Have you ever wanted to spend the evening fighting off ghosts and ghouls in Montana? Here is a comprehensive list of the most frightening and haunted places that you can visit…..if you dare!!
1. Garnett Ghost Town
This old mining town was home to more than 1,000 people, mainly gold miners and their families, in 1895. The town consisted of homes, stores, hotels and 13 bars. A fire in 1912 destroyed most of the businesses and only 150 people stayed and continued to live in Garnett Ghost Town. In 1947 the town was officially considered abandoned. In the 1970’s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided to have someone stay year round because buildings were burning down. Since then there have been reports of a pianos playing quietly, men’s voices echoing, transparent figures walking the streets, fresh footprints in the snow leading into houses but never exiting and also the ghost of a women that was allegedly executed for murder. If you are feeling adventurous in the winter you may rent one of two historic cabins built in the 1930’s from the BLM.
2. Chico Hot Springs
Chico Hot Springs opened as a health-care resort in 1900 and was owned and operated by Bill and Percie Knowles. After the Great Depression Percie’s health began to decline and she spent most of her time in room 349 sitting in a rocking chair and looking out the window. In 1936 she was committed to Warm Springs State Hospital and soon passed away. There have been many reports from guests and employees of sightings of Percie. She has been seen as a hazy apparition in a period dress floating down the third floor hallway or in the dining room. There have also been reports of a strong smell of perfume and the rocking chair rocking even though no one is sitting in it. You can rent a room and relax all weekend and maybe even see a ghost!
3. Deer Lodge Prison
The old Deer Lodge Prison was built in 1871 and was a response to reign in the outlaws of the Wild West. This Prison was used until 1979 and was then converted into a museum that also leads tours. Visitors and staff members have complained of seeing flying objects, unexplained shadows, whispers and footsteps, feelings of dread and sadness, the smell of burning flesh and even the sensation of being choked. One particular cell in the hole is reported to be very cold and has a foul odor with an evil threatening presence. When people have tried to leave the hole by walking up the stairs they have said to experience a pushing back feeling, hindering them from leaving.
4. Canyon Ferry Mansion, Townsend
Wealthy railroad contractor and cattleman A.B. Cook built this 12,750 square foot mansion in 1914. In 1970 there was a brutal murder here when an intruder killed Franklin Hervey Cook, A.B’s stepson. The mansion was bought by owners Sandy and Steve Rose who turned it into a bed and breakfast. The mansion is said to have seven spirits and a poltergeist haunting the property and there have been many sightings. Some sightings include a man said to be Hervey Cook, a lady in the garden, a teenager crying on the stairs and old cars turning down the driveway and then disappearing. There have also been reports of a piano playing in the background even though there is no piano on the property, cold spots, items being unexplainably moved and the aroma of cigars.
5. Elks Lodge, Miles City
Elks Lodge #537 was built in 1914 and has a meeting room, clubroom, bar, ballroom and rooms for guests. During prohibition the Elk’s Lodge was a place where people could go for drinks and entertainment. According to legend there was a suicide committed there in 1936 and it is said that Bonnie and Clyde sat one-night playing cards. There have been numerous incidents reported including the ghost of a man donning a green jacket; a female ghost wearing a long dress has been seen gliding across rooms as well as unexplained footsteps and dark shadows.
6. Boulder Hot Springs Inn
In 1863 James Riley built a tavern and bathhouse for miners to use and has since been through many renovations. The Inn is now used as a conference center and is alcohol and tobacco free. There is evidence that suggests that a mining executive murdered a prostitute and she now haunts the halls. There has been the unexplained odor of perfume, footsteps in empty hallways, cold temperatures, strong energy and a woman in a white gown has been seen in numerous windows. The legend has grown so epic that people have even named the ghost, Simone, and you can even stay in her sweet, if you dare.
7. The University of Montana
Brantley Hall was built in 1922 as a dormitory and since the mid 1980’s has been used as an administrative office building. According to legend, a female student that killed her self in 1929 haunts the building. Countless incidences have been reported including, doors slamming, loud clapping, an eerie “sense of presence,” a female voice calling when the building was dark and locked, and woman’s feet underneath the bathroom partition when nobody was in the stall.
Jeanette Rankin hall was first erected in 1908 but it wasn’t until numerous transformations that it was named after Jeanette Rankin in 1983. It is said that an entire ghostly lecture class gathers and restlessly shuffles around. There have also been reports of the sound of chairs moving around coming from the second floor and windows opening after custodians have shut them.