Ghost Stories & Old Town Tours from the Cottonwood Hotel.
Orb Chasing Paranormal Tour
The Cottonwood Hotel was first built in 1916 and was called the OK Hotel. In 1917, the new owner Samuel Steinberg changed the name to the Cottonwood Hotel and added on. In 1922 the hotel changed owners again (the Giordano's). The hotel was rebuilt in 1925 after the big town fire of the bootlegging still blowing up a couple of doors down. Reverend George Brooks still roams the upper floor hallway from time to time. He was a pyschic and spiritual lecturer that frequented Cottonwood and the Red Rocks of Sedona, always staying at the Cottonwood Hotel. He was the only fatality in Cottonwood, Arizona's most devastating fire, destroying the whole west side of town business houses on Main Street, 10 homes and numberous warehouses on the back street. Reverend Brooks stayed in the front streetside corner unit, todays part of the Celestial Suite #1. Reverend Brooks couldn't escape the fire, because the stairway gave way. The townspeople watched him run down the hallway on fire, back to his blazing room where he fell back unto the burning bed and burned alive. No one could get close enough to save him with the rip roaring fire and 45 mile an hour winds. He predicted his death at a psychic reading get together in a neighborhood home, just a few hours earlier.
Suite #1 has had scratching noises under the bed. Could this be George???
Reverend George Brooks photo appeared on the wall in Suite #3 ~todays (Wine Room). There have recently been pennies flying in the air and screws coming out of an old skeleton key lock (today's decor only), as a dead bolt is used instead to lock the door. EMF meters have gone off by the door.
Orbs have been seen in the John Wayne Suite #2, apparitions coming through the bedroom window, along with strange banging sounds in the kitchen area. This seems to happen mostly in the winter. Most have blamed it on the heater, until they went into the kitchen and actually realized, it was not the heater.
The ground floor Suite #7 has a woman roaming from the heater area to the shower in the wee morning hours looking for her son, sometimes making strange sounds. The shower area is the original back entrance door to the hotel.
The Mae West Room #4 has the most activity with a female energy/spirit. She messes with time, clocks, clock/radio, watches, and girly girl pretty things. She's been known to apport female personal items, especially from the nightstand where the clock/radio is located, and mostly when you're in the room and not out. Lots of great stories with this room. This spirit is a real ghouly girl! Oh and she likes to turn the heat down to freezing sometimes in the winter... No foolin'... She's surprised me on several occasions. She also likes my battery operated candles that I've set up for ambiance. From time to time she turns them on, along with the radio. She also drains batteries. And the weirdest and most surprising thing she has done, was when a girly girl that stayed left her jacket across the street at the bar, places it on the back of a bar stool, then it disappeared. The jacket actually apported a day after her departure, to room #4 and laid neatly on the back of a chair in the room. Quite impressive...
November and December of late seem to be the most active times for any spirit activity. Being a ghost whisperer, I believe the activity present is more of a residual nature. There are no negative hauntings in the hotel. Visits are mostly curious and playful, besides are ghouly girl in #4. I do spirit cleansings from time to time. I don't encourage paranormal equipment to be set up, because I don't want any dark portals opened. I had to do one cleansing the winter of 2011, because a guest brought a guest with her from the other side. He decided to stay behind and I just wasn't having it. I was suppose to work with the gal that weekend to help her resolve her visits wiith him, but we didn't seem to connect over my busy weekend.
The Giordano's both died on the same day in December of 1933, which could be their spirit energy apparent in Nov & Dec., as ghost seem to frequent near an anniversary date...
Reverend George Brooks still seems to pop in every now and then, roaming down the hallway, also visits in #1 and #3.
There are lots of orbs around the hotel and the Old Town area. My lastest tour is orb chasing in Old Town!
Cottonwood Arizona ghost tour, paranormal, orbs, and the unexplained mysteries. Old Town activity. Check out the photos below.
