Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Haunted: Mesa Arizona


I'll try to do columns for different cities and what I've found there, as well as a column on day trips. Later today I'll probably do a column on a daytrip to Mayer.

Mesa, Arizona is the most haunted portion of the Valley of the Sun by my estimation. If you stop in the middle of the growing confusion and crowding, you can slow time down just enough to feel something heavy, something watching, something humming at a strange frequency--not with sound, but with vibrations that ripple through your body.

My conjecture on the matter is that Mesa is haunted by the extensive HoHoKam canal system that ran through it in ancient days by a culture who vanished mysteriously. Living in the desert and waterways being the difference between life and death, surely springs were spiritual centers as well as practicalities. No one knew how to manage their water like the HoHoKam. For a good map of where the canals ran in the olden days (portrayed in the pale blue lines on the map) go to here.

Strangely, when you look at the top 10 most haunted places in America compared to water and railroad tracks, they all fall close to both. The question is, were railroad tracks merely bringing bodies over the same piece of land, therefore haunting it with memories, or were train tracks found in more populated areas thus being more likely they were close to centers of tragedy and human trials, or is there something in steel that conducts spiritual energy? We don't have answers to that, but keep your eye on the combination of canals and train tracks in relation to haunted areas, as well as water and springs and granite and quartz.

If you're hungry and want to get atmosphere in an historic and supposedly haunted building, I'd suggest the Landmark Restaurant in Mesa at 809 W. Main St. (east of Alma School near Extension and Main). This building used to be a Mormon Church, originally seated in the area of the main dining room. It was expanded on in 1939. The church moved to a bigger site in the 1950s. It then became Mesa Community College. It also housed another restaurant. Eventually, it became the Landmark and has remained so for a long time.

For ghosts, here's a simple film on YouTube about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK7c_OvhYj8

Admittedly, we had the place to ourselves after hours and one of the biggest comments by investigators were the sounds in the kitchen of pots moving, banging, low voices speaking. There are reports of the faucet turning on the women's bathroom, as well as many other random acts around the building. Personally, the main dining area upstairs had a very strange feel to it and it was almost as if you could see the church of long ago superimposed upon it. It had a very definite uneasiness and I had a sense of a young woman studying the world outside the central windows and daydreaming. The floor also pitches a bit from where the hostess station is down into the dining room, thus making waiters trip a lot and giving more stories about ghosts messing with them. The stairs to the bottom level have a very weird feel that everyone picked up on. The bathroom didn't have any particular feel to it that night, but the long hall and rooms downstairs have a tense feel, although when you're dealing with basement levels, it can be just the feeling of earth around you. I think it's definitely worth a try. This place has a neat feel to it you don't run into in The Valley very often and the food is very good.

City of Mesa Cemetery is my favorite moody Valley cemetery. It's beautiful and green and has a ridiculous amount of Cypress trees. Neighbors use it as a thru-way but also jog and walk dogs and push strollers through it, so it's a very intriguing spot. There are parts of the cemetery that seem a bit uneasy and I have gotten a few strange unexplained photographic findings. The place doesn't work for EVP (too many airplanes overhead). They also tend to close the gates at sunset and they have someone patrolling it, so it's not a good after dark place. My suggestion would be to arrive near sunset and park near the gate so they see your car. The place gets dark on its own just from the huge trees. They're very polite about escorting you when they're closing the gates there. There's a section in the northern part of the cemetery that houses all the babies and that's a very unsettling spot. Not far from that in the NW section we found an entire family wiped out on the same day--house fire?

Other mentionables: Williams Air Force Base site has supposedly heard voices. The officer's club and VA Hospital are supposedly haunted. Jefferson Park at 306 S. Jefferson Ave. (on Jefferson 2 blocks west of Power). A woman who was raped and killed there supposedly walks from tree to tree. Not a lot of Mesa residents will readily admit their issues in their private homes regarding activity, but this area seems to be particularly disturbed. Perhaps its the Mormon population that keeps a lot of folks from talking about it or dealing with it, but nearly all the older buildings in the downtown historic area have a very strong powerful feel to them. I'd say the epicenter of activity there is somewhere around Broadway and Country Club and spreads out in consecutive rings from there. Oddly, that epicenter also correlates with the historic HoHoKam site that is closed off behind the hospital.

Give Mesa a try and most definitely keep in mind that HoHoKam canal map and note if those areas where they converge to spread out are more strange feeling. I bet you feel it too. I personally like the feel, kind of like that weird good/bad feeling you'd have visiting an elderly grandmother with a dusty house. You know there's love there, but you also don't like the smell and feel and old stuff everywhere looking sun bleached and crumbly, and her voice is kind of deep so it startles you, but at the same time she hugs you so sweetly that you forget you were unsettled.

