A place where spirits are fascinated
with electricity and enjoy playing with the lights!
“Tombstone: The Town too tough to die.”
Tom and I visited Tombstone recently on our road trip during the summer of 2019. Wow! It was a real blast from the Past! Visitors park in lots just outside of town and walk to Tombstone. No cars are allowed in the historic downtown areas, just horse drawn carriages and stagecoaches.
In the heart of downtown, every structure on East Allen Street or the property where it stands has a long historical past that reaches way back to the days of Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Doc Holliday and other well-known western characters. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Districts Landmark.
The historic buildings along Allen Street and other downtown streets have all been restored and renovated nicely without taking away from their original character. While the streets are paved, the walkways in front of the stores are wooden planks, with trees and dirt in an area by the side of the paved road.
The original restored and renovated Hatch Billiards structure still has its sign proudly displayed up by the roof front, and is now a beautiful, permanent edifice from the past that is located between two other trading company stores, sharing a wall with each of them.
The Red Buffalo Trading Company has its own sign, appropriately enough a big red buffalo, hanging perpendicular to the front door. It has a very patriotic storefront, with antique American Flags hanging in the upper windows about the large bay windows that show off what they have to offer. Its specialties are western antiques, Native American Art and Crafts, and leather goods as well.
The store also has nice upscale, unique western gifts, that can only be found in Tombstone. One such gift I wish I had bought was a cool photo picture, in the front left window, with the caption: “Justice is Coming” and below that is a back shot of the Earp brothers (Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt) and Doc Holliday walking down the street.
By 1880, Tombstone was jumping with people; good citizens, business people, the upper class and the lower classes, and the outlaws and criminals as well. But regardless of class, people enjoyed a drink and a chance to play pool or billiards. So two gentlemen, Bob Hatch and John Campbell, opened their first saloon with billiard tables in the back, calling it Campbell & Hatch Saloon and Billiards. There was also a stage for entertainment.
Bob Hatch opened up other saloons in town as well. Sometime along the way, Campbell sold his interest in the business to Hatch, and Campbell’s name was taken off the sign.
Bob Hatch was a brave businessman who also served the town for years by being elected to the city council. He was an amateur actor as well. He was quite a character, a very likable fellow on the right side of the law. He kept a jar of frogs on the counter as their croaking helped him predict the weather. They were sort of his pets.
The Hatch Saloon and Billiard Parlor became the favorite place for the Earp brothers to hang out for a drink and a game of pool. Bob Hatch became friends with them and stood by them in times of danger and in the court room as well. He followed them to the OK Corral where Virgil hoped to disarm Henry Clanton, and the McCleary brothers.
The shootout at the OK Corral was just one deadly skirmish in a long-standing feud between the forces of the law, personified by Wyatt and his brothers, and the law-breaking ranchers and the outlaw cowboys who resented the law for interfering with their lucrative dishonest ways. While three of the threatening bad actors were killed in the OK Corral, Henry’s brother, Ike Clanton who was unarmed, fled the scene and pressed charges against the Earps, for killing Henry and his crew.
When the Earps were backed up by the court, the feud continued between the Earps and the two groups. Daily, the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday received threatening letters to either leave town or be killed.
After the final battles in this long-running feud, Wyatt Earp was victorious and the people of Tombstone rejoiced, and peace reigned.
In 1886, Bob Hatch must have been inspired by the actions of Wyatt Earp, because he ran for sheriff but he didn’t win. Hatch’s Saloon and Billiards was probably burned down in the 1886 fire. That whole street was rebuilt again by determined townspeople, who didn’t know how to give up.
In 1914, all the saloons in Arizona were shut, so the word “Saloon” was taken off the sign. What kept Tombstone eking out a living was the fact that the Pima County seat was still in Tombstone. Perhaps the stage inside Hatch’s establishment was used more to generate additional income. Being a wanna-be thespian, perhaps he had short plays.
