The city of Tucson is tucked away in the Arizona Desert, surrounded by mountains. It is a University town and as such, it is filled with an eclectic mix of nightclubs, vintage shops and a number of rundown buildings. It is a somewhat modest and simple town, but it has plenty of paranormal activity to boast about!
Let’s dive right in and take a look at the 10 most haunted places in Tucson, AZ.
1. Fox Theatre
Fox Theatre is a popular haunt for those who enjoy drama and those wishing to spot a ghost. On occasion, live performances have been interrupted when props move on their own!
See also: The Most Haunted Locations in Arizona
There have also been unexplained giggling and other outbursts from the wings! Many mediums and ghost hunters have explored the theatre, and it is agreed that there are several spirits tied to the building, including the ghost of a man who died in a car accident outside the theatre.
2. Bloom Elementary
Ever since the female principle of Bloom Elementary passed away in the school, there have been some strange things happening! Apparently, the principle is still keeping an eye on things and making sure everyone stays in line! There have been frequent reports of her apparition wandering the halls, and staff say that doors will also lock or unlock independently.
3. The Pioneer Hotel Building
The Pioneer Hotel building located in downtown Tucson is haunted by no less than 30 spirits who have become trapped in the building following a fire at the hotel in December 1970, which claimed their lives. The hotel is now an office and apartment building after undergoing huge restoration work in the ’70s and ’80s, after the fire. Staff members have described having their stationery moved around and their electronic devices malfunctioning.
One of the most amazing reports of paranormal activity coming out of the building involves a permanently jammed door until a staff member asked the spirits to open it. The door promptly opened and then slammed shut! It is also common for people to see shadowy figures, mostly women and children.
However, it is the basement that is particularly frightening. There is supposed to be a young girl’s spirit in the basement hallway, but she is not alone. Staff claim that there is not one but two evil entities lurking down there with her!
4. Bank of America
The local bank probably isn’t the first place that you would expect to have a resident spook. However, the Bank of America branch on Stone Avenue apparently has a ghost who likes to make his presence known.
The spirit of a young man with a beard is often spotted roaming the bank’s lobby, and staff have heard his heavy footfalls on the stairs as well. He has also been known to slam doors and is apparently accompanied by a strong, fragrant smell.
5. Carlos Ignacio Velasco House
The Carlos Velasco House was built in 1850 in a traditional adobe style. It originally had just 3 main rooms and an entry hall, but it has been expanded with some more upscale rooms and features over the years. Carlos and Beatriz Velasco bought the house in 1878 and spent much of the 1880s renovating and remodeling it to create their dream home.
When Carlos died in 1915, the house was sold and underwent yet more remodeling. Eventually, it became apartments, but they were not maintained well, and the building soon fell into disrepair. It was around this time that the hauntings seem to have started!
Were Carlos and Beatriz voicing their displeasure? The building has now been bought by a group aiming to restore it to its former glory, and although the spirits are still making themselves known, they seem to be more friendly than they have been in the past!
6. Tucson Medical Center
For many years now, Tucson Medical Center has been a hub of paranormal activity. Staff often complain that they get their hair pulled, their faces slapped, and are hit by unseen forces. Those working nights have also described hearing phantom footsteps and disembodied voices. Some patients have even described chairs being pulled away as they went to sit down even although nobody else was in the room.
There have been sightings of several apparitions. The most common one reported is a child seen roaming the corridors, but others have seen an old lady and even a ghostly cat!
7. Centennial Hall, University of Arizona
The University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall is not a particularly old building. It has been around for about 70 years, but the land it sits on has a history that can be traced back to the Spanish Colonial period, circa 1521. This explains why one of the spirits that now call the place home is a Spanish male.
He is often seeing walking on the catwalks above the stage and hanging around in the backstage area. It is believed he died on the land during a duel. He is certainly not alone in haunting the Centennial Hall.
There are also reports of a lady in Victorian style clothing, but she is not friendly. Aside from standing in the wings trying to put the actors off during performances, she has also been blamed for pushing people on the stairs and hallways.
8. St Mary's Hospital
The hospital was established back in 1880, and it was the first hospital in the state of Arizona.
Originally, St Mary’s was intended to serve as a tuberculosis unit, but at some point, it switched to a general hospital. There is all manner of tales of the spectral nun that resides here, but due to the high number of nuns who have worked here over the years, nobody can say for certain who she is!
It is said that whoever she was, she still follows the staff around, keeping an eye on her patients. On one occasion, she is actually said to have saved a woman’s life by alerting a nurse to her situation.
The nurse described seeing a nun at the end of the corridor pointing to a patient’s room. When the nurse got close, the nun vanished, but when the nurse looked into the patient’s room, she found the woman in the process of attempting to take her own life.
9. Santa Rita Hotel
The Santa Rita Hotel was so haunted that the owner decided to close it down due to the paranormal activity. Over the years, several staff members were too terrified to return to work, citing harassment from ghosts as the cause.
There were several occasions where security guards called the local police to report intruders after hearing loud footsteps upstairs and seeing lights going on, but there was never anybody there.
Several spirits were said to reside in the property, but the most well-known was a male called Ferguson, who is said to have murdered his wife and her lover by shooting them both in the hotel. He then hung himself in the elevator shaft.
His apparition was seen frequently in the hotel, and he was well known for fiddling with the lights and other electrical equipment. He is also believed to have been the one throwing stones at people and moving items around.
Other paranormal occurrences included doors opening on their own and wet footprints appearing at the swimming pool’s edge. It is certainly easy to see why this hotel was considered the most haunted location in Tucson. It’s a huge shame that it was demolished in 2009, as this would have been an unbelievable place to investigate!
10. Hotel CongressBook a Room
Hotel Congress is located in Tucson’s historic downtown area, where it has stood since 1919 when it became clear that there was a need for an upscale hotel for the train travelers and cattlemen who were passing through the bustling industrial town.
In the 1920s, the hotel became popular with gamblers and gangsters, most notably the John Dillinger gang. Over the years, there have been many paranormal activity reports in the hotel, including those killed over gambling debts, suicides end victims of epidemics.
Related: Most Haunted Places to Stay in Arizona
One of the most well-known spirits at the Hotel Congress is a long-term resident named Vince, who died in the hotel after suffering a heart attack. He had been in residence for some 36 years, so it seems only natural that he has stuck around even after death!
He is often seen in the bar area, where he spent much of his time in life.