On location: Miners, Ghosts, and Growing Up in #BisbeeArizona

Join me every day for our daily theme:

  • Mondays On Location
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  • Wednesday “What the %$!! is next?”
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Today is Mondays on Location!

Bisbee is a fantastic small town in Arizona and is the setting for my latest romantic suspense series: Lawmen

Lawmen Banner

Cheyenne’s “Lawmen” romantic suspense series

I’m an Arizona native and grew up in Bisbee and on a ranch about 15 miles outside the Bisbee town limits–it’s a fascinating former copper mining town with amazing history.


In the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, with over 20,000 people, Bisbee was the largest and most cultured city between St. Louis and San Francisco! Those days are long gone and Bisbee is a sleepy town and artists’ community of about 5,500 resident.


A shot of Bisbee, Arizona and the Bisbee Historical Museum and Copper Queen Hotel

My Grandfather was born in Panna Maria, Texas in 1900. He and my grandmother moved to Bisbee where my grandfather worked in the copper mines. Their children, including my mother, were all raised in Bisbee.

Of course, many years later I came along. I grew up mostly on the ranch outside of Bisbee with my parents and two brothers. My father was a firefighter in Bisbee for 20 years.


Chey with brothers and Dad in Bisbee

Most likely, you’ve seen the wild west side of Bisbee in movies featuring sexy cowboys accompanied by virtuous (and not so virtuous) women in Brewery Gulch, but there are other, lesser known sides of Bisbee that are begging to be explored. Located in the heart of the Mule Mountains, Bisbee offers some of the most beautiful country in all of Arizona, but it’s not just the alluring ranch hands and pretty scenery that gives Bisbee its romantic feel; it’s the ghosts.

Yes. The ghosts.

And there are plenty of well known haunts in Bisbee.

Mining was a dangerous job, and although no one has reported any ghosts in the Queen Mine, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Even without the ghosts, you can explore the depths of the mine for precious metals and live the dangerous life of a miner for a little while. Just be careful not to slip in the dark; you might get dirty….

oliver house1

Bisbee’s Ghostly Oliver House…

While the darkness of the mine is a bit scary, your hotel room is the place to really get your heart racing-especially if you are staying at the Oliver House. Since its completion in 1909, over 27 people have died in the House, but don’t worry-no one has met their end there in quite a while. Of course, this doesn’t stop those who did from making regular appearances; guests have reported hearing footsteps in the hallway and feeling cold spots in the Plum Room.

If you really want to be scared out of your skin (or clothes), stay in the infamous room 13, where Nat Anderson was murdered in 1920. Anderson, a mine worker, was having an affair with the wife of “The Money Man,” a local to whom Nat owed money. When “The Money Man” discovered the affair, he supposedly made his way to the Oliver House and shot Nat in the back of the head. Despite the obvious motive, the murder remains officially unsolved-meaning that Nat Anderson’s ghost can’t rest easy.

Nat wasn’t the only one to be caught up in a dangerous tryst at the Oliver House, and many of the ghosts that haunt the hallways are victims of their own passions. Among these are the ghosts of a local police officer, his wife, and her lover; after discovering the affair, the police officer rushed to the Oliver House and murdered the couple. After driving a short distance, the jilted husband then turned the gun on himself. It’s reported that all three of these ghosts are tied to the Oliver House forever.

All this sex and violence means that the Oliver House practically vibrates with paranormal energy. Curl up with your own lover for protection and have your own romantic affair-after all, nothing is sexier than a good ghost story.

And just in time, you might be able to slip in on the Oliver House’s Haunted Weekend the end of this month. 🙂

oliver house

The Oliver House’s Haunted Weekend

Douglas is around 25 miles from Bisbee, and is the setting for my Armed and Dangerous series. Part of the A & D series takes place in Bisbee, too. I don’t know if there are ghosts in Douglas, but there are plenty to go around in Bisbee!

Bisbee's Home page

Bisbee’s Home page

The Armed and Dangerous series

The Armed and Dangerous series

This entry was posted in armed and dangerous, bisbee arizona, cheyenne mccray, lawmen series and tagged , , , , , , by cheymccray. Bookmark the permalink.

About cheymccray

Cheyenne McCray is an award winning, New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author who is a rare native Arizonan but refuses to be put behind glass as an endangered species. In her spare time she loves to torture characters--whether they're misbehaving or not—and kill off deserving individuals. She also totally gets off on blowing things up. All fictionally, of course. She'd rather chew glass than write sweet and sugary. Give her a hideous demon or particularly nasty villain to slay any day. Cheyenne enjoys creating stories of love, suspense, and redemption—in some cases. She enjoys building worlds her readers can get lost in. Hopefully they'll find their way out, but stranger things have been known to happen. If you would like to find out what odd and unusual things Cheyenne is up to these days, cruise her website any time, take a look at the bizarrely normal yet strange FAQs, and even drop her a line or two. Just not too hard—those things hurt. You might even learn a few things about that kinky author, Jaymie Holland. (Just don't tell Cheyenne's mom.

4 thoughts on “On location: Miners, Ghosts, and Growing Up in #BisbeeArizona

    • I love Old Bisbee, Angel. Douglas, on the other hand, has really gone to %$!! in the past 10 years + thanks to it being a border town. The surrounding ranching areas are nice though. 🙂


  1. I lived in AZ for less than a year and long to move back. I explored the northern part of the state. I wanted to see Douglas, Bisbee, etc. but did not get there. Your post was very informative and makes me want to see that area even more. Did you ever experience anything paranormal yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

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