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 Post subject: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:15 pm 
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A friend linked me to this article, which I've copy/pasted below.

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/metro/293645.php

Ghosts of the Santa Rita Hotel
Is demolition stirring up Tucson's old haunts?
By Phil Villarreal
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.20.2009

As if Downtown renewal wasn't enough of a horror story, now some say ghosts have taken over the doomed Santa Rita Hotel.

As owner Humberto Lopez prepares to sell the beleaguered, graffiti-tagged property to Tucson Electric Power, which plans to have the building demolished, the possible current spiritual tenants may be doing a little spooky protesting.

On April 12, police responded to a call from hotel security reporting potentially ghostly happenings. The guard heard footsteps coming from the fourth floor, but police searched the hotel room by room and found nothing. A week later, a guard reported that a light on the fourth floor came on, and it sounded like someone was moving around in the room. Police checked the room and adjacent floors and found no one.

The hotel, vacant since 2005, is at East Broadway and South Scott Avenue.
In recent weeks, construction workers near the hotel say they've heard stories of rocks skipping down the hallways and doors slamming shut. And a Star reporter walked by the building Monday night and heard a creepy belly laugh emitting from the building. He hopped a fence and spoke to a security guard, who said the noise didn't come from the hotel.
So if the cops can't do anything to bust these ghosts, who you gonna call?

Hotel staffers have already tried hiring a medium, and that didn't calm things down.
Parapsychologist Amy Allan, who now lives in Denver, used to own a ghost-hunting operation called Lost Souls Paranormal Investigations in Tucson and studied the Santa Rita from 1998 to 2006 at the behest of jittery staffers who called her in. She said the Santa Rita is as haunted as San Diego's Whaley House, which the Travel Channel's "America's Most Haunted" rated as the most haunted house in America.

"There are many, many, many, many, many, many, many entities there," Allan said of the Santa Rita.

Allan said hotel staff members called her to investigate because they were terrified of ghosts who were harassing them.

"The owner really wanted us to keep it on the down-low," Allan said, adding she did the work pro bono. She said a lot of the ghosts told her they were being kept there by a sinister, powerful spirit Allan believes was an American Indian who is buried underneath the property. Allan said the entity draws on the fears and anger of others.

"He moves objects, he throws things around the room, he opens and closes doors," Allan said. "He's not evil, just upset, and kind of rightfully so." Imagining things
Lopez, who adamantly denies any spiritual presence inside the hallways, disagrees with Allan and said he had no problem with her study. He's owned the building since 1979 and used to live there. He said he couldn't recall any guests or employees complaining to him that the building was haunted.

John Cousins, general manager of Lopez's properties, agrees.

"I think what it is, is you hear stories and your mind plays tricks on you. They say they hear doors slamming. Well, the windows are open because we're trying to air it out," Cousins said. "Most of the things that have been said, I've been able to debunk."

Cousins forbade his security guards from talking to the Star.

Roy Harguess, an electrical foreman who was working Monday near the hotel on a Scott Avenue paving, streetscape and waterline project Downtown, said he's heard stories about ghosts at the hotel but doesn't believe them.

"People I've talked to said they've seen rocks flying across the hallway," Harguess said Monday as he wiped the sweat from his brow. "Personally I don't believe in it. If you're there in the middle of the night, you might imagine things."

If the hotel is indeed haunted, you'd think Juan Ayala would know. One of the owners of Ayala Contractors, Ayala — who worked maintenance at the hotel when he was a teenager in 1983 and 1984 — has been digging out the innards of the hotel's adjacent ballroom.
Not exactly a way to get on a bitter ghost's good side.

The foreman of a five-man crew, Ayala said neither he nor his workers have been spooked, although he's had passers-by tell him that the hotel is haunted. Swarming with spirits
Teresa Ortiz, owner of Lost Souls Ghost Tour of Downtown Tucson, which stops by the Santa Rita every Saturday and hits other paranormal hot spots, including the Fox Tucson Theatre and Hotel Congress, isn't surprised by the reports because she says she's met the ghost she believes is responsible for some of the mischief.
His name is Ferguson, he hangs out in Room 822 and he's partial to turning the lights on.
Ortiz said sometimes you can see Ferguson's silhouette from the street at night.
Ortiz, who says she's sensitive to supernatural activity but can't communicate with spirits, said she's seen Ferguson in her mind's eye.

"He's very tall and slim, with white hair that's short, almost balding, and big teeth," Ortiz said. "He just likes to sit there and hang out."

Ortiz, who said the Santa Rita is one of Tucson's most supernaturally active hotels, conducted a paranormal investigation of the hotel before it closed in 2005. She said Ferguson — who was not necessarily a Tucson resident — was part of a torrid 1920s love triangle.

