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The holidays are over and I promised to tell you more about the paranormal activity that is being experienced at the Hacienda Otero and its surrounding grounds at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Tubac, Arizona. There is so much to share . . . so here is a synopsis of what occurs:

The Cantina

There is an outside little structure that is located near the back of the Stables Restaurant. Cooking utensils have been reported to move by themselves.

Bathroom Ghost

Also behind the Stables Restaurant, there is a men’s and women’s bathroom that is near a stocking supply area. The disembodied voice of a man was heard by two employees at the same time. The voice had a western twang and was clearly heard. It caused the two employees to leave immediately.

The Grounds

The resort is surrounded by a golf course, hotel rooms and permanent residential housing. On one occasion, the grounds manager saw three figures holding hands walking on the road as he drove towards them. They disappeared before his eyes.

The Stables Restaurant

Inside the restaurant there are several paranormal occurences. Objects hanging immediately in front of the fireplace move on their own. A ghostly figure has been seen by employees inside the kitchen. A western man has been seen drinking at the adjacent bar, only for it to vanish in thin air. A guest dressed in cowboy garb sits with another person at a dining booth. The man calls out and gets the attention of the restaurant servers asking for his waitress. When the wait person arrives, the booth is empty.

Otero Meeting Room

The housekeeper reports that disembodied voices are a common occurrence. It is not uncommon for lights to turn on by themselves and for a particular window to open on its own.

Otero Hacienda

Descendants of the Otero family heard the voice of a little boy speaking in Spanish. Guests have reported to management that they have seen the spectre of a little boy playing by the front door. Disembodied voices of several people talking has been heard by cleaning staff. One groundskeeper saw the spectre of a woman in vintage clothes dusting the living room.

The Hotel Reception Area

The specter of a doorman has interacted with hotel guests.

Please contact us if you or someone you know has any experiences when visiting the Otero Hacienda / Tubac Golf Resort & Spa in Tubac, Arizona.


The unexplained smells that intermittently visit guests throughout the building are not the only phenomena that visitors experience at the historic Otero Ranch House at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa. 

On one occasion, one of the Resort’s information technology workers had to spend the night. The only room available was the Otero Ranch House. His experience there left an indelible memory which he is hoping to forget. Requests to interview him for this entry were declined. The following account of what happened to him is a rendition of what he told management’s staff:

The employee had finished his work at the Resort for the day. It was too late to travel back to his home in Phoenix, so he went to the Otero Ranch House intending to get a good night’s rest. The House is a rather large structure which is divided into two major sections: The Otero Ranch House Suite and the Meeting Room. It sits all by itself just west of the golf course and north of the main buildings and restaurants.

The employee wasn’t quite ready to go to bed, so he decided to relax for a while on the heavy brown leather couch to watch  a little television. The couch rests to the right of the entrance door as you step inside the Otero Ranch House livingroom.

No one knows what the employee was watching, but he reported to management that he was wide awake and in his full faculties. He was laying stretched out on the couch with his head rested against the arm rest closest to the front door. Suddenly, he felt the couch move. Not just a little. Where his head lay relaxing on the arm rest, the entire couch lifted up from the floor, with him in it, and jerked a good distance towards where the television stood in the far right corner of the room.

The unexpected jolt startled him. But before he could get up from the couch, the large heavy curtains which hung snugly on an iron curtain rod next to the couch lifted up and came down in a swoosh on top of the employee, draping his face and upper torso.

Apparently, he didn’t wait to see what other phenomena would follow because he bolted out of the Ranch House to never return. The employee still works at the Resort, on occasion. However, when he has to work late at the Tubac Resort and it is too late to drive back to Phoenix, he prefers sleeping in his vehicle if the only available room in the Resort is the Otero Ranch House.

Another unexplained incident occurred when the Ranch House had to be emptied of its furniture to host a large event. Tables were set up by employees inside the house in place of the livingroom furniture. As a large piece of furniture was taken out of the house, the front door closed and locked itself from the inside. The front door of the Otero Ranch House has an old-fashioned lock. It can be opened with a key, but can be secured against opening by a lock on the inside.   When management asked who locked the door from the inside, there was no logical answer. An employee had to be sent to crawl in through one of the windows in order to unlock the front door.

