Bisbee, Arizona came into existence in 1890. At one time, during the heyday of the mining industry in the west, Bisbee was the largest city west of the Mississippi River. A mining company, Phelps Dodge Mining Company, started building the Copper Queen Hotel in 1898 as a place for executives to stay when visiting. The hotel was built on the side of the Mule Mountains making construction a rather difficult undertaking, and the hotel was not completed for four years. The luxury hotel was completed and ready for guests in February of 1902. It has been in continuous operation since that time, and has never once locked its doors.
The Copper Queen Hotel is said to be haunted by several ghosts. The most intriguing is that of a lady probably in her early thirties, Julia Lowell. She is said to have committed suicide in the hotel after being spurned by the man she loved. He rejected her, perhaps, because she was “a lady of the evening on Brewery Gulch.” Evidently she took her clients to the hotel.
Guests staying on the second and third floors of the west side of the building have encountered Ms. Lowell’s spirit accompanied by the smell of cheap perfume. Mostly men report that they hear her whispering in their ear. Sometimes she dances “provocatively at the foot of the bed and it’s said that she likes to play with men’s feet.” She sometimes slips into bed with couples. She likes to pull the covers off of people. She has also appeared as a feminine “shape of bright white smoke.”
Another spirit inhabiting the Copper Queen is that of an older gentleman. He is said to be a tall man “with long hair and a beard.” He wears a “black cape and a top hat.” Often witnesses claim they smell “the aroma of a good cigar either before or after seeing him.” His spirit is glimpsed in the southeast section of the fourth floor in doorways or “as a shadow in some of the rooms.”
On the second and third floors of the west side of the hotel, a young male spirit of eight or nine called Billy is said to move objects around the rooms. His footsteps are sometimes heard running through the halls, accompanied by giggles and jiggling of doorknobs. Some guests report feeling his presence when they run their bath water. Adam Lamb, the general manager, hears Billy crying and screaming for his mom. The child is thought to have been the son of one of the past employees of the hotel. He is believed to have drowned in the nearly San Pedro River.
Renee Gardner, author of the book The Ghosts of the Copper Queen Hotel has had numerous paranormal experiences in the hotel, and claims that there are at least 16 entities inhabiting the Copper Queen.
Gardner, Renee. The Ghosts of the Copper Queen Hotel. Starsys Publishing: Tucson, AZ, 2010.
SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunter episode “Spirits of the Old West” at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3fk8p_ghost-hunters-bisbee-part-1_blog
S.P.I.R.I.T's investigation of the Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee Arizona at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeSx3opvJ9s