St. Mary’s Hospital - Tucson

Activity meter: medium
Likelihood of real presences: high
Overall rating: 3.5 stars
This 434-bed Catholic hospital, formerly a tuberculosis unit, is now home to a nun who roams the fourth floor, following staff around and continuing to watch over people long after her physical form has passed on.


Established in 1880, St. Mary’s was the first hospital in Arizona. It was originally meant for sufferers of Tuberculosis. It is unknown to us exactly when the hospital switched purposes, but we imagine it was shortly after the TB epidemic subsided.

This hospital has been a Catholic institution since its start, being founded by Bishop Jean Baptiste Salpointe after the executives of Tucson's new railroads appealed to him for the creation of a hospital. There were only twelve beds when it was first opened, and eleven of them were filled only a week later. Four nuns were assigned to the hospital as nurses, housekeepers and any other role they could fill. Two medical doctors served with them. The hospital was sold to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1882, under the conditions that it remain a hospital for 99 years, and that the name never be changed.

Due to its extensive Catholic history, and the great number of nuns that lived and worked there over the years, no one knows just who the phantom nun roaming the halls of the fourth flour might have been.


The most famous and unique story involves the fourth-floor nun saving a patient's life by alerting the staff. A member of the nursing staff spotted the nun in the hallway, pointing into a patient's room. The nun had disappeared by the time the nurse got close enough to see what was going on. When she looked into the room, into which the nun had been pointing, she saw one of the hospital's patients attempting to take her own life. Presumably, the patient was saved thanks to the warning by this ghostly nun.

The nun also follows staff around in the hallway that leads from the North halls to the West halls. She has been seen by many members of the staff, her reflection appearing in the windows when no one can be seen by looking behind them.

Many other stories at the hospital revolve around the elevators. People have been seen walking into them and disappearing, "strange" people have ridden on them with the staff (we are unsure exactly what is meant by the word strange, but we assume it is referring to unrecognized people who shouldn't be in a specific location or at a specific time of day), and there have even been reports of the elevator doors opening into strange places. We don't know why these things happen, or if they are even paranormal. If they are, no one knows who or what may be responsible.

We don't have very many personal accounts of activity at this location. If you have one you would like to submit, we would appreciate having more to post on this page.

Location and Visitor Info:

1601 St. Mary’s Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
West of I-10, at the intersection of Silverbell and St. Mary’s.

Phone: (520) 872-3000

Filed under: Tucson, Hospitals
If you are one of the unnamed individuals mentioned in this article, feel free to let us know. Also, if you have any personal experiences at this location, please send them! You may also submit a photo of the location. View our contact page for information.

This article was written by: Taryn