Filed Under Architecture

Hayden House/Monti's La Casa Vieja

The Host of Haunts at Hayden House

Nestled in the heart of Tempe, Arizona, Monti's La Casa Vieja was more than just a renowned steakhouse and the birthplace of Carl Hayden. It was where succulent steaks and spine-tingling ghost stories converged, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

Monti's, a renowned dining establishment with a history spanning over six decades, was famous not only for its delectable steaks and the iconic Fountain Room but also for its haunted history.

Originally part of the historic Hayden House and the birthplace of Arizona Senator Carl Hayden, this establishment had been an integral part of Tempe since 1873. Until its closure in 2014, La Casa Vieja, or "old house" in Spanish, boasted a variety of uniquely named rooms, each with its own resident ghostly presence. 

The Mural Room, distinguished by its striking wall mural, was known to be inhabited by the spirit of an old cowboy who occasionally made appearances before diners. Legend had it that he was generally amicable but tended to vanish if approached revealing his skittish nature. 

The Hayden Room, believed to be the very place where Carl Hayden was born, exuded an eerie ambiance with its dim lighting. Some patrons claimed to sense the palpable aura of Hayden's mother's arduous childbirth, while others simply described the room as having an unsettling vibe, unaware of its historical significance. 

However, the Fountain Room held the reputation for being the most haunted of them all.  Some staff members even refused to enter it for cleaning purposes.  According to local lore, Carl Hayden's granddaughter, Sally, tragically passed away at the age of four and was laid to rest next to the fountain in this room.  Diners seated in proximity to the fountain reported hearing faint whispers of children laughing.  After nightfall, employees claimed to have heard laughter and conversations emanating from the deserted room long after the restaurant had closed its doors.  An intriguing legend even circulated, suggesting that the Arizona chapter of the Illumanit held clandestine meetings in this very room.  

Despite the restaurant's closure, it continues to attract ghost hunters, who assert that even after nearly a decade of abandonment, the echoes of laughter, conversations, and the clinking of cutlery against dishes persist within its walls. 

Though Monti's La Casa Vieja may no longer serve its famous steaks, the ghostly tales of its past still intrigue those with a penchant for the supernatural - and for those with a fascination for the historical.  For more in-depth historical information on the historical information on the Hayden House and Monti's La Casa Vieja, explore these links: For more information on the history of Hayden House, click here: Hayden House Monti's La Casa Vieja


Monti's Sign
Monti's Sign Monti's sign on it's last night in business, November 2014. Source: Creator: Taryn, Haunted Places of AZ Date: November 2014
Interior of Monti's
Interior of Monti's One of the many dining rooms at Monti's Source: Creator: I Am a Honeybee Blog Date: December 2012`
Monti's Chaotic Floorplan
Monti's Chaotic Floorplan The floorplan of Monti's demonstrates the twists and turns one would take to traverse the building. Source: Creator: Date: November 2014
Diablo Way
Diablo Way This hallway, called Diablo Way, is known for the ways the walls absorb sound - and for its creepy feel. Source: Creator: Date: November 2014
The famous - or infamous - fountain
The famous - or infamous - fountain The Fountain Room is believed to be the most haunted room in the building. Source: Creator: Date: November 2014


100 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281


Jennifer Schaper, “Hayden House/Monti's La Casa Vieja,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 24, 2024,