First, I need to state this is the only episode of Ghost Hunters I have ever seen and ever plan to watch. As far as I am concerned, the whole show is endemic of the problems faced when programmers of popular television shows do their little Tombstone and OK Corral thing. There are a handful of photogenic so-called experts who seem to appear on every History Channel or Discovery Channel production about the Wild West. They are far from the best the field has to offer. Rarely are those who truly know something about the subject used on or off camera. Consequently, I never watch these programs. They make me too angry.
Now, back to the show…
Several readers who have been following my series of articles dealing with Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, and the 125th anniversary of the Gunfight at the OK Corral have commented that they would love to have my take on a episode of the Sci-Fi television series, Ghost Hunters, and the OK Corral. Since we have just marked the 125th anniversary of the Gunfight, I can’t think of a better time to give you the Tombstone take on it.
Okay, the snickering begins now. People around here are still snickering. Let’s put it this way: the history Ghost Hunters mangled was, well, mangled. I knew it was bad when my mother called halfway through the show and said, “Even I know the gunfight did not happen there!” Well, she was right.
Just to make sure, I waited to spend a little time here in Tombstone, talking to a few people who know more than I do. Every time I brought up the subject, I was met with snickering and outright laughter. (Hope that helps put things into proper perspective for you.)
I knew we were in for trouble when the cast started out with some snickers over the cowboy hats, straw cowboy hats at that. No self-respecting, gun totin’ Wild West imitatin’ Earpie (like a Trekkie without the pointed ears) would ever wear a straw cowboy hat. Only tinhorns (fakes) wear straw cowboy hats. We all understand the “OK Corral” as it exists today is a money-making business. No problem there. But, one would think a television show attempting authenticity would check its facts. No way the location they were filming could have been haunted by ghosts of dead Earps and Clantons. For one thing, no Earp died there. No McLaury died within the walled enclosure. Billy Clanton was within the ‘wall’ when he died, leaning against the Harwood House. And then he was up next to where the sidewalk facing Fremont is today.