In 1929, when the county seat was moved, most of the downtown businesses may have closed up shop for a short while, until all the hype about the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” event exploded and Tombstone became famous, and the model for many westerns produced in movies, written about in books and finally TV programs, like Gunsmoke.
Tombstone was saved by the early tourist trade in the 1930s that only grew as the years passed. Money became available to rebuild businesses in Tombstone. In 1946, there was enough left of Hatch’s former Saloon and Billiard Parlor to be a good candidate for restoration and renovation to make it a viable business space.
After 1961, the people of Tombstone were able to get loans through the NHDL to restore the historical structures, being careful to stay within the guidelines. Creative minds came up with clever activities that harkened back to their history, to offer for sale items and books, tours, and rides. Spirits with attachments to this special place were also drawn back, or became newly active as well.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
When people dress in costumes, portraying an era, and offer activities rooted in that era they are portraying, it may inspire spirits to become more active as they feel comfortable enough to do so.
Williamsburg, VA (All the authentic house museums, and other important building museums like the jail, plus employees dressing up in 18th century clothes, doing crafts, cooking and other demonstrations of chores done in this time period make the spirits feel right at home too).
Gettysburg Battle Field, PA (War Re-enactments that take place here have drawn back spirits of Civil War soldiers who actually interact with living participants).
Deseret Village, UT (Spirits of Mormons who owned the houses and businesses that have been moved here to create this Mormon village, feel very comfortable and interact with the living).
Red Buffalo Trading Company, AZ (Spirits from Boot Hill may be visiting the historic district of Tombstone, as it resembles the town they knew).
When a structure is restored and renovated into a commercial business once more, the spirit of the original owner may be drawn back, wanting to be involved once more.
Bair Bistro, WA (The spectral owner of the drug store that once was located here has come back and tries to help the living, becoming one of their team).
Historic Kewaunee Inn, WI (The spirits of Mr. William Karsten, his grandson and a maid, Agatha, who loved Mr. Karsten, became active after the first renovation and restoration of this historic hotel that feels much like it did when they were alive. They feel comfortable enough to be themselves).
Bullock Hotel, SD (The spirit of Seth Bullock has taken an active role in being the spectral owner).
Red Buffalo Trading Company, AZ (The spirit of a former owner may be here as well, Bob Hatch or later owner George Barry, keeping the other spirits here company and trying to help the present business now occupying his old saloon and billiard hall).
When people are killed suddenly at the hands of another, their spirits can become stuck, not ready to go to the sprit world, and/or not ready to accept their death. Sometimes they stay in the area where they were killed, or they move into their favorite structure in life.
Lumber Baron Inn and Gardens, CO (Two young women who were brutally murdered here now reside in the mansion, watch the living, and yearn for justice as their killer was never caught).
Carey Hotel, CA (An amorous hotel manager who romanced the wrong woman and met his end on the hotel’s central stairs, still performs his job).
Gettysburg Battlefield, PA (Spirits of soldiers from both sides are stuck reliving their last day of life before dying in the three day bloodbath that happened here).
Red Buffalo Trading Company, AZ (Morgan Earp died here suddenly via assassination, as did George Berry. His spirit resides in this business and tries to be helpful. George’s spirit may also visit and chips in on the chores).
On Saturday evening, March 18, 1882: An attack happened that further heated up the feud between Earp and his forces and the outlaw ranchers and cowboys.
After enjoying Tombstone’s Scheifflin Hall performance of Stolen Kisses, a play by William Horace Lingard and Company, Morgan and Tipton headed for Hatch’s Saloon and Billiard Parlor. Morgan and Hatch himself began a game of pool, with Wyatt, Tipton, and McMaster watching. The pool table was located in the back of the saloon, near the back door.
