Birdcage Theater, Tombstone, Arizona (Haunted Place)

Birdcage Theater

Sixth & Allen Street Tombstone, Arizona 85638

Tel: 1 (520) 457-3421

The adobe building on the southeast end of Tombstone’s Allen Street that would eventually become the Birdcage Theater opened on December 23, 1881. It served as a burlesque hall with a stage, bar, casino, and dance hall. Cage-like cribs hung from the ceiling where the “soiled doves” entertained the miners, cowboys, drifters, and home boys as long as they had money in their pockets to spend.


It was a place that was only in business for nine years, but the building knew what violence was all about. The Birdcage has 140 bullet holes in the walls and the ceilings, evidence from the many shootings that happened there. It was also a witness to the murder of Margurita, who was mortally stabbed by Gold Dollar for sitting on the lap of Billy Milgreen, whom Gold Dollar considered to be her man.

Hundreds of tourists visit the Birdcage, and many tell the same stories and see the same things: they speak of the “cold spots” and invisible people who sing and talk in rooms that are empty. Some have seen a woman singing and then the sudden appearance of a crowded room, complete with cigar smoke, liquor, and loud voices in a room that a moment earlier was completely empty.

A man with a celluloid visor who carries a clipboard walks across the stage and is seen by many, along with ghosts who like to wear old-fashioned clothing and who appear so real, tourists think they are part of the Birdcage staff until they walk right through the walls.

Not all of the ghosts are on the inside, as is evidenced by this picture I took outside the Birdcage on my last visit to what I feel is the most haunted town in the West—Tombstone, the town known as “too tough to die.” Be sure to notice the pair of boots in the middle of the doorway. It must be someone who died with their boots on.

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