Men have been entertained by the spirit of a prostitute.
The third floor guests and staff experience a hotbed of activity!
The 4 story, brick, Victorian/Italian Villa style Copper Queen Hotel is described as being “One of the Last Remaining Historical Gems of the Southwest.” In fact, it is Arizona’s longest operational hotel, as it has been in continuous service as a high class hotel since it was built so long ago.
This 1902 turn-of-the-century old dame of hotels has 4 floors, offering 45 comfortable, atmospheric rooms updated with modern “conveniences” such as air conditioning, heat in the winter, direct-dial telephones, private baths and color TV. The hotel has two lovely lobbies and a full service restaurant; Not only inside dining but also an outside “misted” patio dining area as well. Of course, there is an “old west” saloon, and a banquet room for special events and receptions.
Tom and I visited the glorious Copper Queen Hotel one July morning (2006 cross country trip) and enjoyed a fine breakfast out on the awning-covered patio veranda. The inside of the hotel is rich in 1902 style and elegance, with turn-of-the-century architecture, antiques and ambiance! We went up the grand staircase to the upper floors, exploring the hallways with their high ceilings, and enjoying the view from the third floor windows. The third floor has the traditional balcony. We loved the charm and feeling of this grand place, feeling at home at once.
The city of Bisbee got it’s start when it was discovered in 1877 as being a treasure trove of copper, lead and silver veins. Army scouts on the trail of rebellious Apaches, were led by civilian Jack Dunn through the Mule Mountains, who was the first to discover the signs of considerable mineral deposits, which turned out to be enormous! These rich deposits weren’t “played out” until 1974 when the mining operations closed down for good.
It wasn’t long before miners and speculators flocked to this area, staking their claims on the numerous, huge mineral deposits, setting up a very prosperous mining settlement, called the “Queen of the Copper Camps.” By 1902, when other mines were weakening, Bisbee was still growing and in need of basic services. It became incorporated as a city, called Bisbee in 1902, and grew into a community of 25,000 people, by 1910!
The Copper Queen Hotel was built in 1902, by the wealthy Copper Queen Mining Company to provide high class “accommodations” for visiting dignitaries, politicians and other travelers visiting this booming city. For nearly a hundred years, the mines produced “8 billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver and 2.8 million ounces of gold along with millions of pounds of zinc, lead and manganese.” The mines survived price drops, labor costs, even WW 2. However, like mining industry-based cities everywhere, sooner or later Bisbee had to face the challenge of how to survive or not when the ore inevitably was used up. In 1975, the mines closed for good, sending real estate prices in a tailspin. However, Bisbee was spared becoming a ghost town, or suffering prolonged economic hardship because of several factors.
The mild year-round weather and its natural early 20th century charm, as well as the cheap real estate immediately drew retirees, “hippies,” visitors and investors. Bisbee soon became an art colony, a wonderful place to retire and a huge tourist draw because of tourist friendly interests, the variety of art shops and lovely hotels housed in turn-of-the-century buildings, which were ultimately restored to their former splendor.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
The Copper Queen Hotel, located in the heart of down town, was kept up during its 105 years of existence, always being a great place to stay and spend the night. It is not surprising that former guests, hard working employees and others connected to the hotel may decide to stick around in such a grand place.
Throughout its history, it also provided gainful employment to residents of Bisbee; mostly respectable, with one glaring exception involving female companionship, offered on the hotel’s third floor, which was tolerated during the early part of the 20th century.
Miss Julia Lowell was such a female companion, who “serviced” men in rooms on the third floor of The Copper Queen Hotel, during the 1920s-’30s, a time when prostitution was tolerated in Arizona. Traditionally, the young women who worked in this “fallen angel” industry, hoped to find a husband among her many clients, in order to join respectable society. Julia fell in love; hook, line and sinker, at the age of thirty with a gentleman who didn’t share her feelings. Though he enjoyed her body, he rejected her as marriage material. In despair, she killed herself.
An active young 8 or 9 year old son of a woman who worked in the hotel’s dining room used to play on the third floor. Tragedy struck when the boy died in a dumb, kid accident. He drowned while swimming in either the neighborhood pond or the San Pedro River.
