Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Haunted Saloons of the Wild West

Stacey Coverstone, author
Haunted Saloons of the Wild West
by Stacey Coverstone
Copyright © 2012 Stacey Coverstone

There’s just no talking about the American Old West without mentioning the saloons and the ghosts that continue to haunt them. The very term "saloon” conjures up a picture within our minds of a wooden false front, a wide boardwalk flanking the dusty street, a couple of hitching posts, dance hall girls, and swinging doors brushing against a cowboy as he made his way to the long polished bar in search of a whiskey to wet his parched throat. Many people believe those same cowboys and saloon girls haven’t given up their rowdy ways simply because they died.

Birdcage Theatre
The famous Birdcage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona, has reported 31 different spirits haunting it. That’s no surprise, since at least 26 deaths have occurred in the bullet-ridden building since 1881. One such death included a woman who was flirting with another woman’s husband only to have her heart cut out by the wife’s stiletto heel.

Skinner Saloon
The Skinner Saloon next to the Meade Hotel in the ghost town of Bannack, Montana, is the home of ghost, Dorothy Dunn. Dorothy was a young teen when she drowned in the pond along Grasshopper Creek in 1916. She first appeared to her best friend, who witnessed Dorothy’s drowning. Today she is seen wearing a blue dress and looking out one of the second story windows. Sometimes she tries to talk to children.

Long Branch Saloon
A little girl wanders the upper floors of the Long Branch Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada. Strange blue light emanates from the top floors with no light source, and a doll’s clothes are changed from one day to the next. A woman wails from inside the saloon, supposedly the little girl’s mother. Legend is that the child was run over by a wagon in front of the saloon.

Red Dog Saloon
The Red Dog Saloon in The Lodge in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, holds claim to a ghost named Rebecca, who worked as a chambermaid in the 1930s and was murdered by her jealous lumberjack lover. Workers cleaning up have seen Rebecca’s twirling apparition on the dance floor at night. The bartender has often seen a reflection of the redheaded beauty in a long dress in the bar mirror. Ashtrays move by themselves, flames appear in the fireplace without logs or another source of fuel, and loud music comes from the saloon, even when it’s not open.

My husband and I lived in an old drafty house once, where a male spirit played pranks on us. Have you experienced a ghost? Or felt a presence in an old building? I’d love to hear your story.

If you like ghost stories and own a Kindle, you can read my book, Haunt-A Collection of Short Ghost Stories.

My next release, Big Sky, also features a ghost. Look for it February 10 from The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks for dropping by today!

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  1. What an interesting and informative post. I have experienced any time of spirit or ghost but I love reading about others' experiences!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  2. Hi, Stacey & Jacquie : ) I just received my copy of "A Haunted Twist of Fate", and I can't wait to read it! I also want to highly recommed two of Jacquie's terrific books: "Much Ado About Marshals" and "Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues". You two ladies really know how to tell a tale--FABULOSO ; )

    A lot of myths and tall tales started with a little nugget of truth and embellished it until it became a legend. Paranormal fiction is intriguing because it takes our fascination with fearsome things to a whole new level! Many of us have had unexplainable “supernatural” events in our lives, which leaves the door open for our imaginations. I have lived in the same house for over 30 years. My mother and I owned the house together. She passed away several years ago. I have had many paranormal experiences in my home, both before and after my mother passed away.

    The first strange experience was glancing over at a living room window late one night and seeing the “Scream” face looking in! I rushed to the door and turned on the front porch light, and not a “soul” was about! Another time, on Halloween night, I heard distinct footsteps on the wooden floor of the upstairs hallway. My mother and I were both downstairs and no other “human” was in the house. On another night, I went upstairs to my room without turning on the stairway light. When I got to the doorway of my room, a large misty shape moved from the area of the doorway and went across the room and out the window. Some of the occurrences happened in full daylight. One bright Sunday morning, I had overslept, which for me is a rare occurrence. A voice from the doorway of my room said: “Are you getting up?”. I looked over through sleep-filled eyes and saw the blurred image of a large friendly blonde woman dressed in red and royal blue. I answered, and then realized it wasn’t my mother! The “woman” was twice the size of my mother (who was actually downstairs in the kitchen).

