Top 3 HAUNT SPOTS for GHOSTS in the Gallatin Valley
It is estimated that over one-third of the American population believes in Ghosts. And of that one-third, over fifty percent of them have educations above 12th grade.
Every culture has a version of ghosts and ghosts can be seen in even the most ancient of literature.
What is our fascination with ghosts and where can you find a ghost or haunted place locally in the Gallatin Valley?
The Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks, MT was built in 1910 by John Q. Adams. It seems Mr. Adams still “runs” the hotel as guests, including myself, have sensed him lurking in guest rooms and hallways. I believe Mr. Adams ghostly presence is what is referred to as an “active” or “intelligent” haunting, meaning his spirit knows and can sense and interact with the present.
An icy presence is also felt by a ghostly apparition of a maid that many have seen vanish into a wall that used to be a linen closet and come back out again, over and over. The maid is what is referred to as a “residual” haunting. The maid is not aware of present time. Like a groove in a vinyl record (remember those old things?) when the needle is in place in the groove, it makes a noise. Under the right conditions residual ghosts appear, whether there are humans there to witness their presence or not.
The Three Forks Police have actually been called to the hotel to investigate a complaint about one of the more boisterous ghosts in residence.
The Gallatin Gateway Inn, Gallatin Gateway, MT
At least three specters haunt this former Railway Inn built in the 1920’s.
One is said to be that of a young housekeeper who met her fate at the hands of her boyfriend in one of the upstairs guest rooms. Guests of the inn have reported gazing into the mirror and seeing her ghostly reflection in place of their own face. STATUS–Active/Intelligent Haunting
Another spirit haunts the Gateway who seems to be a fun loving prankster. I affectionately refer to him as Mephisto. He turns lights on and off, moves objects like utensils and hides them and he even plays the player piano when it is unplugged! STATUS–Active /Intelligent Haunting
The most chilling ghost at the Gallatin Gateway Inn is the Bridegroom Ghost. There is a long, curved staircase winding down to the Great Room. Brides traditionally descend the staircase to their wedding ceremony below. Many an unsteady bride has reported the creepy yet comfortable sensation of a firm, invisible hand around their waist to keep them from falling. STATUS–Active/Intelligent Haunting
UPDATE 2009-An employee of the Gallatin Gateway Inn shared with me that the sightings and eerie happenings continue to spook employees after hours.
Montana State University Theatre-Bozeman
Sadly for ghost hunters my favorite “Most Haunted” location has been torn down and replaced, the old MSU theatre in the SUB.
The SUB theatre was home to many ghouls including Virginia the dancing girl. Legend has it that Virginia was dressed and waiting to go to a formal dance and her suitor never showed. She took her life in despair. Many have seen, heard and felt Virginia’s ball gown skirt brush by as she twirls endlessly across the theatre stage in an attempt to dance into eternity. STATUS–Residual Haunting
The Cage Lady was also an interesting spook. The costume cage below the stage had a spirit residing in it notorious for stealing crucial costumes and props before a scene, only to have them reappear later in plain view. STATUS–Active/Intelligent Haunting