Despite the fact that the official daytime temperature in Downtown Tucson was 104 degrees, last night was downright chilling. Allow me to explain.
I had signed up for a ghost tour of Downtown. Mounted on Zippy, my trusty red scooter, I met our ghost host, Jean Pierre, at the appointed time and place, 6:50 PM across from the Fox Theater. Soon I was with 22 other would-be ghost hunters following our intrepid guide through the haunted streets of Tucson.
Frequently, Jean Pierre would stop in front of an old building and relay the stories that have been passed down through generations about strange goings-on inside, usually associated with an untimely death.
Along the way, several of my fellow adventurers related their personal stories of paranormal activity they had experienced in their Tucson home or Downtown hotel room. It was enough to give everyone the creeps.
Much to my delight, Jean Pierre turned out to be a pretty good historian too. To be sure, this was a ghost tour – from the inter-active ghost who haunts the Fox Theater, to the other-worldly smells emanating from the old Riley Mortuary Building (soon to become a pizza parlor), to the absent-minded ghost of the Hotel Congress, to the glowing apparition that plagues the old Scottish Rite building. But it was also an informative history tour.
Did you know that there is a tunnel that runs from the historic Scottish Rite of Freemasonry building all the way over to the Hotel Congress? Just a bit of Tucson trivia there. But can you imagine how many spirits occupy that now-barricaded underground passageway?
Southern Arizona Ghost Tours was founded by Renee Gardner, Supreme Ghost Hostess, who lives in Bisbee where she offers visitors 4 different ghost tours. Renee literally wrote the book on our local ghosts entitled: Southern Arizona’s Most Haunted. I just ordered it a spit second before I realized that I could have ordered an autographed copy directly from Renee by going to her Old Bisbee Ghost Tours website. Oh, well.
In Bisbee, Renee and/or her other ghost hosts will take you on any of their four tours:
- Old Bisbee Ghost Tour is a walking tour where your host will lead you through the streets, stairways, and hidden alleys of Old Bisbee after dark in search of the ghosts that haunt this hundred twenty five-year-old town. Here you will learn their sad stories and favorite haunts while seeing Old Bisbee as few ever do.
- Bisbee Hearse Tour is where you tour other haunted sections of the old city in a second-hand coach usually reserved for the deceased.
- Bisbee Haunted Pub Crawl where you can visit some of the most haunted saloons in Arizona and be certain to come in contact with a variety of “spirits”.
- Copper Queen Ghost Hunt is where you can rent a room for the night at this historic hotel and wait for the apparition known as “Julia” and others to appear. A few years ago, Ms. Karen & I and a dear friend stayed at the Copper Queen Hotel and played poker in the 3rd story parlor until 2 AM. Sadly, no Julia. Not even a whiff of her perfume that many others, obviously more paranormally sensitive than I, have experienced.
Our Downtown Tucson ghost tour took about an hour and a half and, even though the day had been quite hot, last evening was almost balmy. Apparently, the Bisbee tours are somewhat longer. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. I intend to visit Bisbee later this summer and will definitely go on one of Renee’s tours.
The Tucson Ghost Tours runs about $13 for adults, but many of my fellow ghost hunters last night had discount vouchers from LivingSocial.com.
The Bisbee Ghost Tours are somewhat more expensive and may last twice as long. Click here for schedule & reservations.