'Prankster ghosts' haunt historic Phoenix mansion

Posted: Updated:
The Ellis-Shackelford House is the last house of its kind standing on what was called “Mansion Row.” (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Ellis-Shackelford House is the last house of its kind standing on what was called “Mansion Row.” (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The house is now office space for Arizona Humanities, a nonprofit that provides grant funding to libraries, museums, schools and other cultural groups. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The house is now office space for Arizona Humanities, a nonprofit that provides grant funding to libraries, museums, schools and other cultural groups. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
It has been 100 years since the home was built and families still have ties to the home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It has been 100 years since the home was built and families still have ties to the home. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
You're able to get a free tour of the 100-year-old mansion. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) You're able to get a free tour of the 100-year-old mansion. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hotel San Carlos and the Orpheum Theater usually grab Phoenix’s most haunted headlines.

However, there’s another story hidden behind all that hype.

Spirits in one historic home are welcome and described as “pranksters” by those who’ve experienced their presence.

The Ellis-Shackelford House is the last house of its kind standing on what was called “Mansion Row” on Central Avenue between McDowell Road and Roosevelt in downtown Phoenix.

[RELATED: 5 haunted places to visit in Arizona]

Built in 1917, it looks like it was plucked out of the Midwest. 

Fast forward to 2017, it's now office space for Arizona Humanities, a nonprofit that provides grant funding to libraries, museums, schools and other cultural groups. 

Its original owner, Dr. William C. Ellis, was a physician from Ohio.

He moved to Phoenix and helped found a hospital now known as Good Samaritan.

The home stayed with three family generations. The last members moved out in 1964. 

It has been 100 years since the home was built and families still have ties to the home.

Missy Shackelford is the great-granddaughter-in-law of Dr. Ellis. 

She now works as an administrative assistant for Arizona Humanities.

"It feels peaceful and friendly and almost like a protection," she said of the presence she feels throughout the house.

One night, Shackelford said she went to set the building alarm, but at first, couldn't.

"But when I came down here it said fault and that it was pointing me to the northwest sunroom (her office and Uncle Jim Shackelford's old bedroom)," she said. 

When she went back upstairs, she didn't find anything that was triggering the motion detectors.

"I checked all the windows and thought this is ridiculous because everything is latched shut," she said. 

Her boss, Brenda Thomson, had an unexplained experience, too. 

"I heard steps on the stairs and silence," said Thomson.

Dyadria Fajardo also works at the Ellis-Shackelford house and was giving her boyfriend a tour of the attic.

"I'm just giving him a quick pan of the area and when we came up, this door was closed and as we’re looking over here, we’re turning back to show him this area right here and this door is basically wide open," said Fajardo. 

Even though her coworkers are a little shaken up, Shackelford doesn't seem to mind the uninvited ghostly guests.

She's convinced they're her family members who have died.

"My father-in-law and his brother Jim had a lot of fun in life and they love to laugh and love to play and I had a feeling they enjoy having people in this home," she said.

"It’s very comforting to me, now I come from a different place because I happen to actually have known these people. Now my coworkers might not feel as comfy," she added. "If they’re opening doors, I think they’re just reminding us that we need to be inclusive and we need to be expansive and we need to bring the community in." 

You're able to get a free tour of the 100-year-old mansion. If you’re interested, fill out an interest form.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.