A half day’s drive from Las Vegas can get you to many places. Usually it’s to southern California, Reno, or Salt Lake City, depending on the direction, however, the old mining town of Globe, Arizona usually does not even pop up on the map. Hidden on top of the hill overlooking the town, however, stands one of the most unique hotels in the southwest.
Driving into town just as the sun set made for a startling first impression of the bed and breakfast. A tall ancient building that looked even older than its one hundred years of existence greeted me from the darkness. Imagine the house from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, except more cyclopean, as if the building were taken directly off the campus of H. P. Lovecraft’s Miskatonic University. It was not a bad first impression, far from it. Rather, it was a guarantee that this would be an interesting night indeed.
The Noftsger Hill Inn was originally the Noftsger Hill Elementary School. The schoolhouse opened in 1917 and remained the primary school for Globe-area children until it closed in 1981. The Old Dominion Mine, located on the mountain behind the Noftsger, was a major source of copper from the 1880s into the early 1930s and brought much of the boom to the Globe area. The building, after renovations, reopened years later as the bed and breakfast that now operates there.
Five of the original classrooms have are now massive suites, decorated with an assortment of antiques and artwork. The chalkboards were left in the rooms and the old desks are to be found around the lobby as well. The janitor’s closet was turned into a sixth room and, although a little smaller than the others, is still bigger than the average hotel room.
Once the innkeeper, Rosalie, opened the door with a warm smile, it became obvious that the interior of the building was much warmer than one would expect. As it happened, only one guest would be staying in the hotel that night.
Staying at the Noftsger is certainly a different experience. The rooms are open and stately, the wooden floors creak with every footstep, which adds to the charm of this unusual place, and the huge windows allow plenty of sunlight in the daytime and offer nice views of the area. At night, one can look out and see the lights of the entire town below.
Naturally, the building is said to be haunted. Even when it was a school, rumors abound among the children that unexplained things took place there. Books would be moved around overnight, voices were heard when no one was around, and a lantern could be seen from the windows when no one was inside. Even during the period when the building was closed down, lights were seen moving about inside on certain nights.
Previous guests of the Noftsger Hill Inn have also reported hearing the disembodied voices of children, and unexplained footsteps. It is not hard to believe an old building such as the Noftsger Hill Inn is haunted, but after staying there it is hard to believe that it anything frightening occurred there. In fact, the room, and building in general for that matter, felt exceptionally welcoming and comfortable.
With every night’s stay, a home-cooked breakfast is included. Breakfast is served in a large dining-room adjoining the lobby. Coffee, tea, and juice are all available alongside a delicious meal; couple that with a claw-foot tub and it all makes for a great start to the day.
After finishing breakfast, and enjoying a second cup of morning coffee before disembarking from the hotel, it happened. From behind the table, on the far side of the room, came a loud thud. It sounded as if something made of metal hit the floor hard next to the bed. A quick investigation turned up absolutely nothing. Nothing was out of place and no object was to found on the floor, the sound came from nowhere. There were no rooms on the other side of the walls from the corner from which the sound emitted. Startling, for sure.
A combination of history, class, and the supernatural makes a night at the Noftsger unlike any other. The Old Dominion Mine Park is just a stone’s throw away and hosts the only self-guided mine tour in Arizona, and possible the only one in the United States. Globe is a great destination for a weekend getaway for anyone that loves history and the old west and is ready to explore somewhere a little off the beaten path.
The Noftsger Hill Inn is located at 425 North Street, Globe, Arizona. For more information about the hotel please visit NoftsgerHillInn.com.