Ferguson was married to a younger woman who started an affair with his business partner.
When Ferguson discovered his wife was pregnant with the other man's baby, Ortiz said, he killed them both.

He then hanged himself in a hotel elevator shaft.

Allan said it's natural — well, supernatural — for ghosts to be able to turn lights on.
"When we think about deceased people, what they consist of is energy," Allan said. "If they're able, if they have enough power — which let me tell you, that place does — they can affect light sources or anything with energy or that creates electricity. I'm not surprised (about the lights)."

The mischievous Ferguson and the malevolent, controlling spirit aren't the only ghosts haunting the Santa Rita, according to Ortiz.

"There's a little boy at the swimming pool and his footprints show up around the pool. When the hotel was open, people would say there were kids talking in the hallway on the third floor and would send for the security guard, but they wouldn't find any kids there."
Allan said if TEP moves into the space, the company can expect its new offices to be as haunted as the Santa Rita was. TEP spokesman Joe Salkowski declined to comment on the prospect of buying a haunted building.

"That'll be interesting," Allan said with a chuckle. "I don't think it should be torn down because it could contribute to a lot of studies and frankly, I don't think anyone should be there."

Reporters Tom Beal and Alexis Huicochea contributed to this report. Contact reporter Phil Villarreal a 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:45 pm 
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I've actually eaten in the Cafe Poca Costa, downstairs in the Santa Rita Hotel-- where Furgeson killed his wife by stabbing her in the abdomen with a fork....

It was 2001. My boyfriend at the time took me to see Hannibal and then took me to the Cafe Poca Costa for dinner. I don't remember much about the place off-hand though I might have more information in my journal.... but I do remember that once I crossed the threshold of the Cafe I felt shivers run up my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I also felt like I was being watched. I do remember self-consciously looking around. I also remember the salad I had was covered with a yucky almond paste... but it was expensive, so I tried my best not to waste it. When we left, once again, as soon as I crossed the threshold that feeling of being watched went away.

I didn't think much of that instance. I mean, I'd just come from seeing Hannibal (granted, I laugh when I see most horror films). It was also the winter rainy season, so the wind was blowing and occasionally strong enough to beat the bushes outside against the window. Add to that the fact that it was somewhere I'd never been before... and a somewhat classy place. So... there were several things that could have caused me to be uneasy and jumpy.

It wasn't actually 'till 2004 when I was told the place was haunted. I was on the Lost Souls Ghost Tour, which featured the Santa Rita Hotel. As soon as I saw the building, I recognized it. I hadn't been there in 3 years, but it still stood out to me. The tour told the haunted stories of the place (many of which are included in the newspaper article)... and they mentioned the feeling of being watched in the Cafe. That jogged my memory. I told the guide about my experience, making sure to note the circumstances about the movie and monsoon season as well. Then we moved on... but ever since then, the Santa Rita has always had a special place in my heart. I'm a little saddened to see the place get torn down...


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Oh...the HORROR of almond paste!!

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 6:32 am 
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And once again, you ahve another example of how our History is being paved over to make way for so called "progress."

Mike



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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Andybev01 wrote:
Oh...the HORROR of almond paste!!


Nothing like a little dead hippo and "Heart of Darkness" to make me laugh in the afternoon... Thanks for the laugh! =)

Mike-- geeze, man. Where's the optimism? Think of it this way-- the Santa Rita isn't on the historical places registry, so... sucks... BUT Tucson Electric Power (TEP) company is moving into the haunted space.... it's about time a utility company gets what's coming to them for constantly raising rates! Haha!

(Actually, I like TEP. There's an older gentleman who works there who I had to do tension pulling for one of our roadway projects. That fellow was one of the nicest fellows I've ever met... if I ever switch jobs, I could potentially work there. *grin*)


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 am 
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Well I have to admit, I don't know how old that hotel is, but there are a lot of very old and historical places that were actualy places where various historical figures were, that have been torn down so mini malls could be build, or Wall-Marts could be built. The old house where the original "The Haunting" was filmed was torn down to make way for a Wall-Mart.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I just prefer older buildings. In fact, I do prefer holder buildings. I live in a house that's 99 yars old. I would hate to see it demolished so dome one could put up some tick-tacky little cracker box with an attached garage like you see in these modern suburbs.

Progress???? I DON'T WANT IT AND I DON'T NEED IT!!!

Mike



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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 7:51 am 
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As far as haunted hotels in downtown Tucson go... I'd rather stay in the "Suicide Room" at Hotel Congress...