Some guests it seems enjoyed their stays in this hotel so much while living, that they have decided to spend their after-life here as well, which is the case in many classy hotels.
Dedicated employees continue to help out, not letting the fact that they are dead stop them!
The entity of the still alluring, flirtatious Miss Julia Lowell
mostly haunts the west side of the building on the third floor and rooms, especially Room 315, though she occasionally is seen in other spots in the hotel.
* Some men hear a female voice whispering in their ear.
* She only appears to men.
* Sometimes seen as a bright white smoke.
* Men who sleep in Room 315 are awakened in the middle of the night and treated to an eye-full at the foot of their bed. Julia dances a seductive striptease, smiling as she fades away into the air.
* Julia has been seen on the grand staircase, described as looking like a filled-out, real looking person with not much on clothing-wise, clutching a bottle of booze.
The Entity of the young 8 or 9 year old boy
likes to play on the third floor and the dining room of the hotel.
* The entity of this boy is a bit of a rascal who likes to hide various items belonging to the guests, who stay in the hotel rooms, especially on the third floor.
* Guests can hear him crying when they run the water in the bath tub.
* The entity has appeared before guests wrapped in a towel.
* Children enjoying a meal in the dining room often see this friendly entity under their tables.
The entity of an older, dignified “gentleman”
has chosen to spend his after-life in a place he loved during his life time.
* He is described by witnesses as being tall, with long hair and a beard, dressed in a fine, black suit, complete with a black cape and top hat.
* He appears to the living in the lobby and stairway, and in rooms located on the fourth floor, southeast corner.
* Witnesses have also caught the aroma of cigar smoke either before or after seeing this stately apparition.
A reddish brown-haired, solid, pink complexioned apparition of a young woman
in her early 20s, appeared to a front desk employee in the dining room, from the waist up! Her hair was up in a bun, and she was wearing an early 1900s era high collar blouse. Perhaps she worked in the dining room as a server at some point.
* This same front desk employee would occasionally hear the sound of a woman walking across the dining room floor and the sound of her long skirt dragging across the room as well, when no one living was there.
An entity known as Howard
checks up on the hotel employees, seeing how they are doing.
* Front Desk employees often get a phone call from this past 1910 front desk clerk, Howard. After answering the phone, they hear a disembodied voice asking for Howard.
* While working on the hotel’s computer, an employee feels a presence enter the office, which stands behind the employee’s chair and looks over the employee’s shoulder, as she feels chills run through her person.
Another spirit of a man inhabits the third floor as well.
* Employees hear their name being called as they go about their jobs on the third floor, and throughout the hotel as well.
* The heavy steps of a man’s heavy boots are heard walking up and down the third floor hallway.
A stately woman dressed in a black, turn-of-the-century evening gown
has been seen walking up and down the grand staircase as well, when she is on her way to the dining room where she disappears.
Oh yes indeed!
Entities still enjoy the hotel, especially the third floor, a hotbed of activity. These entities are basically well-behaved, though some are a bit mischievous and perhaps a bit nosey, but mean no harm to the living.
South West ghost Hunter’s Assoc. have done some research with some positive results: sgha.net
Independent investigator Roger Linnenburger stayed 3 days at the Copper Queen Hotel in room 312, taking pictures in this room and all the rooms and hallways on the third floor, catching orbs.
There are many eye witness accounts, and paranormal investigations have come up with some interesting results. Southwest Ghosthunters Assoc. conducted two such investigations.
11 Howell Avenue
Bisbee, Arizona 85603
The Copper Queen Hotel can be found in the town of Bisbee, which is 95-100 miles southeast of Tucson on Arizona Route 80, just 20 miles away from Tombstone. Bisbee is a high dessert community nestled in the Mule mountains,which has an elevation is 5,300 feet. Bisbee has the advantage of being 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Tucson or Phoenix, cities which are located on the flat lands.
- Copper Queen Hotel Brochure
- SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS
by Debe Branning
Golden West Publishers
- ARIZONA GHOST STORIES
By Antonio R. Garcez
Red Rabbit Press