Montana October 28, 2016
A Tour Of This Haunted Prison In Montana Is Not For The Faint Of Heart
Halloween and its eerie attractions are proof that we all like to be a little scared. But for some, zombies in costumes or shadowy figures who jump out of corn mazes aren’t enough. To experience a real life haunting this Halloween (or anytime), all you have to do is take a tour of the Old Montana Prison Museum in Deer Lodge. You might not see anything spooky, but you just might experience something you’ll never forget.
On July 2, 1871, Montana’s Territorial Prison incarcerated its first person.
And until the late 1970s, many prisoners called this place home.
Prison is never a fun place, but this one was especially abysmal.
Some of the worst criminals of their time were brought here, and soon the facilities became overcrowded. The living conditions were pretty appalling even for prison standards. Numerous riots broke out, the most notorious being the infamous riot of 1959. Three prisoners seized rifles from the guard, took 26 prison employees and inmates hostage, and shot and killed a deputy.
A year after the prison closed down, it reopened as a museum…. and the paranormal experiences started right away.
Many, many visitors have felt a sudden unexplainable coldness when they walked through certain areas. Some people see strange mists, fleeting shadows and darting figures. Eerie sounds are often heard, and people report feeling a sudden sense of dread.
While no actual acts of ghostly violence have occurred here, there’s apparently something sinister lurking inside “The Hole.”
There have been multiple claims that something in solitary confinement tries to attack people, shoving them and whispering things too softly to be heard. Almost as many prisoners died in The Hole as those who were sent to the gallows.
Many paranormal investigations have taken place here over the years, and nearly all of them have experienced unexplainable activity.
One group was even able to communicate with a female voice who identified herself as “Nancy.”
One ghost in particular, if he is there, is definitely harmless.
“Turkey Pete” was a well-loved inmate who went a little mad and started to “sell” the flock of prison turkeys to inmates. Everyone liked Pete, so the prisoners were allowed to print “money” from the prison’s press to humor him. He eventually “bought” the prison and would “pay” the guards’ salaries. When Pete died in 1967, his was the only funeral ever held by the prison system. His cell was converted into a barber shop, and some prison employees will swear Pete is still around.
You can take a regular self-guided tour of the prison museum or choose to go on a special ghost tour, if you dare.
Occasionally the museum will host ghost tours that start at 9:30 and end around 2 AM. You’re encouraged to bring your camera, ghost-hunting technology, and courage.
Even if you don't believe in ghosts, the history alone makes this museum worth visiting.
Just don't be alarmed if you suddenly get goosebumps for no reason.
Touring the Old Prison Museum is fascinating, but it’s not for the faint of heart. For a slightly tamer experience, try exploring one of Montana’s ghost towns, like Bannack State Park.