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Unexplained Cases | Historic & Haunted: Hotel San Carlos

Written by: Darren Dedo
Case Filed: 10/31/21
Executive Producer: Rick Garner


The Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix is historic and many say this grand old place is haunted. It opened in 1928 -- before it was the location of Phoenix’s first school. Even before that, ruins of an ancient Hohokam Village. A little cool factoid: The hotel can be briefly seen in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho opening shot, as the camera pans the then-skyline of downtown Phoenix. Over the years the San Carlos has hosted political leaders and movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Spencer Tracy. But, the most famous guest or I should say ghost -- was 22-year-old Leone Jensen. The story goes that Jensen checked into room 720, and later jumped to her death from the top of the San Carlos. She was supposedly distraught about her abusive boyfriend, who was a bellboy at a nearby hotel. Some say she was pregnant and was pushed to her death. The one thing most people agree on when it comes to Leone, her restless spirit is one of many that still call the San Carlos home. Unexplained Cases hooked up again with our friends from the Phoenix Arizona Paranormal Society, to investigate this gem of a hotel in the Valley of the Sun. But, even before we pulled out a signal piece of equipment. Something or someone was causing our door to malfunction. It wouldn’t lock, no matter what we tried. We even called the front desk for help and were told that has never happened. So, when I told the front desk we’d move to another room...the door magically locked on its own. A coincidence...hmm. After the door mystery, we headed to the hotel’s basement, A hot spot of paranormal activity. A place where some believe several children drowned in the old school’s well. We pulled out the MelMeter, which measures changes in the electromagnetic field, possibly a sign of spirits-- and placed it on this old dusty organ. We could tell early on -- this area was supercharged with paranormal energy. The EMF readings were nothing like the Unexplained Cases Team had ever recorded on the MelMeter. These readings were off the charts! Was it ghosts -- or intense EMF from pipes, electrical wiring, or something else in the basement? It is intriguing since the numbers fluctuated, and didn’t remain consistent in the spot we kept the meter. Intriguing evidence. In the basement, Mike from PAPS tried to connect with the spirit of one of the children who drowned in the nearby old well. This was near the old organ, where the MelMeter was blowing up with EMF readings. Our camera captured what appeared to be a zooming orb. Maybe a spirit. We’ve slowed it down for you. We don’t believe it is a bug or dust -- because it wasn’t consistent with what those appear like on camera. We pulled out the Structured Light Sensor or SLS camera, which uses an infrared light projector with a monochrome CMOS sensor that shows everything as dots arranged in 3D formation. Possibly, this dancing stick figure is that of a child. While this was happening --- in another section of the basement, Angela from PAPS, captured EVP’s of what sounds like a child or children. Take a listen. After a busy night in the basement, we all headed back to our rooms on the haunted 7th floor, with hopes of seeing or hearing from a ghost. PAPS Team Member Angela used her spirit box to have a Q and A session, possibly with the famous Leone. After a night at San Carlos, it was easy to see why some consider this the most haunted hotel in Phoenix. ABOUT UNEXPLAINED CASES: The Unexplained Cases team is focused on preserving history while documenting the strange, paranormal and unexplained. Our cases are from across the country and featured on our YouTube channel as a docu-series. What separates Unexplained Cases from other paranormal groups is that Darren Dedo and Rick Garner are Emmy & Associated Press award winning broadcasters with over 35 years in broadcast radio and television news. The most recent addition to our team, Maryam the Medium, is a renowned medium to people, pets & the paranormal with the unique ability to remote view locations around the world.


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