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Paranormal Investigation Case File

Location: Birdcage Theatre

General Data
Location: Bird Cage Theatre - Tombstone AZ
Date: 23-SEP-2010
Start: 7:50 pm
Stop: 9:38 pm
Investigators Present: Don


Location Details
Description of Activity: Visitors and employees of the Bird Cage Theatre have reported seeing the spirits of former prostitutes and men in cowboy hats. Some claim to have been touched and pushed by unseen forces.

At night, the sounds of laughter, yelling and music have been heard, as though the parties of the Old West were still raging. Many have claimed to see the visage of a man in black wearing a visor pacing across the stage.

Location History: Legend has it that 26 people were killed in The Bird Cage during it reputed eight years as one of the wildest and meanest places in Tombstone, Arizona. Over a hundred and Twenty bullet holes remain in the building . The ladies of the night, plied their trade in cribs suspended from the ceiling in the building. There are 14 cribs which line the sides of the gambling hall, 7 cribs on each side of the room. The ladies would close the drapes to entertain their clients.
See: Bird Cage Theatre (Wikipedia)
Bird Cage Theatre (Homepage)


Equipment Used
Video Equipment: DV-DVD610
Digital Cameras: DSC-P32
Digital Audio Recorders: DM-520
EMF Meters:  
Environmental Instruments: Kestrel 4500 NV
Other Equipment:  


Environmental Conditions
Start: 84.4° F @ 7:52 pm
Stop: 75.7° F @ 9:38 pm
Wind Speed / Direction:
Start: None detected inside the structure
Stop: None detected inside the structure
Relative Humidity:
Start: 43.4% @ 7:52 pm
Stop: 60.1% @ 9:38 pm
Dew Point:
Start: 59.7° F @ 7:52 pm
Stop: 60.9° F @ 9:38 pm
Barometric Pressure:
Start: 25.44 inHg @ 7:52 pm
Stop: 25.47 inHg @ 9:38 pm
Precipitation / Clouds: Scattered clouds, thunderstorms the previous day.
Solar X-Rays:
Geomagnetic Field:
Moon Phase:
Illuminated Fraction: 0.991
0.9 days after full moon
Other: At the beginning of the investigation the air conditioning was turned off. This can be verified in the audio recording.


Investigation Notes
7:45 pm
Prepared equipment and began recording with digital audio recorder and video camcorder.
7:53 pm
The tour guide gave us a lot of history and stories of the Bird Cage Theatre during a short tour. The tour covered the entire building including the bar, dance hall room, backstage area, and the basement gambling room and brothel areas.
8:39 pm
After the tour, the group gatherd at the backstage area getting ready for some "quiet time". Several "trigger" objects were placed on the group table.
8:56 pm
Lights out!!!
9:00 pm
The guy to my right says he's "feeling something".
9:01 pm
Tour guide asks "why don't you tap one of us on the shoulder".
9:05 pm
The guy to my right jumps up, knocks his chair backwords and says that something just touched him. He felt a "hand on his shoulder" (coincidence?). The guy tells his friend "I'm about ready to go bro" (amateurs ).
9:06 pm
The guy to my left comments on feeling something chilly.
9:07 pm
I feel the same chill, a cool breeze or cold spot on my face and nose. It felt like refrigerated air. It was very warm in the building throughout the investigation and I believe the air conditioning unit is off. There is an evaporative swamp cooler mounted on the roof. Need to further investigate if there are any refrigerated type air conditioning units located anywhere in the structure.
9:09 pm
The guy to my right says the touch he felt on his shoulder was soft like a ladies hand, it wasn't heavy.
9:11 pm
I see something blocking out a light that I can see in the dance hall room to the right of me. I ask the guy to my right if he is leaning backwards or forwards because I keep seeing something block out the light that is towards the front of dance hall room. He was leaning forward so I determined that it was him blocking the light whenever he leaned forward.
9:16 pm
The guy to my left asks me to look in the dance hall room because he keeps seeing something. I investigate and see nothing.
9:17 pm
I ask the tour guide if there are any air conditioning units that are turned on and he tells me that all the coolers are off.
9:19 pm
Tour guide leaves the group to go turn on the lights.
9:22 pm
The digital audio recorder now picks up what sounds like a 60hz hum (must be the lights turning on).
9:32 pm
Guests comment on a rope guard rail swinging. No conclusion, there were several people standing right next to the rope rail including me.
9:40 pm
As I am breaking down the equipment in the dance hall room, I suddenly hear what sounds like coins dropping. The sound appears to be coming from the backstage area. Upon investigation it was learned that the tour guide just started some audio playback from the front area of the building and the sound was heard in several rooms in the building.