At 10:50 pm, an assassin fired two shots through the window of the back door. “One bullet passed through Morgan, shattered his spine, and then lodged in the thigh of George A. B. Berry, who died a few weeks later. Another bullet struck the wall over Wyatt’s head. Wyatt, McMaster and Tipton pulled Morgan out of the line of fire while Hatch dashed outside looking for the shooters.”
Morgan’s wounds were looked at by town doctors who declared them to be fatal. If it had happened today, he would’ve wound up in intensive care with a good shot at surviving. He was laid on the lounge, and died there, surrounded by his bothers and their wives. His wife Louisa was in California for safety’s sake.
When the living have no closure and had issues in their mourning process concerning the passing of their loved one, they may want to visit the spirit of their loved one when they themselves are spirits, and sometimes spend their afterlife together.
Whaley House, CA (The spirits of Mr. and Mrs. Whaley have moved back inside to console the spirit of their grieving daughter who killed herself, and to take care of the spirit of their toddler).
Old Allen House, AR (Spirits of the Allen family keep a distraught family member company).
Bowman House, VT (Loss and sorrow suffered in this world is gone with a spectral family reunion).
Red Buffalo Trading Company, AZ (Morgan’s common-law wife, Louisa, didn’t see Morgan alive again. She may have mourned him and perhaps worried if he was ok as a spirit. While she married another, she may has kept a place in her heart for Morgan. It is her spirit that many claim visits inside the Red Buffalo Trading Company).
General signs of the presence of spirits: Spirits are fascinated with electricity and like to play with the lights. The living have heard disembodied footsteps.
Signs of Spirits
General signs of unseen presences have been observed.
Spirits are fascinated with electricity and like to play with the lights.
The living have heard disembodied footsteps.
The Spirit of Morgan
His apparition has been seen at night after closing, working as a spectral security guard, doing his part to keep the store safe.
He guards both the front and back doors.
Unknown people who come into the store when it is closed can be met by the aggressive spirit of Morgan Earp, trying to scare them out of the store.
Strangers need to enter with the owner when the store is closed.
The Spirit of Louisa
A female spirit makes a personal appearance in front of living witnesses as she walks into this structure.
It is theorized that she is the spirit of Morgan’s common-law wife, Louisa.
Disembodied voices are probably heard between a male and a female.
Her apparition may have been seen inside the store as well as outside.
The Spirits of Bob Hatch and/or George Berry
Hatch was good friends with Morgan, and had a business here that he loved. However, George Berry was also a friend and died from a bullet wound he suffered in the attack on Morgan and may be here as well.
Probably both spirits try to help out the workers.
In one incident, a staff member didn’t quite finish stocking the items for sale in the display shelves. So he went home and came back first thing in the morning, slipping inside before anyone else arrived.
Imagine his surprise to see that someone had tried to finish this chore by putting the items on the shelves. They were not put on the right shelves, and it took this staff member some time and effort to find them and shelve them correctly.
Spirits of Morgan’s Companions
On the former stage, a female apparition and two male apparitions have been seen there together.
These spirits could be Louisa, Hatch and/or Barry, along with the spirit of Morgan Earp.
Many people have seen these spirits and staff have experienced the helpful handiwork of the spirits of Hatch and/or Barry, personal appearances of the spirit of Louisa, and the protective services of the spirit of Morgan.
No hard evidence of their existence has been shared by investigators on-line.
Most Probably so!
The spirit of Morgan Earp is making himself useful for the owners, and gets visits from his Louisa who checks up on him.
Bob Hatch and/or George Berry are also active, stepping up to the plate and helping the living as well.
The Red Buffalo Trading Company
412 East Allen Street,
The historic town of Tombstone is out in the middle of the dessert, about 190 miles from Phoenix, and sits on the plateau above most of the silver mines.
Buffalo Trading Company is located in a row of stores in old frontier structures on East Allen between 5th and 4th Street, and between Fremont and East Toughnut Street, in the heart of historic Tombstone. It shares a wall with The Golden Eagle Brewery Building, and was across the street from the theater and bowling alley