Montana’s Haunted Hotspots
The following is a working list of places that are alleged to be haunted in the state of Montana. As the paranormal is experienced differently from person to person, please let us know if you have had any experiences so we can update our page. For pictures, click names, and for local maps, click addresses. All authors notes will be in green.
Bannack Ghost Town – map of Bannack
The entire town of Bannack is haunted by several entities who “live” there. The sounds of babies crying emanate from the Amede Bessette house. In the late 1800s, 14 infants died in the this house during a smallpox epidemic. The Meade Hotel is haunted by a couple different entities. The first is the ghost of an old woman. Also, a girl who drowned in Grasshopper Creek now finds her home on the second-floor of the old hotel.
Bearmouth Ghost Town – 32 Miles South of Missoula on I-90
On the property where the General Store now stands, there used to be an old hotel. An old man dressed in an old-fashioned black coat is often seen running behind the old General Store and directly into the hillside before he disappears. The old man is thought to be the former owner of the hotel that once stood on that spot.
Beverly’s House – faces East on 1st Ave.
The ghost of a teenage girl haunts the home where she died. On Christmas Eve, in the early 1900s she fell down the stairs while rushing to a party. She began hemorrhaging internally and died later that night in her bedroom on the second floor. She is now known as the witch in the attic and is said to move objects and make disturbing noises. At Christmas time, she will scatter presents around the den.
La Llorona – located on the Yellow Stone River 5 miles East of Billings
Following the popular Hispanic story, La Llorona is the ghost of a tall, Hispanic woman wearing a flowing white gown. La Llorona, or Weeping Woman, has many variations. This one was a woman who drowned her children and will forevermore roam the banks of rivers looking for them.
Montana State University – 1711 West College St.
In the early 1970s the theater director slipped and fell down the metal staircase behind the stage. In the accident he hit his head and suffered brain damage, which left him subject to drastic mood swings. Sometime later, he shot himself in his office. After his suicide, students could feel his presence in his former office. In the mid-1980s and “blacked silhouette” began to appear near that room.
The nearby Strand Student Union contains another suicide victim. a woman wearing a dress from the 1930s is often spotted there. She is believed to be the spirit of a young woman who hanged herself in the ballroom.
Butte-Silver Bow County Courthouse – 155 West Granite St.
For almost 100 years, the courthouse has been haunted by a man named Miles Fuller. On May 18, 1906, he was hanged in the yard behind the jail for killing a fellow prospector. When Fuller’s coffin was placed on the funeral wagon, an inexplicable sound of thunder was heard. Witnesses took the sound as a sign of the man’s innocence. Fuller’s ghost is seen wandering at the rear of the courthouse.
Copper King Mansion – 219 West Granite St.
In the late 1800s, the mansion was home to Senator W. A. Clark. In later times, it was a home to Catholic nuns. The game room is haunted by a chill presence that keeps the room around 55 degrees, even in hot months when the rest of the house is warm. The old chapel, is haunted by a warm spirit. A “light-colored that floats and moves around” is found in the basement and first floor hallway. Also, doors throughout the entire building open and close and lock and unlock themselves.
Hennessy Mansion – Park St. at Excelsior Ave.
At the turn of the century, department store owner D.J. Hennessy built this home. In more recent times, the house has been used as a dorm and as a fraternity house. Over the years, students have encountered the ghost of Hennessy. Usually he is found in the kitchen, on the stairs to the basement, and in the basement.
Mount Moriah Cemetery – 2415 South Montana St.
The ghost of a man in a wheelchair can be seen in this cemetery. In 1973, two police officers documented the apparition that wheeled itself through the locked gates at the front entrance to the graveyard.
Colstrip Power Plant – map of Colstrip
All types of spirits are seen in the massive amounts of energy produced by this plant. When the air is full of static electricity, these shadows can be seen in the “webs” of overhead wiring or jumping from transistor to transistor. The most common occurrences include rambling voices or the feel of a person passing you. At other times, equipment disappears and is found elsewhere later.
