Nebraska April 18, 2016
Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Nebraska Road Trip And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams (Part 3)
So far, we have taken you to some of the most haunted places in the
eastern part of Nebraska and in the central region of the state. Now we’re finishing out our terrifying road trip with a few places in the Panhandle. This area was once known as the beginning of the wild west, and there are plenty of historical sites commemorating the hardscrabble life people lived back then. This trip will take us through some fascinating historical sites and a couple of more modern – though no less haunted – places. We will end, of course, at one of Nebraska’s finest haunted hotels.
The map starts off in Ogallala and heads northwest, but you can visit the sites in any order you choose. If you want to follow our trail, you can access (and modify, if you choose) the map
1. Mansion On The Hill, Ogallala
This gorgeous red brick Victorian home was built by L.A. Brandhoefer; construction was completed in 1887. It was (and still is) a feat of masterful architecture with many delightful details throughout. It is now owned by the Keith County Historical Society and operates as a museum between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
No specific ghosts have been identified as haunting the residence, but staff and visitors have reported uneasy feelings, unexplained floating lights, and even the ghostly apparition of a man in the house.
2. Boot Hill Cemetery, Sidney
The next stop on our tour is Sidney's Boot Hill. This was known in the old west as the "Bad Man's Cemetery," and its history is just as fascinating as you might imagine. Sidney was at one time one of the most "sinful" cities in the west. It was host to gunfights, lynchings, brothels, murders, and even the Irish Mafia. No one knows for sure how many bodies were buried at Boot Hill between 1868 and 1894, but we do know that in 1922, the cemetery was in such bad shape that the Army mandated the removal of 211 soldiers' and Indian scouts' bodies from the property. Hundreds of other bodies were left behind, and graves were even discovered beneath the modern street and across the street from the cemetery. Some estimates say there are around 700 remaining graves.
Tales of hauntings here are varied and plentiful; The Boot Hill Committee even operates a Halloween tour of the grounds every year. They don't claim to have inside knowledge about whether or not the cemetery is haunted, but they encourage visitors to draw their own conclusions.
3. Fort Sidney Commander's Quarters, SIdney
The former Post Commander's Home at Fort Sidney is said to house the ghost of an officer's young wife. The story goes that the wife fell down the stairs while carrying a load of laundry and broke her neck in 1885. Her grief-stricken husband had the stairs boarded up, but visitors heard the sounds of someone walking, and then tumbling, down a flight of stairs. The stairway was uncovered in 1975 (though access is closed off to museum visitors), and according to visitors, the young woman's ghost can still be heard today.
4. Alliance Theatre, Alliance
Built in 1903, the Alliance Theater was originally the Charter Hotel. It was turned into a theater in 1938. It isn't clear when the hauntings began, but employees say that they see shadowy figures and hear running footsteps in the hallways. The owner is confident that if the theater really is haunted, it's by a friendly ghost.
5. Fort Robinson, Crawford
Fort Robinson was established in the 1870s and was an important spot in the Sioux Wars that took place between 1876 and 1890. It was here that Crazy Horse was killed in 1877, though his is not one of the ghosts said to roam the area. Visitors have reported seeing the specters of soldiers and Native Americans, and some have heard the hoofbeats of phantom horses at night. Even if you don't find evidence of hauntings, this is one of Nebraska's top historical sites and is well worth a visit.
6. Battle of Warbonnet Creek Site
The Battle of Warbonnet Creek occurred on July 17, 1876. It was a small battle between 350 Army troopers and six Cheyenne warriors. The only notable engagement of the battle was a duel between Buffalo Bill Cody and a warrior named Heova'ehe (Yellow Hair). Cody shot and then scalped Yellow Hair; this would be the only casualty of the battle.
Many people have reported seeing a strange green glow around the battlefield marker and hearing voices speaking in Cheyenne around the site.
7. Olde Main Street Inn, Chadron
We'll end our tour at this delightfully quirky Victorian-styled inn. Formerly called the Chadron House, this lovely hotel was built in the late 1800s and (about a century later) once served as General Nelson Miles' headquarters during the Wounded Knee Incident. Oddly enough, the spirits said to haunt this hotel are not those involved in Wounded Knee; rather, they are two friendly ghosts called Anna and Jack. Guests report hearing footsteps when there is no one there, and one couple said that a glass of water on their bedside table was mysteriously moved to the other side of the room during the night. Even the hotel's owner has reported a strange incident or two that appear to be the work of harmless spirits. Anna is said to roam the halls in a red satin dress. Whether or not it is truly haunted, this unique western Nebraska hotel is worth a stay.
There are, as always, various other reportedly haunted side trips you can take. Some say Chimney Rock and the Scotts Bluff Monument are haunted, and since this road trip takes you relatively close to them it’s a great chance to check them out. If you decide to do this trip, please share your experiences (and maybe some spooky ghost photos!) in the comments.