Located in the well-known ghost town of Tombstone, is the haunted saloon of Big Nose Kate, whose real name was Mary Katherine Harmony. She was a flamboyant and promiscuous woman who owned the place in the 1800’s. Back in the 1800’s, Big Nose Kates Saloon was once the Grand Hotel who hosted infamous personalities such as Wyatt and Virgin Earp, Doc Holliday, as well as the Clantons and McLaury’s.
Not only does this historic saloon continue to be popular among its new patrons, but is also said to remain home to a couple of spectral ones as well. Naturally, the most evident is that of the “Swamper”, who allegedly has never left the building. Staff, locals and tourists alike have had experiences with this old miner, ranging from photos where he has appeared, to a number of fleeting appearances as he roams the halls, stairways, and especially the basement. Part of the legend claims that the “Swamper” hid his silver somewhere in the building and returns to protect it.
Other appearances have been made by fleeting cowboy spirits which have been seen at the bar, standing in doorways, and by one account, knocking over cases of beer in the basement. Perhaps, this is one of our old friends — the Earps or Holliday? Other witnesses have claimed to have heard phantom people singing and talking in deserted rooms, reported that things fall to the floor of their own accord, doors open and close with unseen hands, lights turn on and off by themselves, and silverware has been known to go flying off tables. The mannequins on the false balcony have seemingly been moved and sometimes even tossed from the balcony. The sounds of footsteps and muted voices are often heard coming from the basement when no one is down there. Areas in the saloon also experience extreme cold spots and gusts of cold air.
Photographers have made numerous reports of strange hazy forms appearing in images, as well as having numerous camera malfunctions.
One story tells of the building’s owner and several employees exploring old Swamper’s tunnel. They soon discovered that it still led all the way to the old shafts of the Toughnut Mine. Safely, they made their way back to the basement, but as they approached Swamper’s tunnel, they heard a loud moaning sound and heavy footsteps coming down the stairs leading to the tunnel. Sure that someone had come into the building, they came out of the tunnel, immediately searching the premises, only to find the building empty and the doors still locked. Perhaps Swamper was afraid they were going to find his silver?
Other strange events have occurred on the staircases leading to the basement, including female employees who have felt pushed off the last stair. Another female employee felt cold, clammy hands encircling her throat.