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Unexplained Cases | Spiritual Showdown

Written by: Darren Dedo
Case Filed: 12/31/19 - Tombstone, Arizona
Executive Producer: Rick Garner


Tombstone, Arizona was home to Lawman Wyatt Earp, gunfighter Doc Holiday, dancing girls, saloons, gambling halls, and ladies of the night. There was something for everyone in this old dusty western town in the late 1800’s. The days of the old west are over, now, ghosts are said to haunt this quaint old town. 

Kenn Barrett is a Tombstone native who is now a Wyatt Earp impersonator. He explains why many people believe the town is haunted.

“Famous ghost stories here are about the shadow people. Don’t look directly at them when you are walking down the sidewalk actually at night if you look just out of the corner of your eye, you’ll see people between the buildings looking at something. Then, you look at them and then they’re gone. A very common report we get here in Tombstone,” said Barrett.

The Unexplained Cases team: Darren, and his ghost hunting twin daughters, Gracie and Caroline, rolled into Tombstone in hopes of making contact with the ghosts and spirits of the historic Arizona town. We also wanted to speak with the people who’ve had their own paranormal experiences.

One of those people is Martin Marszalek Tombstone’s colorful Doc Holiday character.

“I took about 4 more steps and all of a sudden I had something grab my shoulder. I spun around thinking my friend snuck up behind me and there was nothing there. There is so much paranormal activity going on around here, it is absolutely amazing.” said

Here is a little background on Tombstone. Historians say it got its name from prospector Ed Schieffelin. The Pennsylvania native went to Arizona, which was the home of the Apache Indians to find silver. But, he was given a dire warning. He was told he’d lose his scalp to the Indians and the only stones that he would find were not silver or gold, but on his Tombstone. So, when he did strike it rich with silver, he named the town Tombstone in 1879.

Two years later, on October 26th 1881, arguably one of the most famous events in the American Old West happened at a place called the OK Corral. Tension between the Outlaw Cowboys, Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury. Also, lawmen, brothers Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp, along with friends Doc Holiday led to 30 shots fired. Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton were all killed. Virgil and Morgan were shot, but survived. Doc Holiday was only grazed and Wyatt untouched.

The bodies of the dead cowboys eventually ended at the nearby Boot Hill cemetery, along with other Tombstone residents who mostly met a violent end.

Thanks to our special tour guides, the Unexplained Cases Team was introduced to many Tombstone residents who wanted to tell us their ghost stories.

The first stop was Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, which used to be the old Grand Hotel. Kate was a famous prostitute and her longtime companion was Doc Holiday. Today, the hotel is a saloon named after her. Downstairs it’s said to be haunted by the spirit of an old hotel janitor, nicknamed “the swamper.”

Store employee, Tina Morales has experienced some unexplained events.

“I came into work. I was coming down those stairs and I get to about here when I realize that there was a shirt thrown here. There were two or three falling from where the shirts were stacked and then there was one behind the counter by the register,” said Morales.

We tried to make contact with “the swamper,” Kate, or Doc, using our Ovilus. The theory is that ghosts are able to choose from a list of words on the electronic device and speak through it.

We also measured changes in the electromagnetic field with our K2 Meter.

Unfortunately, our results were inconclusive. No contact with any of the old west characters.

Our next stop was the Crystal Palace Saloon, which was originally known as the Golden Eagle Brewing Company. It was one of the first saloons in Tombstone. Its owners, Kim and RJ Herrig say they have a few spirits of their own.

Kim had her experience in the downstairs part of the saloon.

“It was like 2:30 in the morning. I was here all by myself. I was up at the end of the bar and you know the sound of spurs on the boardwalk. Well, I heard walking down the hallway where the restrooms are. So, that sound is different from the boardwalk sound. So, I thought I left the door unlocked and someone is in the bathroom. I came down there I thought I was hearing things as soon as I got down to the end of the bar again, the Cowboy was walking in the hallway,” said Herrig.

The Unexplained Cases team tried connecting with the dead with our Ovilus again and we also pulled out the spirit box. Paranormal investigators believe spirits are able to speak through the white noise of the spirit box as it scans radio channels in the area.

RJ Herrig thought the results were intriguing.

“Aim and shoot, tree. There used to be the hanging tree outside here. It was a hanging tree. Right out this window here. They cut the big one off and left the little on there. But, that is where they hung people in Tombstone. Really,” said Herrig.

