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Downtown tunnels

As legend goes, the so-called "Downtown tunnels" were once home to seedy opium dens, brothels, illegal gambling rings and smuggling operations. They're also haunted, apparently. Courtesy photo

October is upon us, boils and ghouls! The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. With that mind, the freaks and geeks down here in the Masters of Brewtality crypt are bringing you, dear reader, a not-so-definitive guide to the spookiest lesser known spots to grab a drink here in Freaky Flagstaff. We’ve already covered the otherworldly patrons of the Weatherford, Monte Vista and Museum Club in previous editions, so this month, we’re taking a look at some of the locals-only haunted watering holes around our fair city.  

Milum Building

Local lore says the historic Milum Building, currently home to Mother Road, Flagstaff Bike Revolution and Pizzicletta, has a grim secret just ripe for causing some haunting. The building served as the city’s industrial laundry facility from 1925 all the way up to the ‘90s and, as the spot where the hospital sent its spoiled sheets, rumor was the workers would periodically find body parts in the linens. Naturally, you can’t really send a severed arm or diseased organ back with the clean sheets, so employees were allegedly forced to give them a fairly undignified burial around back. Now, this is of course simply a rumor, but just the idea that you could have a beer and potentially find a stray tibia fills our black hearts with joy.

Flagstaff Brewing Company

“We’ve definitely got a poltergeist,” says brewer Stuart Howe. The basement is pretty much universally avoided at all costs and, despite being alone for the majority of the morning, our beloved Howe can’t seem to keep his radio from going on the fritz regularly thanks to whatever presence roams the building. Staff members have heard eerie voices, seen things fall and had general feelings of unease when alone at the home of downtown’s best patio.  

The Green Room 

Rumors of the building being haunted go at least all the way back to when it housed Mogollon Brewing and continue to this day. The Green Room also has the distinction of being the number one bar on this list that just flat out looks haunted. Seriously. If you need a perfect example of a place where there’s likely to be a ghost or 10 lurking, Green Room nails it. That’s probably why it’s one of our favorites, too.  

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The entire block from Cottage to Benton on San Francisco 

We’ve spent more time in the various establishments on this little stretch south of the tracks than most places in town. From Root Public House all the way down to the Paseo Del Norte, sightings of ghosts, otherworldly disruptions and strange sounds in otherwise empty buildings are pretty much universal among both staff and patrons. Stories of strange happenings in the Root building go back to the days when it was still the 111 nightclub and the notorious divey Mad Italian. The basement is one of the creepiest in town and, like many, staff tends to avoid it like the plague.  

Collins  

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We’ll be honest: The weirdos at Masters of Brewtality never go here. The upbeat collegiate scene will never permeate our withered hearts like a good brewery or seedy dive bar, but it’s slammed all the time, so there’s got to be something to it. We did adore the old days when it shared a secret entrance with the Speakeasy next door. Former employees have reported a feeling of dread when nearing the basement steps on that side of the building, preventing them from venturing down into the dark abyss.  

Downtown tunnels  

Our final recommendation for boozy haunted spots doesn’t actually serve beer, but is brimming with a creepy history. As legend goes, the maze of tunnels that runs underneath the majority of the downtown area were once home to seedy opium dens, brothels, illegal gambling rings and smuggling operations for the entirety of Flagstaff’s early wild days. While most entrances are bricked up and the days of running booze between buildings to avoid the law are long gone, there are still a handful of businesses with access to parts of them. With the right amount of charisma and know-how, you might be able to take a gander yourself.  

Happy Halloween!

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