Spirits mingle with the patrons, appearing in
solid form probably for a variety of reasons.
Stepping into the Crystal Palace Saloon is a glorious step back into time.
There are beautiful chandeliers hanging down over the tables. On the left side of this large rectangular building is the mother of all mahogany bars that runs ALMOST all the way to the entrance, and an equally gorgeous back bar with large mirrors. Tables and chairs make up the rest of the floor space.
The stage area, used for live music on Friday and Saturday nights, is located on the back wall.
The kitchen must be on the east wall. The Crystal Palace Saloon keeps up the long tradition of offering a great variety of food which all looks delicious.
In 1879, another business opened its doors at this strategic location. The Gold Eagle Brewery was a fine, upscale business with Bock Beer, offered a free lunch, and had a display of wild animals. It sat next to Campbell and Hatch Saloon and Billiard Parlor. They started the tradition of having an upscale place to drink.
However in 1882, a fire started in the Tivoli Saloon that burned a lot of the town, which was built from wood, including the Golden Eagle Brewery. However, the idea of offering the best to attract the upper class and others with good taste lived on. Entrepreneur Frederick Wehrfritz had a great, ambitious plan for this great location. He built a large upscale building on the corner with a second story structure for offices.
He filled his saloon with high class items, like crystal ware that created a wonderful cultured atmosphere. Mr. Wehrtriz served the best quality drinks in town, built a beautiful long bar made out of mahogany and made sure the card games were fair so no one died for cheating. It was a city high class joint of a kind not seen in frontier towns. Not surprisingly, it cornered the upscale market.
The offices above the saloon were for well-known doctors; army surgeon Dr. George Goodfellow, Coroner Dr. Matthews, and lawmen like Sheriff / Federal Deputy Marshall Virgil Earp. Because Earp was just upstairs from the Crystal Palace Saloon, he could occasionally hear if there was a disturbance. He would go down to the first floor and settle things. As the mines closed, the once proud Crystal Palace Saloon slipped into frumpiness, but it managed to stay open.
During Prohibition, The Crystal Saloon was closed and its two bars and the gaming tables were removed. The second floor was removed as well. It became an ordinary building but it had good bones and was used for other purposes. It was a Greyhound bus station, a warehouse, and a movie theater. After the end of Prohibition, and as Tombstone was made famous by books and films, money started to flow in again, as well as the prosperity that came during WW2. The Crystal Palace Saloon reopened as a regular bar.
After the addition of the historical downtown city of Tombstone to the National Register of Historic District Landmarks in 1961, it wasn’t long until an organization, Historic Tombstone Adventures, bought this famous saloon with the goal of restoring it to its 1882 glory. Using old photos, its historic decor was painstakingly recreated, including the huge mahogany bar and back bar. A false front second story was rebuilt where the second floor once stood.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Historical places that portray past events and everyday life by reenacting them draw in the old spirits that were once attached to them and make them feel welcome.
Spirits who stay here feel confident and show it.
When a structure or building is restored to its historic glory, spirits who loved the place will become more active.
The spirits of a woman dressed like a saloon worker, an old man, cowboys, a sheriff, and others all love this place.
When money is hidden and the person who hid it can’t claim it because they have died, as spirits they may return and hang around that place. If others who covet the money can’t find it, they may continue searching for it even if dead.
A medium had some interesting things to say about three spirits.
Spirits sometimes attach themselves to establishments where they once enjoyed food and wine but can only indirectly do so now in their bodies form.
Spirits who are restless in this world sometimes find comfort in assertively performing their old job, as best they can as spectres.
The spirit of Virgil Earp feels right at home to step in if the living get out of line.
The Spirit of Virgil Earp
Described as an older man dressed in 1880 era clothes.
Apparently, “No funny business or rudeness allowed in the Crystal Palace.” This spirit handles rude, obnoxious behavior from patrons much as he did while alive.
The story is told on a website of how a customer became really rude, obnoxious, and way too physically familiar with the Crystal Palace waitress who was assigned to serve him.
This misbehaving customer got disciplined by Virgil Earp in the men’s bathroom. While he was washing his hands he saw a taller man in the mirror, behind him dressed as described above. He disappeared when the customer turned around.
Then as an unseen presence, this spirit grabbed the customer by the arm and threw him up against the wall, and what felt like an arm was pressed up against the customer’s throat. This was a terrifying experience.
Spirits of Cowboys
These spirits are seen as solid apparitions, sitting at the bar, and even fooling the bartender.
Sometimes they sit at the tables, or by the stage.
An Australian paranormal investigator was sitting at the bar, enjoying her drink. “I had a short sleeved shirt on. I had my arms resting on the bar and I felt a hand stroke the underside of my elbow in a very sensual manner. I looked to see if anyone had sat in the chair and brushed past me but there was still an empty chair.”
The Spirit of an old man
Has white hair and is well-dressed in 1882 clothes.
He has been seen sitting at a table, when he rises and go to the men’s bathroom.
He also likes to appear in the hallway outside the men’s bathroom. He likes to play with the bathroom lights and the water faucets.
The Spirit of a woman dressed provocatively
Perhaps a younger Big Nosed Kate. She appears in solid form in her 1880s outfit.
She stands on the bar, and looks intently for someone, like she is on a mission, perhaps trying to find Doc Holliday.
Spirits who love this place and who have a mission to fulfill are not shy about appearing to the living. They feel right at home, and believe that they have the same right as the living to be here.
Staff and customers have seen all the above entities, often as they fade away right in front of them, as well as other paranormal activity.
A photograph caught a mist of an apparition.
A medium has shared that the three cowboys are still guarding the money they stole that they hid in the saloon.
420 East Allen Street,
Tombstone, AZ 85638
Crystal Palace Saloon sits on East Allen Street, North 5th Street, in the heart of the old Red Light District, now in historic downtown Tombstone. It is only a block and a half from the OK Corral, and not far from other Tombstone attractions.
- Haunted Tombstone, by Cody Polston, pg. 76-84, Published by Haunted America, 2018
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr