Arizona is a place of beauty, history, amazing wonder and mystery.

All over the state there are people and places just waiting to have their stories told.

This past year, Team 12's digital producers had the privilege of telling many of those.

From a mystery castle to a secret garden, a desert waterfall, a "thing," and a top secret government project -- these are our "Great Arizona Stories."

PHOTOS: Great Arizona Stories

'Mystery Castle': A story of love, family and Arizona beauty

Just a few minutes outside of downtown Phoenix, on the north face of South Mountain is a house unlike anything in the Valley.

Constructed from desert rock, stone, boulders, misshapen brick and any other recycled or discarded materials that could be scavenged -- it has been there since long before Phoenix was the Valley we know today.

Many call it “The Mystery Castle,” but to Mary Lou Gulley it was simply called “home” -- a promise left to her by her late father.


PHOTOS: Inside the 'Mystery Castle' in Phoenix

'There's still gold in there': Lost Dutchman Gold Mine legend continues

The mine is named after Jacob Waltz, who supposedly discovered it in the 19th century, but took the secret location to his deathbed.

Year after year, people still search for the most famous mine in American history from all over the world, but many have died in search.

"I personally and am absolutely convinced that it exists, somewhere deep in the heart of Superstition Mountain," said Clay Worst, one of the founders of the Superstition Mountain Society. "It is not a myth, that sucker is back there, it really is."


Arizona Falls: Water's utility, beauty merge in the desert

Right in the middle of urban Phoenix, there's a little oasis.

The crash of waterfalls creates a sonic experience unfamiliar to the Sonoran Desert, but it's by no means unwelcome.

Arizona Falls transports visitors away from the Valley of the Sun's dry desert heat to an easier place to be.


PHOTOS: The beauty of Arizona Falls

ASU's Secret Garden finds its place in campus lore

"A" Mountain. Palm Walk. The Memorial Union.

Arizona State University is filled with unique and iconic locations on its Tempe campus, but there may be one popular spot you might not have seen.

Nestled between Dixie Gammage Hall and West Hall is a secluded garden area, affectionately known to many current students and alumni as the Secret Garden.


PHOTOS: ASU's Secret Garden

'Mystery of the Desert' draws visitors to Arizona roadside attraction for decades

Driving along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and New Mexico, you may notice bright yellow billboards calling out to you every few miles.

“The Thing?” is written in large B-horror-movie font across them.

You may have already heard of it. Thrillist named it the weirdest roadside attraction in Arizona, and Time named it one of the top 50 American roadside attractions.


PHOTOS: Strange sights at the Thing museum

Check out the The Palace, Arizona's oldest bar

In the center of the Prescott, across from Yavapai County Courthouse sits the legendary Whiskey Row. A few decades ago, Whiskey Row was home to some 40 saloons.

Listed on the National historic register, The Palace opened its doors in 1877. It was a frontier saloon before Arizona became a state in 1912.


How did a gorilla become the Suns mascot?

He's one of the most iconic mascots in all of sports, and he hails from Arizona.

The Phoenix Suns Gorilla is a fan favorite, standing at five-foot 'ape' and hailing from the Banana Republic, according to his bio.

The Gorilla has become a mascot legend since he first appeared in 1980 over at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


PHOTOS: Phoenix Suns Gorilla through the years

Mysterious X's in Arizona desert have top secret history

If you've ever driven along Interstate 10 through Casa Grande, you may have spotted a few cross-shaped structures planted in the desert landscape.

For a long time, these objects remained a mystery. In fact, throughout the '60s they were part of a top secret government project, CORONA.


PHOTOS: Project CORONA: Evolution of image quality from space