The Hotel San Carlos was one of the first hotels built in downtown Phoenix. Construction began in 1927 and as of today, it is still an operating hotel. The movie 'Psycho' actually filmed some of the beginning scenes at this hotel. Several years ago I was invited to my niece's art show where her works were showcased in what was then called 'The Ghost Lounge'. This bar was located on the hotel's ground floor and unfortunately has been closed down and closed off to the public now for a while. The hotel was quite popular in it's heyday and many famous Hollywood icons stayed here, including Marilyn Monroe, who always requested a room by the pool so as to avoid the paparazzi who may have been lurking in the hallways.
I had heard stories that there were reports of multiple ghosts residing here. This historic hotel is a favorite spot for ghost hunters and paranormal teams who choose to spend the night in a paid room (my understanding is where this is an operating hotel, they don't allow groups to come in and conduct random investigations, however, this may have changed).
I arrived in the early evening and enjoyed seeing all the different art displays of young talented people. There was also a fashion show with some incredible designs being modeled. After the festivities I decided to explore the different floors and took the antique elevator up to different floors. Some of the hotel room doors have plaques displaying the famous people who have stayed there. Displayed on the hallway walls were enlarged sepia photos showcasing various scenes from Phoenix taken a century ago, when the streets were still unpaved. Horses pulled trolleys through the dusty streets. It was fascinating.
After some exploring on the various upper floors, I made my way down to the 3rd floor. I started exploring the halls and their treasure of pictures from a bygone era when I started to hear what sounded like big band music. It was very static sounding and came in and out. I attributed it to an old piped in sound system. It would come in and fade out, then it would make a crackling sound. I thought this was very apropos given the age of the hotel and actually thought to myself, nice touch. I continued down the hallways on the 3rd floor and would intermittently hear this big band music that seem to be coming from the ceiling, although I didn't see anything that resembled a modern speaker mount. I didn't really think all that much of it and decided to call it a night and head home.
I had parked my car in the hotel's valet parking so went to the front desk to retrieve it. I happened to mention to the woman sitting there that it was a very nice touch having the big band music piped in on the 3rd floor. She gave me an odd look, slowly started sharking her head, and confessed that there was no music at all piped into the hallways. She said she thought I had an experience. This woman was so afraid of the 3rd floor that she confessed to me that she refused to go up there. It is reported to be the most haunted floor.
I left feeling very perplexed. Did I really hear something ghostly? This was, after all, an operating hotel. Was it coming from one of the tv's in the guest rooms and maybe several guests had it on the same channel? What are the chances? After this experience I did a little research. Apparently there was a big band director many years ago that used to stay at this hotel when there was a performance at the nearby Orpheum Theater. I'm not sure what to think of this experience. It was interesting though that I only heard it on the 3rd floor.