Haunted Hotels > Gadsden Hotel
Many employees and guests of the Gadsden have had encounters with the Gadsden Ghost. The ghost has been reported mostly in the basement and is said to be a tall man in black clothing and often with no head. Some believe this ghost is the ghost of Pancho Villa himself. At the time of his death in 1923, Pancho Villa was reported to have a hidden treasure somewhere in the mountains of Northern Mexico. The only map to this location was tattooed on Villa's head. It is said that upon his death, Villa's loyal followers cut off his head and buried it under the ashes of the recently burned Gadsden Hotel in order to forever keep the secret location of the treasure concealed. Unknowingly, the Gadsden Hotel was re-built over the top of the skull and Pancho Villa remains wandering the dark damp halls of the Gadsden basement searching for his head and the map to his treasure.
Quoted from The Gadsden Hotel: Daughter-in-law and Hotel Manager Robin Brekhus will be one of the first to tell you more of the Gadsden's interesting past as she recalls her first encounter with the Gadsden Ghost. It was 4:10 pm Friday March 13,1991. The power had failed and she was in the basement, searching for candles. In the beam of her flashlight, she saw a faceless figure shaped like a man. "He just kind of floated down the hallway. It just looked like fog to me, but it was the shape of a person." For years, hotel workers and guests have confessed to seeing an apparition often around Lent or Christmas, and often in the hotel's cavernous basement. Sometimes it's described as headless, caped and wearing army-style khaki clothing. In her 26th year of operating one of the oldest manual elevators west of the Mississippi, Carmen Diaz saw the ghost in the basement as well. "Tall man. Black pants suit. No head." Brenda Maley, restaurant Supervisor said she saw the shadow of a body hunched over her one night as she lay on her stomach in her bed in her hotel room. She said she witnessed this immediately after a strange sensation where "all of a sudden I couldn't move." A movie crew member told Brekhus that his light turned off and on in the middle of the night, and then his golf clubs went crashing down on the floor.
Update: From first hand experience, we know that Douglas is a town worth a visit and the hotel is great but we recommend using caution as you would with any border town these days. The states of Arizona and New Mexico both have declared state of emergencies on their borders. Have fun but stay very alert at all times.