    Since my mother passed away, I have noticed unusual scents in the house. I have smelled my grandfather’s pipe tobacco, my grandmother’s lily of the valley perfume, and my mother’s fingernail polish remover. All of these people are deceased, and none of those items are in the house! The time that I was the most afraid was when I came home to find my house almost in a vacuum state. There seemed to be no air, no sound, and no smell of any kind in the house. My cats were in hiding. I don’t know what had been in the house, but it had some kind of mojo!

    I still live in my “spooky house” : ) Here’s an even stranger true fact: I lost my job in 11/2009, and I was unemployed for over a year. During that time everything in the house settled, and there was not one strange occurrence. I stayed at home 99% of the time, working on my computer, reading, entertaining my cats, and making bread. I think “the house” was glad to have me at home. I’ve been back at work for a while now, and so far, so good!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing your ghostly experiences with us, Virginia. You certainly have had a lot of them. Spoooky. I hope you enjoy my book!

  4. I've got a ghost in my closet. He appeared around the time my dh and I started talking home renovation. We had a gentleman come out and do an estimate for us to add on an addition -- and that's when "Jimmy" first appeared. Everytime I went into the closet, I told him to calm down, we weren't going ahead with the project just yet. After about two weeks, he disappeared. Once the renovations begin, though, I have no doubt he'll reappear...and I'll have to begin reassuring him again. :-)

  5. We don't have haunted Wild West saloons on MY side of "The Pond"!! LOL

    Over here you'll find haunted Manor Houses and stately homes, and I've been to a few of them! Here's a true story from one, and my OWN "personal experience"

    Bispham Hall is between Liverpool and Manchester. It dates back to the time of the Crusades, but is now a Scout camp site.The ruins of the Hall are still there.

    Lord Bispham went with Richard Coeur-Leon to the Crusades and was away for many years. His wife was convinced he had been killed, and eventually re-married.
    One night, he returned unannounced. He was so eager to see his wife he didn't bother dismounting, but rode his horse up the stairs to the bedroom. His wife, in a panic, jumped out of bed and threw herself from the window, falling to her death on the stone flagged courtyard below. Her pet dog jumped after her and suffered the same fate.
    Lod Bispham had his wife buried in an unmarked grave, and erected a monument to the dog, inscribed "Alas! Poor faithful Dash" This monument can still be seen outside the Hall today.
    I was perhaps 13 or so when I spent the first of many weekend camps at Bispham Hall. None of us knew the above story at the time, but we ALL saw the knight in armour ride silently up to the Hall and disappear THROUGH the closed and locked door. We also saw the lights come on up on the first floor, and "something" which seemed to fall from the bedroom window ....

    Hand on heart, this is a TRUE story!!

  6. Ooooh, A.J. I wonder why Jimmy doesn't want you to remodel. You might want to do some research on your house to see if you can discover who Jimmy is.

  7. Paul, I love your ghost story. I would love to visit some of your manor houses and stately homes and experience one of their ghosts myself. This story is great. I'd probably be so scared I'd throw myself out the window, too, if I heard a horse galloping up the staircase in my home! How cool that you saw the knight!

  8. Don't have a ghost experience to relate but really enjoyed reading about the ones you told us about, my daughter and I are fans of TAPS on TV and it inspired a couple of scenes in my latest (6th) Maryvale cozy, A HYSTERICAL SITE. Really enjoyed my visit, Happy New Year and good luck and good reading to all of us,
    Jackie :-)

  9. Yes, we've had ghosts where we now live and in one house previously. Nice post, Stacey.

  10. Yes I have seen a ghost that used to travel with me from place to place. He would appear in all different forms,sometimes a leprechaun,others a cowboy. Haven't seen it for years so don't know why. I have been to Central City,Colo. And the Face on the barroom floor alqays facinated me with its story. I took a driving tour of some of the Ghost towns in the Rockies once around Centrak City and Gunnison. Loved the stories and the sites you could feel a prsence in the buildings sometimes. Will have to loik for your Haunted stories.

  11. Thank you for stopping in, Jackie, Caroline and Diana. I'm amazed at the ghostly experiences people have had.

  12. Fantastic post Stacey...I'm such a huge fan of the Old West and the paranormal so this is the best of both worlds for me!


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