While you could pay good money to visit any number of haunted house attractions in the Valley this fall, there are those who prefer that their creepy outings be a little more authentic. Whether they're haunted, historic, or just eerily abandoned, there are plenty of permanent locations around the Valley that will get your blood pumping. Grab your security blankets and plug in the nightlight, because we're introducing you to the 10 spookiest places in metro Phoenix.
The Hotel San Carlos is one of downtown Phoenix's most infamous haunted hotspots. In 1928, the year the hotel opened, a distraught woman named Leone Jensen committed suicide by jumping off the roof of the seven-story hotel. Since then guests and staff have claimed to have witnessed her ghost wandering the halls; so much so, that the historic building has become a routine stop on Phoenix-based ghost tours.
The stage performers come and go at Orpheum Theater, but one star that always seems to stick around is the house ghost, Mattie. She has been spotted by wandering by the balcony by theater patrons and employees. While little history has actually been revealed about Mattie, ghost tours have been held, and most witnesses describe her as wearing clothing from the mid-20th century.
The Rosson House may be beautiful but it could also easily be used as a set for American Horror Story. The historic home was built 1895 and exchanged many hands before being purchased by the city of Phoenix in 1974. In early 1980s, the caretaker of the Victorian home was apparently shot on the property and since its renovation into a museum, visitors and employees have reported ghost sightings and some unexplained activity including doors locking by themselves and empty fireplaces emitting heat.
What was once a star-studded hotel is now a low-income housing facility for the elderly and disabled. The Westward Ho, which once saw its fair share of A-listers like Mariliyn Monroe and JFK, now lends itself to the occasional ghost sighting by its residents and staff. Spirit sightings have included a one-legged ballerina and a lady in red in the Thunderbird Room.
Apparently, Casey Moore's isn't just popular with the living. Those who have frequented the popular Tempe bar have found themselves recounting tales of apparitions, flying silverware, and movement in the windows of the second floor, where, rumor has it, a resident of the boarding house turned bar was strangled by her boyfriend in 1910.
Casa Grande Domes
Drive down Thornton Road near Interstate 8 in Casa Grande, you'll notice some bizarre structures sitting off to the side. These abandoned UFO-like pods are the remnants of an unfinished assembly plant constructed in 1982 by California-based electronics company InnerConn Technology Inc. While there aren't any concrete ghost stories surrounding the deserted (and heavily graffitied) domes, visitors of the strange space have reported their fair share of spooky encounters.
The Charles Pugh House
Walking home from Crescent Ballroom, it's hard not to notice the two-story Queen Ann home looming in the shadows off Second Avenue. The boarded up Victorian built circa 1897 by Charles Pugh, editor and owner of the Southwestern Stockman, served as a residence, boarding house, and restaurant before shutting its doors. Despite needing some serious repair, the home that predates Arizona's statehood is eye-catching, not to mention a little bit hair-raising.
Every time we take Interstate 10 to California, we can't help but turn our heads at the slowly decaying Trotting Park. The abandoned racetrack was only in operation for a couple years after its 1964 construction and has since become a hotspot for graffiti artists, trespassers, and Instagram photos. Although there are no famous deaths marking the mysterious-looking location (unless you count the numerous birds that died during an explosion scene for the 1998 film No Code of Conduct), we can say with absolutely certainty that you couldn't pay us enough to visit this place alone at night.
Winnie Ruth Judd House
This early 20th century home located off Thomas Road and Second Street may not be much to look at, but it's certainly been the topic of much conversation. In 1931, the infamous Winnie Ruth Judd was charged with murdering her two best friends in this home, stuffing their bodies into trunks, and sending their rotting corpses to Los Angeles by train. Despite its disturbing past, the house remains occupied to this day.
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Don't get us wrong, Lon's is a nice place. But even fine dining establishments can have their fair share of ghoulish haunts. Over the years, guests and staff alike have reported ghost sightings and eerie encounters with the unknown, including invisible pats on the head, shutting doors, falling objects, cowboy apparitions in the mirrors, a nonexistent night watchman, and a ghostly lady in pink who hangs by the pool.