Orbs in Old Town-Aug 3, 2012
Orbs in Old Town-Aug 3, 2012
Orbs in Old Town-Aug 3, 2012
Orbs in Old Town-Aug 3, 2012
vacant lot between Orion Bread Co & Unlimited Books
vacant lot between Orion Bread Co & Unlimited Books
orbs above Arizona Stronghold Wine Tasting Room
orbs above Arizona Stronghold Wine Tasting Room
Cottonwood, Arizona is untapped with ghost stories and haunted places to visit.
Most shop keepers don't like to talk about it, but once in awhile you'll find one that will...
Known Ghosts, Reports, Sitings and other paranormal activity...
The image above appeared to the right, appeared on a wall in room #3 in the Cottonwood Hotel, in a photo that I took shortly after purchasing the hotel in 1996. After hearing numerous paranormal stories from some of the guests and occupants of the hotel, I decided to do more investing and take some pictures, just to see if something would appear. A school teacher and her Native American artist boyfriend were residing in #2 and kept hearing and seeing things and shared their stories.
The teacher asked if I had anyone in unit #3, as she thought that it was empty, as I previously told her it was, while I was painting and decorating it. Both she and the Native American artist said they kept hearing a bed squeak, weird and strange un-human sounds, the door banging, then someone running up and down the hallway. Sounds would then come into their suite #2, then clothing hanging in their bedroom closet would start swaying back and forth and sometimes a belt or shoe would drop to the floor. They stated that this was a regular occurence.
Interesting, as there was no bed in the suite #3 at the time, as I was redecorating, I only found their stories to confirm some paranormal activities in the hotel. I was living right below suite 3 and knew that it was unoccupied. I was hearing unusual sounds above me, such as a shower running and someone running up and down the hallway, etc.. So I would go upstairs to further investigate. Sometimes the shower would be wet, as though someone took a shower. Tools and painting materials were also moved. The running sounds up and down the hallway never seemed to come down the stairwell.
Since some guests knew that the earlier wood structure of the hotel building burned to the ground in the 1925 fire with the fatality of Rev. George Harvey Brooks, it was always rumored that it was George trying to find a way out.
Two to three years later, the great great granddaughter of Rev George Brooks came to visit me as she wanted to see where her grandfather died in the 1925 fire. She brought me the above photo of Rev Brooks. There is such an uncanny resemblance to the portrait on the wall.
Other strange things continued to happen and I listened to guests who were willing to share their experiences. Most stories were of mischievious happenings, like items being moved, decor on the wall being turned upside down, once in a while a sound like something crashing to the floor, a few cold spots, and some orbs, streaks of light and or apparitions.
A couple of my first winters of having the hotel, a retired sea fisherman from Alaska would come and spend 3 months or so. He starting telling me stories of what he was hearing and seeing in the little room and hallway. The next thing I knew he had a camera set up in the hallway. I put a kibosh to that, telling him that I couldn't have the camera set up with other guests in the hotel coming and going.
I've been called a ghostbuster on more than one occasion, so I decided to call in help for clearing the energy of any ghostly/haunting spirits in the hotel. I am a believer in guiding these lost spirits to the light. I do know that sometimes they are stuck between the two worlds. The ones that have not found their way to the light, generally want to make contact with someone here, because they have something to say or an unresolved situation. I have had many experiences since childhood and near death experiences, from the other side, and will not entertain a negative one.
Once in a while there may still be an appearing orb, cold spot, streak of light, and odors coming and going not associated with the hotel's usuage. (patchouli and moth balls)
The ground floor experiences scents of cigar or pipe smoke at times and momentarily... The hotel is completely nonsmoking...
In the spring and again in the fall of 2010, on two separate occasions, two different women staying in #7 shared a similar experience, about a woman spirit who would come into the studio looking for her son. I have been searching for archives to see if I can find anything that might seem to correlate with these stories. I personally have not experienced this woman.
There was a young boy hanging around the Orion Bakery up the street. I am not sure at this time if there is a connection.
Around the anniversary date of the 1925 fire, in April of 2003, a necklace apported in my living quarters on the living room floor. It is a very unusual looking necklace.
