Bisbee is noted to be one of the most historic towns in Arizona. While perusing through the old newspapers researching Bisbee’s ghosts, historians have noted the town acquired its spooky reputation over a hundred years ago. Some people believe paranormal investigations and research is a new and exciting field due to the popularity of ghost hunting TV shows. But in true reality, the quest for understanding the mystery of the afterlife has been an active interest for scientists and the public for many years. The citizens of Bisbee were no different–they too were seeking answers about the paranormal and often hosted famous guest lecturers on the subject.
Back in November 1905, Reverend C. Hall Cook, of the London Society for Psychical Research, which numbered among its members the late William E. Gladstone, presented to the Bisbee public “Scientific Evidence of a Future Life” at Library Hall. Dr. Cook arrived in Bisbee from the West Coast where he had appeared before many audiences.
The San Jose Mercury-Herald said of the lecture there: “Rev. C. Hall Cook, who lectured to a crowded house two weeks ago, has returned to deliver his second lecture. The crowded houses which have greeted the lecturer in all the great cities of the West show a widespread interest in the theme he discusses. Dr. Cook is connected with that eminent body of scientists known as The Society for Psychical Research, London, England, and is himself a trained investigator along psychological lines. He has the endorsement of the secretary to help along the great work of the society to secure members and to organize local bodies.”
It sounded as though Cook was an active, trained paranormal investigator of his time and was looking to recruit what we would now call a paranormal team. This writer was fortunate to meet a current member of this elite group—the Society for Psychical Research—in the spring of 2009 in London, England while touring with the GhosTour of Haunted England. Alan D. Murdie, LLB, has been a member of the SPR since 1997 and was co-opted to the Council in 1999. He is a lawyer by profession and has investigated spontaneous cases both in Britain and abroad. He served for several years as chairman of The Ghost Club. Murdie was our tour guide for most of the week long Haunted Tour of England and we were privilege to have his expert knowledge on board.
When you make the journey to Bisbee to study its rich history or do your next paranormal investigation, remember the ghostly phenomena in Cochise County has been an ongoing research study for over one hundred years. It will continue to entice scientists, ghost hunters, and paranormal investigators for many years to come.
Want to know more about Bisbee’s haunted history? Learn the true mysterious tales of tales of the old copper mining town on one of the Bisbee Historical Tours.