Haunted Hotel San Carlos

Written by on October 18, 2009 in Haunted Southwest - 1 Comment

The Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, Arizona is considered one of the top haunted hotels in the United States and on a recent Saturday night my family and I took a tour of the Hotel San Carlos with Ghosts of Phoenix to see for ourselves.

The Hotel San Carlos, designed in the Renaissance Revival style, opened for business on March 19, 1928.  The hotel was built at the corner of Central and Monroe in downtown Phoenix on land that was the home to the first school in Phoenix as well as a sacred Native American site before that.

After checking in with our Hostess Linda, our tour began outside the Hotel San Carlos at its Central Avenue entrance where Linda gave a brief talk on the history of the hotel.

Entering back into the hotel we took the elevator to the 7th floor where the ghost of Leone Jensen a 22 year old woman, reportedly distraught over a failed relationship, committed suicide by leaping off the roof of the Hotel San Carlos onto Monroe Avenue just 49 days after it opened. Many male guests of the Hotel San Carlos over the years have reported the apparition of a woman in the hallways and rooms of the 7th floor with the smell of Strawberry Perfume lingering for a bit in the air after the apparition disappeared.

On our recent tour, I was at the back of the group on the 7th floor hallway near the stairs that lead to the roof. Linda was discussing the suicide notes that Leone left when I caught, very briefly and only for a few seconds the unmistakable scent of Strawberry Perfume. I’m unsure if it was my mind playing suggestive tricks on me or an actual scent, but I know this, noses don’t lie!

Moving from the 7th floor, the ghost tour of the Hotel San Carlos moves onto the 2nd floor managers rooms, then out to the pool built on the roof of a 3 story addition to the Hotel San Carlos added in the years after World War II.  From there the tour continues down to the basement of the San Carlos.

In the basement of the Hotel San Carlos a pump sits atop a well.  The well was dug in 1873 for the first school in Phoenix as mentioned above and the well is still in use by the Hotel San Carlos today. Legends surround the well and you will have to take the tour to learn them.  I can tell you though, that much of the paranormal activity experienced or captured has happened in the basement of the Hotel San Carlos.  Remembering that this was the site of the original school in Phoenix, when children are present on a tour, this is a hot-bed of orbs (ghosts or spirits caught on camera) and these orbs are believed to be the ghosts of the children who attended the school and those surrounding the legends of the well.

On our recent tour, along with my daughter, there were several other children. While I did not feel or sense anything, my camera caught an orb near the kids on the ramp, one of which is my daughter.  I can’t explain the orb and it is easy to dismiss as a particulate of dust, however I took 9 pictures of the ramp area with the kids and only one of them had an orb in it.

Regardless of your thoughts on the paranormal, the Hotel San Carlos certainly offers a glimpse into Phoenix’s history along with, perhaps, a glimpse forward into the unknown.

Other attractions in the area include:
Top 10 Things To Do in Phoenix
Sears Kay Ruins
Dolly Steamboat

Hotel San Carlos
202 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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