Daughter-in-law and Hotel Manager Robin Brekhus will be one of the first to tell you more of the Gadsden's interesting past as she recalls her first encounter with the Gadsden Ghost. It was 4:10 pm Friday March 13,1991. The power had failed and she was in the basement, searching for candles. In the beam of her flashlight, she saw a faceless figure shaped like a man. "He just kind of floated down the hallway. It just looked like fog to me, but it was the shape of a person." For years, hotel workers and guests have confessed to seeing an apparition often around Lent or Christmas, and often in the hotel's cavernous basement. Sometimes it's described as headless, caped and wearing army-style khaki clothing. In her 26th year of operating one of the oldest manual elevators west of the Mississippi, Carmen Diaz saw the ghost in the basement as well. "Tall man. Black pants suit. No head." Brenda Maley, restaurant Supervisor said she saw the shadow of a body hunched over her one night as she lay on her stomach in her bed in her hotel room. She said she witnessed this immediately after a strange sensation where "all of a sudden I couldn't move." A movie crew member told Brekhus that his light turned off and on in the middle of the night, and then his golf clubs went crashing down on the floor.
Over the years, dignitaries and celebrities have been added to the Gadsden's Roster; among them the stars of "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," "Terminal Velocity," and "Ruby Jean and Joe" actually filmed in the lobby, rooms, restaurant and tavern. Lee Marvin was said to have almost been involved in a barroom brawl and it was also said that Shelly Winters, at one time in her young career, would answer the door to her room (for room service) in the buff.
Today a 1929 manual telephone switchboard still sits behind the front desk, though it isn't used any more. It was the first of its kind in the state, according to the Arizona Historical Society. So much history was made within the walls of this stately 5 story, 160-room structure that in 1976, The Gadsden Hotel was proclaimed a National Historic Monument by the National Register of Historic Places.