DarkHaunts Home Page DarkHaunts Contact Us
DarkHaunts Ghost Index DarkHaunts Frequently Asked Questions
DarkHaunts Halloween Favorites and Suggestions DarkHaunts SmartPhone App
DarkHaunts About Us
DarkHaunts Shop

Hotel Congress Sign
View Larger Map

The Hotel Congress in Tucson, Arizona was built in 1919 as Tucson started to expand because of the growing Cattle and RailRoad Industry. It was around this time that the mining boom southeast of Tucson in Tombstone was ending. Tucson in the 1920s was a happening place, see the row around The Fox Theatre and it’s opening just down the street from the Hotel Congress. The hotel during this time was the nicest hotel for travelers in the 20s.

On January 22nd, 1934 the hotel went down in history with a bizarrely unique experience. A fire started in the basement and shot up the elevator to the third floor. The fire was the bizarre part, the unique historical part was that it led to the capture of the one and only John Dillinger. Dillinger and his group of bank robbers was in the Hotel Congress Laying low after committing several bank robberies. The gang escaped the fire through a set of aerial ladders, but not wanting to leave their ill gotten gains they gave a fireman a tip to retrieve their luggage, which unknown to the firemen at the time contained not only the gang’s guns, but about $24,000 dollars as well. The fireman that was tipped by the gang later recognized them in a Detective Magazine. In the span of five hours, acting on the tip from the Fireman the police caught up to the gang and caught them hiding out at a house on Second Avenue.

The Hotel Congress is also famous for something else, the ghosts that reside there. One of them, a fellow by the name of Vince, lived in the hotel for 36 years, but passed in 2001. He used to love to use a butter knife for a screwdriver, and since his passing hotel staff members have been finding butter knives from the Cup Café in several locations on the 2nd floor. Perhaps he is still adjusting things on that floor since 2001. A little boy and girl, about seven or eight playing in the halls, yet there are usually no kids staying in the hotel when they are seen.

Hotel Congress

A man wearing a pinstripe gangster like suit, who the staff say is named T.S. has also been seen on the second floor staring out of windows. Some say he may have been the victim of a gunfight over a card game. A woman bedecked in a dark, button up collar and long wool skirt haunts the reception area. They say that she loves the stairway as well and smells delightfully of roses.

Hotel housekeepers who were cleaning up room 214 would have their vacuum cleaner plug pulled constantly. They learned though that if they turned on a radio that was playing music from the 1920s they would be left in peace while they were cleaning.

A cold spot and dark shadow appear in front of room 242, it is believed to be the remnants of a young lady who committed suicide on that floor. In room 240 it is said that sometimes if you look out the window you don’t see modern Tucson but an old train, stagecoaches and horses. It was also reported that a bloody handprint was seen in this room.

Lots of haunts roam the Hotel Congress, and most of the stories seem to focus on the second story. Perhaps if you don’t want to experience the ghosts you should just say on the third floor, at least there you can experience the history of Dillinger.

Updated August 22nd, 2009