Despite what traditional ghost tales might suggest, not all lovesick ghosts are women. The heartbroken spirit of a scorned male reportedly haunts the historic Buford House in Tombstone, Arizona.
Located at 113 East Safford Street, the Buford House once operated as a bed and breakfast. Two sheriffs, a mayor, and a state senator have reportedly slumbered inside the home’s historic walls, as did the legendary actor John Wayne. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though the history of the Buford House is far from pleasant.
The Tragic Tale of George Daves and Petra
Legend has it that a man named George Daves once lived at the Tombstone home, across the street from a lovely young girl named Cleopatra Edmunds, or Petra for short. George and Petra were childhood friends, but their innocent relationship eventually blossomed into something more and the two made plans to get married.
Driven by love and ambition, George toiled away in distant silver mine. The grueling work kept him away from Tombstone, and Petra, for months at a time, but George didn’t mind the temporary separation. Soon he would have enough money to marry his sweetheart and support a family. However, these happy dreams soon went up in gun smoke.
Not long after returning from a lengthy stint at the mine, George accompanied Petra to a party. However, the night of frolic and fun turned to one of heartbreak and humiliation when Petra reportedly snubbed George by walking home with another man. The betrayal ate away at George, and he spent days brooding over the loss. On April 14, 1888, a heartsick George grabbed his revolver, pointed it at Petra, and fired four times. Two of the bullets hit their mark, and as a bleeding Petra lay screaming in the dirt, George turned the gun on himself. The scorned miner died from a gunshot wound to the head. According to a death certificate, George was just 21 years old. Petra, 17, miraculously survived her injuries and lived another 50 years. The tragic tale of unrequited love made headlines, appearing in the Tombstone Epitaph.
Does George Daves Haunt the Buford House?
Though George Daves died in 1888, many believe the young man never truly left his former home. A couple that once owned The Buford House reported a number of strange occurrences, including lights turning off and on, raps in the walls, and a doorbell that rang at 3 a.m., though no one was ever at the door. One December, the couple spotted a shadowy figure lurking in the hall. They believe it was George stopping by to admire their newly-erected Christmas tree.
Given its harrowing history, it’s not surprising that the Buford House has attracted a number of paranormal investigation crews. The California-based team Ghost Trackers visited the haunted hotspot in 2002 and sensed a “tremendous energy” in the home. According to a report posted online, the investigation crew noticed a strange light on the wall as they prepared their equipment. As a member of the team stepped forward to get a closer look, the light zipped across the room and out the door. Orbs also appeared in the crews’ photos, and one pic reveals what appears to be the face of a cowboy reflected in a bedroom mirror. The image is faint and indistinct, but one member of the Ghost Tracker crew felt certain it was George staring in the direction of Petra’s former home.
In 2005, the Arizona Desert Ghost Hunters visited the home and also photographed a gentleman’s reflection in the mirror. The image (right), posted on adghosthunters.com, shows what appears to be a tall man dressed in a black hat and black coat. Psychics at the scene saw a man with the same description walk through the bedroom wall and disappear.
However, George does more than appear in mirrors and photographs. In 2002, a guest at the Buford House awoke with a start, feeling as if she’d been zapped by a bolt of electricity. The tingling sensation traveled up her spine and down her legs, and as she lay terrified on the bed an invisible entity began sliding the covers off her body. The guest, whose report appears on SpiritsofTombstone.com, also felt a hand stroking her backside. Thankfully, the woman was spared further assault when her friend awoke and approached the side of the bed. It wasn’t the first time George had gotten frisky with a female guest. The spirit has also been known to touch women’s hair and stroke the back of their necks. Perhaps the spurned and heartbroken George is simply lonely and longing for a woman’s touch?
Additional Sources: Beyond a Ghost Story, Paranormal Investigators
Top Photo: Flickr