Phoenix is known for its perpetual sunny skies and warm weather, but when the sun goes down, there are a few paranormal hotspots that make the town a ghost-hunter's playground. From haunted hotels to historic graveyards with pesky little poltergeists, these are a few of Phoenix's best places to spot a ghost (or two).
If you're in the mood for some Oysters Rockefeller, or just a drink to go with your paranormal adventure across Phoenix, head to Casey Moore's Oyster House. Legend has it the 1910 house was home to couple William and Mary Moeur, both of whom eventually died here. After their death, the home was used as a boarding house that reportedly doubled as a bordello. Then it was another restaurant before turning into Casey Moore's. If you're lucky, you might see a faint glow coming from the upstairs windows, or spy the shadows of a couple (the Moeurs, perhaps) dancing. There are also reports of dishes being rearranged overnight, things falling off the walls, and a dark-haired woman walking into the kitchen before disappearing. If you decide to eat here, hold on to your forks... they've been known to fly across the room or fall off tables without warning!
The Hermosa Inn is the picture of Jazz Age glamour, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that some guests decided to return to the boutique hideaway, even in the afterlife. Doors close randomly, mysterious hands pat guests on the head, strange reflections of mysterious cowboys appear in mirrors, candlesticks fall over, and bottles of tequila go flying. Keep your eyes peeled for the "Lady in Pink" who has been known to walk across the bridge above the pool late at night.
The surrounding mountain preserve is what makes the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort so special, but according to legend, a drunk wedding guest who fell off the steep drop-off behind the ballroom now haunts the boiler room as well as the ballroom. The resort is pretty stunning, so you might find yourself distracted by the beauty of the grounds (including a gorgeous pool)... but definitely tread carefully when near the ghostly guest's haunts!
Sahuaro Ranch Park is an incredibly well-preserved historic site, and if you visit, you might get to see something even cooler than the old buildings: a ghost! Formerly a farm and ranch run by businessmen from Illinois in the late 19th century, Sahuaro remains mostly intact. There's the main mansion, which is decked out in period-appropriate antiques, plus orchards, a blacksmith shop, a garage, and more. Lurking around the historic property are two ghosts: a woman in an old-fashioned white dress who is mostly seen disappearing around a corner, and a man dressed in black.
Goodyear Farms Historic Cemetery (also known as Litchfield Cemetery or the Pioneer Cemetery) is home to a whole host of restless spirits. The once-forgotten cemetery had fallen into disrepair, more or less becoming an overgrown junk yard. It's been cleaned up since then, but there is definitely still a sense of unease around the plot of land. Many of the graves remain unmarked, as the souls laid to rest here were mostly immigrant farmhands. When you visit, keep a close eye out for mysterious figures standing around the edges of the cemetery, mysterious mourners, and owls, which are often an omen of dark spirits here.
But it's not all spooky; every year, on November 2, there's a celebration to mark the Day of the Dead where a lit candle is placed on every grave.
The Orpheum Theatre is a gorgeous, historic gem in Phoenix, and it's home to a few ghosts. The original owner died a violent death, and has been known to call out to patrons, sometimes even by name. There's also Maddie, a young female ghost who hangs out in the balcony; she likes to touch theatergoers, interrupt performances, and even shows up in images. Some guests also report hearing the sound of a phantom cat in the rafters. Too weird!
Another hotel that ghost hunters might want to check into is the Hotel San Carlos. The most famous specter here is that of Leone Jensen. She had come to Phoenix to marry a man who worked as a bellboy in another hotel, and was staying at the Hotel San Carlos when he broke off their engagement. As the story goes, she put on her wedding dress, snuck onto the roof, and jumped off. Some people still see a figure dressed in white on the roof, or appearing at the foot of their beds. Although she never speaks, she seems to be a friendly presence. The basement of the hotel is also rumored to be haunted by several children-- the site where the hotel sits was the location of the first school in Phoenix, so it is suspected that the ghosts are former students of the school who died in an influenza epidemic.
Whether or not you actually have any paranormal experiences while visiting Phoenix, the rich history and spooky legends found around the city are sure to terrify and delight. Grab your ghost-hunting gear and head out in search of one of the spirits of Phoenix's past!
Southwest character and urban adventure meld perfectly in Phoenix, where real cowboys, rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people only see in cartoons share a sunny landscape with up-and-coming craft breweries, desert trails, scenic roadways and colorful art districts.