Billed as the largest Opera House from San Francisco to St. Louis, Schieffelin Hall opened its doors in 1881. It was the first building in Tombstone to have electricity and to this day is still the largest adobe structure in America. Of all the plays performed, perhaps the most widely remembered was “Stolen Kisses”, which Morgan Earp attended the night he was shot. It was the last place the Earp brothers were together before the murder. Right in front of Schieffelin is 4th and Fremont, the deadliest intersection in all of Arizona. And just down the street is The Bird Cage—a theatre house that managed to operate continuously, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, from 1881 to 1889. Legend has it that twenty-six people were killed in The Bird Cage theater during this time, and over one hundred and forty bullet holes remain in the building.
The victims of these nearby gunfights and stabbings must have sought sanctuary within the town’s familiar landmark. What else could account for the paranormal activity that takes place in Schieffelin to this day? Actors, attendees, and production crews have all reported curtains opening on their own, lights flickering, and props sliding away—or completely missing only to return a few hours later. Even the A&E television show Ghost Adventures took notice and featured episodes in two different seasons of the show’s production. In one episode, the activity in Schieffelin Hall convinced viewers around the world that someone or something still lingers inside the hall.
For as long as Schieffelin Hall has stood in Tombstone, above it, has been the lodge of King Solomon #5. The small lodge packs as much history as the rest of the town. The infamous gunfight at the OK Corral was witnessed from the upstairs windows and documented by King Solomon’s secretary at the time being that lodge was in session during the shootout. Judge Wells Spicer was master at the time and ended up being the presiding judge in the ensuing OK Corral trial against the Earps.
Families in attendance at this year’s Degree in the Desert, will be able to see in person the King Solomon Lodge’s rich history and be welcomed at the fellowship hour between 4:00-5:30pm in Schieffelin Hall. And, if you’re a Master Mason, you can bear witness to KS #5 raising their newest brother, not in the lodge, but in the infamous Schieffelin Hall. Don’t worry, a true brother will have nothing to fear from Tombstone’s ghostly inhabitants.
See you there!