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The Lost Dutchman Mine refers to a legendary Apache gold mine thought to be located near the Superstition Mountains and Apache Junction. It is said to contain gold beyond anyone’s dreams.
People have been searching for the mine since the 1890’s but only one person is said to have ever found it – the man who gave the mine its name. Jacob Waltz, a German national – Dutchman comes from Deutsch which is German in Jacob's native tongue – is said to have found the mine but was attacked by the Apache. He survived just long enough to pass the directions to another man; a man who never actually found it even with the directions.
In truth, there are many legends related to this mine including 2 US soldiers finding it and it not being a mine at all but rather a treasure trove hidden by the Apache.
Regardless of what is truth and what is legend a number of people have died trying to find the mine or treasure.
This area is extremely dangerous for anyone but experienced hikers. There are trails that cannot be accessed in the summer because no one could possibly carry enough water to survive.
Apparitions are seen walking in the surrounding desert and canyons – sometimes lost treasure hunters who never returned; sometimes Apache soldiers or armies.
Eerie screams echo through the mountains and empty canyons after dark. Legend says only demons and devils can walk the Superstition Mountains after the sun sets.
It is said you are never alone anywhere near the Superstition Mountains; something or someone is always watching you.
Just to add an extra layer of richness there are also stories of roving cannibals, werewolves and other monsters and UFOs seen.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF KIM H
This hotel always was and is still the tallest building in Douglas.
Built in 1907, this historical hotel was named after the Gadsden Purchase; a portion of Mexico that the United States acquired for 10 million dollars in 1853 and is now part of southern New Mexico and Arizona.
The hotel opened in 1907 and quickly became “the meeting place” for the men who would shape the American west into what it is today.
On February 7, 1928 a fire burned the hotel nearly to the ground; only the marble staircase, marble columns and elevator car cabin survived. The hotel was rebuilt almost immediately with no expense spared as well as on an even grander scale than the original design.
The new hotel featured an electric elevator all the way to the 4th floor and even featured normally unheard of luxuries such as all 160 rooms being air cooled and having private bathrooms.
The unique and truly stunning lobby with stained glass and marble stairs and columns is famous worldwide.
Legend says Pancho Villa even rode his horse up the lobby stairs.
The front desk is said to have 2 binders filled with reports of paranormal activity reported by guests that can read through if you ask.
The ghosts of the Gadsden are reported to be quite friendly – never threatening – and add to the charm of one of the classic hotels of the Old West.
Room 333 is said to be the most haunted with a virtually guaranteed paranormal experience should you choose to stay there. Reports include: the TV turning on and off on it’s own; knocks coming from inside the radiators and more phantom knocks coming from the walls. The toilet is also reported as running forever with no explanation.
In Room 114 a ghost will sit on the bed before lying down beside you. There’s even at least one story of the ghost pinning someone to the bed. A dark misty figure has also been seen in this room.
umerous ghosts have been seen in the seen in the basement – one reports indicates there’s practically one behind every column – including an apparition in a long duster coat and cowboy hat. I mean could you get any more classic Western than that?
Another ghost reported in the basement is that of a tall man in all black that has no head. Legend says this is Pancho Villa himself who is said to have buried treasure in the New Mexico mountains. Apparently, the only map to the treasure was on his head which was removed by his followers upon his death and buried beneath the ashes of the original hotel.
One report is that of hearing a key turning in the room’s door and 2 apparitions walking into the room before disappearing into thin air.
On the upper floors the sound of an Aboriginal child singing is heard late at night. Phantom footsteps are often heard from empty rooms above guests.
There are numerous reports of lights flickering in many rooms as well things “mysteriously” falling in the rooms; often in the middle of the night.
The misty apparition of a cowboy sitting on a couch in the lobby was photographed by a paranormal TV show.
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As the age of tourism began in the 1920’s it was felt that a new modern hotel needed to be built in Flagstaff. Fund raising to build the hotel was began in April of 1926 and $200,000 (a little less than 3.5 million 2023 dollars) was available by June of that same year. One of the most famous contributors was the novelist Zane Grey.
The 73 room, three floor, hotel opened on New Years Day 1927. The original name was the Community Hotel – the name was changed to Monte Vista, meaning mountain view, by a 12-year-old who won a contest.
