The Ghosts of Tombstone

The Ghosts of Tombstone

Tombstone is a town in Arizona from the old west. It was founded as a silver mining camp by a prospector named Ed Schieffelin.

This town was once one of the most dangerous places in the whole of the US as gunslingers and lawbreakers kept sending each other, as well as other innocent bystanders, to early graves at the Boot Hill Graveyard during its many fierce historical gunfights.

Residents of its heydays taunted that “Tombstone had a man for breakfast every morning!”

It is here that names such as the Earps, the Clantons and the McLaurys as well as Doc Holliday and the “Cowboy gang” gained national fame and went down in history as key players in the course of Tombstone’s history.

Ever heard of the Bisbee Massacre? Here we find another key name John W. Heath – an outlaw turned lawman then back to thievery again upon realizing that upholding the law didn’t pay half as much as breaking the law!

John’s death sentence was served by an angry mob that dragged him from a jail cell in Tombstone and hanged him on a telegraph pole in the street.

However, the truth is…these are not the only people who met their demise in this ghost laden town. In fact, some of the ghosts haunting Tombstone today belong to individuals who died in different ways like the guy who tried to play Romeo and Juliet but it all blew on his face… literally!

The story goes that the young man was a jealous lover who attempted to kill his lover by pumping her full of lead then turned the gun to himself and blew his own brains out.

The joke was on him because the lady survived the fatal gun wounds and never met him on the other side as he had planned (We wonder if he was able to say “Hello” from the other side?).

Some close to 40 souls also lost their lives in two separate infernos that razed two popular buildings housing saloons full of revelers to the ground.

Here are some of the locations from the old town of Tombstone where people have reported ghost sightings

The Bed & Breakfast at the Buford “Ghost” House

Remember our Romeo?

Well, his real name was George and the love sick spirit still remains within this building many years later.

Maybe he came back to check on his girlfriend or maybe he felt stupid after the botched murder/suicide attempt and decided to stick around for another chance to off his cheating girlfriend Petra.

George’s ghost is sometimes seen walking around the premises and some women have reported having their hair, butt and neck stroked by unseen hands.

Seems like George finally found out that there were many Petras in the world!

Others at the bed and breakfast have reported knocks on the walls, lights that appear strangely and faucets turning on/off on their own (or maybe its George washing his hands after touching all those sweaty women?!).

Boot Hill Graveyard

One thing for sure is that many people living in Tombstone during the 1800’s ended up here covered in dirt. This ranges from whores, prospectors, cowboys, gangsters and lawmen.

With close to 250 known graves, it goes without question that the Boot Hill Graveyard is one of the most haunted locations in Tombstone.

Boot Hill Graveyard

Many people have reported seeing strange lights and the infamous Billy Clanton’s ghost is often seen walking from the graveyard to the nearby Tombstone town (maybe to get closure on who shot him at the O.K Corral gunfight).

The Tombstone Streets

Another witness to too many a grisly murders from gunfights or otherwise has to be the streets in Tombstone.

Many people still report an unidentified woman dressed in white dashing across the street while others have seen the ghost of Virgil Earp staggering across the street maybe still trapped in the night of the failed assassination.

Party at the Devil’s Lair: Bird Cage Theatre

The Bird Cage Theatre is the most famous of all Tombstone’s haunted places. The building was once hell… literally! Anything a man of the flesh could ever wish for was here; whores, the drink, gambling and much more.

It comes as no surprise that there are close to 30 ghosts associated with this former Sodom & Gomora turned historic site.

The walls riddled with approximately 140 bullet holes are a clear testament to the evils that went on in there. The tourist attraction remained closed since the 1880’s until it was opened to the public 45 years later.

Ghosts of cowboys and especially one of a visor wearing man have been spotted here. People have also reported hearing noises coming from inside the building probably from patrons who missed last call by a century!

Bird Cage Theatre

One of the famous stories connected to our starring cast includes Wyatt Earp’s statue that was apparently losing its hat or switching positions every night.

It was later discovered that the statue was on the Clanton’s side of the building and once it was moved to the side that Wyatt actually frequented the mysterious happenings stopped.

Another story of a disappearing poker chip is also told of the Bird Cage Theatre. The Hunley family currently runs this establishment and people (including workers and visitors) have reported hearing strange card shuffling noises and glasses clinking as well as the distinct smell of cigar smoke.

The ghosts here are known to play practical jokes like moving heavy objects all over the place.

O.K. Corral

This is another one of Tombstone’s famous places and history has it that two Mc Laury brothers and a Clanton lost their lives here during a gunfight against the Earps (Morgan, Wyatt and Virgil) and Doc.

This is the birth place of the Wyatt Earp legend. Ghostly cowboys in a gunfight stance and drawn guns can still be seen at this location (currently Allen Street) doing a re-run of the gunfight from years ago.

More Haunted Places in Tombstone

There are more haunted locations in Tombstone and these include…

Café Magarita or Nellie Cashman’s Restaurant where the Russ House once stood. Schieffelin Hall built by Al Schieffelin – Ed’s brother Big Nose Kate’s Saloon where the Grand Hotel once stood – “Swamper” the ghostly janitor still lives at the basement.

Witnesses have reported seeing mannequins at the fake balcony make suicidal leaps  or silverware being thrown off the tables by unseen hands.

Red Buffalo Trading where the Campbell and Hatch Billiard Saloon once stood and also where Morgan Earp was killed. His ghost haunts this building.

4 thoughts on “The Ghosts of Tombstone

  1. Hi Chris

    I don’t know if you can recall me, but I posted on one of your articles that I enjoy reading about paranormal stuff.

    I wonder, if besides the Birdcage theatre, are the other places of interest opened as tourist attractions.

    I am interested in checking out the Boot Hill graveyard. Call me crazy, but it would be some experience to witness those flashing lights at night.

    I’ve spent the last couple of weeks visiting the articles you have here and I love each and every one of the them – please keep up the good work

    Looking forward to your next blog post…



    1. Hello once again Roopesh!

      Yes I certainly do remember you – you’ve taken the time to read and leave your opinions on many of our articles recently (so thanks for that!). Always great to hear from a fan of the site. 🙂

      I wouldn’t call you crazy mate – most of the visitors we get here want to experience something of the paranormal whenever possible (actually, myself included!). The lights at the Boot Hill graveyard would be top of my list as well!

      Great to hear from you once again – thanks for your continued support!

  2. My friend Barry and I visited the Birdcage Theater one afternoon (I don’t remember the year…late 90’s). We were the only visitors in there at the time. It was my second trip to Tombstone…Barry’s first. Barry was reading all the inscriptions on the walls, while I waited for him on the upper stage area. While sitting at a long table, I suddenly felt a sensation of cool air from my rear. I turned, and saw a vision of an old cowboy leaning against the stairwell guardrail…just for a moment. I made a hasty retreat downstairs and into the souvenir shop. The counter lady said I was white as a sheet. I told her what happened and she said it happens all the time. After arriving home in Phoenix, I researched pictures of past Tombstone residents…AND THERE HE WAS…my
    ghost was Marshall Fred White who I later learned at one time lived on the spot where the Birdcage was built. OMG. I’m not crazy…76 years old, well educated and of above average intelligence…and I’m telling you I saw Marshall White looking right at me that afternoon in the Birdcage theater in Tombstone Arizona.

    1. Fascinating report Steve – thanks so much for sharing it with us on this article!
      Have you researched any further into this Marshall Fred White character?

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