NOTE: There does appear to be speakers located in the various rooms with the ability to playback pre-recorded sounds and noises. This must be accounted for during investigations.


Audio: Approx n.n hrs
Video: Approx n.n hrs
Images: Approx nn
NOTE: When reviewing audio evidence it is often necessary to wear headphones to hear all of the details.
Bird Cage Theatre was a saloon, theater, gambling hall and brothel. Legend has it that no self-respecting woman in town would even walk on the same side of the street as the Bird Cage Theatre. It opened its doors on Christmas Day 1881 and ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year until closing its doors in 1889. In 1882, The New York Times reported, "the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast." Evidence of this can still be seen in the 140 supposed bullet holes that have been found in the walls and ceiling. The Bird Cage was named for the cage style crib compartments suspended from the ceiling. It was in these "Bird Cages" that the "ladies of the evening" entertained their customers.
Potrait of "Fatima" in the lobby of the Birdcage Theatre. "FATIMA" (later known as Little Egypt) [real name Farida Mazar Spyropoulos]. The original painting of Fatima who was an Oriental Belly Dancer, she played the Bird Cage in 1881. This was a gift from her to the Bird Cage to hang in the bar. It has hung in this spot since 1882.

The theatre's guide points out several repaired knife and bullet holes visible in painting, noting they are "scars" inflicted by drunken patrons from the theatre's wild past. See: Little Egypt (dancer) wikipedia
The Bird Cage Theatre's hand painted stage in the dance hall room. The girls at The Bird Cage worked as both entertainers and prostitutes.
The Bird Cage was named for its 14 small "cribs" hanging from the ceiling of the dance hall room. This is a view looking up at the "cribs".
Narrow stairs leading up to the "cribs". These stairs were so well used that several of the steps near the top of the staircase were nearly worn through.
This is the original Bird Cage piano that furnished music for the shows and dances. This hand carved piano was custom-built of rose wood in Europe, shipped around South America to San Francisco, then delivered to Tombstone by rail. This piano was the first to arrive in Tombstone, and has stood in this spot since 1881.
This is a "Faro Table". Doc Holliday's favorite game of Faro was played in this very saloon.
This is the backstage area of the Bird Cage Theatre. On the walls hung pictures of some of the original "soiled doves" as they were refered to back then.
The Black Moriah. This is the original "Boot Hill" horse drawn hearse, trimmed in 24 karat gold and sterling silver. it was the Black Moriah that took the McLaury Brothers to Boothill were they laid side-by-side.
These are the stairs leading down to the basement where the gambling and brothel rooms are located.
This is the gambling room where the longest-running poker game in history was played. Played continuously 24 hours a day for 8 years, 5 months, and 3 days. The buy-in was $1,000 minimum and legend has it that as much as 10 million dollars changed hands during the marathon game.
This is one of the two $40 brothel rooms located in the basement of the Bird Cage Theatre.
This is the second of the two $40 brothel rooms located in the basement of the Bird Cage Theatre.
Another view of the second $40 brothel rooms located in the basement of the Bird Cage Theatre.


No team member had any non-disputable personal experiences or discovered any notable evidence during review.

If you look at the starting and ending temperature and humidity, you will see that the temperature dropped (8.7°) while the humidity increased significantly (16.7%) for the short 2 hour duration of the investigation.Could this be cause by some sort of air conditioning unit that could have possibly been in use? That could account for the cold spot or breeze that was felt during the investigation.

With the history of this location, the Bird Cage Theatre deserves a return trip and further investigation. In the future, all environmental air conditioning units and audio playback capabilities must be accounted for to eliminate any possible contamination of collected evidence.

The result of this case is: Return Trip Needed


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