The hotel became an icon of the city.
At different points in history it contained the Post Office, a radio station run by only the second woman in the USA to own a commercial radio license and a warning system – the neon sign on the roof would begin to blink if there was a community emergency. In the Prohibition a bootlegging operation and a speakeasy was run out of the hotel disguised as a newspaper publishing office.
Numerous famous people have stayed at this hotel. It is also in very distinguished company by being named one of the most haunted hotels in North America.
The hotel encourages communication with its many ghosts. They also encourage talking to the staff about their own experiences – a stress is put on the housekeeping staff who have the best stories. Should you have a paranormal encounter during your visit the hotel would love to hear your story.
Here are the most famous ghosts of the Hotel Monte Vista:
Perhaps the most famous ghost in the hotel.
The most common report is knocking at the door and a muffled announcement “room service” When the door is opened there is no one there. The ghost is most frequently seen outside of room 210. He is also seen wandering the halls as a see-through apparition in an old-fashioned red coat with brass buttons.
This ghost was actually encountered by John Wayne during one of his stays who said the ghost seemed friendly and Mr. Wayne did not feel threatened by the ghost’s presence.
In the Cocktail Lounge numerous staff and customers have seen the apparitions of a couple in formal dress laughing as they dance through the lounge.
In 1970 three men robbed a bank and one of them was shot by a bank guard during the heist. Either high on their accomplishments, or believing the wound wasn’t serious, they decided to grab a celebratory drink in the lounge. The wounded man bled to death while enjoying his last drink on Earth. Drinks and bar stools moving on their own are blamed on the unlucky bank robber. So is a disembodied voice saying “good morning”
Crying Baby in the Basement
The laundry facilities of this hotel are in the basement so this ghost is most often only heard by staff. There is no historical reference as to where this haunting comes from but the phantom crying of a baby is often heard in the basement. It has been called very disturbing and staff have literally run up the stairs to escape it.
A very long-term guest in this room had the bizarre habit of leaving raw meat hanging from the chandelier in the room. This room would be the last Earthly home for this gentleman, he was found in room 220 in the early 1980’s three days after his death.
Shortly after the guest’s demise a maintenance worker was in the room doing repairs. When he found he needed a new light fixture he turned everything off and locked the room up. Upon returning a few minutes later he found the television blaring at full volume and all the linens had been ripped off the bed and thrown around the room.
Since then guests in this room have reported the tv coming on and/or cranking to full volume on its own and cold male hands touching them in their sleep.
Another long-term guest – an elderly woman – spent many hours by the window in this room. No one knows what she was looking for but it appears that death has not stopped her eternal vigil.
This is said to be the most active room in the hotel.
The apparition of an elderly woman rocking back and forth in a rocking chair is frequently seen in this room. The rocking chair, also, often moves on its own and phantom knocks come from within the closet.
In the past, the section of the city where men could pick up paid female company was only a couple of blocks from the hotel. In the 1940’s two ladies of the night were brought by a guest to this room. They were murdered and tossed from the third-floor window onto the street.
Many guests have awoken in the night while staying in this room and been unable to go back to sleep due to a powerful feeling of being watched. A large number of male guests have awoken in the night feeling a hand at their mouth and one at their throat rendering them unable to breathe.
This building was originally constructed as a hospital in 1926; opening in January 1927 as the United Verde Hospital it was state of the art for its time. The hospital was owned by the mining company United Verde Copper Company.
Later it was owned by the Phelps Dodge Mining Company.
Before it closed in 1950 the hospital would become the best equipped hospital in all of Arizona. The original elevator – which was Arizona’s first self service one – is still used in the hotel.
After 44 years of remaining abandoned the building was bought by Larry Altherr in 1994 who converted the old hospital into a hotel.
The hotel opened in 1996; Larry remains the hotel’s owner.
Although the hotel is very open to the haunting private ghost tours are no longer given due to privacy issues. The lobby and restaurant are open to the public but the guest floors are only open to registered guests.
Approximately 9000 people died in this building while it was a hospital. Despite the rumors – and the on site restaurant’s name - this building was never used as an insane asylum or a tuberculosis sanatorium.
