee – Built in 1917 in the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style, Hotel Lee is Yuma’s oldest hotel. Located on a corner of what was once the busy Main Street of Yuma at the southern terminus of the commercial district, the hotel has been fully restored today. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also allegedly haunted by at least three different female spirits. The first of the original owner who has been seen walking down the halls at night and has been known to knock and rattle the doors of the rooms. An Indian woman thought to predate the hotel has also been spied at the hotel, most often hovering above the guest beds. Employees also blame her for moving tools and other small items only to replace them in odd places. The third is a young teenage girl who has been spied walking down the back hall in the evening carrying towels. Hotel Lee, 390 South Main Street, Yuma, Arizona 85364, 928-783-6336


© Kathy Weiser-Alexander/Legends of America, updated June 2021.

Also See:

Arizona – The Grand Canyon State

Ghost Stories

Haunted Hotels and Inns across America

Legends, Ghosts, Myths & Mysteries