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Once known as the town that was “too tough to die,” today, Tombstone is one of the top spots in the country for reliving the days of the Old West. The very site wherein 1881 the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place, a 30-second gunfight that pitted the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday against Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, a visit here offers the chance to find out who won, and a whole lot more.
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Here in southern Arizona, just a little over an hour southeast of Tucson, you can almost hear the loud chatter coming from the saloons, the sounds of gunfire and of the buck boards that clip-clop down the town’s dusty main drag.
It’s a great place to bring the kids for an educational yet fascinating look at some of America’s history, with the chance to see real cowboys and witness some of Tombstone’s infamous events in the very spot where they occurred so long ago.
Meet the man behind the legend, Wyatt Earp, who continues to wander through, and, if you’re lucky, might even pose for a picture. As all of those gunfight victims needed a place to go, you can also pay your respects by visiting the Boothill Graveyard – if you dare, that is.
The cemetery is famous for its high number of specters. They say you can catch a glimpse of them wandering through the old wooden grave markers – and, some have even been captured on film.
This is one of the best places to be around Halloween, with all sorts of activities for families, like costume contests, pumpkin carving and telling ghost stories around the fire. For adults who want more haunted thrills, not only can you check out Boothill Cemetery, but many other purportedly haunted places.
Just a few of its most haunted places include the Bird Cage Theater, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and the Cooper Queen Hotel. The streets themselves are said to be the walkways of many lingering spirits. A cowboy is frequently spotted crossing the road in a long black coat near the site where Virgil Earp was ambushed and left crippled, yet he never makes it across the street, leading many to believe that it may actually be the ghost of Earp himself.
Anytime of year you can book a spot on Dr. Jay’s Walking Tour, for a more in-depth look at the authentic side of history. The old courthouse, transformed into an outstanding museum, also does a great job at separating fact from fiction in this town that’s well-known for exaggerated legend, with a host of exhibits telling the story through objective eyewitness accounts and historical records.