This location is one of the most paranormally active locations in North America. Conservatively, staff and guests have over 1000 encounters with the paranormal per year; possibly that number is much higher. It has become a haven for wanna-be ghost hunters
The third floor – formerly the operating theaters – is the most well known for activity. The most active room is said to be Room 35; a former patient room with a balcony where, at least, two suicides have taken place. One by jumping and another by gunshot.
The most famous ghost is that of Claude Harvey. Claude was a maintenance man during the time the building was a hospital. He was found pinned by the elevator on April 3, 1935 but there was no way the elevator could led to his death. The mining company had no interest in finding out what really happened so there was no autopsy done. All the coroner’s inquest proved was that the elevator was not his cause of death. Most people think Claude was murdered.
Claude is heard still going about his normal day in locations like the stairways, the elevator and the boiler room. He is believed to be responsible for sudden lights appearing in the elevator, and a shadow figure seen in the halls and on the stairs. Although his ghost has never hurt anyone, his presence is said to be unhappy to slightly threatening and has made many of the living uncomfortable. The front desk staff have even seen a menacing shadow on the stairs seeming to glare at them.
In 1982 the caretaker, Manoah Hoffpauir, was found hanging from a pipe in the office he was using to look after the vacant hospital. The building was completely empty, so the truth can never truly be known, but his death was ruled as suicide.
Despite the number of human deaths in the former hospital the second most famous ghost isn’t human at all. The ghost of a cat haunts the building and is frequently felt brushing against people’s legs; it was even photographed in Room 20 sitting on a table in 2008. The cat is often heard meowing and scratching at doors to be let in rooms and is famous for leaving perfect cat shaped imprints on beds that were immaculately made just seconds before.
The phantom sounds of coughing, voices, labored breathing, moans and cries for help have been heard in building all the way back to when the hospital was still operational. They are thought to stem back to a flu epidemic in town that resulted in many deaths.
The ghost of a 4-6 year old boy haunts the third floor. He is most known for running up and down the halls late and night resulting in more than one call down to the front desk to complain. Often, he is heard crying or laughing. He’s also said to be responsible for unlocking doors at night and turning fans off and on.
The sound of a baby crying is heard on the 3rd and 4th floors as well as the phantom smells of baby powder and zinc oxide.
The ghost of a bearded man – thought to be a miner – has been appearing in the building since its hospital days. He was seen by both patients and nurses and known for turning lights back on after staff had left. His apparition is still seen in the hallways of the second and third floors.
The Front Desk staff get calls from rooms known to be empty with no one on the line. The apparition of an elderly lady in a white dress is seen in the front lobby near the elevators. A staff member arranged some chairs in the lobby only to turn around and find them put back in their original position.
Another employee at the Front Desk heard noises from the gift shop. When they entered the shop, they found things had been pushed off the shelf onto the floor.
Witnesses watched a plaque with the hotel rules lift off a nail and float to the middle of the Lobby.
The ghosts are known for playing games with the cleaning staff by slamming doors, calling their names and – in one case – a cold wind which whipped right through the staff.
Other Activity: phantom smells of flowers, cigar smoke and alcohol; light anomalies; electrical disturbances and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
This Queen Anne style house was built by the famous architect AP Petit between 1894 and 1895. It would be his final design before his death.
Dr Roland Rosson moved to Phoenix in 1879 and set himself up as a general physician and surgeon as well as a democratic politician; he was the mayor of the city briefly. In 1880 he married Flora Murray and they would eventually have 7 children – 5 of them lived to adult hood.
In 1882 Dr Rosson bought Block 14 – now Heritage Square – from Flora’s sister. They lived in an adobe house just south of where Rosson House was built initially. In March of 1895 an advertisement appeared for the first time indicating his office and residence were at the address of the Rosson House.
The house was built with many modern conveniences of the day including: hot and cold water, an upstairs bathroom, electric lights and a telephone.
In June of 1897 the Rossons sold the house – probably due to back taxes – and moved to Los Angeles. Dr Rosson died shortly thereafter 1898. Flora would pass away in 1911.
Until the middle of the 20th century the house was owned by many different prominent Phoenix residents. From 1948 until 1972 the house was used by renters and essentially became not much more than a flop house.
In 1972 – at the suggestion of the mayor – the house was heavily renovated and brought back to it’s former glory with donations from local corporations and the hard work of volunteers.