Just a short time after the door was unlocked and more furniture was moved, the door locked itself from the inside again. And again, there was no explanation for how that could have occurred since no one was in the house at the time the door locked itself.

The adjoining meeting room has its own strange activity. The main meeting room is attached to a smaller room which leads to a kitchen-type area and another room with a multi-colored tiled mural that appears to have been part of the original Ranch House. On the west wall there is a window that opens and closes from the inside with an old-fashioned crank. A group of evening visitors were taking a tour of the meeting rooms and noticed that one of the windows had been opened. It was suspected that the window had been opened for quite a while since there were cobwebs still intact on the crank of the window. However, one member of the small group had visited earlier in the day and all the windows in the meeting rooms area of the Otero Ranch House were tightly shut.

The next morning the visitor spoke to management and asked whether or not the window inside the meeting room section of the house was meant to be left open. She was told that the window was supposed to always remain shut. However, somehow the window appears to open by itself after repeated attempts to keep it closed.

If you recall the story of the two women, mother and daughter, who spent the night at the Otero Ranch House, they also experienced unexplained physical activity at the house. During the day they had several visitors. The visitors remained in the livingroom the entire visit. After the visitors departed, the women set off with a friend to grab an early dinner in a neighboring town. When the women returned, and much to their surprise, one corner of the large  wooden queen-sized bed’s headboard had been moved away from the wall causing the entire bed ( mattress and all) to lay skewed across the bedroom in a sharp angle. The women were startled at the sight and decided to wait until their cousins came by to ask for help to move the bed back to its original place abutting the wall.

When their cousins arrived, the bulky bed was pushed back into place and the group went to the livingroom where they were abuzz with questions on what caused the bed to move. They hung out in the living room for at least a good 15-20 minutes before one of them stepped back just inside the door of the bedroom and noticed that the bed had been pulled away from the wall again. This time it hadn’t been moved as far. But, it sent a chills up the spine just knowing that the bed had moved while they were in the next room with the door wide open and no one else in sight.

Visit back in a few days to hear about the apparition, voices, and unique discovery which was unearthed at the Otero Ranch House located at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa….

Until next time, take care!

Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Southern Arizona

Historic Otero Ranch House

Strange things are happening at the Otero Ranch House in Tubac, Arizona. Actually, so much paranormal activity occurs at the House and surrounding vicinity at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa that we have to tell you about the phenomena over several blog entries. THIS is the first in the series.   

Recently in September 2010, two women visited the Otero Ranch House. The older female has always been skeptical at the bare mention of paranormal activity. A true pragmatist. Her daughter, the younger female, is open to experiencing any unusual phenomena. Yet, she has managed to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.   

They planned to spend a relaxing night at the Otero Ranch House. Its adobe walls and tiled roof evokes a peculiar charm. There was something “unique” about the House. And, the women were about to learn what it was. 

Within 15 minutes of entering the house, the women smelled a strange odor wedge between them as they sat within inches of each other on the large brown leather couch. The air had a musty smoky smell. There was a towering fireplace a few feet to the left in front of the couch they sat upon. But, it looked as if it hadn’t been used for months.  The smell lingered for a few more moments, leaving a trace of a tobacco-like scent before it suddenly evaporated without a trace.   

The women stared at each other speechless. Having noticed the strange scent and since neither woman smoked, the daughter asked, “did you smell anything.” Mom acknowledged she had indeed smelled a tobacco scent for just a few fleeting seconds. But, then nothing. They both looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads-as if to say that they had imagined the whole experience.   

Shortly after the women settled in for the night, a couple of nearby friends stopped by to visit. One, a male, walked in and immediately noticed a flowery smell. He asked the daughter, “do you smell something like lavender?” She looked at him puzzled. No one was standing near the man except the daughter, and she wore no perfume. “No,” she replied. The man took a few more steps then exclaimed, “it’s gone!”   

