7 Haunted Spots Along Route 66 That Will Terrify You

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Are you ready for a road trip with a twist? Then get ready for a journey along Route 66, a historic pathway that's not just a road but a gateway to mystery. This legendary highway, stretching over 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, has been a symbol of freedom and adventure since 1926.

But there's a hidden side to it – a trail of haunted spots that tell tales of the past, lingering in shadowy corners and echoing through creaky floorboards. From the bustling streets of Chicago to the dusty roads of Oklahoma, each haunted location on Route 66 offers a chilling glimpse into a world beyond our own.

Get ready to experience these seven haunted destinations where eerie legends and ghostly encounters are just part of the journey. Welcome to the darker side of America's Main Street!

7 Haunted Spots Along Route 66

These locations each hold their own unique and chilling stories, ready to be uncovered by the intrepid traveler.

1. Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff, Arizona

The historic Hotel Monte Vista, built in 1927, in downtown Flagstaff

When you visit Flagstaff, don't miss the Hotel Monte Vista, a place steeped in history and ghost stories. Built in 1927, this hotel has become integral to Flagstaff's historic downtown district, providing 73 rooms and suites over three floors for travelers, including many famous personalities such as John Wayne and Anthony Hopkins​​.

But what really sets it apart is the ghost sightings, particularly the "Phantom Bell Boy," known for knocking on guests' doors in the middle of the night and then disappearing​​.

The hotel's haunting tales were compelling enough to be featured on the Travel Channel's "Most Terrifying Places" in 2019, cementing its status as a must-visit for anyone fascinated by the paranormal​​.

2. Oatman Hotel, Oatman, Arizona

The historic Oatman Hotel from 1902, on Route 66

In the heart of the historic mining town of Oatman, Arizona, lies the Oatman Hotel. Built in 1902 as the Drulin Hotel, this site was a bustling spot for miners, especially after a $10 million gold find in 1915. This discovery propelled Oatman from a mere mining camp to a town with over 3,500 residents in just a year​​.

The hotel, now known as the Oatman Hotel, gained fame for its reported hauntings, including the ghost of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, a Hollywood couple who spent their wedding night here in 1939 and returned often for the tranquility it offered​​.

Another spectral resident is “Oatie,” an Irish miner who tragically died behind the hotel and is now said to haunt his old room, often heard playing his bagpipes​​. The Oatman Hotel is a significant attraction in this small village, listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, and is filled with memorabilia from the past​​.

3. Rialto Theater, South Pasadena, California

Rialto Theater on the National Register of Historic Places is one of the last single-screen theaters in Southern California. South Pasadena, California USA

If you're in South Pasadena, stop by the Rialto Theater, a classic example of early 20th-century cinema architecture. Opened in 1925, this 1,200-seat theater is known for its unique blend of Spanish Baroque and Egyptian styles​​.

The theater, which has been closed to the public since 2010, was once operated by Landmark Theatres and hosted its last film screening in 2007​​.

It's not just the architecture that makes the Rialto a point of interest; rumors of hauntings have circulated for years. Tales include that of a girl who died on the balcony and an older man's apparition, seen variously sitting in the seats and walking up and down the balcony stairs​​.

Additionally, a ghostly cat, once the theater's mascot, is said to roam the premises still, creating an eerie presence​​.

4. Congress Plaza Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center on S Michigan Ave at S Congress Pkwy

At the starting point of Route 66 in Chicago, you might hear about the Congress Plaza Hotel's haunted reputation. Located at 520 South Michigan Avenue, this hotel opened in 1893 and was designed as an annex to the Auditorium Theater.

It underwent major expansions in the early 20th century, resulting in a sprawling complex with 871 rooms​. The hotel's haunted lore includes several closed-off rooms due to high paranormal activity, with guests reporting ghostly figures, mysterious voices, and moving objects​​.

One of the most tragic stories is that of Captain Louis Ostheim, whose spirit is said to roam the hotel, often seen as a shadowy figure gliding through the halls​​.

Another haunting tale is that of Adele Langer, who, in a moment of despair, took her life and that of her two sons at the hotel in 1939. It's said that the ghost of her younger son still wanders the twelfth floor, unable to find peace​​.

After a day of exploring these haunted spots, unwind at one of the '6 Retro Motels For A Nostalgic Stay On Route 66'.

5. Lehmann House Bed & Breakfast, St. Louis, Missouri

While in St. Louis, you might want to visit the Lehmann House Bed & Breakfast, a place with a story as rich as the city's history. Built in 1893, this house tells a tale of St. Louis architecture, family, and cultural evolution.

The original owners, the Rowses, spent a hefty sum of about $2.5 million in today's dollars to build their dream mansion, making it ten times more costly than any other house on the street at that time​​​​.

The ghost said to haunt this B&B is Mr. Edward Rowse, the original owner who passed away in the dining room. Visitors have reported shadowy figures, unexplained voices, and banging sounds, adding a spooky layer to this historic site​​.

Additionally, the founder of the St. Louis Art Museum and State Historical Society, Lehmann, who later owned the house, left a lasting legacy in the city, contributing to public works and free cultural opportunities​​.

6. High Noon Restaurant & Saloon, Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you're in Albuquerque, check out the High Noon Restaurant & Saloon, an establishment teeming with history and ghost stories. Originally built in the 1750s, this building has undergone various transformations, from a brothel to a furniture store, and now a well-known eatery​​​​.

The most famous ghost here is the "Lady in the White Dress," seen in the Santos Room, which adds an eerie charm to the place.

Patrons and staff have reported various paranormal activities, including unexplained sounds, glasses moving on their own, and sightings of other apparitions like cowboys and saloon girls from the Old West era.

These spectral presences contribute to the unique dining experience, blending savory cuisine with ghostly thrills​​.

7. Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa's Historic Cain's Ballroom

On your Route 66 journey, make a stop at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a place brimming with musical history and ghostly tales. Built in 1924 originally as a garage for W. Tate Brady's automobiles, it was bought by Madison W. "Daddy" Cain in 1930 and transformed into a dance academy​​.

This venue holds a significant spot in music history, playing a key role in the development of western swing in the 1930s and 1940s, especially with performances by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys​​.

In 2021, Pollstar ranked Cain's Ballroom at number 13 worldwide for ticket sales at club venues, underscoring its continued importance in the music scene​​. But it's not just music that makes Cain's Ballroom famous; it's also known for paranormal activity.

Reports include cold and hot spots, orbs in photos, lights turning on and off, and ghost investigations revealing apparitions, disembodied voices, giggling, singing, and an eerie sensation of being watched​​.

For more captivating stories from the Mother Road, read the 'Route 66 Forgotten Ghost Towns & Their Tragic History'.

Reflecting on Route 66's Ghostly Tales

As your journey along Route 66 comes to an end, remember the tales of specters and spirits that lurk in these historic spots. Each location weaves its own ghostly narrative into the fabric of America's most iconic road.

Whether these stories send shivers down your spine or spark your curiosity, they add an unforgettable dimension to the Route 66 experience.

So, the next time you're on the road, keep an eye out for the unexplained and the mysterious – you never know what ghostly encounters might await you around the next bend!

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