The house has been converted into a museum now depicting life in the city at the turn of the century.
Despite it’s long and distinguished history the house didn’t get it’s own ghost until the 1980’s.
In that decade a caretaker was shot to death just outside the house.
The ghost spends most of his time hanging the stairway. Phantom footsteps are heard going up and down the stairs and people see a shadow figure moving quickly on the stairs.
The fireplace has lit up on it’s own. Doors will lock and unlock on their own and objects move around room on their own.
This house was originally built in 1910 as the family home of William and Mary Moeur.
William would die in 1929 from a cerebral hemorrhage near the fireplace in their home. Mary died in the 1940’s in her upstairs bedroom; also from natural causes. Both William and Mary apparently loved their home so much they never really left.
After Mary’s death the house became a rather wild bordello with a history of drugs, suicide. murders and rapes.
In 1973 the building became a restaurant – Ninth and Ash – and then became Casey Moore’s Oyster House in 1986.
A faint glow has sometimes been seen coming out of the upstairs window in the night.
The apparitions of William and Mary have been seen dancing in this same window.
The apparition of a young woman with dark hair has been seen. She’s known for watching people until their eyes meet and then suddenly disappearing.
Poltergeist activity including paintings falling from the walls, silverware flying from tables and the tables and chairs being rearranged when the restaurant is closed.
The Bird Cage Theatre was open between 1881 and 1894 but highly dependant on the economy of Tombstone. Meaning sometimes it was open; sometimes not so much.
It was originally opened on December 26, 1881 as a family theater with the intention of being respectable and modeled after the ones in San Francisco; it even had a ladies night. In hindsight this is all but laughable and the level of entertainment would become considerably raunchier very shortly.
Entertainment at the Bird Cage included: female weightlifters; wrestling; cross dressers and masquerade balls. The longest running poker game ever in the world took place in the basement – for $1000 buy in anyone could join and saw many famous players including Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Diamond Jim Brady and Bat Masterson. The game was played for 8 years and it is estimated over $10 million was bet with the house keeping 10%.
In March of 1882 the first death knell was sounded for the silver mine and, by proxy, Tombstone and its businesses. Water was struck at 620 feet (190 metres) and while the flooding didn’t immediately fill the mine from that point on pumps were needed.
The pumps eventually couldn’t keep up and more and more silver disappeared under the water. In 1886 the pump and hoist at the Grand Central Mine burned up and the price of silver fell to 90 cents an ounce. The mines were suddenly no longer feasible to run.
The Bird Cage closed in 1892; although it would open again in 1894 briefly; Tombstone’s glory days as a rough and tumble mining town were over.
Twenty-six people are known to have died in the walls of the Bird Cage – one of the women who entertained gentlemen guests had her heart carved out with stiletto – and no one knows how many other people met their end here.
The most famous ghost is that of Margarita – the murdered madame – whose apparition is seen throughout the building. Generally, she is seen naked but sometimes she will be wearing just her bloomers. Although her murderer – another prostitute – was known no murder was weapon was found and no witnesses would come forward so no ever served time for the crime.
The stiletto was found over a century later and is now one display at the Bird Cage. Many people think the murderer’s energy surrounds the weapon.
Then there’s the “Lady in White” who is generally accepted as a residual haunting as she has never shown any interest in the living; or even acknowledged their presence. She is most commonly seen on the stairway down to the poker room or in the room the poker room itself. She will lift her hem of her long white dress to keep from tripping and then stare into nothing as if eternally looking for something she never finds.
William Hunley (the owner) hired a medium and conducted a séance in the Bird Cage. One of the ghosts seemed to take great issue with this and began to strangle William. The ghost only stopped when the medium broke her trance; William’s neck was bruised for 6 weeks the injury was so severe.
An antique poker chip was found in the building but it has a habit of only appearing when it wants to and disappearing when it doesn’t want to be found. Legend says it belongs to Doc Holliday and he’s peculiar about who touches it.
Then there is Carmelita Gimenes, one of the ladies of the night, who worked in the brothel. She poisoned herself with arsenic and, despite being taken to a doctor, died. Her apparition still wanders the streets of Tombstone but she sticks close to the Bird Cage – anchored there by the reasons she took her own life - or so the legends say.
