Filed Under Architecture

Hotel San Carlos

Phoenix's own 'woman in white'

The Hotel San Carlos was built in 1928 as Phoenix's first luxury hotel. Over a long history of catering to the rich and famous, San Carlos is also known for hosting ghostly visitors.

The Hotel San Carlos was built in 1928. As a boutique hotel, it catered to the members of the Golden Age of Hollywood, including Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Mae West, Gene Autry, and Carole Lombard. 

However, soon after the hotel opened, tragedy struck. On May 7, 1928, a twenty-two-year-old woman named Leone Jensen jumped off the roof of the seven-story building, plummeting to her death on the street below. Before her death, she wrote a suicide note on the back of a hotel envelope to apologize for not paying the bill. "The coroner will attend to my bill and be sure all my clothes are packed," Jensen wrote. "I have five dollars, which he will get later tonight. Will that help any? My income was due on the 10th, but it wasn't to be." Patrolmen on Monroe Street reported hearing a scream and a thud at 2:45am. 

While there has been much speculation about why Leone jumped, the most-repeated story involves a breakup with her bellboy boyfriend. In the years since, guests staying in that room have reported seeing a woman in white standing at the foot of their beds before vanishing.

Leone isn't the only ghostly resident of the Hotel San Carlos. Several witnesses have reported the specter of a little girl crying, and others have claimed to hear children laughing and running through the hallways and basement. Some have attempted to link the presence of ghostly children with the Native American grounds on which the hotel was built. It was also the site of a school, Little Adobe, which was closed in 1916.

For more information about the history of the Hotel San Carlos, click here: San Carlos Hotel


The Historic Hotel San Carlos
The Historic Hotel San Carlos One of Phoenix's oldest hotels is also one of it's most haunted. Source: Creator: Brandon Gray/Instagram Date: August 6, 2019
News Article Regarding Jensen's Death
News Article Regarding Jensen's Death A framed news article in the Hotel San Carlos giving details about Leone Jensen's untimely death. Source: Creator: Becky Vickers Date: May 2015
The Hotel Embraces its Haunted History
The Hotel Embraces its Haunted History The Hotel San Carlos embraces the story of it's woman in white, sharing news articles in a frame. Source: Creator: Becky Vickers Date: May 2015


202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004


Jennifer Schaper, “Hotel San Carlos,” Salt River Stories, accessed June 24, 2024,