Montana January 20, 2016
Visit These Creepy Ghost Towns In Montana At Your Own Risk
You won’t find many states with more ghost towns in Montana. When prospectors struck gold in the 1850s, thriving boomtowns popped up left and right. But when the gold disappeared, so did the people, turning the once populated areas into ghost towns. Not every ghost town in Montana is spooky… in fact, some are fun spots for tourists to visit. But there are some that are rumored to be haunted and even more with violent and wild histories. A visit to the following ghost towns might get you more than you bargained for.
Montana’s most intact ghost town is “full of people you cannot see,” as the saying goes. Once home to about 1,000 people in 1895, visitors of Garnet have reported hearing men’s voices echoing in the buildings, the faint sound of piano music and seeing apparitions.
Many of Elkhorn’s buildings have survived since it was abandoned, making it one of the more popular ghost towns to visit. Elkhorn’s Fraternity Hall was once the site of a brutal fight during a dance. A square dancer shot a waltzer dead and was later hanged for it.
3. Montana City
A former Hollywood dancer, Zarita Zook, fell in love with this ghost town in Lincoln County and helped preserve some of the buildings. In the 1980s they held Vaudeville shows in the restored theater, but presently this site is deserted and the property is privately owned.
At first glance, this ghost town certainly doesn’t look creepy. It once held a population of about 10,000 and had residents until the 1970s. But the citizens once elected the head of an outlaw gang as their sheriff, leading to hundreds of robberies and murders on the nearby trails… and a recipe for unsettled ghosts. Bannack was once featured on an episode of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.
5. Castle Town
Calamity Jane once called Castle home, determined to live a ladylike existence. While that never did work out, a few remnants of her former home remain standing.
Coloma is called the Mystery Camp because its history is so mysterious. We know it was active in 1896 and for a few years after, but its mining records are missing. In fact, it is very difficult to find any information on Coloma.
7. Hell Gate
Located a few miles from present-day Missoula, this ghost town was the first Missoula settlement and was once the site of the brutal hanging of several accused criminals. There’s not much left to mark the original site, though two of its buildings remain on a privately owned ranch.
Taft has been called the “wickedest city in America” and a “sewer of sin.” With up to 50 saloons in the small town, it was home to many railroad workers, prostitutes and criminals. Taft burned down in 1910 and is now marked only by a freeway exit on Interstate 90.
Which of these do you find most interesting? Any other ghost towns that you’d add to this list?