Brunckow’s Cabin is reputed to be one of the most haunted locations in the entire state of Arizona. It is believed to be the location of 21 violent deaths between 1860 and 1890. It was built by Frederick Brunckow who discovered silver in what would later become Arizona and started the San Pedro Silver Mining Company to mine that ore. On July 26, 1860, one of the miners, William Williams returned from a provisioning trip to discover that everyone at the camp was either dead or missing.
Over the years many other people have used that cabin for shelter from the elements or enemies, and many died in the process. Milton Duffield, the first United States Marshal in the Arizona Territory, was shot and killed at Brunckow’s Cabin in 1874. In 1881, Prescott’s Arizona Democrat wrote, “Prospectors and miners avoid the spot as they would the plague, and many of them will tell you that the unquiet spirits of the departed are wont to revisit…the scene.” In 1897 the Tombstone Prospector newspaper reported that five bandits shot each other to death at Brunckow’s Cabin while they were dividing the loot from a wagon robbery. Modern visitors to the site frequently report uneasy feelings and hearing odd sounds coming from the original mine site near the cabin.
A few yards from Brunckow’s Cabin is the mine that he started. The mine was mostly worthless with little silver, gold, or other valuable minerals being extracted; however, the main shaft is still visible at the site. Frederick Brunckow’s body was found at the bottom of the mine shaft with a drill pounded through his heart. It is likely that others have died here, but those stories have been lost to history.
Brunckow’s Cabin is located on Charleston Road, about eight miles from Tombstone. The site is only accessible via a short hike from the trail head so the Tombstone After Dark Tour does not stop there, but I do tell some stories about the cabin during the tour.