Best Urban Legends and Ghost Stories In Bozeman – Our Eerie Eight
Ghosts, urban legends, and unexplainable occurrences seem to easily grab anyone and everyone's attention. Whether it's a discussion of surrounding entities, energy, or bone chilling tales of mystery, small towns like Bozeman are full of stories to keep you awake at night. Read on if you dare...
Tunnels under Main Street
People will argue whether or not the tunnels exist but those who know for sure will tell you that they know for sure. Rumor has it that the tunnels ran from the east end of Main Street all the way to about Willson Street and were created to smuggle alcohol during the prohibition era and then later used as opiate dens. After talking with my friend Kathleen Johns, a psychic and paranormal investigator, she explained that this underground tunnel could be the key ingredient for the confluence of energy in the Downtown Bozeman area that prospers paranormal sightings. Where are the paranormal sightings you ask?
John Bozeman's Bistro
Multiple employees as well as the business owner admit to there being some sort of an entity that exists from time to time at the Bistro. Stories range from lights being flipped on, mysterious footprints in freshly mopped floors, and objects moving on their own. Pending further investigation we will fill you in on more details.
The Chambers-Fisher Building, located right next to the Ellen Theatre on Bozeman's Main Street, has housed many different businesses over the years and possibly some ghostly residents! Employees of a business located there back in the 90's noted a misty cloud that would form close to the basement ceiling and then dissipate up into the ceiling. That's not the only strange occurrence in the basement. Another story tells of an employee who confronted an elderly man in the storage basement and the elderly man simply disappeared.
The Habit Restaurant
I worked at The Habit Restaurant on campus for a little over 6 months. It's quite a cozy little sandwich and soup restaurant located in the same building complex as the Quads at Cleveland and 7th Street. Rumor has it that the restaurant used to be living quarters just like the rest of the quads, but due to some occurrence in one of the bedrooms, it was no longer assigned to students. Instead, the first floor was turned into a restaurant and the upstairs was turned into storage.
My days were typically making food and serving food, nothing too exciting. But every once in a while the other employees would begin to talk about the rumored history of the building. Everyone's stories varied on the details but one thing always remained constant. The story goes that a decade or so ago the death of a girl occurred in the upstairs bedroom. The various stories can't agree if it was murder, suicide or accident that caused the girl's death.
My co-workers said that at night you could hear noises as if someone was moving around upstairs, sometimes like a body hitting the floor, sometimes footsteps. I've only been in the building past sunset once and it was a bit uneasy feeling.
Haunting of the MSU Strand Union Building
As with most colleges and universities across the country, MSU has a few ghost stories to be told. The most haunted of places was the Strand Union Theater. It was located where the Procrastinator is today. The school put on several productions a year at this theater. As described in the book Haunted Montana by Karen Stevens, the author visited with several students and faculty of MSU at the theater to find out how haunted it really was. The history of the haunting revolves around an accident, a possible suicide and a for sure suicide.
The most chilling tale of the theater involves the University's then Theater Arts Director in the 1970's. Professor Joseph C. Fitch was the director for over 20 years. A series of events led to Fitch committing suicide in his theater office with a prop gun. Later, another theater employee's toddler mysteriously drew an outline resembling the professor's body on that very same office floor at the theater.
For more info on the haunting of the MSU Strand Union Theater, pick up a copy of Haunted Montana by Karen Stevens which also contains dozens more haunted places and stories of Montana. The author also boasts that all of the places are visitable by the public. All you need is the courage to do so.
Bear Canyon Road
If you go hiking near Bear Canyon Road, you may have more to worry about than ferocious bears in the woods. I've heard stories from people who have seen the appearance of a woman who attempts to lure female victims off of the trail and into the woods. Whether this woman is a ghost or not is a mystery. I don't know about you, but I am fine with never finding out.
This eerie occurrence could either scare away the timid or entice the bold. Stories have been told of Sacajawea Hotel having more than a few ghost sitings. One, as Kathleen Johns describes as an active/intelligent haunting, is of the original builder of the hotel, John Q. Adams. His spirit has been spotted wandering the halls and rooms of the hotel by several customers as well as Kathleen. The second haunting is what Kathleen refers to as a residual haunting. This residual haunting is of a maid who continually disappears and reappears in and out of a wall where a linen closet once was. Kathleen has first hand experiences with both of these phenomena at the Sacajawea Hotel. You can read her first hand accounts of the incidents and contact Kathleen on her website at www.kathleenjohns.com
Montana Hall Cow
I thought I would end this on a lighter note with a non-scary, possibly fiction fun tale about Montana Hall. There is a reason why the bells that sound each 15 minutes from Montana Hall sound like speakers and not a real bell. It's the same reason why Montana hall's bell tower looks slightly different from the rest of the building. The rumor has it, a frat house was able to sneak a cow all the way up to the top of the bell tower stairs and leave it there. When word spread that a cow was trapped up in the building measures were taken to get the cow to come back down. The problem: cows will do anything to not walk down steps. To avoid risking injury to the animal, a crane was brought in to remove the top of the bell tower and safely excavate the cow from the building. The cow was returned to ground level without injury but the same could not be said about Montana Hall and thus the bell tower has never been the same.
Stay tuned as I plan on investigating many of these to gain a first hand experience that hopefully won't scare me out of Bozeman.