‘Ghosts is like true love, which everybody talks about and few have seen.’

Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

You hear children laughing and the pitter-patter of little feet on the tile. But that’s odd, because you’re sitting in the Copper Door restaurant and not many others are around.

Under your breath you curse the careless parents who let their children run around in restaurants. But, you’re too busy enjoying your blackberry mojito, plus “There’s No Business Like Show Business” is playing on the back wall and Marilyn Monroe is in the middle of a dance number.

But then, your reveling is again interrupted by those pesky kids. Figuring an authoritative stare may quiet their laughter, you swing around. There’s a couple quietly enjoying coffee in the corner and a woman frantically typing on her computer while trying to eat a sandwich. No families. No children.

But there are stories. Some say the children – boys, in fact – have been playing at the San Carlos for more than 125 years. Rumored to have been an ancient location where the local Native Americans worshiped the God of Learning, the hotel site was once home to a small one-room school that was built in 1874. The school had a well and a baseball field, which turned out to be a deadly combination for three young Native American boys.

Sometime before the school’s demolition in 1920, the boys were participants in a local pick-up game. But when the ball fell into the well and the three boys ventured down to get it, their decision marked their last game.

Ghost enthusiasts claim that the boys’ spirits were disrupted in 1927, during the construction of the hotel. The well still rests in the hotel’s basement.

Another young ghost is that of a little girl, possibly around six to nine years old, who is rumored to visit hotel rooms at night. Guests often report the sound of a girl crying. Ghost enthusiasts believe she was probably one of the area children affected either by the school's closing or the national 1918 flu epidemic.

But the hauntings that make the hotel famous don’t end there.

‘Ghost: A disembodied spirit. The soul or spirit as the principle of life. The immaterial part of man associated with feelings, thought and moral action. The soul of a deceased person inhabiting the world. A good or evil being. The soul of a person appearing in visible form or otherwise making its presence known to humans.’

D.W. Waldron

You manage to shake off the incident with the young ghosts. Maybe you also have a few too many blackberry mojitos. You’re tired and decide to get a room. You’re comfortably sleeping, when suddenly, you wake up. Only, you’re not alone. Standing at the foot of your bed is a young woman, wearing a dress of times past that is blowing in the wind.

But you didn’t let anyone in. As for the breeze? The window’s sealed shut.

The ghost is 22-year-old Leone Jenson. And it’s a story that’s been repeated time and time again. Rumored to have been caught in a torrid love triangle with a bellboy at the competing Adam’s Hotel, she more likely moved to Phoenix because of health problems. She was painted as an emotionally distraught woman in the middle of a breakdown. According to a historian, she penned three suicide notes before leaping to her death, just 45 days after the hotel’s opening.

Her last written words: “Darn this hotel pen…” Soon after, at 2:45 a.m. on May 7, 1928, Leone, dressed in her finest, complete with hat, threw herself off the roof and to her ultimate demise.

A May 7, 1928, newspaper article from The Arizona Republican printed this version of the untimely death: "Pretty blonde jumps from San Carlos early today ... she had been registered at the San Carlos for two days ... two death notes were found in her room at the San Carlos, in one of which she mentioned a bellboy of a hotel other than the San Carlos . The first note read: 'May I leave for friends from friendships here. A glad goodbye. Heart broken but true.' "

Perhaps she planted the seed for two others who committed suicide in the same fashion -- and helped make the San Carlos the No. 3 haunted hotel in the United States.