HELENA, Mont., (Oct. 2022) - In addition to its spectacular beauty, Montana is known for ghost towns and historical sites that have tales of lingering souls and spooky spirits. Visitors are guaranteed to have an unforgettable and thrilling experience road tripping across the state to these haunted spots.
Centuries ago, Montana earned the name “Treasure State” when it beckoned treasure seekers to travel west. Booming mining communities such as Bannack and Garnet were founded by those hoping to strike gold in Big Sky Country. Over the years, they were left abandoned as their inhabitants moved on to bigger cities and new opportunities. Today, the weathered structures of these ghost towns stand preserved, serving as architectural skeletons of Montana’s rugged past. A visit to towns like Bannack and Virginia City may give you a glimpse of a long-forgotten miner clutching a cache of gold.
Travelers seeking spine-chilling thrills this fall should experience one of these spooky haunts, starting with the Bannack Ghost Walks. These live reenactments highlight significant events throughout the history of Bannack, an old mining town once bustling with life—now the afterlife. Those willing can meet the ghosts of Henry Plummer, Joe Pizanthia, Cyrus Skinner, Doctor Glick, Mattie Silks and many more rouges from Bannack’s colorful past.
From Bannack, outdoor enthusiasts interested in learning about Montana’s mining past can head north to Garnet. There’s a self-guided tour of the 30 buildings in this historic mining town, including the J.R. Wells Hotel, F.A. Davey’s Store and two old western saloons. It’ll give you a glimpse of what life was like during the gold mining boom of the 1800s. You can also hike the surrounding trails ranging from 1-3 miles.
A little over an hour north of Bannack are the towns of Butte and Anaconda. Butte, like so many of Southwest Montana’s communities, was born on the boom and bust. Initially, miners flocked to the area for gold, then silver, and eventually copper – which would become king in the area. The success of the mines drew a diverse population to Butte that would shape the culture of the city. Butte is home to 38 certified hauntings featured on Butte’s Spooks & Spirits Tour. New to the tour this fall, explore the haunts of Discovery’s Ghosts of Devil’s Perch.
Nearby in Anaconda, there are a number of ghost town sites, but the Granite Ghost Town State Park located near the town is a must-visit. The Granite Ghost town is the remnants of the Granite Mine and the small town that grew up around the mine. The town was established around 1875 and was once a thriving community. The Granite Mine was once the richest silver mine in the world, but that didn’t stop it from closing and the town deserted in 1893. Today the ghost town has the remnants of a few of the town buildings and a good portion of the mine is still intact.
For something more frightening, the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge won’t disappoint. Just a short drive from Anaconda, visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour through the intimidating Cell House and into the chilling slide bar cells and black box of Maximum Security. If that doesn’t sound creepy enough for you, there are Ghost Tour options that allow entry after hours into locations not open to the public. There you will experience the hot spots where reports have cited paranormal activity.
To plan your spooktacular Montana adventure go to VISITMT.COM.