Way back when the state of Arizona was just a territory and tumbleweeds rolled down its dusty streets there was danger most everywhere and you had to beware of vigilantes. Into this territory came a man named John W. Weatherford. He rode into Flagstaff, Arizona with the dream of opening one of the finest hotels in the West. The Hotel Weatherford made its debut on New Year’s Day in 1900. The word soon spread and the hotel grew in popularity and can boast of such guests as former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, author of Old West novels Zane Grey and lawman Wyatt Earp.
Weatherford also wanted to bring culture to the people so he built the Majestic Opera House in 1911 but unfortunately, the opera house burnt down in 1915. Not to be stopped he built the Orpheum Theater and this, the same as the hotel still stands today.
Not only does The Hotel Weatherford have a long and rich history it has acquired some ghostly residents through the ages. One of the places where you can encounter a ghostly spirit is in the Zane Grey Ballroom. This lovely ballroom has stained glass windows and an antique Brunswick bar. Here people have seen the ghostly figure of a woman who floats through the room. At other times she appears to be going from one side of the room to the other. I personally wonder if perhaps she is dancing at a long-ago ball and hearing a melody that calls to her. Other things that have occurred in the ballroom are a swaying light over the pool table and sounds of whispers and voices coming from a seemingly empty bar. I believe that these guests don’t think that the party is over.
Other ghostly residents include a bride and groom. Legend has it that they were honeymooning at the Weatherford Hotel and were murdered in Room 54 back in the 1930s. One employee awoke in the night and saw the ghostly bride and groom standing at the foot of his bed. Unfortunately, this room has been turned into a storage closet but that hasn’t stopped the couple. Guests have said that they have seen the ghostly couple entering the closet. I suppose to them they are still on their honeymoon. They do say that people who meet violent death often return to the place where this occurred to them.
So if you ever travel out West do stop by the Hotel Weatherford which offers lovely old fashioned rooms and has great lounges. It can be just delightful to visit the hotel on New Year’s Eve for at midnight they drop down a giant pinecone. This sounds so refreshing after all of the usual New Year’s happenings.