Haunted Tucson Hotels & Inns

by Maria Scinto

Tuscon, Arizona's second-largest city, is actually one of the oldest continually inhabited locations in the entire United States. From the Hohokam Indian settlements of 4,000 years ago up through its rough-and-tumble Wild West frontier town past and on into the present, Tuscon boasts a number of former residents whose spirits still linger. Spend the night in one of Tucson's most haunted hotels.

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Hotel Congress

The Hotel Congress was built in 1919, and while it has undergone extensive renovation over the years, it still epitomizes old-school charm, with rooms furnished with antique furniture such as iron beds and vintage radios. While the hotel's switchboard dates from the 1930s, the communications system does offer up-to-date high-speed wireless Internet access in every room as well as a computer center in the lobby. Resident specters include a woman who killed herself in Room 242 (year unknown), a man in an "old-fashioned" suit who may have been the victim of a 1920's gunfight over a card game, and the fairly recent ghost of a long-time resident named Vince who died in 2001.

Royal Elizabeth Bed and Breakfast Inn

The Royal Elizabeth Bed and Breakfast Inn, built in 1878, is possibly the only known example of a San Francisco-style Victorian home constructed out of adobe. This property, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, offers five spacious rooms furnished with Victorian antiques as well as modern amenities including refrigerators, safes, wireless Internet and even ambient "white noise" machines. The inn also offers a heated outdoor pool and spa, complimentary snacks and beverages, in addition to a gourmet breakfast. The resident ghost is said to be that of Judge Blenman, who owned the property back in the 1890s. He appears most often in the Sydney Marie Suite, as this was his law office.

Hotel Arizona

The Hotel Arizona, which was formerly a Radisson Suites hotel, is on the surface a fairly typical convention hotel located right in the heart of downtown Tucson. It offers a standard range of mid-level amenities, including wireless Internet access, a heated outdoor pool and sundeck, a fully equipped business center and an on-site restaurant offering contemporary Southwestern fare. What sets this hotel apart from similar business hotels, however, is the crying girl who is heard -- but not seen -- sobbing and sometimes calling for help in the Starlight Ballroom. Ghost hunters at the websites Ghost Traveler and Shadowlands seem to think she may have been murdered by her husband or boyfriend, possibly for cheating with another hotel guest, but no record exists of such a crime at this location.

Pioneer Hotel

If you want to visit the Pioneer Hotel, site of Tucson's most notorious fire, you may do so, but you will not be able to spend the night as the Pioneer Hotel Building now houses business offices. The hotel, built in 1929, was one of Tucson's first high-rises, and at the time boasted Tucson's largest ballroom. It is in this same ballroom in which the tragic fire broke out in December 1970 when 29 people lost their lives. According to "Arizona's Haunted History," building tenants frequently still smell smoke and hear the sound of shouting and running feet from the upper floors where the ballroom used to be.

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About the Author

I am a former librarian turned freelance writer and researcher - I got my start writing for writeforcash.com, and this was when I first learned I could turn my talent for research into writing articles on just about any topic. Parenting is my favorite topic - I am the homeschooling work-at-home single mom of a four-year-old son. I also enjoy writing about pets (I have a Chow/Husky mix, 2 orange-striped kittens, and a hermit crab - unless he died since I last checked - and I used to have a fish but the kittens ate him), food (I like to cook, like to eat out, just plain love to eat), dieting (my metabolism isn't so crazy about all this eating), TV (my son and I are up on all the latest cartoon series). I have regular gigs writing about political questions (for askquestions.org) and all things Virginian (for Northern Virginia Magazine) and also work as a fact checker, web editor, and data annotator.