Arizona Haunts – Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
Perhaps Halloween is over and we’ve moved into the holiday feels already, but we figure it can’t hurt to bring you now last scary story to make your fall feel a little more like it is supposed to. Visit some of these places before you put your Christmas tree up and squeeze just a tad bit more out of this time of year before you blast the Bieb’s Christmas album and turn to your favorite latte for comfort.
While the rest of the country, or let’s face it, even the northern parts of Arizona, get the luxury of watching the fall colors change, feeling the air begin to turn cold and enjoying fields of pumpkins and apple orchards, here in Tucson we don’t get such luxuries. To celebrate the coming of Fall and our favorite holiday, Halloween, we’re forced to crank up the A/C while pretending it’s freezing outside. We watch countless hours of horror films, read Shirley Jackson until our imaginations don’t allow us to fall asleep and pretend we didn’t just buy those jack-o-lanterns from Trader Joes. A luxury anyone of us can enjoy, however, is visiting some of Arizona’s favorite local haunts. Slaughter House in Tucson does a great job of scaring the you-know-what out of us but for some real scares, we recommend checking out these phenomenal and spooky haunted locations.
Right here in Tucson the legends of the San Xavier mission are truly terrifying. Rumor has it there are more than a few ghosts that dwell among the building as well as surrounding landscape. At dusk and dawn, which by now we should all know are the best times to sight spirits, visitors to the mission have seen a wandering Padre among the rows of pews inside the building. A more gruesome sighting has been the figure of a nun leading by hand five small children. It’s sad the nun was trying to save them from a school house fire not far from the mission itself, unfortunately all perished inside the classroom.
Another local classic is the Tucson Medical Center. There have been numerous repots of hair pulling, eerie breathing right behind patients and chairs being pulled out from unsuspecting visitors. These sounds like childish pranks and they very well may be, visitors have also reported seeing the silhouette of a small child roaming the halls at night.
Taking a stroll up to our lonely neighbor Bookmans in Flagstaff, the Orpheum Theater is known for its hauntings. After closing hours various members of the staff have reported seeing a mans figure down in the theater looking down from the projection room, or vice versa. There have also been reported cases of the taps in the bathrooms being turned on at full blast or toilet paper rolls being completely unwound in the stalls. There’s even a rumor that a man hung himself in the projection room in 1917, however, there hasn’t been any newspaper reports to be found about such an event. Still, who knows?
There are too many specific haunts to mention at the ASU campus but a few of our favorites are as follows: The Matthews Center houses a ghostly librarian who haunts the halls after dying in a small fire, of which the bones of a Native American warrior were given to Human Evolution and Social Change department to study when numerous staff and students reported seeing ghosts. When the bones were given back to the tribe the “apparitions” stopped as well. The Community Service building was once a tuberculosis hospital where there have been reports of items falling off shelves unexpectedly, doors opening and shutting as well as eerie laughter that echoes down the hall. These were just a few noteworthy haunts but ASU has a lot of spooky happenings on their campus, that’s for sure!
Finally, in the little town of Oracle Arizona there’s Arcadia Ranch. Now an art gallery and community room, the building was a former TB ward. A nurse who contracted the disease and died is said to haunt the structure continuing to care of its occupants. There also appears to be an entity that doesn’t like artwork to but hung on the north side of the walls. When caretakers left at night the art would be hung on display, when they’d return in the morning all the north side work would be laid out on the floor. One of the caretakers also reported hearing footsteps that appeared to be cowboy boots walking into the main hallway, surprised because the building was closed to the public at the time and the doors locked they got up to investigate only to find everything intact with no one in the room.
Every time of year is perfect for ghost hunting but there’s something about the electric charge to the air that makes October and November feel perfect for spooky sightings. Remember the places we recommend checking out are monitored and shouldn’t be entered when not open to the public however, we dare you to check them out and let us know what you think. Make sure to check out our in store displays with books full of other local haunts and histories as well as favorite Fall cookbooks and crafts.