Nothing captures our imagination quite like the Wild West – except maybe ghost stories. Outlaws, shootouts, saloons, and all kinds of illicit entertainment could only be made more interesting by throwing in some paranormal activity. That’s why we made this list of Old West hangouts with the most haunting reputations:
1. Copper Queen Hotel (Bisbee, Arizona)
The Copper Queen is the longest continuously running hotel in Arizona. It was built to host an influx of visitors due to the nearby copper mine. The most famous ghostly resident here was a prostitute who fell in love with one of her customers. Her love was unrequited, and she killed herself in the hotel. Now her presence is felt strongly on the west side of the 2nd and 3rd stories of the hotel.
2. St. James Hotel (Cimarron, New Mexico)
This historic hotel was a Wild West landmark and saw many murders during its decades of operation. Notable guests included Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody and Black Jack Ketchum. There are several spirits in residence here, including the original owner's wife and young son, two young girls, a cowboy, and other spirits who still seem to be traveling the Santa Fe Trail that passed the hotel.
3. The Dumas Brothel (Butte, Montana)
Opening in 1890 and closing in 1982, the Dumas Brothel was the longest runnning brothel in U.S. history. You can only imagine how much human drama must have unfurled behind these walls. The brothel is rumored to host many spirits, most notably Elinore Knott. Ms. Knott was supposedly working at the brothel when she decided to run away with one of her (married) customers. She waited for him there, but he never arrived. She committed suicide with sleeping pills and alcohol and was found the next day.
4. The Alamo (San Antonio, Texas)
Places where so much occured and passions were so strong are often magnets for paranormal activity. 200 Texans and 1600 Mexican soldiers died in battle here. One of the stories is that the ghost of a little boy appears in the gift shop window, especially in the wintertime. Another one actually claims that John Wayne himself haunts The Alamo, quoting his famous lines. There are many, many more.
5. Piper's Opera House (Virginia City, New Mexico)
It seems like this opera house was so much fun that many patrons never wanted to leave. Psychics report feeling a strange force pulling them toward the stage.
6. Lincoln, New Mexico
This small town was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Wild West. The Lincoln County Courthouse (pictured) is one of many places in New Mexico Billy the Kid has been known to haunt. This is where Billy was sentenced to hang for his part in the Lincoln County War, only to escape, killing both of his jailers.
7. Geiser Grand Hotel (Baker City, Oregon)
This luxurious hotel was once called the "Queen of the Mines." It sat abandoned for years before its renovation in the '90s seemed to have brought back some of its old guests. Visitors have reported hearing and seeing phantom partiers from the hotel's heyday. A rarely seen "Lady in Blue" supposedly haunts the room directly beneath the clock.
8. White Eagle Saloon & Hotel (Portland, Oregon)
Legends abound at this popular bar in Portland. Most of the ghosts here had connections to the bar's days as a brothel. Guests can now stay on the 2nd floor, which for years was closed due to paranormal activity.
9. Yellow Jacket Mine (Storey, Nevada)
The worst mine disaster in Nevada's history caused at least 35 deaths, though the actual number could be much higher. This catastrophe may have led to several spirits haunting the mine.
10. Silver Cliff, Colorado
The history of this town goes all the way back to the 1870s, when it was founded to house the workers of the nearby mines. Mysterious orbs that float around the town cemetery are well documented and have been investigated for decades.