Most agree that the party never ended at the Bird Cage. Phantom laughter still echoes through the building when it is empty; especially from the old brothel rooms. Phantom cigar and cigarette smoke smells float through the air although no has smoked there in decades. The piano will, occasionally, tap out of few notes with no one near it. Shadow figures wander across the stage and peek out of the curtains.
Other Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained noises; phantom footsteps; electrical disturbances; poltergeist activity; touches by unseen entities; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.
Built in either 1918 or 1919 depending on your source although your first clue to the truth is that the hotel was named through the contest in Arizona Daily Star newspaper in April of 1918.
The hotel is famous for being the place where John Dillinger was captured. Dillinger was then transferred to a jail in Indiana from which he escaped from before being shot to death in Chicago.
The Dillinger gang was staying on the third floor under alias after committing a series of a bank robberies. On January 22, 1934 a fire broke out in the basement which quickly spread to the third floor where the gang was staying. Upon the gang’s request the firemen retrieved their luggage and found out their real names.
The current owners – who purchased the hotel in 1985 – have created what they label as a “rock n roll hotel” and are very clear your stay will be loud and no refunds are given for noise although earplugs are available at the front desk.
The hotel is very open and accepting about their haunting and paranormal. In fact, the best information source for the haunting is on the hotel’s own website.
This hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted in America. Legend says it is most active at 2am which has had more than one guest running from their room.
The ghosts are said to be very solid here and often mistaken for real people until they do something rather ghost like such as wink out of existence.
Time slips are very common here with many guests say when they look out of their room windows they see old Tucson with scenes like horse and carriages and steam locomotives.
Known as Vince’s Room. Vince lived and worked at the hotel for many years before passing away in 2001. Every day Vince would go downstairs and get a coffee, bagel and a butter knife; once he was done, he would leave his dirty dishes outside his door.
Ever since he passed away the housekeeping staff have found butter knives outside of this room and all around the property.
This room is haunted by a classic “Woman in White”. Many guests have been woken up by her ghost in a long white gown sitting on the foot of her bed. It is said her energy is so strong people get chills just walking by the room door.
A man in a seersucker suit is often seen standing in this window when the room is completely empty. His ghost is also seen walking the hallways.
An apparition of a man in a top hat is known for peeking around the corner at the office staff.
The ghost of maid is seen forever cleaning rooms; although there is no record of her ever being an employee.
The ghosts of 2 children are seen playing around the hotel but only when no living children are around.
A woman in a black dress – who is said to smell of roses – is often seen around the reception staircase.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; strong feelings of unease; unexplained noises in the halls which cease the instant you open your room door; physical symptoms including nausea and dizziness and intense feelings of being watched by something unseen.
This prison was opened in 1876 while Arizona was a Territory and a not a State yet. On July 1 of that year, it accepted its first inmates – including both women and men – whose crimes included everything from polygamy to murder.
In 1909 the last prisoner left this institution and was transferred to the Arizona State Prison in Florence.
From 1910 – 1914 the complex was used as the Yuma Union High School – and you thought your high school was a prison. The Football Team adopted the name the Criminals or Crims for short.
The site is now is now run by Arizona State Parks – it was the third historic park created in Arizona – as a historical museum. The site contains the old prison cemetery where the remains of at least 104 former prisoners rest.
3,069 people served sentences in the prison before it was closed. Approximately 109 died in these walls by execution, violence and suicide.
In 2019 this location was voted the best haunted destination to go to in the USA.
The Death Row inmates have been seen still eternally serving their sentences and endlessly wandering the grounds. The ghost of a woman is seen walking the edge of the Colorado River forever seeking her daughter who drowned. A little girl in a red dress is known for pinching visitors before running away.
The most paranormal activity has been reported in the area of the Dark Cell where prisoners who broke the rules were put as punishment. There are no recorded deaths near this cell but the energy is reported to be one of anger, hopelessness and despair. It is said the negative energy pouring from this cell empowers the entire haunting.
Other activity: unexplained temperature changes; feelings of being watched and not being wanted; being followed and a myriad of other emotions; light anomalies; phantom voices; phantom footsteps; unexplained noises and being touched, pushed and pulled by unseen forces.