Tombstone Silver

Big Nose Kate's

Big Nose Kate's is a popular bar located at the site of the old Tombstone Grand Hotel and it is the source for plenty of stories about paranormal activity.


Front of Big Nose Kate's

Big Nose Kate's was named in honor of one of our "Ladies of the Night" who was frequently seen with Doc Holliday. While she didn't actually own a bar, she was well known while she was in town. Today's saloon is located where the Tombstone Grand Hotel originally stood and most of the paranormal activity reported here seems to be related to that earlier business.

Paranormal Activity

To understand the paranormal activity reported at Kate's it is important to understand the Tombstone Grand Hotel. By all accounts, it was indeed grand. The lobby was on the ground floor, where Kate's is located today, and there were two floors of guest rooms upstairs (which no longer exists), along with a bar in the basement. The lobby had chandeliers and oak-paneled walls with expensive paintings. The guest rooms were luxurious for the day and included touches like soft beds with clean linen (not always found in Victorian-era hotels). The basement in Kate's is a gift shop today, but it seems to be the source of the paranormal activity in the building since it has a link to the mines below.

A few of the people who work at Big Nose Kate's say that some nights after they've closed and are cleaning up they can hear the sounds of boots walking on a wooden floor above them. There is no second floor today but back in the day that was the location of the guest rooms. It is possible that cowboys, or maybe ladies of the night, are still walking the halls upstairs.

Swamper's Room at Big Nose Kate's

One other legend is that of the Swamper, who is said to still live in the basement. The Swamper was the hotel's custodian and he had a small room off of the bar in the basement. We believe that he managed to drill through the floor in his bedroom into a mine located just a few feet below and find (or maybe steal) enough silver to fill a bag that is still hidden there. Sometimes when guests are looking through a barred door into his room they report feeling something push them out of the way, as if the Swamper is trying to tell them to quit looking for his silver.

Guests who visit Kate's should look for a photograph that shows an apparition that visited Kate's several years ago. It can be found hanging on the wall behind the right end of the bar.


This site is located at 417 E Allen Street. Because Big Nose Kate's lies in the middle of a block that is closed to vehicular traffic, neither the Tombstone After Dark nor the Historic Trolley Tour passes this location. It is included here because of the occasional reports of paranormal activity.