I will continue to add more of my personal stories and others tales that have been true paranorrmal experiences right here in the town of Cottonwood, Arizona. . Enjoy!
Paranormal Apport Necklace ~ April 2003
Feb. 2011 I have been researching archives and Cottonwood's history and recently came across the below article, along with a few others. Very, very interesting...
Rev George Brooks was staying in Unit #1, that overlooks Old Town in the upper corner of the hotel.
The (4 images) below are from Charles Stemmer's Book, "A Brand from the Burning"... He talks a little bit of Cottonwood, AZ, in building the new post office, and bringing Rev. Brooks into town.
A Brand From The Burning ~ pages 84-85
A Brand From the Burning (pages 86-87)
A Brand from the Burning (pages 88-89 )
Brand from the Burning (pages 90-91)
Below is the story he writes years later for the Fate Magazine, going into more detail about bringing Rev George Harvey Brooks into town...
FATE Magazine ~ September 1956
By CHARLES C. STEMMER
Blood on My Hands? My elbows suddenly felt electrified. Both my hands and arms appeared to be bathed in blood. Was this a warning of tragedy?
I first heard George Harvey Brooks speak on the night of January 14th, 1925 in Phoenix, Ariz. He was a big man, around six-feet four inches tall. His gray hair was thinning, but he wore sideburns and a goatee. He carried a derby and a cane when he entered the hall for the first Spiritualist meeting I had ever attended. Going to the rostrum he seated himself behind a temporary pulpit while the organist and the master of ceremonies got started with the evenings programs.
Dr. Brooks was a noted trance medium, lecturer and exponent of Spiritualism. On this particular evening he delivered an interesting lecturer while entranced. I was much impressed. Afterwards he gave personal messages, in each instance verified by the recipient.
Two month after this a medium in Prescott, Ariz., with whom I sat in séances asked me about inviting Mr. Brooks to come to her city. I advised her to get him if possible. My mother and I visited him in Prescott and he gave each of us a remarkable personal reading. I saw him several more times there, before returning home to Cottonwood, Ariz.
Back in Cottonwood I suggested to some Spiritualist friends that if we raised a little money we could have Dr. Brooks with us for a week or two. The response was gratifying; arrangements were made and we looked forward to his arrival.
Just before this I was subjected to one of the most remarkable and terrifying experiences of my lifetime.
I was typing letters in my office when my oldest daughter, Rema, entered to say that super was ready. As she stood by my side at the desk I pushed the typewriter to my right and took in both my hands some 8 ½ x 11 ½ typewriter second sheets, with the idea of straightening them. My elbows which rested on the desk, suddenly came electrified. Both my hands and arms appeared to be bathed in blood! On the second sheets between my hands there appeared, in bold relief, the face of the man I had heard speak in Phoenix ~ Dr. Brooks. I was astounded and alarmed.
Still holding the papers with this image of the partially bald head, the sideburns, goatee, glasses and piercing blue eyes, I turned to Rema and asked, “Do you see something on the paper I am holding?”
She said “Yes”. She said that my hands appeared covered in blood and that an old man’s face appeared so plain on the paper it was hard to believe it wasn’t real.
While both of us continued to stare in amazement the face very slowly disappeared. At the same time my hands and arms resumed their normal color.
The incident left me shaken and wondering. Of course Rema, who was only 11 ½ years old at the time did not know what it meant. Neither did I. When we got home I told my wife but she made little of it.
The evening of April 18th, 1925, I brought Dr. Brooks to my home and introduce him to my wife and daughters. I asked Rema if she had ever seen this gentleman before.
She replied, “Yes, papa, I saw him on the sheets of paper in your office._
Dr. Brooks only smiled after I told him what had happened. He said something similar had occurred some years before.
The whole town had cooperated to make it possible Dr. Brooks visit to Cottonwood. The proprietor of the Cottonwood Hotel donated acorner room on the second floor overlooking Main Street and Mason Avenue. The local theater owner, Mr. Becchetti, let us use his theater without cost during Dr. Brooks stay.
