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Here are the spookiest spots on and around ASU's Tempe campus

Haunted hangouts for the authentic Halloween experience


An ASU student walks into the Matthews Center in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.

With Halloween finally settling in, ASU students looking for a creepy place to scare their friends or conjure a spirit through a Ouija board don't need to look any farther than a few minutes walk from their dorm rooms.

On-Campus Spots

Community Services Building

According to Joshua Roffler, the curator of collections for the Tempe History Museum, ASU’s Community Services Building sits on the remains of a tuberculosis sanatorium built in the 1930s. The current building, built in 1963, was then used as a children’s hospital until ASU acquired it.

Roffler said he worked in the Community Services Building briefly as a student and felt an eerie presence around it. He also said the basement, which those he worked with claimed was a morgue, was rumored to be haunted.

“It was definitely creepy, and I remember people telling stories about it,” he said.

Palo Verde East Dorms

It’s whispered among those in the know that a young woman supposedly committed suicide in room 605 on the sixth floor of the Palo Verde East dorms. While no one has confirmed this, many still claim they see apparitions of a girl in a white gown and hear her moans and cries through the halls.

Matthews Center

According to Robert Spindler, a university archivist at the ASU Library, ASU community members have reported “ghostly sightings” in the Matthews Center for decades.

Spindler said the center's upper floors suffered a fire sometime in the 1940s that resulted in the death of a faculty member, who was believed to be either a building custodian or librarian and whose spirit still wanders the building's halls and narrow, shadowy staircases.

Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing was built in 1907 to house ASU’s presidents, and Spindler said its second-floor bedroom was where ASU President Grady Gammage died in 1959.

Spindler said he had a supernatural experience of his own in the building when it was used as the archives building in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the time, his office was located across the hall from the bedroom where President Gammage died.

“I can remember hearing a creaky door close downstairs while I was working upstairs at night in that building,” he said. “I remember going down and looking for some explanation of that and I did not find one.”

Off-Campus Spots

Casey Moore's Oyster House

The popular Tempe bar and eatery located just a few blocks from campus has a reputation for being haunted. The Phoenix New Times conducted a ghost hunt there, and both patrons and employees have cited spooky occurrences like flying cutlery, furniture that moves on its own and sightings of a woman believed to be murdered there.

However, the restaurant's official website states that spirits – both paranormal and alcoholic – are family to them.

Casa Loma

This hotel-turned-cafe is believed to be haunted by an ASU student who was stabbed outside the building in the 1960s, Roffler said. The building also has a history of devastating fires.

Those who have experienced its hauntings report hearing footsteps upstairs, clinking sounds and one report of a bar stool flying across a room.

Monti's La Casa Vieja

The C.T. Hayden House, also known as Monti's La Casa Vieja or "Monti's The Old House", was originally built in the late 1800s and is the "oldest continuously occupied structure in the Valley," according to the City of Tempe website.

Those brave enough to stumble through the building, which has been vacant since 2014, report sightings of a friendly cowboy and say they hear the normal sounds of a restaurant, like laughing and the tinkling of cutlery. Others have said they can feel the memories of the building, like one blogger who said she could feel the emotional toils of childbirth felt by Carl Hayden's mother when she gave birth to him in a small room of the building in 1877.

The building was bought by the City of Tempe for $10 in August of this year and will be renovated, with plans to finish in the summer of 2020.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story misidentified The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. The story has been updated to reflect this change.  

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