Montana Hiking, Nature July 22, 2017
The Haunted Hike In Montana That Will Send You Running For The Hills
MacDonald Pass is located on the continental divide west of Helena. As one of three mountain passes that used in the 1870s-80s for travel between Helena and Deer Lodge, there’s definitely a lot of history here. And some of it isn’t very pleasant.
Many hikers have walked along what is now known as Frenchwoman’s Road, some without knowing about its past.
In 1867, a French Canadian man named Constant Guyot built the road to provide the most direct access between Helena and Deer Lodge.
Guyot ran a hay ranch along the Little Blackfoot River just east of Elliston. His wife, Madame Guyot, ran a hostel at the west end of the road near Dog Creek. Guests could stay for $2 per night, and for $1, she'd make them a meal.
But unfortunately Constant Guyot was a mean drunk, and he was known to mistreat his wife. And in August of 1868, Madame Guyot was found murdered and robbed of $6,000 in gold dust in the hostel.
Passing travelers discovered her body in a pool of blood and nearly decapitated from a bullet to her skull.
Constant Guyot was a prime suspect in his wife's murder for a while, but he was never charged.
He fled the territory shortly after her death. According to Virginia City's newspaper, Madame Guyot had been saving her customers' tolls with plans to use the funds to leave her husband and return to France. Perhaps Constant found out and killed her in a fit of rage.
Nothing remains of the hostel, which stood on the west side of MacDonald Pass. But the Frenchwoman's ghost is said to haunt the area.
The first known sighting was in 1877 by a Butte physician who saw the woman's ghost when he stayed at the hostel. He kept the story secret for years, but confessed two years before he committed suicide. And he's not the only one who claims to have seen Madame Guyot.
And believe it or not, the ghost of Madam Guyot is not the only spirit you'll have to watch out for in this area.
A driver once stopped near a white highway cross for a cigarette, and when he returned to his car he found a young woman in the backseat asking him for a ride to Helena. He agreed, but on the way there, the woman vanished. The cross apparently marked the site of a car accident that killed two teenage girls on their way to a dance in Helena.
If you do decide to hike the trail, you can start at the Cromwell Dixon Campground on top of MacDonald Pass. The Continental Divide Trail extends all the way to Mexico, so hike as long as you like and turn around.
Just beware of hitchhikers when you cross the road and watch out of French Canadian ghosts.
Does the idea of a haunted hike sound appealing? Check out this list of
haunted Montana trails.