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:15 pm 
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The suicice room??? That sounds like an interesting visit.

Mike



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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Image

Yes. There's a room in Hotel Congress (Room 214) that even looks freaky on the outside. I can personally attest to this having stood outside the door to this particular room. Among the ghosts at Hotel Congress (and there are 3-4 that I can think of off-hand), the most visible haunting is in the Suicide Room-- the room at the SW corner of the hotel.

The door to this room has the creepy effect of looking skewed. I don't know if you've seen the movie Beetlejuice, but the door frame upon first glance looks wider and uneven at the top and narrow at the bottom. The floor in front of the door appears to bend like a wave-- up, down, up and then curving down beneath the gap in the door. I'd normally scoff at a claim like this, but having seen it myself... it's pretty weird... and then to walk up to the door and see that the frame is, indeed, straight and the lintel and floor are level.

The "Suicide Room" was the location where (and I know I'm butchering this terribly) some crazy bloke took a shotgun to his head. There is still shot from the gun in the walls... The story doesn't end there either. There have been at least two other recorded suicides in that particular room. So... when I say "Suicide Room"... that's just what it appears to be.

In the opposite hall, there's the ghost of a maid. There's also a place in the N hallway where psychics claim the world seems to shift a little as they walk beneath it. Downstairs in the bar area, there is a ghostly patron whom employees must leave quarters for when locking up for the night... he likes to sit at the end of the bar and drink. He also likes hearing music from the juke box. There's also a ghost of a man that has been seen peering out of windows on the NW of the hotel. Supposedly this was a man who did not wake up during the hotel fire that was notorious for being the event that allowed Tucson police officers to identify Public Enemy Number One (at the time)-- John Dillinger.

... So... Hotel Congress (which I believe is on the national historic registry) has enough stories of it's own to keep things lively downtown... then again, you'd have to ask "The King of Tucson" (another ghost who actually roams downtown Tucson) how correct that is...


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:03 pm 
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That is a scary looking old place. I'm chompin at the bit to spend a night or two in that room. Can't wait to get my bike up and running.

Mike



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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:57 pm 
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I've been doing some research on the Santa Rita Hotel (which is now an empty lot).

Some interesting events happened there. I found newspaper articles about James Stetson of Kentucky Camp, Arizona who was staying at the hotel on business. The man mysteriously "falls" out of the window of his room, room 318. He of course dies from the fall. Authorities found no evidence of foul play... and so assumed he committed suicide or it was an accident-- but why he'd do such a thing with an important meeting scheduled for the next day is quite intriguing.

I also discovered that the Santa Rita Hotel was the last place 1920's (spaghetti western)silent film actor Tom Mix stayed before he died. Tom Mix lost control of his vehicle, swerved into what is now "Tom Mix Wash" and, as his car came to a jarring stop, an aluminum suitcase in the back of the car smacked him in the back of the head. Mix took one step from his car and then died from a broken neck. (I haven't found the article, but I do have photos of the Tom Mix monument.)


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 3:30 pm 
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Cool. Maybe I can find a chance one day to investigate. It seems haunted. It may not be, though. I'm a ghost hunter. Sometimes I get freaked out when I think about ghosts. If you would like to know anything about ghosts, spirits, or anything paranormal, please feel free to ask me all you want.
(Non of this is to be copied since it is illegal to do so)
[IF COPIED, CONSEQUENCES WILL BE FACED]

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Wed May 05, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Midnight Witch wrote:
I'm a ghost hunter.
(Non of this is to be copied since it is illegal to do so)
[IF COPIED, CONSEQUENCES WILL BE FACED]


Midnight Witch, this should be your signature, you put it in every post ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:14 am 
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I wouldn't plan on investigating the Santa Rita Hotel, Midnight Witch... being as it doesn't exist anymore and I don't think Tucson Electric Power Company would want paranormal investigators in their new building (whey they actually build it)... so don't go planning any vacations for that location.

If you want haunted, I would suggest a stay at Hotel Congress. I'd recommend Room 242 or 214. Though, don't expect a television in your room. They don't have any.


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 Post subject: Re: Santa Rita Hotel: Tucson, AZ
 Post Posted: Thu May 06, 2010 1:51 pm 
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jadewik wrote:
I wouldn't plan on investigating the Santa Rita Hotel, Midnight Witch... being as it doesn't exist anymore and I don't think Tucson Electric Power Company would want paranormal investigators in their new building (whey they actually build it)... so don't go planning any vacations for that location.

If you want haunted, I would suggest a stay at Hotel Congress. I'd recommend Room 242 or 214. Though, don't expect a television in your room. They don't have any.

Well, there are many other places to check out!
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