HOTEL MONTE VISTA

100 North San Francisco Street, Flagstaff, AZ

(928) 779-6971

Status: Operational Hotel

Website

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History

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.


Paranormal Activity

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:

The Bellboy

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.

Dancing Couple

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.

Bank Robber

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.

Room 220

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.

Room 305

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.

Room 306

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.