The image at the top of the page appeared on a wall in suite #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 a photo of Rev Brooks. There is such an uncanny resemblance to the portrait on the wall.
Rev George Harvey Brooks
Eerie Image Appeared on Wall & Picture
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. I personally do not entertain encouraging any of their strange behaviour. If they are not ready to communicate, I have yelled at them to immediate vacate, as they are not welcome. With those types of contacts, I have learned not to fear them and take immediate control to let them know they do not belong on this earth plane.
The mischievious activities have calmed down after some clearing.
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... 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 ghost 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)...