Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Northern AZ: Haunted Historic Hotels

HOTEL MONTE VISTA



The Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, AZ, 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.

WEATHERFORD HOTEL



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.

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