The Commercial Inspector | Haunted Places Series: Hotel Monte Vis

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Haunted Places Series: Hotel Monte Vista

 October 20, 2020 |  CRE News |  hotel, just for fun, Haunted Places Series

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Architectural Style: Italian Renaissance
Built: 1927

In the spirit of Halloween, we’re taking a look at some of the most haunted locations in the U.S. and Canada. Today, we’ll be venturing to the American Southwest and the home of the Grand Canyon-- Arizona. Located along the famed Route 66 in Flagstaff sits the historic Hotel Monte Vista, where some of the guests will be having an extended stay.

Flagstaff Becomes a Tourist Hotspot
With the completion of the extensive U.S. Route 66, Flagstaff soon found itself flooded with travelers bound for the Midwest. The citizens realized that the lodging they had was outdated and wanted a modern place that would attract more visitors. They quickly pooled together the money they had, and came up with almost $200,000 (worth nearly $3 million today). On New Year’s Day in 1927, the grand 73-room hotel opened its doors for business.

Prohibition and the Monte Vista
Like many other major cities in the U.S. during the 1920’s and 30’s, Flagstaff played a role in the battle against Prohibition. The Cocktail Lounge began as a speakeasy in the Monte Vista, under the facade of a newspaper publisher. Local rumor says that the small bootlegging outfit turned into a major operation before being shut down in 1931.

Stars in the Southwest
The Monte Vista has been the choice resort for many of Hollywood's big names since the mid-20th Century. Celebrities such as Bing Crosby, Zane Gray, John Wayne, Jane Russell, Bob Hope, Michael J. Fox, Siouxsie Sioux, Esther Williams and more have checked into the Monte Vista. In fact, the hotel itself has also appeared in iconic movies like Casablanca and Forrest Gump.

Hauntings at the Hotel
There’s no shortage of paranormal activity at the Monte Vista. Guests have reported sights and sounds throughout the building, turning many skeptics into believers.

  • Room 220: Known as “The Meat Man,” this peculiar former guest would hang raw meat from the room’s chandelier. Reports have stated that the TV will turn itself on randomly and people feel the touch of a cold hand in their bed. 
  • Room 305: This is the most haunted room in the Monte Vista, said to be inhabited by the spirit of an elderly woman. Guests have noticed her apparition in the window, slowly rocking the chair back and forth. 
  • Room 306: Presumed to be the ghosts of two murdered prostitutes, the activity in this room is less than inviting. Visitors, especially male, have said they wake up in the night with the feeling of being watched, oftentimes accompanied by the sensation of being strangled. 
  • Phantom Bellboy: Another active haunting involves visitors and staff seeing a bellboy roaming the halls, sometimes knocking on doors and saying “Room service.” Even John Wayne encountered the specter during one of his stays. 
  • The Baby: In the Monte Vista’s basement, staff have repeatedly heard the cries of a baby. 
  • Dancing Couple: Staff and guests have regularly sighted a gleeful couple dancing the night away in the Cocktail Lounge. 
  • The Robber: In 1970, a bank robber died in the Monte Vista’s bar after being shot. Now, people have seen bar items move around and have been greeted by a disembodied “Good Morning!”


Visit the Monte Vista
Today the Monte Vista is a wonderful retreat filled with fine dining and lively entertainment. If you would like to explore historic Flagstaff, or try and find something otherworldly, book your room today!

Photo by Tony Santiago, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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