SHERIDAN — After the pumpkins have been carved and the candy collected, Halloween has come and gone and you’re still looking for some more spirited fun for the remainder of your weekend, consider taking a haunted road trip.
With the old, rich history of the region — from battlefields in Montana to ghost towns in Wyoming and everything in between — it may come as no surprise that several towns in driving proximity of Sheridan County feature places with reported supernatural activities.
Even here in Sheridan reports of apparitions in the Kendrick Mansion and the Historic Sheridan Inn have surfaced.
At the mansion, built in 1913 as the residence of John B. Kendrick and his family, surveillance cameras have picked up images in rooms resembling human or ghostly form moving about, but when police investigate in person, no one is ever found.
But have no fear (oh wait, maybe have a little) because these other nearby places claim to house haunts of a somewhat more interactive nature.
So pack up the car and hit the road, but for any places not open to the public consider calling ahead, as the living residents may have had enough of uninvited visitors.
Garryowen — Little Bighorn Battlefield
At one of the better-known stops on our tour, the monument to the historic battle also known as Custer’s Last Stand is also known to house the spirits of fallen soldiers and Native Americans. Some visitors have reported physical contact with the apparitions, feeling taps on shoulders with no one behind them and hearing Indian war cries in empty fields.
Colstrip — Colstrip Power Plant
The power plant in Colstrip, Montana, is one you might not want to just pop-by; all reports of activity from this location have come from employees.
But if you do get a chance to tour the plant, don’t be surprised if you see ghostly figures traveling between transistors or see objects disappear and reappear in plain sight, or so the workers say.
If your travels bring you to Billings, Montana the town has several locations reporting supernatural activity. Perhaps the most intriguing tales, though, come out of the Antique Depot. In 1940s Billings, a plane crashed and the small funeral home became overfilled, so some bodies were stored in the fridge at what was then a grocery store. A WWII soldier was one of the people to die in the crash, and today people say they have seen a WWII soldier wandering the aisles of what is now an antique shop. When they approach him, he vanishes.
Lovell – The Blue Lady of Kane Cemetery
Lovell is another town with more than one reportedly haunted place including the Old Motocross tracks and the Shoshone Bar. But just outside of Lovell, about 10 miles west, lays the remains of a town long forgotten — Kane. When the Yellowtail Reservoir is low, the old town’s remains and the local cemetery can be seen rising from below the water. Here the “Blue Lady” haunts, searching the reservoir for her child who drowned at the hands of her husband. Spectators say the figure looks beautiful from afar but the closer you get the uglier she becomes, and crossing the line from a story of a ghost to a ghost story, some warn not to get too close as she is happy to take you in place of her child.
Cody — Irma Hotel
Perhaps you’ll pass through Cody on your way down to Thermopolis and decide to rest up for the night. If sleep is what you seek, you may want to skip the Irma Hotel, which is said to be the “resting place” of Buffalo Bill Cody’s daughter Irma, among other ghostly guests. The Lady in White is said to roam the halls of the second floor suites and have an aggressive presence in the kitchen. An 1800s style uniformed soldier is said to pull up a seat at the old cherry wood bar in the main dining room. Guests report strange noises and a ghost without a bottom half gliding through the halls. If you can’t sleep and feel like taking a hike, Cody is also home to Cedar Mountain, sometimes called Spirit Mountain because people lost in the caves that honeycomb the area are said to occupy the mountain along with “little people.” The caves are closed to public access but you can register with the U.S. Forest Service for a tour.
Visitors could make a weekend of ghostly tours in Thermopolis alone. With a quick stop at the Kwik Mart travelers may hear moaning in the bathroom, coming from a man who died during a robbery that took place in the bank that used to stand there. A tour of the County Museum could bring history to life as a woman sitting on the displays’ chairs wears a dress as accurate to the turn of the century, but she is no employee. At the library, staff reports finding books strewn everywhere each morning when they arrive and janitors rarely keep their jobs for more than a month because of the spooky nighttime figures and noises.
Source: First-hand accounts reported to hauntedplaces.org and theshadowlands.net.