An Evening at the Haunted Hotel Monte Vista

August 28, 2019By Amy

The Hotel Monte Vista has a rich past, both historical and paranormal. I’ve always been a fan of paranormal TV shows despite being mostly a skeptic and feeling that they’re staged performances. Ghosts stories in and of themselves are simply entertaining to me. This old hotel has no shortage of stories to tell, and with autumn approaching, we couldn’t help ourselves to see if we experienced any for ourselves.

In addition to permanent guests, countless celebrities have called the Hotel Monte Vista their home for either a night or extended stay while working in the area. The hotel is proud of their visitors and each room boasts the name of a celebrity who checked in. Names range from John Wayne and Carole Lombard to Michael Stipe and Freddie Mercury. It seems as though everyone had stayed at this hotel!

Driving up to Flagstaff, I wondered which celebrity’s former room I would find myself in. Some of them have more colored history than others and after having read a bit about them on the hotel’s website, I waited with bated breath as we were handed the key cards to our room. Room 401, the Lee Marvin room, was to be our quarters for the night. This room was not listed as one of the more haunted options and for that I was both disappointed and glad.

Framed photo of Lee Marvin on door to Room 401

After settling in, we took a stroll around the floors, checking out the sights. This hotel is a gem and in its prime was likely a destination of luxury and opulence. Golden walls reflect warm light from the chandeliers. Wood beams decorate the lobby ceiling. The tiny elevator (by today’s standards) was one of the first self-service Otis Elevators of the time. We headed downstairs to check out the bar. It was cozy and had a slight art deco flair. Perfect for imbibing a prohibition era drink! After all, this hotel was home to a speakeasy in Flagstaff during prohibition and ran a bootlegging operation.

Lobby of Hotel Monte Vista bathed on golden light

After our enjoying our drinks and grabbing a bite to eat downtown, it was time to head back and explore some of these ghost stories. Luckily, the room offered a helpful binder with information on the hotel as well as some of it’s more famous spectral guests. Floor 2 and 3 seemed to be the hub of reports so we checked out those floors first.

Roon 305 is said to be the most active room in the hotel. It's reported that the rocking chair inside rocks on its own and if turned, will return to face the window. The story goes that this room was once the home to an elderly woman who would often sit in a rocking chair gazing out the window down at Babbitt’s general store on N San Francisco St. In our time wandering the halls, we occasionally saw the door to this room open as its guests came and went, but unfortunately a glimpse of the chair couldn’t be had. It’s likely that the guests of the room knew of the legend, but if not, I didn’t want to be the one to bring it up.

Hallway of Hotel Monte Vista

Neighboring room 306 also has its own story, but sadly, it isn’t as sweet as an older woman in a rocking chair. At one point downtown Flagstaff had a red light district and a man took two prostitutes up to his room - room 306. No one knows what happened to cause a disagreement but the two women ended up murdered and thrown from the windows to the streets below. A number of male guests staying in this room describe waking up feeling hands on their throat or being watched.

The final room we wanted to see was room 220. This room is said to be haunted by a ghost simply known as the Meat Man. The story goes that he was a long-term boarder and passed away in this room. His nickname originated from stories that he would hang raw meat from the chandelier, likely in an effort to dry it out for preservation purposes. After his death, a maintenance worker returned to this room after having just left it and found the room not as he left it; the bed linens were thrown to the floor and the television was on at full volume. It's interesting to note that during all our time at the hotel we found most guests to be rather quiet, with the exception of this room. Any time we passed it by, the television could be heard loudly from the hallway.

All in all, our experience was pretty quiet and without any stories to tell of our own paranormal encounters. Although you’re free to watch our video and see for yourself. Perhaps you’ll see something we didn’t! The Hotel Monte Vista is an interesting place to stay when in Flagstaff. With its vibrant history, unique rooms, and reasonable rates, you'll have much to be delighted with.

Interested in learning more about Hotel Monte Vista? Consider checking out our video, or get detailed information about this lodging option including prices, list of amenities, directions and much more. Links below.

Nearby Things to Do

Up Close and Personal at Walnut Canyon National Monument

Built into the layered levels of a picturesque canyon, the cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon National Monument add to an already stunning hike and provide plenty of education and history of the Sinagua people.