Crow Indian Reservation
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Mnmt. – 15 miles outside of Hardin on I-90
In June 1876, General George A. Custer and his cavalrymen went down in defeat to Sioux Indians led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The bloody engagement is widely referred to as the Battle of the Little Bighorn, a nearby river. Visitors have been overcome by a sense of sorrow and loss on Last Stand Hill and near Battlefield Cemetery, but perhaps the strangest events take place near a section of the battleground known as Reno Crossing. This is the section of the Little Bighorn River where cavalrymen, under the direction of Major Marcus Reno, retreated from Indian forces, carrying as many dead and wounded comrades as they could. The ghost of Second Lieutenant Benjamin Hodgson, who died a horrible death near the crossing, has been seen by park personnel. His leg shattered by a bullet that also killed his horse, the frantic soldier tried to crawl up a steep hill, before being killed by an Indian. His body rolled down to the riverbank, where a marker now stands. Other apparitions have been encountered at Stone House, an employees’ residence near the cemetery, where strange lights have also been reported. Employees’ Apartments A and D are known for shimmering forms that appear at the foot of sleeping workers’ beds. The apparition of a soldier, wearing a brown shirt with a black cartridge belt across his chest, has been seen in the visitor center. The ghost of Custer himself is said to roam throughout the museum making one last check of the premises before retiring late at night. In 1986, the National Park Service arranged for relics of the battle to be psychometrized by selected psychics. All the psychics described, in exacting and exacting and historically precise detail, previously unknown facts about the people who died here.
Old Montana Prison – 1106 Main St.
The Old Montana Prison was built in the late 1800s using convict labor and was used until late 1979. The gallows contains a cold presence and many strange sounds can be heard there. The “hole” consists of several small sub-chambers. The first cell on the left is very cold and has a foul odor. Many people have felt a “evil, threatening presence” in this room. Furthermore, people have been pushed back up the stairs when they are trying to leave the room as if someone is trying to keep them out.
The prison is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and can be toured from February to September.
Flathead Indian Reservation
Chief Cliff – 5 miles West of Flathead Lake and North of Elmo
Legend says, this site, sacred to Kootenai Indians, is where the spirit of an aged chief looks out over his people from the cliff top. Long ago, this chief rode his horse to the top of the ridge and warned his people against forsaking the old ways and not respecting the elders. For, he rode his horse at full gallop over the edge of the cliff.
Flathead Lake – in the Northwest corner of Montana, North of Elmo
The name of this lake comes from a race of short, flatheaded, red-skinned people, that were gradually absorbed into the Salish and Nez Perce tribes. There are two legends as to the origins of these mysterious people. The first speaks of a ship bringing them in from far away oceans. Another says that they fell with a “burning star” that plunged into the lake hundreds of years ago. Signs and characters painted in vivid colors were left on the rocks by this tribe. In 1934, near Forest Grove, a skeleton was found that was shorter but more muscular and powerful than any other tribe in this area.
Garnet Ghost Town – map of Garnet
Garnet was established during the gold rush of 1860s. By 1880, there were 4,000 men living here. Ghostly music can by heard coming from the boarded-up windows of the old Kelly Saloon. In the adjacent bank building, many have felt strange presences. A ghostly party can be heard coming from the condemned J.K. Wells Hotel.
Fort Peck Summer Theatre – 110 5th Street South
During the construction of the Swiss Chalet building, a worker fell to his death. His ghost now supports people that stumble down stairs or off ladders. He is seen wearing khaki work clothes, and has been spotted in the back balcony. He is reported to sleep in the restrooms.
For more information visit: www.FortPeckTheatre.org
Black Horse Lake – just outside of Great Falls
Many people that travel the road along this lake have reported running over the ghost of a hitchhiker. The ghost is a tall man wearing bib overalls and stands sturdy, with his legs apart, in the middle of the road. He has been described as an Indian with long black hair, wearing a denim jacket. Once he is hit, he disappears and no damage is left to the vehicle.
Malmstrom Air Force Base Chapel – map of Malmstrom Air Force Base
A young fur trader with a long beard haunts this chapel. He cn usually be found sitting in the seventh pew with his bible. Often, he drops his bible loudly. An old piano plays “All the Ends of the Earth.”
Brantly House – located on Holter St.
Until 1922, this was the home of State Supreme Court Judge Theodore Brantly. Although the house has now been turned into apartments, he still haunts his former home. Some reports include people hearing the sound of his footsteps ascending the stairs to the third floor. Children often see him watching over them. The most common way he presents himself is by stealing M&M’s.
