TORTILLA FLAT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tortilla Flat is a ghost town about an hour drive from downtown Phoenix. The town, which only has a population of six people, is right outside Canyon Lake.

Tortilla Flat is known for its history and spooky visitors.

"Most of the stories, I kinda compare to Casper the friendly ghost," said Katie Ellering, who works in Tortilla Flat. "It's more on the lines of lights are turned on when everything was off."

There's been hundreds of ghost tales there.

"Most of our happenings is what we find in the morning," Ellering said. "I closed one night and came back and opened the next day. Things had been moved from the kitchen, a bin of silverware had been moved over. I set the alarm. I was the one who opened. There was no one else in there who could have possibly moved it."

Katie said one of the more recent sightings was a few months ago when a couple stopped to take a photo.

"There was a clearly defined figure in the photo. It gave you goosebumps," she said.

The town has a long history. It's been around 120 years. The town was originally created as a freight station for workers building the Roosevelt dam.

"In the 20s, we had enough people that lived here to have a school house," Ellering said.

That school house is now a replica turned museum. The museum talks abut famous visitors like former president Teddy Roosevelt and all kinds of celebrities.

Tortilla Flat's country store is the world's number 1 seller of prickly pear gelato. Their gift store has an emphasis on local products.

"We're very proud of our local vendors. We do everything we can to support local and find unique handmade things," Ellering said.

Their restaurant has walls like you've never seen: dollar bills all over. The money wall tradition goes back decades when people starting pinning dollar bills on the wall so when they'd pass through town again, they'd have money to buy food and drinks. But then, the idea grew even more and other visitors started doing it to leave their mark on a historical site.

Right now, Tortilla Flat is open for visitors, but they do have some extra precautions to keep people safe during the pandemic including masks, social distancing and increased cleaning.

 

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