Thursday, May 13, 2010

Buford House: Tombstone's Haunted B&B

Located on Stafford Street in Tombstone, Arizona, is the Buford House Bed & Breakfast. This adobe home was built in 1880 by George Buford, a prominent mine owner. At least two sheriffs, a mayor and state senator have called the Buford House their home. The owners Ruth and Richard Allen have played host to many famous visitors such as the Duke himself, John Wayne. Along with the living guests that have laid their hats in the B&B, many claim that there are others guests that have long since gone who seems to want to hang around.

One of those past guests is that of George Dahl who lived there with his father in the late 1800’s. At the age of 21 years, George asked his beloved Cleopatra Evans to marry him. Petra, which was what she was called for short, was only 17 years of age at the time. George had been in love with her since childhood. Knowing that he didn’t have enough money to support the both of them, he went to work for the mines. After returning nine months later, George appeared to be wealthier and ready to marry his lovely fiancé. Unfortunately, he was too late and Petra had fallen in love with another man. He was completely devastated and spent the entire night crying. His father was deeply concerned for his son and kept checking in on him regularly to see if he was alright. By morning, his tears have turned to anger and he left his home with gun in hand. Petra came to check on him and before she knew it, he had shot her about four times. George then put the gun to his head and shot himself, dying instantly. Petra crawled her way to the doctor but he refused to help her. He did not approve of her loving another man when she was promised to George. A surgeon, who mended wounded gunslingers, just happened to be in town and took care of Petra, who was close to death. He stitched up her wounds and she did recover. Even though Petra stayed in Tombstone, got married and had children, she was never accepted by the residence because of betraying George.

The Allens and many the guests that passed through the Buford House doors claimed to have seen George’s ghost hanging around the house. Many think he is still looking for his long lost love, Petra. Pictures taken by visitors have revealed a ghostly figure of a man in a cowboy hat who appears to be looking out the window. Owners have reported a mischievous ghost that will turn lights off and on or ring the doorbell at 3:00 in the morning. No one is ever there when they answer the door. Some female guests have reported their hair being touched or some unseen hand stroking the back of their necks. The lingering odor of lavender has been smelt by some in the rooms. Perhaps Petra is still hanging around as well.

There have been other reports of unusual activity at the Buford House. Strange looking orbs appear in many visitors photos. Some guests staying in the upstairs room have reported seeing a strange light in the room. There are no street lights outside the house, so they have no explanation for the light. Items left in the rooms while the guests were out, were moved and hidden by some playful ghost. One lady reported her wallet missing after searching the entire room once, they didn’t find it. They decided to give the room another once over and found the wallet under the bed. The wallet wasn’t there when they looked the first time. The money and credit cards were still inside.

Another interesting ghost that only a few have seen is that of a feisty old woman. One woman claimed that she saw the old lady ghost rocking on a chair in her room. She goes on to say that they had an argument about whose room it was. The ghost screamed at her, “this is my room, GET OUT!”, but she wouldn’t budge. According to the owners, this went on all night. All I have to say is that it doesn’t matter if you are dead or alive, stubborn is stubborn, lol.

This bed and breakfast is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Buford House B&B is just another noteworthy haunted place to visit while in Tombstone.


  1. It seems like the tragic love stories leave the most anguish and hauntings. I can see where that scenario might have created an ideal situation. And, the town is a mining place so it seems the geology is ideal too. Cool story.

  2. An interesting story about a Home that has so much history behind it. I'll just bet that Arizona has allot more places like that. As it was before, I'd love to see those old historic Homes and other places, but probably never will.


  3. I have spent the night in the Buford House. We booked the entire B &B shortly after it closed to the public---very interesting energy! It is sometimes used as a private resdence and sometimes used as a B & B.....check updated statis before you go! Great place to stay when scouting the Tombstone area for ghosts!!
    Have you been there Julie????

  4. I love haunted hotels with romantic stories. Have you stayed at this B&B?

  5. Sharon, it is a cool story of a love that went tragically wrong. I bet both their spirits are haunting the Buford looking for each other. Tombstone like Bisbee have a great geological setting for hauntings.

    Les, I wanted to blog about other haunted places in Tombstone that people know even less about.

    Debe, I have not been but would love to spend the night there. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Jessica, I haven't stayed there but I also love hearing and reading about haunted places with tragic love stories.

  6. Sounds cool. Although, I'm not sure how I'd sleep with an old lady yelling at me to get out of her room!

  7. This sounds like a cool place to visit. I say Always stay in the haunted room!

  8. Here's an award...

  9. My sister is the current home owner of the Buford house i will be traveling there in mid Oct during Helldorado day's looking forward to doing a little ghost investigating myself with camera and digital audio recorder in hand.

  10. I am purchasing the buford house and returning it to a bed and breakfast ..anyone interested in staying there..

  11. UPDATE. This house is currently vacant and for sale at a super low price. What an opportunity for someone out there!

  12. The Buford House was purchased in 2012 and the new owners are in process of restoring it back to a B&B but it is not yet open to the public.
    My husband and I have investigated there a few times since the new ownership and were married there a few months ago.

    The story of George and Petra did not happen at the Buford House but in fact on Third Street, one block up. We have documented records of the coroner's inquest on George Daves as well as tax records from the time period. Not sure where this story started but it's just that, a story.
    The house does have many spirits, but probably those of the Buford family who lived there up until shortly before 1900. Three of their seven children died in the house in 1886. We adore the house!

    If you'd like to read the facts of this tragic love story, please see our website.