Carroll College – 1601 North Benton Ave.
A locked-up bathroom on the 4th floor of St. Charles’ Hall (dormitory) is just one source of the ghostly phenomena here. The room was the scene of an accident in which a young male student fell and hit his head against the sink. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Indelible red stains in the sink and rumors of a haunting prompted college officials to seal the room. Also, someone committed suicide by jumping from a window at the top of the north stairwell in St. Charles’ Hall. (Some people say this person was a student, other sources say it was a priest.) The suicide is still reenacted again and again by the ghost.
St. Albert’s Hall is haunted by the spirit of a nun who died of an illness there. Glimpses of her fleeting specter are reported in the corridor on the top floor of the building, which is not the student union.
The ghosts on the campus are most active when the students are suffering from emotional trauma or the stress of exams. The spirits seem attracted to the raw emotional energy.
The Grandstreet Theater – 325 North Park Ave.
A charming phantom haunts this stone playhouse. When Clara Bicknell Hodgin died in 1905, at the age of 34, residents took up a collection and donated a Tiffany window, in her memory, to the Unitarian Church. After the church was converted to a library, the window was removed and stored in the civic center. In December 1976, the window was rediscovered and reinstalled in the building which had just reopened as a theater. It was then that Clara’s spirit began to manifest. Delicate disembodied footsteps are heard throughout the building, appliances and lights go on and off along, and her engaging presences can be felt by everyone that enters the theater.
For more information visit: www.grandstreet.net.
The Kleinschmidt House – 1823 Highland Ave.
This house is haunted by Mary Kleinschmidt and her youngest son Erwin. Theodore Kleinschmidt and his wife Mary built thier Victorian home in 1892. Mary died in the house in 1904, and by the 1950’s it was common knowledge that she was haunting her former residence. Realtors even went so far as to warn perspective buyers of ghostly activity at the house. Recent tenants have heard Mary’s footsteps throughout the house. The apparition of blonde haired Erwin, clad in knickers is usually seen in the bedrooms.
T.C. Power Mansion – 600 Harrison St.
This stone castle was home to Thomas C. Power, millionaire businessman and former US senator. The mansion was built in 1889, and Thomas and his wife Mary lived there for many years. After their deaths, their son willed it to the Catholic church. the diocese later sold the building and it became a daycare center. Caretakers, church officials, and employees at the old power mansion, have reported seeing the appearance of a former maid in the ballroom and at other locations in the house. The ghost of Thomas Power has been sensed in a bedroom where he died.
Conrad Mansion Slave Quarters – Woodland Ave. between 3rd and 4th St. East
The slave quarters across from the mansion were built by Kalispell founder C.E. Conrad. They are said to be haunted by the spirits of slaves who died from the many illnesses that plagued them here. Their images can be seen walking the grounds after dark. In the winter, mysterious footprints are left in the snow. Occasionally, their cries and coughs can be heard at night.
Missoula Children’s Theatre – 200 N. Adams St.
A friendly spirit named George haunts this nationally acclaimed children’s playhouse. Although he is sometimes blamed for making loud banging noises in the deserted shop or throwing storyboards he does not like, George is also credited for helping out during productions. Once, he whispered the correct page number to a pianist who lost her place during a recital.
University of Montana – University Ave.
The theater in the Fine Arts Building, on this campus, is haunted by a spiteful spook who likes to trick people. Brantley Hall is haunted by a female student who committed suicide after her father lost all his money in the 1929 stock market crash. The ghost of her German Shepard has also been seen in the corridors. A phantom class of 20 students haunts Rankin Hall. Their voices and restless shuffling are heard coming from empty classrooms on the second floor. In Main Hall, also known as University hall, a ghost disturbs custodians cleaning custodians. They slam stall doors, walking noisily across the floor and making loud breathing sounds.