While these two spots could be haunted, according to Kenn Barrett there is one place in Tombstone that nearly everyone claims to have had some kind of paranormal experience.

“I’ve been here for 15 years and if there is such a thing as a haunted town, its Tombstone Arizona. And, if there is only one haunted place in the whole world it is the Bird Cage Theater,” said Barrett.

The Birdcage’s owner is Billy Hunley.

“Well, the Birdcage Theater was a combination Saloon, gambling hall, and a house of ill repute all in one. There were 16 gunfights, 7 fatal, killing 26 people, leaving 140 bullet holes throughout the walls, ceilings, and floors,” said Hunley.

Billy claims to have had many paranormal experiences himself.

“I’ve heard walking through the foyer, into the backroom. I’ve been whispered to twice. Shushed once while telling a story. I was sitting here looking at the Gmail and I knew there was someone over my shoulder I could literally smell her and then she sprayed perfume under my noise and pulled my hair and took off,” said Hunley.

Right next to the Bird Cage is Nora’s Place, a Tombstone shop that used to be the undertaker’s office in the 1800’s.

Family friend, Jessica Fry, was helping out in the store one time, and got quite a scare.

“I was helping Nora’s daughter, Audrey, planning her wedding stuff, and we were in here and it was quiet and we started hearing dragging sounds. Kind of ignored it a little bit. A little bit later I was leaning on one of these counters and hear dragging sounds in the back of the building and as a I turned, I looked and caught an apparition halfway in between the door from the right to the left,” said Fry.

Business owner Nora Weed believes her shop could be a portal for spirits into Tombstone.

“I’ve gotten over 800 names out of this building. So, I never know who is coming and going. Some come and never leave, and they come with people. This whole town is haunted,” said Weed.

The Unexplained Cases Team joined Nora and some of her friends for a paranormal investigation in the place where the deceased were kept in Tombstone.

Nora started the event off with some words for the ghosts.

“I want all of my residents to know that I have kids in here tonight. You guys know my rules about the kids. I laid that down last night with you. It is no difference if it was my grandchildren were in here you back off. Do you understand me? Got it. Got it. That was so clear you could tell that.”

Nora uses a laser grid to detect motion, audio equipment to hear voices from the dead, and also a flashlight that can be supposedly turned off and on by a ghost when answering our questions.

Gracie was the first brave soul to step up to make a connection with one of the building’s spirits. We had no idea what was yet to happen to her over the next 10 minutes.

Nora believes one of the spirits connected with Gracie.

“Okay, I just saw something reach out in front of Gracie. On her right side. Down there that is where I saw a hand reach out,” said Weed.

Nora believes the spirit that was interacting with Gracie is named Mike. Possibly a man who was murdered near Tombstone.

Gracie was shocked with what she was experiencing. A spirit was literally touching her.

“Okay I’m not making this up, something is moving my arm. I’m not making this up. Oh my God. I see it right there. My entire hand is moving. I’m not doing it,” said Gracie.

While this was happening one of the Unexplained Cases’ cameras caught what appeared to be a light anomaly zooming across the room.

Mike continued interacting with Gracie.

“He’s treating me like a lady. Oh, he’s lowering my hand. Thank you, Mike. This is so weird, I am not even moving my hand,” said Gracie.

But what began as innocent ghost flirtation took a more serious turn. Nora had to step in to protect Gracie.

“Tell him to back off. Back off. Do you know how to close down? Oh God, Let’s go sit you down. Don’t let him get up on you,” said Weed.

Gracie was physically and emotionally drained.

“I can’t hear. Oh god I can’t hear properly. Mike, I do not appreciate this!” said Gracie. 

The junior paranormal investigator was rattled, but fortunately not harmed.

Gracie explained to Nora what happened.

“I was just standing up there and all of a sudden my stomach started hurting. Felt like something was in my head affecting my vision,” said Gracie.

The Unexplained Cases team asked Nora why a spirit would interact with Gracie this way. She says it has a lot to do with Gracie’s sensitivity to spirits.

“When you are an empath they can lift your hands. He kind of thinks your daughter is cute. He was flirting with her and was trying to take her to the backroom. That’s why I said no. Dad says no, no, no definitely,” said Weed.

Tombstone, Arizona was a town full of guns, girls, gambling and, yes ghosts. This once thriving mining town is buzzing with paranormal activity. It is very easy to see why many believe Tombstone is one of the most haunted places in the world.


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