Top Five Haunted Places in Phoenix

The desert landscape is known for its cacti, mountains and hot temperatures - what you may not know is Phoenix is filled with haunted places across town. Whether you live permanently in the city or are a tourist for a weekend, kick off Halloween early by visiting these eerie sights. It's a great way to get in the mood for the spookiest month of the year. Here are the top five haunted places in Phoenix:

Hermosa Inn

Several places throughout the property house unexplained phenomena. A worker quit after witnessing doors shut automatically when cleaning the windows of a casita. Reports indicate a cowboy in a mirror appearing without a person standing there, as well as misplaced candlesticks moving without explanation. One guest reported a night watchman closing the property doors - this was a surprise to the staff - there wasn't such a person employed by the hotel.

The Orpheum Theatre

Audience members shouldn't be surprised to spot "Mattie," a local ghost who tends to make an appearance during a show's intermission. Reports indicate she's a frequent visitor who has been spotted by employees of the theater and by those who work across the street from the building.

Phoenix Theatre

It isn't surprising that a theater provides the setting for ghosts and other paranormal activity to surprise patrons at the most unexpected times. Five different ghosts tend to frequent the theater - one apparition in particular, "Lightboard Lenny" is often seen in the lighting booth wreaking havoc in the small space and locking out the technicians when they step away from the space.

Pioneer Living History Museum

This museum houses 26 buildings dating back to the nineteenth century. The caretakers have reported several eerie occurrences, from hearing children singing in an old school house to an outline of a shadow creeping across the opera house. The most startling and palpable occurrence is feeling icy cold in a hot attic during the summer months.

Hotel San Carlos

This hotel is home to eerie sightings, specifically of ghost Leone Jensen, who allegedly jumped off the roof to her death. There is much speculation on her suicide, with some attributing it to a relationship gone awry, while others cite that she jumped because she was in pain from a long illness.

Rudri Bhatt Patel is a lawyer turned freelance writer and essayist. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Brain, Child Magazine, Raising Arizona Kids, The Huffington Post and elsewhere. Connect with Rudri on her blog, Being Rudri, Twitter or Facebook.