Flagstaff’s Infamous Monte Vista Hotel

Mick Zano

The Monte Vista is the centerpiece of downtown Flagstaff, AZ.  The hotel is also believed by locals to be quite haunted.  Built in 1926, the old structure stands as a testament to the ingenuity of the new world’s frontier pioneers, the people of the land, the common clay of the great American west…you know, morons.   The hotel is complete with a Phantom Bellboy who reportedly—and I’m not making this up—knocks at random doors and in a muffled voice says “room service”.   Talk about an unimaginative afterlife. 

All over the hotel, I reenacted the Phantom Bellboy’s antics in true SNL fashion and for effect added, “candy gram” and eventually “land shark” to the mix without incident (paranormal incident, that is—I was asked to leave).  John Wayne is believed to have seen this bellboy ghost while staying in the Bing Crosby suite (the John Wayne suite was apparently occupied by Rip Taylor).  Mr. Wayne’s encounter was a friendly one, and the bellhop appreciated the generous tip. 

“I’m not gonna tip ya, I’m not gonna tip ya…like hell I’m not.” 

Well, I’m sure the exchange went something like that.

Ghost sightings include a meat man, a bank robber, and a dancing couple—thankfully not at the same time. Most disturbing of all, the persistent sounds of a baby crying can often be heard from the basement.  Apparently, this haunting sound has sent many hotel employees scrambling upstairs for more formula. 

Jon Bon Jovi is said to haunt room 305, despite the fact he is reportedly alive and well and living in Middletown, NJ.  I realize that sounds made up…alive and well in New Jersey?  Once the Bon Jovi Suite was depicted on an Unsolved Mysteries episode and is allegedly the most actively haunted room in the hotel.  Strange poltergeist activity is reported in the suite and an old ghost rocks in a chair by the window—perhaps driven mad by the endless Bon Jovi tunes.  What a way to go…  Down the hall is the Air Supply room, which I found surprisingly stuffy.  From the suite, tenants report hearing the haunting sounds of “whoa, we’re half way there, whoa, livin’ on a prayer.”  The vast majority of these guests describe the haunting sounds as “deeply disturbing”, but most are just thankful it wasn’t In and Out of Love. Unfortunately, the image below does not have the actual picture of Bon Jovi on the door as this reporter copped the image moments before snapping the shot. Drat! Next time snap first, steal second, snap first, steal second. It’s as easy to get these things right, you know.

My original enthusiasm for covering this story involved the only truly compelling paranormal experience ever directly experienced by a Discord staffer.  My sister Deana, a Discord Business Consultant, awoke in the middle of the night after being flicked in the center of her forehead by an unknown entity.  This is a true story, hopelessly wedged in an otherwise typical Zano article.

Her husband adamantly denies any part in this unexplained occurrence.  When she awoke, she reported a red welt in the center of her forehead.  Here is the freaky part: other guests have reported being flicked in the night at the Monte Vista…by my sister’s husband!  Damn you, MJ!

During the night in question, the couple stayed in the Gary Cooper suite, which is cattycorner to the Bon Jovi Suite. You are welcome to stay there, if you feel lucky…well, do ya?  Oh, wait, that’s Clint Eastwood. 

My sister is a true skeptic and remains so to this day.  In fact, she questions her own testimony and is pressuring herself to submit to a lie detector test.

I am writing this creepy caper from the hotel itself…actually from the Rendezvous, a martini/coffee bar just off the hotel’s main lobby.  Do you want to hear something really scary?  A bone chilling occurrence just happened while writing this very piece.  While doing a web search for Bon Jovi on my laptop—a necessary research evil—I inadvertently stumbled upon a site that started playing a Bon Jovi song, loudly! …in the middle of the martini bar! 

I am still shivering.

“Whoa, we’re half way there, whoa, livin’ on a prayer.”  


On the way out, I cut through the lobby and questioned the woman at the front desk.  The young lady, known only as “stop asking me questions, creep,” said she didn’t know of any recent occurrences in the hotel. 

For those traveling to Flag, there’s also a wonderfully seedy bar in the back corner of the Monte Vista, as well as a Thai restaurant on the far corner.  And, if that’s not good enough, there’s a Thai restaurant across the street, a third is down the street a couple of blocks, as well as two more on the way home.  Arizonians are apparently Thai fanatics, perhaps driven to foreign foods by the incessant sounds of Bon Jovi’s disembodied crooning.  If Bon Jovi doesn’t haunt this town, he is very likely to do so someday.  This is simply a theory but, after all, isn’t he the one who implores us to Never Say Goodbye?

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.