That's my best description of Mesa, a very actively haunted area.

55 comments:

  1. Do u know if 533 E. 4th Place is haunted? I used to live here and me and my siblings always heard noises at that house. How can i get information about the property or the history of it?

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  2. Hey, The city registrar is where you can find out the past owners. You can also try doing a google search with the address in it to see if any reports had been made of crimes there. Hope that helps.

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  3. I have done what you said and i cant find anything about the house but that it was sold anything else you can recommend?

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  4. Try emailing citymgt.info@mesaaz.gov
    and see if where you can get listings on who has owned a certain home address over the decades. Good luck.

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  5. i'd like to see the cemetary and have the feeling other people did the good,bad feeling.i live at 650 south country club dr mesa,az 85210 mesa ridge apts.do u know where any their are any haunted places close to me near 8th ave and country club dr.i would like to know if mesa ridge apts are haunted where we are liveing.i would like to also know if the adult probation is haunted untivearsy and main is haunted

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  6. Hey Jennifer; There was a convergence of HoHoKam waterway canals right beside the hospital at Country Club and Brown. You can look online for some maps of the old canalways but the haunting issues seem to run along them. Here's one map:http://www.waterhistory.org/histories/hohokam2/
    Businesses in the area haven't done a lot of reporting with issues, but that's pretty common. They either don't want to deal with it or won't recognize it, but lots of residents do have problems. Once again, along these canalways that were very dense in Mesa.

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  7. My name is Ashley & my house is very haunted. I have been attacked in my house my kids have seen thing's you get touched you hear talking & sometimes they r talking 2 you & the ghost's let u see them even if you dont want 2 my 5 yr old sleeps in the hall cuz it is the only place he feels safe at night. The ghost's we have are women,kids, men & a dark shadow man he is the worst. The kids would play with my kids & talk 2 them 2

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    1. If u need some invastagation for free leeme know im so in tk all of this parnamal stuff

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  8. Ashley;
    I would suggest you contact the API group and let them know. www.arizonaparanormalinvestigations.com
    They are a very good group and very helpful.

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  9. I was not surprised to hear about the Landmark being haunted. I live near by, almost across the street and have had these same heavy and uneasy feelings, both at the Landmark and my home. Nothing scary, just unsettling and very interesting!

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  10. 245 W. 10th Place, right by hospital at Country Club and Brown... Believe these 2 story apartments were built on old burial ground. Lived there long ago, so did sister and her husband as well as my mother. We all have seen things from what looked like a small child that runs around the upstairs of back apartment to pictures coming off walls, growls, cabinets open, mists, bad feelings and what sounds like a little girl crying or screaming from near the pool area. Also before wall put up at end of 10th place, would see mists and shadow figures walking that would just disappear. Very eerie feeling overall.

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  11. Yup--that's right in the thick of the most active area in Mesa! Country Club and Brown is the center of it. I used to work at Mesa Lutheran Hospital in the ER and I have to say that place had some weird stuff in the office I worked in. Most often, when I get calls for help, it's folks smack dab in that area. Lots of mists, voices, doors slamming, poltergeist type stuff. Very interesting.

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  12. Can anybody get me any information on a house. The address is 2550 N 87St Mesa Az 85207. I've had friends tell me that they have seen things in the Windows and heard voices.....

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  13. Other than googling the address to see if it was mentioned in the news, the City Registrar would be able to let you know who has lived there before and then you could look them up and see if they were in the news. History of houses can be a tough search.

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  14. so i've heard at the petco on university and gilbert is haunted. my friend and some of the other employee's have had some paranormal activity. my friend has heard noises behind her the lockers shifted, and shes heard footsteps. another employee said they heard someone in the bathroom and then walked up knocked on the door no one answered she knocked again and opened the door and no one was in there. customers have reported a man, a cat walking around, and a little girl being mischievous. let me tell you one thing, there is no cat walking around the building, the cat passed away about 4 years ago and they havent had one since.

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  15. That's really interesting. It's right in the middle of the active alley of haunted locations. If the manager would be interested in having a team come in, I'd suggest www.arizonaparanormalinvestigations.com because they are extremely discrete and professional and I am associated with them and can vouch for their abilities and techniques.

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  16. i will defiantly mention it to my friend. i find it intriguing that ghost are among us. I've personally had experiences in many places. But anyways i will definitely let her know.

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  17. I lived at 2165 E University Dr. We would hear footsteps upstairs when no one was there. We heard people talking and walking up and down the stairs next door when that home was empty. Would get an uneasy heavy feeling in the home. .

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  18. Wow. You know, after the reaction to this Haunted Mesa post, I think it's time for me to do another post about this and work out some theories and perhaps a map of some these locales. I have gotten dozens and dozens of people in Mesa contacting me about haunting issues. I think it's time to put it all together and see what's going on. Thanks. Oh, and many of the things you're describing, teh footsteps and voices, feelings of being watched, poltergeist activity and shadowpeople are very prevalent there.

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  19. I was interested in the underground tunnels that I heard were under downtown main street, do you know anything about that?

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  20. I've heard about that in most cities in AZ from Phoenix to Globe, Bisbee to Flag. I haven't heard anyone verify it. I know tunnels most often were used for moving prostitutes or customers in and out of whore houses in mining towns usually. Still, no one has admitted that I know of, that they exist there.

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    1. The Globe tunnels are verified...I did the ghost tour of the city and that was one of the highlights....

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  21. I'm a Mesa native and have had a very unsettling experience in a classroom on the lower level of the current Mesa High School main building. It was near the end of the semester and my class was watching a movie with the lights off and I felt as though someone poked me in my left shoulder. None of my classmates were in reach of my shoulder and when I looked, there was no one behind me.

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  22. Is Penny Tree Apts haunted I felt like it was its locatef on Brodway and 2nd ave

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  23. I've heard of Broadway and 2nd Avenue having issues with some residents. That's interesting. I'm going to start compiling all this info and see what we can come up with theory-wise.

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  24. Does anyone know anything about the nesbits campground on mckelups and power somthing about satanic worshiping there's buildings in that area any info ??

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    1. I happened upon it a few times when dirt biking when I was a kid, in my teens back in the late 80's through early 90's. Down a dirt path, there was a large sign hanging over the entire width of the path that said NESBITS, which led to a central fire pit surrounded by a pentagram and stone block seating. An old shed had what appeared to be torture tables and devices. I saw drawings of goats and other freaky stuff that scared me and kept me far away. Most the locals my age knew of it and we all stayed clear of it.

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  25. Plz do more research in mesa .I live in Gilbert n university area..I see figures in my house.. voices downstairs when I'm upstairs..footsteps next door when no one lives there..and things come up missing and reappear in funny places like spoons under your pillow..hairspray on stairs ...

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  26. I am doing a study of Mesa because of the high incidence of reports and similar types of activity. This is interesting. Thanks so much for reporting it.

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  27. Hello Autumn,

    I see you have a lot of insight on ghost, and I think your just the girl I need to talk to. I just moved here to Arizona about 6 months ago with my bf. He's sooo not a fan of scary things. But back home I did it a lot. There is soo many great place to ghost hunt. But I can't seem to find anything that you can seek out at night time. I would LOVE to go to the Insane Asylum in Phoenix. But I pretty sure you'd need permission for that. Anyway, I met someone down here that would be willing to take me ghost hunting. Either Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa or Phoenix area. I'd really appreciate the help!

    ~Cambria :)

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  28. Hey Cambria;
    I know that there is a ghost tour at Hotel San Carlos downtown. Not sure if it's running in the winter, but they're called Phoenix Ghost Tours. Also, www.mvdghostchasers.com has a workshop for the public four times a year and those are really cool with them going to some neat haunted locations. If you go to www.meetup.com there is a Phoenix Paranormal group. I sometimes go to their meetings. They're holding off meetings until the new year so everyone can have the holidays off, but they have fantastic subjects and speakers and you can meet other paranormal folks. Hope that helps!

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    1. They do an awesome job! I have investigated with them several times over the last 6 years!

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  29. Thank you SOOO much Autumn! :)

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  30. Hey autum I'm a ghost and would love to scare lisa g in mesa ...I stole her plant in her house..and its doing fine..love shauncy the tant tickle ghost

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  31. How can i find out if my neighbors house is haunted? They say they see a little girl ghost in they're house a couple times a year.

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    1. When it's someone else's residence, they would have to be willing to bring in a team to check it out. My team is API which can be found at www.arizonaparanormalinvestigations.com and if the family wants to find out if it's haunted or not, a team like ours would be the route to go.

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  32. It is nice to read someone say what I have believed for years...I live in the center of a bunch and wouldn't trade living here for anything!