Later during his visit, the man informed the women that he had smelled a smoky tobacco-like smell throughout different parts of the livingroom during the course of the day. That was odd since not one match, not one cigarette had been lit.   

Hours passed. Eventually, the night wrapped itself around the Otero Ranch House like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s eve.   

Mom was getting pretty tired. She readied herself for bed. Her daughter joined her in the bedroom shortly after midnight.   

It started out to be a rocky night. Exhausted and uncomfortable, the women layed half awake drifting in and out of light sleep.   

Around 3:00 o’clock in the morning the daughter heard her mom exclaim, “That’s enough! Stop smoking! Leave me alone!” A cough, then another, and another. The mom covered herself with the blanket-yanking it with purpose.   

“Don’t you smell it,” the mom asked the daughter. “No,” she replied sheepishly, not wanting to disappoint her mom. Nevertheless, she had to admit that she hadn’t smelled whatever it was that bothered her mother.   

The dark night eventually gave way to the early dawn. Mom was already packed and ready to leave by the time the daughter woke up. Mom mumbled something about having had a rough night’s sleep. After breakfast, the daughter asked her mom, “did you sleep ok?” “No,” mom replied. “There is something in that house!” The mom explained that something or someone was blowing a tobacco-like smoke in her face as she tried to sleep. She said it was so close to her face that it seemed intentional.   

The daughter was surprised and shocked. You see, her mom had never suggested that there was such a thing as ghosts. At least, not during mom’s previous 74 years of existence. Until now. When her daughter told her mom that she was surprised to hear about her paranormal claim, her mom said, “if its there, you can’t deny its there.”   

What caused the tobacco smell? Who blew the smoke in mom’s face? Maybe some of the other Otero House phenomena can help answer those questions.   

In the next installment of “The Otero Ranch House” series, you’ll hear about some of the physical phenomena that has been experienced.  

If you have never heard about the Otero Ranch House, it is time you have. It is located in southern Arizona at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, a historic hotel preferred provider.    

Travel to southern Arizona, and drive south down Interstate 19 towards Nogales. Eventually you will arrive at Exit 40 called Chavez Siding Road. The Exit is roughly 23 miles north of Nogales and the International Border. Turn left driving under the freeway overpass then right at the frontage road. In a few minutes you will see a large white arched entrance to the Tubac Golf Course and Spa on the east side of the road. Follow the road until you reach 1 Camino Otero. The Otero Ranch House is on the east side of the road.   

The Otero Ranch House sits on what was the first deeded property to any European in Arizona. Title was first received through a Spanish land grant to Don Toribio de Otero, a 28 year-old teacher from Arizpe, New Spain, in 1789.

The following news report was published by the Shenandoah Herald (Woodstock, VA) on August 9, 1889. However, it was first reported by the Kansas City Times. Enjoy!:


Whether or not there is anything in ghost stories, there is at lease one young man in Kansas City who is convinced that there is something akin to spooks trying to make life miserable to him. He tells a regular old-time ghost story, most of the manifestations having been made in Kansas City, which is supposed to be anything but a habitation of spirits.

The young man in question is George E. Fradenburg, 18 years of age, a printer, and bookbinder by trade, and at present living with his widowed mother, two brothers and a sister at 1113 Campbell street. A Times reporter, learning that the young man had passed through some experience which would be interesting to the public, called at the above address at a late hour Saturday night, where he found Mr. Fradenburg, who did not hesitate to tell what he had seen and heard, though he betrayed considerable mental strain and loss of sleep. He is well known, as is also his mother and brothers, and no one who knows him doubts for a moment the young man’s sincerity, though, of course, there are those who do not believe in ghost stories no matter how they are backed up. In answer to the reporter’s inquires Mr. Fradenburg said:

“I am very fond of music and play with the guitar and piano. I generally have my guitar there in the corner,” he said, pointing to the corner of the neatly arranged parlor. “On three or four different occasions when I would lie down on the sofa here and fall asleep, I have been awakened by my guitar, without anyone being near enough to touch it. Whatever it was would not play a tune, but would strike one of the strings distinctly, and sometimes strike a chord. I simply thought it strange and was not alarmed in the least; but a few weeks ago I was sitting in the room adjoining the one where the piano is where I heard a crash as though every wire had burst. Some time ago my mother heard a similar one, and called a piano tuner in to examine the instrument, but he said there was nothing wrong with it.

