Montana Ghost Stories
Montana doesn’t just have ghost towns, this state is filled with great ghost stories. The history of Montana reads like a Zane Grey western with gunfights, robbery, and murder and with that comes some intriguing stories of the supernatural. We found some of our favorite stories from across the state to share with you!
Bannack Ghost Town
Bannack, Montana boomed when gold was discovered along Grasshopper Creek. Along with the boom came Henry Plummer who became sheriff of Bannack and leader of a gang called “The Innocents.” Plummer’s gang is suspected in over a hundred murders and countless robberies. Plummer erected the gallows of Bannack during his short tenure as sheriff only to be hanged from them himself after being captured by a group of vigilantes. The gallows still stand in Bannack State Park. You can start a short hike from the old jail to the gallows and continue up the hill to the original cemetery--both the gallows and cemetery are said to be inhabited by spirits. As Plummer was dragged to his death he tried to bargain with his captors telling them he would take them to his buried gold in exchange for his freedom; his gold cache has never been found.
While in Banack, check out Hotel Meade, said to be inhabited by Dorothy Dunn who drowned in a nearby dredge pond at the age of 16. A girl in a long blue dress is sometimes seen in the window of the hotel and children have reportedly tried to speak to the girl in the blue dress.
Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings by Ellen Baumler
Montana is known for its many famous ghost stories and allegedly true hauntings. Whether you are a believer of the paranormal or not, one thing is for sure, some of these stories will keep you up at night!
It is long thought that the former Great Falls Central High School is haunted. One day, after class, while a art teacher was cleaning up paintbrushes, she heard footsteps enter the room. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a little boy in a striped shirt. After letting the boy know that she would help him find his painting when she was finished, she turned around, only to note that the boy had vanished. The art teacher, shaken from her experience, told the office staff that she had seen a little boy in a striped shirt, only to be told that they were the last ones in the building.
For more spooky tales pick up Montana Chillers: 13 True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings by Ellen Baumler.
The Dumas Brothel Museum in Butte, MT!
Did you know that Butte is known as the most historic and haunted towns in Montana? Among it's numerous sites that are supposedly haunted is the iconic Dumas Brothel. First built in 1890, the Dumas Brothel was located in the red-light district of Butte, MT. At the time, Buttes red-light district was considered the largest in the West! This brothel operated for more than 90 years, before shutting down in the year of 1982!
This brothel was infamous as a hostile environment, both inside and out. From brutal robberies to shootings, and even stabbings, hanging out around the Dumas Brothel was never suggested. Now, in modern days, there have been several ghost sightings drawing tourists in from all over the nation!
In the 1970's a employee spotted a woman with a suitcase in the brothel. She walked through the door of the upstairs bathroom, before continuing down the stairs. When the employee when down to check on her, there was nobody within sight! With the inability to exit the brothel in that short of a time span, many people have theorized that she was a docile spirit from the past.
Dying to learn more? You can actually visit the Dumas Brothel yourself!
Ghosts of the Last Best Place by Ellen Baumler
There is no denying that hunger can cause a human to do inconceivable things. What would you do if you were starving in the woods? It is rumored by Native American Tribes that hidden in the depths of Montana forests lives the Wendigo - a demonic figure with an intense hunger for human flesh. As Ellen Baumler puts it "the wendigo symbolizes the phantom of hunger that stalks the forests of the north as a shape-shifting spirit with a heart of ice."
Intrigued? Pick up Ghosts of the Last Best Place by Ellen Baumler for more information on this terrifying cryptid.
Virginia Slade and Virginia City
Jack and Virginia Slade came to Virginia City, Montana in 1863. Jack was known to have rescued a young woman whose husband was killed before tracking down and killing those responsible. On the other side of Jack’s personality was drunken belligerence and trouble-making. After a particularly raucous night, the Virginia City Vigilance had enough and, after a rushed trial, decided Jack Slade needed to be hanged. Virginia, hearing the news, came roaring through town on horseback. Upon hearing “Mrs. Slade is coming!” the box under Jack’s feet was kicked away. The silence was broken by Virginia’s too late arrival to defend her husband. Today, from time to time, residents say they catch glimpses of Virginia’s ghost riding towards town with a black skirt billowing, dust appearing, and hearing screams assumed to be Virginia realizing she’s too late to save her husband.
Written by: Stephen McNeal, Alexa Jorgenson
Cover Design: Averi Thompson