Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Haunting Hotel

We stepped into the cool dim lobby from the blazing white heat of the Arizona sun. After an afternoon of poking around in antique stores, galleries and shops, it was a welcome relief. We stood for a minute to let our eyes adjust and take in the Victorian opulence of the room. The Copper Queen Hotel opened its doors in 1902 when Bisbee was a bustling city. It is a famous hotel for many reasons. We spontaneously decided to spend the night.

As the woman behind the desk was checking on availability and looking for keys (yes, they are still using keys) a notebook lying on the counter caught my eye. On the cover in black marker were the words Ghost Register Vol. IV. Apparently the hotel is haunted and people write their experiences in the register. I flipped open the book randomly to an entry in 2005. A family reported that they heard someone walking along behind them in the corridor, when they turned around there was no one there. Later that night the key to their room disappeared and was found under the bed. I closed the book and shrugged.

Huh.

We went upstairs to visit room number 301 and 406. Room 301 was lovely; two beds, blue and white striped wallpaper, claw-foot tub. It was fine. We moved on to option 2. When we opened the door to room 406, the Teddy Roosevelt room, we heard water running. We looked at each other. Was someone already in the room? Dave shouted out a "helloooo". Nothing. He went in and found the water was running from the faucet in the tub. Odd. There was no one in the room. Why would the maid leave the water running???? When we went back downstairs we mentioned it at the desk. She poked her head in the back office to report it and then asked if we had turned it off. We looked at each other bewildered.

We opted to stay in 301.

I picked up the Ghost Register and took it over to an overstuffed chair. Perhaps there is more to this. I flipped to the most recent entries. Some people had experiences, some had not. Some were clearly disappointed. Others were nervous and scared. Then I saw an entry from August 25, 2007. The Sims family was staying in the Teddy Roosevelt room and “water in the bath tub turned on by itself.”

Huh.

I re-read it out-loud. Had we had a ghostly encounter?

We speculated about it over dinner at the Bisbee Grill. After a stroll around the quiet historic section of town we went back to the hotel. I didn’t see or feel anything out of the ordinary. The television in the room did not seem to be working very well, but that could be the remote. The TV's snowy reception I would report in the morning.

While the beds were very comfortable, we slept fitfully. The room was sweltering one minute and freezing the next. For my part, I assumed it was my personal summer issues. But Dave was miserable too. The air conditioner seemed to be working fine. Odd. Maybe we were dehydrated or had had too much wine.

While we did not see or hear anything specifically; I do think there is something going on there. I mentioned the temperature fluctuation in the room to the woman at the front desk. She shrugged and said that it happens a lot. She handed me a flyer on the ghosts when we checked out.

“There are 3 resident ghosts at the Copper Queen Hotel. The first, an older man, tall with a long hair and beard, is usually seen wearing a black cape and a top hat. Some claim they smell the aroma of a good cigar either before or after seeing him. He appears in the doorways or as a shadow in some of the rooms in the SE comer of the 4th floor (near Teddy Roosevelt’s old room).

The second and most famous is a female in her early 30s by the name of Julia Lowell. The story goes that she was a lady of the evening on Brewery Gulch and used the rooms in the hotel for her clients. She supposedly fell madly in love with one of the gentleman and upon telling him, he longer wanted anything to do with her. She then took her life at the hotel. Her presence is felt on the West side of the building on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Some men report that they hear a female voice whispering in their ear. Others claim that she appears in the shape of bright white smoke. The room where she practiced her profession is now named the Julia Lowell Room. (315).

Our third and the youngest ghost is a small boy age 8 or 9, who drowned in the San Pedro river. It is believed his spirit found its way to the hotel because a relative, perhaps mother or father was employed here at the time. He is the most mischievous of the 3. Guests on the west side and also the 2nd and 3rd floors report objects in their rooms moved from one table to the next. A few have reported that you can hear his footsteps running through the halls and sometimes his giggle. Others claim that he is connected with bath water. He is never seen, just heard.” (this is an excerpt from a handout at the Copper Queen).

I encourage you to visit. Let me know if you experience anything. And don’t forget to write it in the Ghost Register.

14 comments:

grace said...

I had goosebumps all over while reading this!! Thank God you did not experience something like the John Cusack movie 4108. I hate hotels because there is so much history in it.

BTW, I will be including this post to next week's edition of the Carnival of Cities (I am hosting).

Evelyn said...

I love this stuff! I particularly like the story about Julia Lowell. Not the best decision she made but certainly a passion we can all relate to! Thank you for sharing this and thank you to Grace, you renegade, for posting this in the Carnival of Cities or I might never have seen it. I keep trying to pinpoint something in my city. We have a lot of legends but not too much that is recent or very tangible. I love the fact that the hotel put that registry there! I know where I'm staying if I ever visit Arizona! My husband will probably disagree however. I just won't tell him. :)

Siani said...

A fascinating article, evocatively written. The ghosts of small children are regularly said to be mischievous.

Anonymous said...

