It seems like every vintage building still standing in Arizona has a story to tell – and sometimes these tales include a ghost or two. Here are many abandoned places which scare us with their heart trembling abnormal activities.
A number of historic locations around the Valley and throughout Arizona are widely considered to be haunted, ranging from old hotels and theaters to mines, prisons, and even airplane cemeteries. If you are someone who doesn’t believe in any paranormal existence, here is your chance to prove the world wrong and spend your weekend in these terrifying places!
So, what are we even waiting for? Let’s check out the list of haunted places in Arizona that you might want to experience to prove people wrong.
1. Northern Arizona University’s Morton Hall
The near-century-old women’s dormitory on the forested grounds of Northern Arizona University is said to be haunted by the forlorn spirit of a heartbroken student named Kathy, who supposedly hanged herself in a stairwell during a winter break back in the early 1950s. Some say she was either abandoned by her family or had a boyfriend in the armed forces who died in combat.
Over the decades, the alleged apparition has been blamed for a litany of phenomena, including lights flickering, radios and televisions malfunctioning, posters flying off the walls, and blankets being pulled off beds.
2. Birdcage Theatre
The rough and ready city of Tombstone may have been the town that was “too tough to die,” but its inhabitants over the past 140 years or so haven’t been as lucky. The Birdcage Theatre – a former saloon, gambling den, and brothel – also saw plenty of bloodshed in its day, as 16 different deadly gunfights took place on the historic property. As such, this former house of ill repute is a hot spot for alleged ghost sightings and encounters with otherworldly beings.
3. Arizona State Prison Complex
Death sentences have been carried out at the Florence Prison since 1910. According to the Arizona Department of Corrections website, roughly 100 inmates have been executed during the past century inside the confines of the state’s first hoosegow in Florence, either by hanging, lethal injection, or a trip to the gas chamber.
So it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that there have been more than a few (possibly apocryphal) yarns spun over the years about both inmates and guards witnessing several instances of “mists that looked in human form” or having their ears assaulted with “screams and other strange sounds” in the building that houses the prison’s death chamber or the adjacent cell blocks.
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4. South Wilmot Road
Where do airplanes go when they die? Depending on their particular model, many obsolete or aging flying machines have wound up at this facility attached to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. It’s the largest boneyard in the world and is where the US military has stored or dismantled its retired and out-of-service aircraft since the mid-1940s.
A few ghost stories have been spun about the place over the decades, such as phantom World War II fighter pilots roaming the grounds.
5. Oliver House
This funky, two-story bed and breakfast dating back to the early years of the 20th century is a favorite of ghost hunters everywhere due to its bloody history. Per local lore, the former boarding house has been the site of numerous murders stemming from cases of adultery.
One particularly grisly tale involves a cop who blew away his cheating wife and her paramour in 1920 before going on to slaughter more than a dozen others throughout the building. Over the years, guests at the Oliver House have reported such unusual occurrences as doors and shutters closing, ghostly footsteps in the hallways, or sounds of gunshots being heard.
6. Hotel Monte Vista
Many celebrities has laid their head at this historic Flagstaff hotel, including such famous names as Michael J. Fox, Siouxsie Sioux, and the late Bob Hope. These celebs are nowhere near as colorful as its rogue’s gallery of resident spirits, though. According to the hotel’s website, spirits like “The Meat Man” (a regular guest who’d hang raw meat from chandeliers in his room) or the late bank robber who bled to death in the Monte Vista’s downstairs cocktail lounge in 1970 supposedly haunt the place.
There’s also “The Phantom Bellboy,” an infant who cries out regularly in the building’s basement, and the spirit of an elderly woman that reportedly can be seen in a rocking chair near the window of one third-floor room.
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7. Thornton Road Domes
There’s an eerie aura surrounding the unusual-looking, UFO-shaped concrete structures located on a five-acre patch of desert terrain off Interstate 8 south of Casa Grande. Vacant since the early ’80s, when a now-defunct California electronics manufacturer constructed the buildings for office space and a factory, the so-called Thornton Road Domes have become a quaint curiosity, fodder for local shutterbugs, and an impromptu gallery for graffiti artists.
Some spooky stories have sprung up in recent years about shadowy figures scurrying about the property, slamming car doors, kicking around rocks, or unleashing demonic-sounding screams. Though they’re still more or less standing as of this writing, Pinal County has ordered the demolition of the domes.
8. Orpheum Theatre
This downtown Phoenix gem and former vaudeville house, which first opened in 1928, has more to offer besides its gorgeous, well-appointed interior and vintage atmosphere. The Orpheum Theatre’s staff swear there are more than a few ghosts to be found inside.
Among them is an apparition named “Maddie,” who supposedly dwells on the balcony and is famous for nudging or shushing patrons during performances. In other words, if you dare speak up during a show at the Orpheum, you may wind up hearing a voice from the great beyond telling you to shut it.
9. Vulture Gold Mine
As the cast members of Ghost Adventures could attest, the Vulture Mine is a truly spooky place indeed. Paranormal investigators from the Travel Channel reality show paid a visit to the abandoned, 1880s-era former gold prospector’s paradise two years ago, and – if their exploits are to be believed – had rocks thrown at them.
They also supposedly captured recordings of apparitions telling them “Get out!” and “You’re gonna die”. Your mileage may vary if you dare pay a visit to the attraction, which is located approximately 70 miles northwest of the Valley.
10. Casey Moore’s Oyster House
One of the many charms of this popular haunt for ASU students and Tempe residents are all the legends that have been built up over the decades regarding its resident ghosts. The most famous of which was a gal who lived upstairs in the former boarding house and residence built in 1910 and was strangled upstairs by her jilted boyfriend.
Various neighbors have reported seeing figures moving around after closing time through the windows of Casey Moore’s second floor (now a dining room). Longtime manager Michael Loney and co-owner Gavin Rutledge have also had a few close encounters with anonymous apparitions over the years.
11. Copper Queen Hotel
Like most small towns in Arizona, Bisbee was mainly a mining town. The Copper Queen Hotel was built to accommodate the miners and investors who passed through Bisbee. Over the years, the lively parties and colorful characters became part of the Copper Queen’s spiritual imprint. The ghost of a sex worker named Julia Lowell is said to seduce men who stay on the second and third floors.
Described as an attractive woman in her thirties, Julia committed suicide in her hotel room after falling in love with one of her clients. The ghost of a boy named Billy also haunts the hotel. After drowning in the nearby San Pedro River, Billy now spends his time playing tricks on unsuspecting guests.
12. Jerome Grand Hotel
Jerome is a sleepy mining town high up in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Overlooking the small town is the ominous Jerome Grand Hotel. Once a state-of-the-art hospital, the Jerome Grand is haunted by the spirits of nurses and doctors who, for some reason, still insist on doing their jobs.
The patients are still there too, as the wheezing and labored breathing of tuberculosis patients can sometimes be heard echoing through the halls. The ghost of Claude Harvey also haunts the hotel. Claude was a maintenance man who was found crushed by an elevator under mysterious circumstances. He is usually seen keeping an eye on the boiler room at night.
After learning all of this, if you’re considering going to one, make sure you’re ready for it beforehand. Other supposedly haunted locales in Arizona exist, but these are the most sought-after sites for ghost hunters!