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 on 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 made of 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 and served the best quality of drinks in town. The beautiful long bar was made out of mahogany They made sure the card games were fair so no one died for cheating. It was a city high class joint not seen in frontier towns. Not surprising, it cornered the market of serving drinks to people with money in town.
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 Marshal Virgil Earp was just upstairs from the Crystal Palace Saloon, He could occasionally hear on those if there was a disturbance. He would go down to the first floor and settle things. As the mines closed, their once proud Crystal Palace Saloon slipped into frumpiness, but it managed to stay open.
During Prohibition years, The Crystal Saloon as a bar was closed and the beautiful bar and back bar and 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, warehouse and a movie theater. After the end of Prohibition, and as Tombstone was made famous by books and films, money started to flow again to Tombstone, as well as the prosperity that came during WW2. The Crystal Palace Saloon reopened again 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 such as 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 what took place there, draws in spirits attached to this place and makes them feel welcome.
Spirits who stay here feel confident and show it.
When a structure is restored to its historic glory, spirits who loved the place will become more active.
A woman dressed like a saloon worker, an old man, cowboys, a sheriff, and others love this place.
When money is hidden and the person who hid it can’t claim it because they died, as spirits they may hang around the place where they hid it. Or if others wanting the money can’t find it, they may continue trying even if dead.
A medium had some interesting things to say about three spirits.
Spirits sometimes like to hang around establishments where they enjoyed food and wine but can indirectly do so now in spirit form.
Spirits who are restless in this world sometimes find comfort in assertive performing their old job as best they can as a spirit.
The Spirit of Virgil Earp feels right at home to step in if the living get out of line.
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 much like he did while alive.
A story is told on a website how a customer of the Crystal Palace Saloon became really rude, obnoxious, and way too physically familiar with the waitress who was assigned to serve him.
This misbehaving customer got disciplined by Virgil Earp in the men’s bathroom. While this customer was washing his hands he saw a taller man in the mirror, dressed as described above. He disappeared when this 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, fooling the bartender.
Sometimes they sit at the chairs at the tables, or by the stage.
An Australian female paranormal investigator was sitting at the bar, enjoying a 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.”
Spirit of old man
Has white hair and well-dressed in 1882 clothes.
His spirit 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.
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 there.
Staff and customers have seen all the above entities, that fade away, as well as other paranormal activity.
A photograph caught a mist of an apparition.
A medium shared that the three cowboys were still guarding the money they stole that they hid in the saloon.
420 E Allen St,
Tombstone, AZ 85638
Crystal Palace Saloon sits on E Allen St., on the corner of E Allen Street and N. 5th Street, in the heart of the old Red Light District, now in historic downtown of 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