Sunday April 19th, 1925, a goodly crowd came to the meeting. Dr. Brooks again talked while entranced. His subject was “What is Spiritualism” and it was well taken. Afterwards he gave a number of startling messages, all acknowledged by the recipients.
He was our guest at dinner that evening. My wife had roast lef of lamb and all that goes with it. Dr. Brooks ate heartily and joked with us throughout the meal. After dinner we went to a circle meeting at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Cargill.
We all entered a room which was about 14 feet square, through a door in the east wall. A single drop electric bulb lighted only a small spot in the room where we seated ourselves. Dr. Brooks sat in an armchair at the left of the door as we entered. Next to him was a table that extended to the north wall of the room. Around the other two walls the chairs for the sitters were placed. There were 10 of us besides Dr. Brooks.
After a prayer and a song or two he made a brief talk, not under trance. Then he remarked, “It seems my guides have deserted me. I seem to see heaps of ruins and piles of building material. I don’t seem to be able to get any word from Danville, Ill, where I am supposed to go from here”.
After a brief silence he sat down and began giving messages to each of us there. As he talked I saw a most beautiful golden light. It looked like a large golden bumble-bee at his right ear. It was self-contained and illuminated nothing. It began a wavering flight until it completely disappeared into his corner.
I searched the room for a jewel, watch crystal, any object that could make such a reflected light. There was none.
The circle ended and my wife and I accompanied Dr. Brooks to his hotel, where we bade him goodnight.
At 4:15 Monday morning, April 20th, 1925, my wife wakened me with the dreadful news that the town was on fire. I dressed hurriedly and rushed to the corner opposite the hotel where Dr. Brooks was staying.A 45-mile an hour wind was blowing. Half the block including the hotel, was a mass of flames.
I shouted above the roar of the flames, “Is everybody out of all the burning buildings?”
Half a dozen voices yelled back “Yes”.
I was Postmaster, with about 18 months incumbency, and when I saw the flames spread north from the hotel into the block where the post office was located I went there. Meanwhile the valiant fire fighters were handicapped not only by the high winds but by the lack of water. Some persons helped me clear my building of everything. About that time the wind changed and the flames went to consuming the residences on the street behind us. Fourteen business houses, 11 residences, warehouse, garages and automobiles all were destroyed.
At the moment the wind changed I suddenly knew Dr. Brooks had died in the fire. I felt his presence. It seemed he said to me, “You are not to blame, I am alright now”>
I rushed across the street and looking toward the hotel, I saw flames completely surrounding a bed which was visible in the skeleton of the building. In this bed, which was about 7 feet above the ground, lay the body of Dr. Brooks. We did not have enough water to quench the fire about his body and it was too hot to approach. I phoned the Prescott medium to wire Mrs. Brooks the awful news. When some water had been found and the terrible heat had abated I supervised getting Dr. Brook’s body out of the debris.
I felt like a murderer. I had engineered his coming to my town, therefore hadn’t I killed him? I remembered the blood on my hands and arms and thought it meant his blood is upon me. I nearly lost my mind.
About 4pm of this terrible day my left arm again became electrified. I had done a small amount of automatic writing previously but was skeptical of it. Now my arm wrote to inform me that the tragedy had to be, that I wa not to blame. I was only partially comforted.
The next day Mrs. Smith who, together with her sister-in-law, had been present at the circle Sunday night came to me. She said, “Please do not tell me what you saw Sunday night, let me tell you”. She described the light, as I have described it. She had also try to explain it as some type of relection. She had failed as I had.
Unfortunately only four of us who attended the Sunday evening circle on April 19th, 1925, now survive. The good doctor, Mr and Mrs Cargill and four others are gone. However, my daughter, Rema, sends an affidavit, signed before a notary public. Stating that she saw as I did, my bloody hands and Dr. Brooks face upon the paper they held- a terrible warning of a more terrible tragedy. (As of the Sept. 1956 writing)...