The Bird Cage Theater is on Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ, and is an icon of America’s wild, wild West. “The New York Times” once said about former gambling hall, saloon and brothel, “the roughest, bawdiest, and most wicked night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” The walls are riddled with over 140 bullet holes and at least 26 people lost their lives here in gun or knife fights. Today this venue holds the distinction of being Tombstone’s most haunted building.
Tombstone began back in 1877, when a prospector named Ed Schieffelin found silver. As news of his fortune spread, the town seemed to popped up overnight as eager miners arrived to the region hoping to strike it rich. Soon saloons, hotels and brothels were added to Tombstone’s main street as quickly as men could build them. At its height, the lawless Tombstone was home to over 3,500 licensed prostitutes.
In December 1881, the Bird Cage Theatre opened its doors, and stayed open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The opera house and saloon was home to some of the most expensive prostitutes and high-stakes gaming in the region. This was where the luckiest miners went to squander their newfound riches. Downstairs was the private poker room where the minimum buy-in was $1,000. Although the players changed, the game was said to have ran continuously for eight years, five months and three days. Some famous names who played here were businessmen Adolph Busch and George Randolph Hearst and notorious outlaws Diamond Jim Brady and Doc Holliday.
Tombstone, AZ, is a town too tough to die. Gunslinger legends gambled, drank, died and haunt its dusty streets today; it’s where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday fought the Clanton-McLaury Gang near the O.K. Corral. While this shootout might be one of history’s most famous, it is in no way Tombstone’s most gruesome event.
The barroom of the Bird Cage was the site of the Tombstone’s most grisly murder. A high-stakes gambler named Billy Milgreen was entertaining the affections of two Tombstone prostitutes named Margarita and Gold Dollar. Gold Dollar was his regular and when she seen Billy flirting with Margarita, she attacked with a double-edged stiletto knife. Gold Dollar stabbed Margarita repeatedly in the chest. As the sheriff approached the Bird Cage, Gold Dollar fled the scene. Later she was apprehended, the murder weapon was missing so no charges were filed. A century later, the stiletto was found behind the theater and is now on display inside.
Visitors and employees of the Bird Cage Theater have reported seeing the spirits of former prostitutes and men wearing cowboy hats. Some claim to have been touched and pushed by unseen forces. At night, the sounds of laughter, yelling and music have been heard, as if the parties of the Old West were still raging on. Others have claimed to see the shadow of a man in black wearing a visor pacing across the stage.
Copper Queen Hotel
The Copper Queen Hotel is located in southeastern Arizona in the historical district of Old Bisbee. Boasting its reputation as the longest continually operated hotel in Arizona, having not closed its doors once since opening day in 1902, the Copper Queen Hotel remains a charming vision of luxury accommodations in the old mining boom town of Bisbee. Guests love the building so much that a handful of non-living have reputedly failed to check out.
Julia Lowell was a popular flapper girl was also doubled as a prostitute who became regular companion to the men staying at the Copper Queen Hotel. Until she fell in love with one of the men who openly rejected her and any thoughts of marital bliss that the two could have shared had he agreed. The devastating blow to her heart and ego resulted in Julia killing herself at the age of 30. She still remains at the hotel still today. Her ghost has been witnessed by hundreds of guests and paranormal investigators as wearing a sapphire blue dress.
Room 315 is a hot spot for seeing the ghost of Julia in the buff. She is saidto show off when a male is present in the room. Her smile is often the last thing that is noticed right before she vanishes. The flapper girl likes the main stairway as well, and is often spotted holding a bottle of whiskey. Men have actually reported that they thought she was a real woman, because she is such a beauty.
Another well known spirit prefers a more matronly look wearing a long black dress, and she has been seen walking up and down the stairway in a manner that has been described as in a worried state of mind. She passes people by without bothering them, but her presence is hard to ignore and many of the guests have actually screamed at the sight of this particular entity.
Running and thumping noises are heard on the third floor all hours of the day and night. The irritating sounds are thought to be coming from an 8 year old boy who is extremely angry. He most often appears to children in the dining room, but adults have seen him wrapped in a towel as if just getting out of the bath.
A strange unknown male ghost has also been spotted on the third floor, but he causes very little chaos other than scaring the staff and guests half to death with his sudden appearances. Heavy walking has been heard resonating through the hotel and a tall dark male ghost donning a period suit appears randomly on the fourth floor. This bearded ghost also enjoys walking through hallways and making his entrance on the stairway.
After spending a night at the hotel, the South West Ghost Hunter’s Association came back with documented phenomena showing proof of a young female entity that shows up in room 318 and the restaurant. They determined that the third floor is the hot spot where the ghosts flock to and several voices were detected on their high-tech EVP equipment. Orbs were caught on camera as was several other questionable objects, and strange occurrences from jiggling doorknobs to lights flickering continued during their stay at the hotel.
27 Apr, 2016
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