Pancho Villa Still Lives
A night's stay in February at the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, Ariz., is no less spooky than a night's stay on Halloween. A black-suited headless male ghost who roams the halls and basement is rumored to be a permanent resident there.
Pancho Villa, former provisional governor of Chihuahua and commander of Division of the North during the Mexican Revolution, first began haunting the Gadsden Hotel in the early years of the 20th century. After Pancho Villa's death in the early 1920s, a story surfaced that Villa had a map tattooed on his head of hidden treasure located in Northern Mexico.
According to the story, loyalists of Villa cut off his head and buried it under, what was once ashes, Gadsden Hotel. After the hotel was rebuilt, visions of Villa surfaced throughout the hotel, and guests began reporting ghost sightings.
Villa was known to travel by horse frequently. Before Villa's death, the hotel burned to the ground. In the modern building, there's a chip in the hotel staircase. Villa's rumored to have rode into the hotel on horseback and climbed the stairs chipping to the seventh stair.
Today, Villa still rummages through the hotel basement and hallways searching for his head and its map to the hidden treasures.
—John A. Brimley
Image courtesy of Cove Realty Advisors Circa 1701