The most haunted Hotel in Arizona, The Hotel Monte Vista, sits along the legendary Route 66, waiting for visitors to discover its terrible secrets: dead prostitutes, a defeated bank robber, and the terrifying “Meat Man.” This simple list is enough to make anyone afraid of every bump in the night echoing through the old hotel.
The Hotel Monte Vista is a place of secrecy and mystery. Underground tunnels, built by Chinese workers, crisscross below the grounds, and the faint scent of whiskey from the hotel’s old speakeasy fills the air.
Tourism boomed in Flagstaff as the railroads charged through the sleepy desert town. The Hotel Monte Vista, built in 1924, was the product of an emerging economy that has yet to cease. However, visitors now come to hear about and even meet the hotel’s permanent visitors.
It was home to America’s first broadcaster and, at one point in time, the main meeting spot in the city for any well-to-do citizens. Now, it is known as the most haunted hotel in Arizona and attracts a different clientele.
Join us as we pull back the veil of the Hotel Monte Vista and its haunted history.
The Hotel Monte Vista was a beacon of hope for the people of Flagstaff, representing innovation, industry, and ingenuity. A need for traveler accommodations became more prevalent as the railroads brought more people into the high desert community. The economy began to boom, and the city needed to find ways to keep wealthy Western travelers in town.
In 1924, a man named V.M Slipher campaigned for the hotel’s construction, with funds directly coming from Flagstaff’s citizens.
Because of this, the Hotel Monte Vista holds the unique title of America’s “longest publicly owned hotel.” Taxpayers helped fund and maintain the hotel from its construction in 1924 until it was privately purchased in 1960.
The hotel’s beautiful neon sign was a sign of a healthy economy and acted as a warning for its citizens. The sign would blink if a catastrophe or crime occurred, promptly warning the authorities and the townsfolk.
Not only that, but the hotel broadcasted a radio station, KFXY, out of its glamorous hallways. Mary Costigan became America’s first female broadcast in 1929. Her initial broadcast brought four hundred residents to the hotel, making the hotel a common meeting place for Flagstaffians.
“Meet at The Monte” was a common phrase uttered around town after its grand opening on New Year’s Eve, 1927. Drinking was the main social event, and although prohibition was in full swing, a speakeasy helped accommodate the many thirsty guests.
A series of underground tunnels built by Chinese workers in the town’s early days helped facilitate the transportation of illegal hooch. The speakeasy, however, was raided by the feds in 1931, and the bar officially reopened in 1933.
After these illegally good times, Monte Vista became a popular stay for traveling celebrities and film stars. John Wayne, Bing Crospy, Jane Rusell, and many more came to The Hotel Monte Vista for their luxurious desert trip.
But as John Wayne and the other guests would soon find out, they were not alone in the iconic hotel.
Western film star John Wayne is well known for his rugged portrayals of cowboy life and American politics. But in Flagstaff, he became known as one of the first people to experience a ghost at the Hotel Monte Vista.
During his stay in Room 210, he heard a knock at the door, and the familiar call of “Room Service” soon followed. He opened the door despite not ordering room service. To his shock and surprise, there was no one there.
He is one of many to experience the phantom knocks of this spectral bellboy. The apparition of a woman has been seen roaming the hallway outside of this room as well.
The haunted bellboy is accompanied by one of the strangest ghost stories we’ve ever encountered. Flagstaff’s prominence diminished throughout the mid-20th century as roads replaced railroads and Route 66 ran through America. A new type of clientele was brought into the Hotel Monte Vista, leaving a permanent stain in many of the rooms.
The “Meat Man” was a strange man who hung raw meat from the chandeliers of his room. He rented rooms over several months and appeared to have little to no family. In the early 1980s, he died here in Room 220, and his body was undiscovered for several days.
Today, Room 220 is a hotbed of activity. The television often plays on its own, blaring the sound of static throughout the hall. The sheets will come to life and hop off the mattress of their own volition, while the lights turn on when no one is around.
You may hear a strange greeting upon entering The Hotel Monte Vista, a faint and distant “Hello.” This is the spirit of a bank robber who, after a successful heist, succumbed to a gunshot room right in the lounge.
He is joined by the other spirits here: the lonely prostitutes— carelessly thrown out a window—the woman in room 305—forever rocking in her favorite chair—and the crying baby in the basement; all are lost to time.
The Hotel Monte Vista has a variety of paranormal phenomena and is one of the most haunted hotels in Arizona. It is the centerpiece of any spooky ghost tour.
Take a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures when you visit Flagstaff and find out for yourself. Our experienced tour guides will bring you behind the veil and reveal Flagstaff’s hidden past.