A Scenic Drive Down State Route 89A

Few roads in Arizona have as much variety in landscape, flora and recreational activities as State Route 89A. Stretching from Flagstaff to Prescott, segments of this road are considered a must do for anyone seeking some of the most scenic views found in Arizona outside of the Grand Canyon. Today we decided to hop in the car for a day trip and explore some of this stretch of road that we usually only see passing by.

In Search of Fall Color at the Arizona Snowbowl

A common misconception of Arizona is that it's a vast desert with miles of cactus and not much else. Believe it or not, Arizona contains not just one, but four deserts, snowy mountains, and autumn color as well! Always up for an adventure, we decided to head north and seek out fall foliage in a unique way...

Experiencing the Pullman and Coach Classes on the Grand Canyon Railway

Traveling by train used to be the way guests would visit the Grand Canyon. We wanted to experience this unique experience for ourselves. How did we like it? What are some of the different car classes like? We’ll let you know all those details and more in case you’re planning to take a trip on the rails.

Meteor Crater, More Than Just a Hole in the Ground

Arizona's 50,000 year old Meteor Crater is considered the best preserved impact crater on Earth. Today we get hands on and explore the museum as well as check out the overlooks of the crater.

Hiking Bell Rock in Sedona and Seeking the Vortex

Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona, is one of the most iconic geographical features on the landscape. It offers excellent hiking, amazing scenic views, and an opportunity for visitors to seek the mystical energy of a vortex.

A Reminder of the Past | Fort Verde State Historic Park

Fort Verde is a historic park dating back to the mid to late 1800s showcasing life of US Army soldiers stationed during the Indian Wars of Central Arizona. Visitors can tour the grounds and explore relics from the past.

The Living Archaeological Site of Homolovi State Park

If history and archaeology sites are your thing, you can't beat Homolovi State Park. The park is filled with pieces of broken pottery, remnants of old villages and petroglyphs from the Hopi culture.

The Ancient Hilltop Pueblo of Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument, towering above in the Verde Valley floodplain, is an impressive example of the Sinagua culture of central Arizona. With wide-open views of the spanning landscape, it is easy to see why this location is worthy of the national park system.

Diving into the Depth of Mining History at Jerome State Historic Park

Jerome, Arizona has a lengthy and rich history. For visitors wanting to learn a bit of the town's past, there's no better place to start off than the Jerome State Historic Park. Today we dropped by to explore what this old mansion could teach us.

Exploring Vintage Cars, Mining History & Historical Buildings at Gold King Mine

If you've ever visited Jerome, you know that it is full of ghost stories, legends and history. However, just outside of town is a little gem called the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town. We love all things ghost town and historical! With that in mind, we packed up the car and headed north to see what this little place was all about.

National Park Worthy Views for Free at Little Painted Desert County Park

If you're looking to take in the scenery of the Painted Desert for free, there is a hidden park that fits the bill. These views can't be beat but there are a few things to know before going.

Journey to Indian Garden at the Grand Canyon South Rim

The Bright Angel Trail is among the most popular trails at the Grand Canyon. It winds down deep into the canyon, all the way to the Colorado River. For most, the trek to the bottom is beyond reach, but setting the Indian Garden oasis as your target is a respectable goal that offers the rewards of rejuvenation and refreshment.

Our Favorite Overlooks at the Grand Canyon South Rim

The Grand Canyon South Rim has many different overlook points, most easily accessed by shuttle. There are three different colored shuttle routes that cover different areas of the park, and on this trip, I visited many of the stops off the red line to Hermit's Rest. Read on if you want to see if it was all worth it...

Exploring Tonto Natural Bridge in Payson, Arizona

At Tonto Natural Bridge State Park you will find a unique geological formation... the world's largest travertine natural bridge. We visit the park and observe this geological wonder from multiple perspectives as we hike and enjoy multiple overlooks.

Education & Imagination of Arizona Heritage at Shoofly Village Ruin

Arizona has no shortage of locales offering Indian ruins. Shoofly Village Ruin is just one of the many which stirs up the imagination. Today we went to visit to see how it stacks up to some of the others we’ve visited.