Monday, October 8, 2012

AZ Haunted Hotels: Chandler, Douglas and Flagstaff


San Marcos Hotel and Golf Resort (Chandler)

This marvelous hotel is located in the city of Chandler and the brainchild of Dr. Alexander Chandler who founded the city in 1912. He named the hotel after Friar Marcos de Niza, a priest sent north to Mexico City in search of wealthy cities. The hotel’s grand opening was on November 22, 1913 to over 500 people including the vice president of the US, governor of AZ, congressmen, and many celebrities.

Since its opening in 1913, the hotel has undergone many changes and has had a couple of new owners. In the lobby, you can find the elaborate private collections from these owners in the several sitting areas. After adding several hundred more guest rooms and updating their looks, the San Marcos Resort has become what Dr. Chandler always dreamed it would be, an oasis in the desert.

Today, a number of 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 spied.

Gadsen Hotel (Douglas)

Originally built in 1907, the Gadsen Hotel was a place where miners, ranchers, businessmen and dignitaries could hang there hat and get away from the daily grind.  It was completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1929.  The place slowly fell apart and needed lots of repairs.  In 1988, it was renovated and put back to its former glory.  One of the apparitions seen in the halls and the basement is that of a headless ghost some feel is Pancho Villa.  The ghost of an Indian boy has been reported in the mezzanine and an old women they call Sara has been seen wandering the fourth floor.

Hotel Weatherford (Flagstaff)


In 1889, John W. Weatherford built his brick building in downtown Flagstaff, and named it the Weatherford Hotel.  The two-story structure had a general store on the bottom, while the Weatherford family lived upstairs.  In March of 1899, he added a brick third floor and celebrated the opening on New Year's Day, 1900.  The third floor was used as a ballroom for dances and parties.  It was named the Zane Grey Ballroom after the author who wrote the novel, "The Call of the Canyon".  It was told that he wrote the famous novel in that very room.  He wasn't the only famous person who laid their tired bones at the hotel, many others did as well.  The hotel was the most well-known and famous hotel in Flagstaff of the times.  From the view of the three-sided balcony, you could see all of downtown Flagstaff.  In 1929, a fire damaged the balcony and it was removed.

The hotel went through many changes throughout the years.  It once housed a theater, restaurant, billiard hall, and even a radio station.  In 1975, Henry Taylor bought the hotel because he did not want to see the place destroyed and bulldozed.  The historic downtown of Flagstaff was in extremely poor conditions with many abandoned and deteriorating buildings being torn down.  Henry and his wife, Pamela, started renovating the hotel, dreaming of returning the place to its initial luster.  In 1997, the third floor ballroom was finished and reopened.  By 1997, the wrap-around porches were restored, with the rest of the renovations closely behind.

Today, some of the employees have reports of strange activity throughout the hotel.  An employee staying in one of the rooms woke up in the middle of the night and saw a bride and groom sitting at the foot of the bed. A woman's apparition has been seen moving back and forth in the halls.  She has been seen in the ballroom as well.  There are claims of disembodied voices and whispers being heard in the lounge when no one was in there.

Monte Vista Hotel (Flagstaff)

The hotel opened its doors on New Year's Day in 1927.  Many famous people have spent time in this glorious place.  After many years of being neglected, the hotel got a total makeover. Today, the hotel has been renovated back to its former glory and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  This hotel is a mecca of many ghost sightings.  A ghostly bellboy has been reported knocking on room's doors and quickly disappearing when the guest answers it.  Employees and guests have see an apparition of a woman wandering the halls, a bank robber from the 1970's who died in the lounge, and a resident who lived in the hotel many years ago.  He can be heard clearing his throat and coughing.

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