If You Go:

Casey Moore's Oyster House

850 S. Ash Ave., Tempe

Open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

(480) 968-9935

The Stockyards

5009 E. Washington St., Phoenix

Lunch: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dinner: Monday through Saturday, 5-9 p.m.; Sunday, 5-8 p.m.

Currently featuring the official Arizona Centennial Menu through Feb. 14, 2012. Call (602) 273-7378 for menu and reservations.

Monti's La Casa Vieja

100 S. Mill Ave., Tempe

Open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

The Hotel San Carlos

202 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

Call to reserve your ghost tour at (602) 253-4121

Landmark Restaurant

809 W. Main St., Mesa

Open daily at 11 a.m.

(480) 962-4652

Faucets that mysteriously turn on and off, cutlery that sails across the room, the fading whisper of other worldly voices, ghostly apparitions that vanish as quickly as they appear. This Halloween weekend plan a spooktacular evening at one of the Valley's haunted hot spots. With food to delight your palate and eerie tales to spark your imagination, here is an offering of local venues that boast bizarre happenings and ghostly guests.

If seafood is your pleasure, spend a frightfully fun evening at Casey Moore's Oyster House at the corner of Ninth Street and Ash Avenue in Tempe. In addition to the four-star fare featuring oysters and prime rib, diners might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Sarah, the restaurants most famous patron.

According to Gavin Rutledge, managing partner of Casey Moore's, Sarah was strangled by a jealous lover in what is now called the restaurants Blue Room. Staff and diners alike, have reported sightings of a dark-haired girl with very pale skin afloat in the restaurant.

The descriptions of the apparition eerily match that of Sarah. The historical Irish Pub, once the boarding house where Sarah lived, is a great way to enjoy an evening. Be careful, Sarah might announce her presence by sending your spoon flying across the room!

For a historically rich, unique dining experience consider the Landmark Restaurant, 809 W. Main St. in Mesa.

Guests can binge on the large salad bar that contains more than 100 items, as well as enjoy the wholesome down-home menu. Housed in a restored Mormon church, the Landmark also offers a taste of history with its large collection of historical photos.

Don't be surprised if the water faucet in the ladies restroom mysteriously comes on by itself, or if you feel a chill on your way to the downstairs dining room.

Staff and guests have also described hearing the voice of a little girl eerily singing. Upon examination, the room where the crooning was heard was mysteriously empty.

The general manager of the Landmark, Darren Ellis, reported that he has experienced motion problems in Heritage Hall when arming the alarm at the end of the night, even though the building was completely empty. Is the Landmark Restaurant haunted? Only you can decide.

The Stockyards, Arizona's Original Steakhouse resides on the site of the former Tovrea stockyards, an Arizona cattle empire at 5009 E. Washington St. in Phoenix.

Honoring Arizona's historic legacy, The Stockyards is reminiscent of the Old West, with its solid cherry-stained mahogany bar and wall murals depicting old time saloon scenes, tin ceiling and etched glass walls. Legend has it that voices can be heard around the restaurant even when the building is empty.

A former owner also described seeing the reflection of a lady in red in the barroom mirror, but when he turned around, she had mysteriously vanished.

A local ghost hunters group reportedly found a high level of electromagnetic field (EMF) in the building, consistent with paranormal activity.

The current owner, Gary Lasko, prefers to focus on the fabulous food, fantastic Western art collection, and the historical significance of the restaurant.

If you go, be sure to request John Wayne's favorite booth. You might be able to channel the Duke while you are dining.

Known for its unique architecture that reflects several styles as the building was expanded over the years, Monti's La Casa Vieja, originally the home of Tempe's famous Hayden family, is a hacienda-style restaurant that offers guests a ghostly good time.

Staff and visitors have experienced uncanny happenings throughout the restaurant over the years, including flickering lights, children's voices around the fountain, cabinets opening on their own for no reason, and vanishing apparitions.

These strange phenomena have occurred so many times that Monti's in now the weekly meeting place of the West Coast Ghost and Paranormal Society.

Kim Hopkins, the assistant general manager of Monti's La Casa Vieja recently learned that Sallie Hayden, daughter of Carl Hayden, died at the tender age of 4, and was buried next to the fountain.

The fountain, which used to be in the courtyard, is now housed inside the restaurant, as the building was expanded around it.

Sallie's body was later exhumed and moved to a more peaceful resting place. Is it a coincidence that children's voices are heard in the fountain room, or is little Sallie Hayden a permanent resident?

If an eerie evening is not enough for you, consider spending the night, if you dare, at the Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix.

This boutique hotel offers a rich history with its ornate chandeliers, antique furniture and vintage photographs lining the halls of the hotel.

Several famous guests have graced the Hotel San Carlos over the years, including Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. One of the hotels most infamous guests reportedly never left.

Local lore maintains that a pretty blonde female by the name of Leone Jensen jumped off the roof of the seven-story hotel in 1928, heartbroken over a lost love.

Guests and staff have reported several sightings of Leone's spirit walking the corridors throughout the years. According to the hotel's general manager, Angela Hentz, the most sought after room is number 720, the chamber occupied by Leona on the night of her death.

The historical significance, interesting architecture, and tales of ghostly inhabitants make these Valley haunts worth the visit. Enjoy a spirited evening with your family and friends!

• Sharon McKarns is a local freelance travel writer. Follow her blog at http://travelpacked.blogspot.com or contact her at smckarns@msn.com.


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