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St. Mary's Basilica

Phoenix is chock-full of things to do and no stranger to haunted tales. Experience St. Mary’s Basilica’s spooky history on a tour of haunted Phoenix.

St Mary's Basilica

St Mary’s Basilica is the oldest Catholic place of worship in Phoenix. It was the only Catholic parish in Phoenix until 1924 and was the second oldest church in the entire city. 

The church’s origins are relatively modest, built on the private residence of Jesus Otero, and priests would have to commute in from nearby Florence, Arizona, to hold mass. 

But its holy beginnings have led to some unholy hauntings. Find out more on a tour of Phoenix’s disturbing past with US Ghost Adventures. 

Reconstruction and Prominent Priests

The current site of the church on 3rd and Monroe Street, built in 1880, was initially under the control of Reverand Edouard Gerard. Gerard was the first priest ordained in the state of Arizona, so this would have been quite a big deal at the time. 

After finishing construction, they dedicated St. Mary’s Basilica to the prominent Bishop Salpointe. 

By 1902, the church needed drastic repairs. The current pastor, surprisingly, received permission to rebuild the church from his superiors. 

Today, the church sits nestled between skyscrapers and rests in busy downtown Phoenix. But this place of worship hasn’t always been so peaceful.

Spooky Occurrences

One famous report involving St. Mary’s basilica is a story about a gentleman walking down Monroe Street in 1893. He claims that he was on a walk on a somewhat quiet night around midnight when he came across the church.

Although the structure was quite beautiful, he’ll never forget what he saw in the doorway. About twenty feet from his position, he saw two female figures dressed in plain white clothing. He says they didn’t appear like ghosts, but something about their behavior was uncanny. 

However, he noticed that both figures were headless. After getting a closer look, he felt the immediate need to run away. But the man says he was frozen in fear and didn’t move from that spot for over thirty minutes. 

While this may seem like the man was hallucinating or someone was playing a prank, it’s not the only spooky occurrence to happen at St Mary’s. There have been several reports of people seeing odd figures roaming around the property, especially at night. 

Legend has it that the ghostly pair of female spirits still appear on some nights. Due to its beautiful design and history of creepy encounters, we had to make it one of our stops on our Phoenix Ghost Tour.  

Haunted Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix is a city known for its charm. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there are endless ways to have fun in the Valley of the Sun. Add excitement to your adventure and take part in our famous Phoenix Ghost Tour

We’ll take you to all the haunted locations Phoenix has to offer, including St. Mary’s Basilica. 

About US Ghost Adventures

Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historic, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.

This video gives you a small taste of what you might experience on your ghost tour — subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more.

US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.

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