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.
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.”
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.