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Ghosts915 tour explores the haunted side of downtown

Andres Martinez
The Downtown El Paso Ghost Tour will take participants through the streets of downtown and conclude at the Old Wigwam Saloon .

El Paso’s history is rich with spine-chilling and freakish occurrences, and the Ghosts915 Paranormal Research Center’s Downtown Ghost Tour explores the creepy places where many of these stories have taken place.

Just in time for Halloween, the tour will take participants through a ghoulish journey through the spooky history of downtown El Paso.

“The Downtown El Paso ghost tour starts at the Old Wigwam Saloon and is a two-hour walking tour,” said Henry Flores, a crew member at Ghosts915. “Ending it, we talk about the history, legends and lore of downtown El Paso.”

The Downtown Ghost Tours departs at night and takes those who dare to join them to the deadliest intersections and haunted historical buildings in El Paso. The tour also highlights many key moments in downtown El Paso’s history.

“We describe the four dead in five seconds incident, the rise and fall of John Wesley Hardin, also known as the dark angel of Texas, and we discuss the existence of brothels and saloons from the Old West,” Flores said. “Then towards the end of the tour, we do take people inside some basements in buildings in downtown and have them experience some paranormal activity.”

While on the tour, participants are allowed to use proper technology to try and get evidence of paranormal activity.

“They get to use some of our ghost-hunting equipment and see if they can capture something on their cameras,” Flores said.

The tour explores the historical Wigwam Saloon. Although the building was damaged in a fire, it was reconstructed and is now used as retail space. The saloon was originally built in 1883 and was once owned by the outlaw and gunslinger John Wesley Hardin.

“The person that ended up killing John Wesley Hardin at the Acme Saloon first started off as a bouncer at the same Wigwam Saloon,” Flores said. “His name was John Henry Selman and (Hardin) was shot in the alley next door to the Wigwam Saloon and died Easter Sunday 1896.”

Tiffany Butler, senior health promotion major, has attended the tour and said the scariest part was the store that used to be the Wigwam Saloon.

“It had been on fire, was still standing and had a long history,” Butler said. “It was pretty eerie.”

The tour also visits the Camino Real Hotel, and covers the history of the Plaza Theatre and Cortez building, and takes participants through some of the buildings that are currently being renovated.

“Downtown El Paso is very historic, and some of these locations have had many killings, murders and other tragic events,” Flores said. “The intersection, for instance, of El Paso and San Antonio Avenue was once called the deadliest intersection in the West because a lot of gunfights happened there, including the infamous four dead in five seconds.”

The four dead in five seconds gunfight happened on El Paso Street. Dallas Stoudenmire, who was marshall at the time, shot three of the four individuals with his twin .44-caliber Colt revolvers.

Flores said many people who have been on the tour have experienced creepy and paranormal things, especially inside the former Palace Saloon, one of the many buildings visited on the tour.

“We enter the basement of the former Palace Saloon, and there’s always someone reporting being touched, seeing black shadows, and even capturing a full body apparition of a young lady,” Flores said.

Butler said she enjoyed the tour because she was able to learn a lot about El Paso’s history.

“I liked being able to walk around and learn about the history in downtown El Paso,” Butler said. “I felt the history, which made it more real and scary.”

She said her favorite part about the tour was being able to use their technology to listen for any paranormal activity.

“We got to go to a building and use the equipment they use to hear the paranormal,” Butler said. “I thought it was cool getting to use it because it helped to get an even more realistic experience.”

For more information about the Ghosts915 Downtown Ghost Tour, visit their Facebook page or their website at

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected].

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Ghosts915 tour explores the haunted side of downtown