Virginia City: Ghost Town Or Town Of Ghosts?
The old west in the 1800’s was full of small towns nestled in the Rockies and in the vast plains, from the Canadian border to the southern coast, from the Mississippi River to the west coast. Most were mining towns during the gold rush of the mid 1800’s, as with a place called Virginia City, Montana.
In early 1863 six prospectors from Bannack, the first capitol of The Montana Territory, were headed to the Yellowstone river, but were forced to return by a band of Crow Indians. On the return trip they discovered gold, word of the discovery spread quickly and the town Verina was formed, but a Connecticut judge rejected the name and it was called Virginia City.
In 1864 with a population 10,000 Virginia City became the capitol of Montana. Soon the gold was depleted and the population began to relocate to Helena, which is now the capitol of Montana. One notable resident was Calamity Jane who lived in Virginia City for a time.
With an area of only .95 square miles and the residents moving away, it quickly became a ghost town.
Charles and Sue Bovey started buying the town in the 1940’s and restoring the buildings for tourism in the 1950’s. Businesses began returning, and now there are buildings that were built in the 1800’s mixed with modern buildings of today adjacent to one another through out the town. The town is now mostly owned by the state and considered a National Historic Landmark as an open museum. The 2010 census has a population of 190.
When a town is classified as a ghost town then it is only fitting that it have ghosts. Current residents as well as tourists have claims of paranormal activity in this once booming town.
Claiming to be the most haunted building in Virginia City is the Bonanza Hotel. One resident, who was interviewed by The History Channel, worked at a local bank and resided in the hotel. She claims as she was walking down the hallway a feeling of dread came over her, when she turned she saw a dark figure in the corner and immediately was overcome with fear.
Another incident, while she was sleeping she woke up and saw a shadow of a man in a cowboy hat in the window. She covered her head and fell back to sleep, only later to be startled by the laughter of children and unseen entities jumping on the bed
Another resident, who worked at the Fairweather Hotel was doing the laundry in the hotel’s basement when she heard footstep coming down the creaky steps and walk up behind her. She then felt a hand on her back, thinking it was a friend she quickly turned but no one was there. She also was interviewed by the History channel.
One day some maintenance was being preformed on the hotel and the door to room ten would not stay open so the worker decided to prop the door open with his nail gun. While he was doing some work in the bathroom the nail gun that was propped against the door slide across the room and banged into the far wall and the door once again slammed shut. The worker decided to leave for the weekend.
In Bandidos Restaurant there has been reports of a woman in a blue dress. According to the owner, in the earlier years the building was a mortuary. One day while she was doing paperwork she heard a woman singing, a while later in another part of the restaurant, she saw a woman dressed in blue walk through the tables. A short time later her chef said he saw a woman in blue standing by the back door.
There has also been many visitors who have experienced frightening encounters. Claims from footsteps in the attic, to the cries of a woman who was to late to save her husband from a hanging. Apparitions of those hanged in a small building on Wallace St. One couple said they were only there 20 minutes and had to leave claiming to never felt so much evil.
No one knows exactly who is haunting this town, some claim that it is from the murders, hangings, and many tragic deaths that plagued the old western town of Virginia City.
Join me next time for another account of Supernatural Endeavors.
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