“But what is strangest of all happened last night. Two friends of mine, John Howell and Charles Smack, accompanied me for a fortnight’s visit to the country. We took our instruments and went to visit a farmer named Lewis Tillery, living in Clay county, about twelve miles northeast of the city. During our visit my friends and I occupied the same room, my bed being directly in front of the north window. Six nights during our visit we were awakened by the guitar, my friends as well as I distinctly hearing the sound. This morning we intended to get up at 3 o’clock in order to avoid driving through the heat on our return to Kansas City. At 2:30 I was awakened by a loud stroke upon the guitar, as though some one had struck all the stings at once. I was startled and sat up in bed, when to my horror I saw the figure of a beautiful woman in white draped from the top of the head with every outline distinct except the face, which as considerably darker and indistinct. I looked at the apparition closely, retaining my composure rather through terror than courage, I assure you, but finally I called to it three times, but the only response was the raising of the right arm to a level with the windowsill. This movement frightened me so that I called loudly to my companions, who jumped out of bed, but not before the ghost, or whatever you may choose to call it, had vanished as mysteriously as it had appeared.

“The window in front of me commanded a view of a large yard, and the only other means of escape for a corporeal form was to pass the east window of the room. My friends immediately looked out of that window, but saw nothing.”

At this juncture an elderly lady entered the room and the young man introduced her as his mother. Mrs. Fradenburg,  tried to make light of the subject, evidently for the young man’s sake, for behind it she manifested a considerable degree of concern on account of the remarkable disturbance. She corroborated her son’s story, as do also the young men who visited in the country with him. Mrs. Fradenburg also said:

“Just a-half hour before you came George was asleep on the sofa in the adjoining room near a bed. He was breathing heavily, when there suddenly came three loud taps on the headboard as though some one had struck it with a strong hand. We called to George, but he did not waken.”

“How long since were these manifestations first noticed?”

“Well, it has been some years,” said Mrs. Frandenburg, but there was nothing so startling as that which my son experienced last night. Several times when my eldest son was away I would distinctly hear some one come home at night, unlock the door and enter the house, but on going downstairs no one would be found. I used to tell the children it meant that their father was coming back to see that they were good to me. Of course I simply said that to them for effect, and really did not pay much attention to it.”

Mr. Fradenburg was one of the earliest members of the metropolitan police force. The family has been living in the two-story frame house at 1113 Campbell ever since his death. The story is a strange one, but there can be no question as to the sincerity of the parties concerned.

On January 16, 1886, the Richmond Dispatch out of Richmond, Virginia published this report out of Cleveland, Ohio:

A Cleveland (Ohio) special says:

Frank Lamb, who occupies a room at No. 54 Prospect street, related a remarkable story recently of a ghostly visitation the night previous. He told how the apparition of a beautiful blonde woman stood by his bedside and how a moment later he was hurled into the middle of the floor, the apparition vanishing through the wall into the next room, where, as it transpired the next day, Mrs. Frayne lay dying. Lamb’s description of the ghost tallied perfectly with that of Mrs. Frayne, though he had never seen the woman.

Since that time, if the numerous lodgers at No. 54 are to be believed, there have been continued manifestations of a supernatural character. Last night mysterious rappings were heard by several people, and Mr. Halton, a sister of the deceased woman, relates that at twelve o’clock her usually sedate clock struck one hundred times. A meeting of spiritualists is to be held in Lamb’s room in the hope of conjuring up again the blonde apparition, and an interested public anxiously awaits the outcome.