четвъртък, 29 ноември 2012 г.

Bird Cage Theatre

Old West theater, gambling hall, saloon, and brothel in Tombstone, Arizona, haunted by numerous ghosts. History The Bird Cage Theatre achieved fame and notoriety in the 1880s as the roughest, wildest honky-tonk in the West. It was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In its eight short years of business, 20 gunfi ghts and 26 murders took place there. Some of the most famous personalities of the Wild West were frequent visitors, among them Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Bat Masterson. The Bird Cage was especially famous for its prostitutes, the “soiled doves” and “tainted angels” who entertained men in “cribs” or “cages”—alcoves on the second fl oor over the main hall. Men paid 20 to 25 dollars for the company of one of the girls. While the entertaining went on in the cribs, exotic dancers took the stage to music played by a live orchestra. Supposedly, a card game lasted the entire history of the hall—eight years, fi ve months, and three days. Doc Holliday especially liked to play Faro, a popular game in the 19th century. The combination of liquor, gambling, and women was combustible, leading to the gunfi ghts that left 140 bullet holes in the hall and untold bullet holes in victims. The unlucky ones were collected by hearse and carted up to Boot Hill for burial. One of the unfortunate dead was Morgan Earp, brother of Wyatt. Morgan was killed on a pool table that still bears his bloodstains. The Bird Cage closed in 1889. It is now a museum, in near original condition. Tombstone is much the same as it was in the late 19th century and is a popular tourist draw. Haunting Activity Footsteps have been heard on the stairs to the basement where the gambling took place. POLTERGEIST and ghostly phenomena include lights going on and off, sensations of presences, and problems with cameras and other equipment. Phantom SMELLS of tobacco and whiskey can suddenly permeate the air, and the sounds of shouting, laughter, and gambling are heard. Sounds emanate from the empty cribs on the second fl oor. The parlor where the long game went on—and where the higher-priced women entertained men in side rooms—is one of the most active areas of the theater. APPARITIONS of people dressed in late-19th-century clothing are seen, especially a man wearing a black visor who walks across the stage.

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