Zakos House – 319 South 5th St. West
This has been called the spookiest house in all of Montana! IN 1938, James and Eleanor Zakos moved into the Victorian house with their six children and Eleanor’s mother. Immediately, they began hearing a woman’s bloodcurdling screams coming from the inside the walls. The screams always came in two shrieks that started out low in pitch and rose higher, “until the volume threatened to split the walls.” The shrieking sounds went on day and night and came from throughout the house. The Zakoses called the police and fire departments and hired an electrician to inspect the entire building. No one could find any explanation for the sounds. By 1941, the family had given up on trying to find the source of the screams and resigned themselves to living in a haunted house. Then, in 1956, Eleanor’s sister arranged to have an exorcism performed by the Reverend Andrew Landin. That seemed to have quieted the house until 1980, when Mary Zakos, who was just a baby when her family moved to the house, told reporters that she was seeing handwriting on the wall of her bedroom. Mary was a writer of horror and modern romance books, and her psychiatrist insisted she was somehow projecting the writing on to the wall.
Chico Hot Springs Lodge and Restaurant – map of Pray
In May 1986, two night watchmen at this resort hotel came upon the nebulous form of a young woman hovering near a piano near the 3rd floor lounge. Only the upper body of the white ghost appeared. The face of the peaceful apparition stared at them for several minutes, enough time for one of the guards to grab a camera from a nearby table and snap a photograph. A tiny white spot appeared on the film where the ghost had stood. The same apparition had been seen by guests in the past, but this was the first time the Lady in White was photographed. In 1990, two other security guards followed the Lady in White from the lobby to the hallway in front of Room 349, where there presence has been reported by many employees and guests.
Crow Medicine Rock – click here for directions
The Crow Indians believe that these mountains are sacred, because they are the home of a race of Little People, who protect the tribe. The pygmies are said to be great meat-lovers with sharp K-9 teeth. Rumors of ferocious dwarves ripping the hearts out of horses kept enemies off Crow lands, and the tribe still makes offerings to the Little People at Medicine Rock. In 1932, a mummified dwarf sitting cross-legged in a cave here was found by two prospectors.
Writing Stone – junction of the 15 and the 2
Mysterious drawings on this rock wall are said to tell the future. Indian warriors about to go off to battle traveled to this site to look for their future on the stone. If they saw their own image, it meant they would soon die. Blackfoot Chief “Old Man” Mandan became known for his ability to see the future using the pictographs of the the Writing Stone. Pictures on the rock also foretold the appearance of scores of oil derricks in the area. Indians believe the mysterious drawings were created by angels or giant colorful birds.
The ancient Writing Stone is a light colored cliff outside the town of Shelby.
Bonanza Inn – East Wallace St.
The ghost of a nun has appeared in the rooms in this inn and also in the building next door known as the Bonanza House. These are said to be the two most haunted buildings in the city. The Bonanza Inn was the first county courthouse in Virginia City, but when a new one was built in 1876, it became a Catholic Hospital. The Bonanza House was used as a nunnery. The ghosts seen in these building are from benign. One of the rooms at the Inn is now sealed because of all the frightening poltergeist manifestations, and the apparition of a lecherous man has appeared in one of the upstairs rooms at the Bonanza House. Mysterious footsteps, strange feelings of discomfort, and bone chilling cold spots plague both buildings to this day.
Costume Shop – East Wallace St.
The apparition of a little blond-haired girl has been seen dozens of times sitting on the front steps of this building. Some customers of the shop have seen a ghostly little girls dress that sometimes hangs on the racks, but when they turn around it disappears.
Lightning Splitter – map of Virginia City
This house is called Lightning Splitter because the rear gable is one of the highest points in town and is frequently struck by lightning. Originally a brothel, the Lightning Splitter is now haunted by a demon like creature. Locals believe the demon was summoned by a former tenant who was killed in a motorcycle accident. The man had a reputation as a drug dealer and a bar brawler, and was known to dabble in Satanism. The creature resembling a giant black dog, attacks residents in the upstairs bedrooms. In the same house, a “long, white, orb-like thing” has been observed in the kitchen.
This house is now a private residence. Please do not trespass.
The Opera House – map of Virginia City
This old theater is haunted by the spirits of bygone days and at least one modern ghost. Phantom footsteps are heard as some invisible entity enters the backdoor and walks into the building. Employees have also heard the untraceable sounds of a deep voice laughing at around 3am. Also, the ghost of a piano player at the near by Bale of Hay Saloon, who died in 1988, has appeared onstage at the Opera House.