Bob and I were in Bisbee last month staying at The Copper Queen Hotel in connection with our upcoming book with Llewellyn “America’s Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in With Uninvited Guests.” We booked a tour with Renee of the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour and she briefed us on many of the legends associated with The Copper Queen Hotel as well as many of the historic hotels in the two mile radius of historic downtown Bisbee.
If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend that you book her tour for your evening outing. She will take you on a flashlight walk around the town and if you are in a smaller group, you may even get to go inside some of the other hotels on the tour like we did! She also runs ghost hunting programs inside The Copper Queen Hotel and her book contains many personal accounts from those experiences.
I ordered her book from Amazon when I got home and sent her a few follow-up questions which she has answered below:
Tell us about growing up in a haunted house!
Growing up in a haunted house was fun looking back. At the time it was a little scary. We named the ghost George Hossinfeffer and he seemed to like my sister. I believe it lived in the attic which was accessed through my bedroom. He never hurt anyone, he was more of a nuisance.
Bisbee seems to be sort of weird or paranormally charged, if you will, throughout the town. What are your theories as to why?
I believe Bisbee has a lot of paranormal activity because the town itself sits atop a large source of minerals, especially copper. What is copper? A conductor of energy. What are ghosts? Energy. GET IT?
The Mining Museum has an exhibit that informs visitors that many homes in Bisbee come with their very own subterranean passage-ways. What can you tell us about this?
Subterranean passageways are simply the steps and cobblestone paths that lead to their homes. Some of the homes here don’t have streets, they were built into the side of the hill. Getting to them can be an adventure!
Have you made any attempts to get the Bisbee Queen Mine on board with your ghost tour company taking folks down? I think that would be amazing!
They allowed us to do an investigation inside the building for one of our Paranormal Weekends. The building use to be where the smelters were. We caught some crazy stuff including footsteps! Going into the mine would be difficult because of all the dusk and dirt, it would cause for a lot of contamination to do an actual investigation.
The story about the boys who claimed to have been saved from a rockslide by the Lady in White – is this one of those legends that has been lost in time, or does anyone know what happened to them when they grew up? Any chance they are still in town?
Yes one of the boys still lives in town. The owners of the Bisbee Inn know his name, at the moment I can’t recall it.
How did you come to start the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour and the hunts over at the Copper Queen?
Bisbee is such a haunted town I was shocked that there wasn’t a ghost tour here already. It seemed like a natural location for one, so I started it! Same with the Ghost Hunt at the Copper Queen Hotel. It seemed like it would benefit both them and us to have a bi-monthly hunt there for guests interested in the paranormal.
Have there been any additional events or personal experiences that have happened since this book was published that you wished you could have updated in a following edition?
I am writing a second book…so you will have to wait til it comes out to find out 😛
Looking back, how hard was it to get your first book deal, and what have you learned over the years about publishing and marketing?
It really wasn’t hard at all to get my book published. My publisher was looking for an author in my region to write stories about the ghosts. I have also learned that unless you are a huge best selling author don’t bet money on making money off your book! I market the book to my guests on the tours and sell most that way, though you can find it on Amazon and in big book retailers in Arizona!
Take us through your writing process for a non-fiction book. (Do you write by hand or always type? Do you keep a writing schedule? Do you have a certain number of drafts you complete before turning in final copy?)
I type because I am a super fast typer and it is easier for me. With the first book I kept a very strict writing schedule, the reason the second book is taking me so long is because I don’t have the same schedule or time as I did when writing the first book. I did one draft then sent it to a gazillion friends to proof for me. Then I rewrote the changes they recommended and then I sent it off to the publisher for print.
Tell us how to keep up with you and about your upcoming projects/happenings.
I highly recommend everyone to follow me or the tours on Facebook. Old Bisbee Ghost Tour or Sweet Midnight, or Renee Harper!