With the hundreds (if not thousands!) of stops on Route 66, there’s no saying just how many travelers and tourists have visited these locations. But, what if some of them never left? That just might be the case at the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. Legends of America tells the story of this iconic hotel, and the residents who may or may not have checked out.
Back in 1924, the city of Flagstaff, Arizona, was on the verge of becoming an iconic American city. Tourism was booming, but the issue of lodging arose; there were not enough hotels to house visitors as they enjoy all Flagstaff had to offer. Luckily, a local man named V.M. Slipher was able to raise the necessary funds by a fundraising campaign. After three years of hard work, the Monte Vista Hotel opened its doors on News Year’s Day in 1927.
Tourists quickly flocked to the stunning hotel, as well as the locals. A popular phrase, “Meet me at the Monte V,” was coined as a result of the inn’s growing popularity. The Monte V also hosted Mary Costigan’s radio show in room 105, who was the first American woman to receive a radio broadcasting license.
As the years went on, the hotel continued to grow in demand. Part of this was due to the speakeasy named the Hotel Monte Vista Lounge the hotel opened during the prohibition era, which quickly rose to become the most popular one in Flagstaff. This bootleg operation ran for many years, and it was even raided by the police in 1931. Not one to be deterred, the business resumed operations two years after the bust when prohibition came to an end. This time, the lounge opened up a selection of slot machines for visitors to use, the only ones available in Flagstaff.
The hotel began to attract some celebrities as well, as more than one hundred western movies were filmed in the nearby locations of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. These stars included Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Jane Russell, Bing Crosby, and Wayne.
About fifty years after the hotel first opened, a ghost made its home at the Monte Vista. During a robbery at a bank nearby, three men successfully evaded the police although one of them sustained a shot wound. As the three were sitting in the lounge enjoying a drink, the injured man took his last breath as it turned out to be more serious than anyone could have guessed.
This outlaw is just one of the many ghosts allegedly spotted at the hotel, as guests and workers alike have reported feeling his ghostly presence. From hearing a creepy voice saying, “Hello!” or, “Good morning!” to feeling his spirit while nursing a beverage, it seems as though this outlaw tries his best to make others feel at home. Service with a smile, right?
The phantom experiences aren’t just limited to the lounge; there have been multiple reports of random noises, furniture moving on its own, the lobby telephone ringing with no one on the other end, things being knocked over, and music coming from the second-floor lobby when there’s no band. Despite these spooky instances, they’ve become a running joke among the staff. Which, due to the insane amount of ghosts in the hotel, is definitely the best course of action!
According to the Hotel Monte Vista website, multiple ghosts have become permanent guests of the hotel.
Two of those residents currently reside in room 306. Back in the 1940s, two ladies of the night were in that room as they met a brutal end. After their murder, the bodies were thrown from the third-floor room to the cold, harsh street below. Those who have spent the night in the room have reported feeling as though they’re being watched, and woken randomly in the night. Male guests have reported feeling hands placed over their mouths and throats, and as though they’re unable to breathe. Maybe it’s the women, trying to get justice for their untimely death?
In the room right next door, an elderly ghost woman sits in a rocking chair, looking out of the window of room 305. Those who have entered this room have reported seeing the chair move by itself, and have heard knocking coming from instead of the closet. Hotel records have shown there was a woman who was a long-term renter in this room decades ago. She used to sit by the window for hours, peering outside. No one knows who or what she was looking at. Could this ghost still be searching for whatever it is she was looking for when she was alive?
The creepiest room in this hotel seems to be by the basement. Basements in general are a bit spooky, but what about the sound of a crying baby? Maintenance and laundry workers have reported hearing the wails of an infant, but have never been able to discover the source. What makes this even creepier is there’s no history behind this story. The identity and backstory of this baby is unknown, and will likely stay that way.
Beneath all of the spine-chilling ghost sightings, there’s actually a sweet ghost couple. A man and woman, dressed in formal attire, have been spotted dancing in the lounge area. Always seen with a smile on their faces, this sighting proves true love can never die.
But no room has had more activity than room 210. Dubbed the “Zane Gray” room (named after the famous author who spent most of his time writing his novels at the hotel), visitors who have stayed in that room have reported being awakened at night by a bellboy. After he knocks on the door, the dutiful worker announces room service has arrived. When the guest opens the door, they’re greeted by an empty hallway, with no sign of anyone. Looks as though someone is really dedicated to their job!
Between all of the spooky sightings and weird occurrences, this hotel is chock-full of beautiful rooms and history. Definitely seems like a great place to either stop for a quick drink, or even to spend the night!
Have you ever been to this iconic hotel? If so, have you ever seen one of these ghosts? Let me know in the comments below!
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