Haunted Tucson: the Hotel Congress

Mick Zano

For this investigation I was forced to go it alone. The Hotel Congress wasn’t my first accommodation choice, as anything called Congress evokes a visceral response from me. In fact, while I was there I found myself strangely unable to pass anything, even with the aid of high fiber cereals.

Tucson is where even tumbleweeds go to die. It’s so far west Horace Greeley even said, “I didn’t mean this far west, young man.” Tucson has three major historical periods, which can be summarized briefly as:

1. Agricultural Native American settlements.

2. Spanish explorers looking for gold.

3. Brewpubs.

Ok, ok…I failed history. But the Hotel Congress is pretty sweet. It’s the typical historic Arizona hotel, no elevators, no televisions, no room service—not too dissimilar from the Monte V. in Flagstaff, the Hotel St. Michael in Prescott or the Copper Queen in Bisbee. But don’t let the historic part fool you, these places rock. My Monte V. ghost story here. Speaking of the Monte V, there’s some kind of direct time portal between these two old western hotels.

Congress and Monte Vista Hotels

Not convinced? Each morning I ran into a Flagstaffer in the lobby. No shit.

Day one:  Scott Heinonen (the owner of the Tinderbox/Annex).

Day two:  Glenn (one of the main baristas over at Macy’s coffeehouse).

Day three:  A little old lady from Flagstaff. Her friend might have been from Pasadena.

I picked the Congress because it lies in historic Tucson, right in the thick of things, and it is also known to be quite haunted. Shortly after checking in I hit Tiger’s taproom to unwind, at least I think it’s Tiger’s. It’s written in a blue neon script so it could be Lieger’s for all I know.

Tiger's Taproom

Hey, I don’t get paid to research this stuff! Anyway, check out this important historical picture!

The very spot where John Dillinger was captured

Well, it would be the very spot, had I booked the right room. But this IS the very spot—about ten rooms or so down the hall. Look, I’m not a planner, okay! The place was booked solid. I’m still at Lieger’s with some wicked Congress constipation, so cut me some slack!

Then something incredibly strange happened. My laptop unplugged of its own….wait for it…accord. I was not moving at all when this happened. I thought, “OMG! Something is finally happening!!!” Then, over the course of the next few days, I realized just how incredibly loose all the electrical sockets were. In fact, I think it would take the aid of a ghost to actually hold any plugs in place. So much as a sneeze and they’d drop to the floor like The Ghetto Shaman at last call.

Undeterred, I started interviewing the staff. The receptionist, Clair, had the best story to tell. Unfortunately it was not a firsthand account, but apparently one of the cooks had recently told her he arrived early for work one morning only to be greeted by a blood curdling scream from an empty walk-in cooler. My theory? They had run out of beer. Briefly, I believe ghosts require ectopilsner, an as yet undiscovered substance that helps ghosts manifest from beer. Full explanation in my Colorado ghost investigations (Durango here).

Still not buying it? I focused my investigation on the four bars on the ground floor of the hotel and, yep, someone was hanging around other than me:

Bar Orbs

I also brought some bait into my room in the form of a cask conditioned Iron Maiden ale. What? Huh? Whaa?

Maiden Beer

Look, do the math. This is a rock bar and ghosts need the energy from beer to manifest. I figured any ghosts who stuck around this joint might be extra enticed by some rock-n-roll libations. So with my limited edition bait in place…

Room Orbs

Here’s what showed up right above it! And they call me mad, just because of the pile of fresh corpses in my basement. Ok, the orb is kind of faint and blends in with the wall, but at least this ghost can accessorize. After drinking the Iron Maiden beer I concluded that…well, take it away, Georgio.

Giorgio Tsoukalos

All hell broke loose during my last night at the hotel. I think it was some kind of a techno-DJ night. I felt like I was stopped south side at a traffic light all night—a real wall rattler. Anyway, besides that, something truly intriguing happened. The video below is perhaps one of the most startling pieces of paranormal activity ever captured on film…at least by a spoof ghost investigator (SGI). I will end this post here and let this important evidence speak for itself.

Hotel room Kthulu
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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. 

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