Now that you know where to go if you want to be followed home by an angry drowned woman, get pushed down some stairs, or maybe get strangled by a dead prison inmate, go forth and explore. Just don’t forget to bring some salt, garlic, or whatever takes dead murderers out of the mood to murder. And don’t blame us for whatever might crawl out of your TV after visiting one of these sites.
10-Hell Gate Ronde, Missoula
Built as a trading post in 1860, this settlement was the site of a mass hanging. One winter night in 1864, the Montana Vigilantes, a murderous group of, well, vigilantes, rode into town and hung four suspected members of the “Henry Plummer Gang”, including local Sheriff Henry Plummer, who was thought to have led the gang that was responsible for over 100 murders (some historians no longer believe that he was affiliated with the gang).
The men received no trial, and historical events and timelines now suggest that innocent men were killed that night. The story goes that the four “vigilante victims” weren’t buried in the town cemetery with everyone else; their bodies were buried somewhere off of Mullan Road-a road still in use today.
One of the most well-preserved ghost towns, over 20 buildings remain, including a school, jail, and blacksmith shop. In the winter, cabins can be rented that are only accessible via snowmobile. Let’s hope that all that mountain-induced isolation doesn’t get to you (you know what they say about all work and no play…)
8- Fort Peck Theatre, Fort Peck
During the Theatre’s construction in 1934, a workman fell and died, and has spent his afterlife either standing on the back balcony or sleeping in the restrooms. Some people say that he often protects people who are working on ladders or the stairs by supporting them to keep them from falling.
7- Club 13 Bar, Butte
This building was refurbished in the 1930s, but one of the original rooms, built in 1880, remains on the second floor. In this room, laughter and voices have been heard, along with footsteps. Some patrons also claim to have smelt perfume and seen shadows moving at night. These phenomena have been limited to this room; many believe that can be explained by the 1930s refurbishing, which has changed the building entirely, except for the second floor room.
6- The Weeping Woman, near Billings
For those of you who like a little challenge to go with your ghost hunting, try finding this one. Five miles east of Billings, along the Yellowstone River, people claim to have seen a woman with dark hair wearing a white flowing gown, and, yes, she is weeping. You can ask her what’s wrong, but that might activate her snake-like jaw that she uses to consume the souls of the curious.
5- The Lobby Bar and Davenport Hotel, Great Falls
Over 20 different ghosts are suspected to reside at this hotel and connecting bar, and apparently the place only gets more haunted as you go up. Cold spots, glasses flying off the shelves, and even a ghostly tap on the shoulder await you.
Luckily, there’s no need to sneak into this place after closing time. Tours are offered from 6pm to 2am, for the low price of $5 and a can of food to donate to the Great Falls Food Bank.
4- Grandstreet Theatre, Helena
Formerly a church, Grandstreet has a Tiffany window that was donated in 1905 after the death of Clara Bicknell Hodgin, the wife of the church’s minister. She died at the age of 34 (which in 1905 was like living to age 50). The window was put into storage until Grandstreet was converted into a theater in 1976, when it was reinstalled again. Since the window was put back up, Clara’s spirit has been heard and felt by many locals. Soft footsteps can be heard, and electrical switches get turned on and off. Maybe Clara’s trying to figure out this newfangled electricity?
3- Rocky Boy Indian Reservation
Not just ghosts, here, kids. Bigfoot sightings, UFOs, and “little people” have been seen as well. What are little people, you ask? Well, the Cree people know them as Memegwesi. Don’t try to pronounce that, you’ll just hurt yourself. These little people are small, child-sized, with lots of hair and no noses. Not scared yet? Well, while a lot of their behaviors make them sound like the North American equivalent of a leprechaun, they are protective of the Native American people and have sharp little teeth that they’re not afraid to use.
2- Silver Bow Archives, Butte
Flying picture frames and the typical haunting experiences will await you in this building. But it gets interesting once you learn that the Archives was once a fire station. Firefighters (not live ones) have been seen playing poker in the basement, and the fire alarm goes off frequently, even though it’s not connected to a power source.
Other ghosts have been seen there, too, including old miners and women dressed in clothes from the 1900s. This could be due to the fact that the Archives holds a lot of documents and artifacts, including jewelry, clothes, and mining tools-all the things that ghosts usually need to, you know, cross over.
1-Deer Lodge Prison, Deer Lodge
A building that the Montana Standard once called “An unsettling mix of castle and mental institution”, this prison was converted into a museum in 1979. Tour guides and visitors alike have reported encounters that fall anywhere on the spectrum from mildly spooky to horrifying.
Experiences range from seeing shadows and hearing footsteps and whispers, to levitating objects and sensations of being choked and beaten. One of the tour guides who run the overnight tours becomes physically ill if she tries to enter a particular building on the property. She’s also been choked and scratched.
But most of the experiences people have had are your basic haunted-house stuff: hearing talking, footsteps, and even the sound of cards shuffling in the cells. Which just goes to show that the only thing worse than dying in a prison is spending eternity in one.