...In A Haunting Hotel, posted at murmuring trees, Beverly Robertson relates encounters that may have had ghostly origins during her stay at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona. I enjoy historic old west towns (along with the ghosts that often inhabit them) and with Arizona being my close neighbor to the west, I may have to visit the Copper Queen sometime soon. Thanks for the great tale Beverly.

Season of Shadows October '07 Paranormal Blog Carnival

Anonymous said...

I stayed at this hotel for a night, sadly I didn't see or hear anything strange.
But I was really scared :P

culley said...

My dad also staid in the hotel and heard some on e running across the floor in his room he also heard an old ladie crying in his room too

Captain said...

my dad stayed in that hotel, before knowing it was haunted at all. So he had no fears of it. but when he was in his bathroom, on the 3rd floor, he said that a woman whispered in his ear and simply said "hey.."

Anonymous said...

WELL I HAVE LIVED IN AZ ALL MY LIFE. WELL MY FRIEND AND I AREMOVEING TO GERMANY BECAUSE OUR HUSBANDS ARE IN THE ARMY, WELL WE DECIDED TO GO LOOKING AROUND EVERYWHERE. SO WE STOPPED BY THE HOTEL. WELL RIGHT WHEN YOU WALK IN ITS SO EARIE, YOU GET GOOSEBUMBS. WELL WE WERE LOOKING AT THOSE JOURNALS, MY FRIEND ASKED THE LADY AT THE FRONT DESK WHAT ROOM JULIA WAS IN AND SHE SAID 315 WOULD YOULIKE TO SEE? WE WERE SO SURPRISED SHE GAVE US THE KEY!... FOR FREE.SO YES OF COURSE WE WENT LOOKING AROUND AND TOOK TONS OF PIC OFCOURSE WELL WE CAME BACK AT WAS LOOKING AT THE CAMERA AND WE SAW SO MANY ORBS AND SMUDGES LIKE SPIRITY LIKE. IT WAS FREAKY! BUR SUCH A GREATEXPERIANCE. BUT I WILL NEVER STAY THE NIGHT THERE! BUT SUCH BEAUTIFUL HISTORY~

Alfred said...

Well i am not sure if i had an experience with Julia Lowell at the Copper Queen but mygirlfriend and i stayed there over the weekend for her b-day and we were in the John Wayne room. And we were in bed by 0100 and was awakened about 0240 by the sound of kids playing outside our room. So i deciede to lay in bed and heard a voice call out to someone named Billy. Finally i had enough and went to look out my door but when i looked i found nothing. After that about about 0500 i heard a womans voice whisper something into my ear as i slept.....and it is said that Julia Lowell whispers into men's ears. But anyways that's it, i feel it was Julia......

Magdalene said...

Interesting to know.

gilbert said...

T.A.P.S also investigated this place and said it is truly haunted... had the whole sheet removed from one of the person in the bed in the julia lowell bedroom..

Anonymous said...

just got back from our "ghost hunt" at the copper queen hotel and it was in one word- fabulous!! the instructor for our group was great, and the equipment the hotel supplied us was the real thing- e.m.f. detectors, temp. gages, night vision goggles, etc...my husband and I felt like pros! we also got run of a lot of the rooms and spend time in them which was great. While I never truly "saw" anything (my husband insists he saw Julia as a white smoky figure), I certainly felt the presence as we provoked the ghosts w/ questions asking them to light up the equipment, and sure enough as the gages went haywire did every hair on my body stand on end , as the room temp dropped drastically. I mean you can actually feel the coldness of their invisible body right next to you, as if someone was right there, that sensation was truly indescribable. Also, that morning around 7 am, we were awoken by a chime noise that came from the hall way on the fourth floor (we stayed in 404) not a wind chime as blown around outside, but more a chime of a really old clock, then shortly after this, I heard very slightly, something touching my floral hair accessories I had on the desk in the room, these are synthetic floral hair clips that are brightly colored. Think of the sound if you crushed or pressed on a silk flower. This went on 5 or 10 minutes. Scared to death of what I would see if I looked I quietly told my husband from underneath the covers (we were still in bed at the time) "I think someone is here w/ us", as I said this we slowly peeked at all our equipment which was still on from the night before, and yes, you guessed it, they we were lit up like xmas trees! w/ this the room temp dropped. Freaky. So there you have it, our "experience", one that that would gladly share w/ friends the next time around. And by the way, I had inquired about the "chime" w/ the front desk, and nothing could have made that noise. However apparently according to one of the workers, Julia can be associated w/ musical noises.
Scary, fun and true,
Tara

Anonymous said...

I stayed in the Julia Lowell room last night (march 21,2011). I didn't see or hear anything....but I had a few drinks earlier so i may never have noticed. I also slept with the light on just so i could see anything if it were to happen. nothing. I'll be going back in April to try again.

ladydeluxehotel said...

What a great haunting story!! Your stay there may not be that cool because aside from the running water on room 406, you haven't encounter a ghostly experience.. but i think that Ghost Register is so cool.. Reading those comments and experience while waiting for your own.. really creepy eh?