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  33. Underground tunnels in downtown Mesa? I could see that. They have basements in a few of the shops, like a painting store and one of the antique stores. I went to look at some of the paintings in that store, and the basement was really creepy. Downtown Mesa is awesome though. That would be cool if they had some creepy back story.

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  34. Try my apt. 604 w. 8th ave mesa park apts. Pots n pans falling. Sound of a mans breathing in one room. Doors opening n closing. Sound of foot steps in the kitchen n hallway

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  35. i live on country club and mckellips, at bayview apartments and my son has had some major activity in his closet (mainly). I read someone else say something about a shadowy figure of a man and that he is bad, i think i have the same thing. i have pictures of it as well, my son calls him the lone man, he's three. ive had his door open by itself, toys go off by them selves, faces in pictures (mens faces), I even think my son may have been possessed one night.

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  36. Hi, AutumnForest, I have lived in Mesa for 16 years, moved here at 14 with my mother and two younger siblings. I have lived in a dosen places here and the oneswhere that stand out are the house off Recker and MnKellips that we rented in my late teens, early twenties, and the house my husband and I owned for six years at ValVista and Main (east).
    I won't go into detail about my experiences, but I will say that we are all faithful Mormons, and yes, we do believe in the paranormal. It's just more of a spiritual thing for us than ooky-kookie ghostiness. I think, actually, we have some of the better experiences because we aren't expecting them when they happen.
    I know you wrote this article a year ago, but I really enjoyed reading it and I live up the street so maybe a nice cool Saturday we'll take our boys up there and have a stroll. You description of that undulating energy currant is dead on (no pun intended. )

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  37. I went on a tour of 9937 E University Drive home in Mesa and you could feel multiple spirits throughout the home,but I can't find any history on the place aside from being built in 1950.

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  38. I have lived in Mesa for over 40 years, My earliest memories go back to a small apartment in the country club and 8th ave area. I had what others called an "imaginary friend" that I played with regularly. I don't remember much about this friend...just that someone was present with me when I was alone. We moved into a house south of southern just east of mesa dr. there was an energy of what I would call Evil in that area. And lots of bad things happened growing up in that neighborhood that I don't care to relate as they are far too personal. When I got into my 20's I started to realize that I was somewhat different than others...I could feel energies and see aura's and some times have feelings that where'nt my own. I didn't understand it and still don't but I believe I am some what Clairsentient. I say this because where ever I go. I can "feel" the energy of that area. Sometimes I just look at a picture and get overwhelmed with emotions that aren't mine. I have been to the Landmark...I won't go back. I once climbed the fence to the cemetary after dark and was overwhelmed with what I think is spirits trying to contact me. Every where I go I can "feel" them, most are benevelant and just seem to want me to know they are there, but a few....well lets just say I don't like the feeling I get from them.

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  39. Replies
    1. http://www.facebook.com/sharon.day.10

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  40. South Scottsdale is also haunted. Anything south of McDowell Road is a definite hot spot. Perhaps like you said, the HoHoKam dwelt along the river and their extinction a mystery.

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  41. Does anyone know the address of the house where the fire occurred and killed the family?

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    1. I lived in that neighborhood on Keats our house was extremely haunted I almost lost it family thought I was on drugs..

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  42. I have lived in Arizona for most of my life, I was 4 when I moved here, I have had several things happen around me all my life in many places i have lived. When I was younger I lived Dodson / Main, We had a spirit that like to pull pranks, lights go on & off by them selves, things would be moved & so on. I was young then I could see things too & have been able all my life. The spirits there were friendly just couldn't pass over for what ever reason. Then from there Stapley / Broadway the same thing, then Gilbert/ 60, & Lost Dutchman / Ironwood AJ, Unniversity/Sossman & the house I live in now that I have lived in for more then 10 yrs has a few spirits that are always around. I think with me it's more not the place but the person, It happens every where I go. But I will say Mesa is very active in many places . & yes Mesa has tunnels they have a tour with the museum every Oct the do there ghost hunt it's informative. & fun. One of the haunted stores down in Mesa is Mystic Paper the basement is active. The old JJ New berry store that was down town mesa was very active it's still there just a different name.

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  43. Hello the jefferson park ghost is based on the girl who was murdered in emerald park in mesa. I have been there with friends and have actually seen a full body apparition

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  44. I used to stay at my gf house in mesa by mesa dr n franklin n her mom would wake up with scratches n i would see shadows all the time someone told me it used to be a halfway home

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  45. my daughter has been hearing voices, one keeps telling her to get out we have also seen shadows and people, hearing walking and running throughout the house. I have tried searching for the history of the house but do you know if anything ever happened near e kael circle in mesa

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