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Bannack Ghost Town

Bannack Ghost Town



Location: Beaverhead Country, Montana

Found: 1862




History of Bannock Ghost Town, Montana

Bannack Ghost Town is a historic abandoned settlement located in Beaverhead Country, Montana near modern day town of Dillon. Bannack was originally found in 1862. At a height it reached a population that numbered in thousands. It was finally abandoned in 1970's. Today Bannack Ghost Town is a popular destination for history buffs and ghost hunters who believe Bannack is haunted by spirits of people that didn't quiet move on beyond their physical death.


Bannock, Montana was originally found in 1862 after a discovery of a major gold deposit in Grasshopper Creek and surrounding lands. The city takes its name form the local Bannock Indians that once lived here. The city quickly swelled with new settlers who tried to get rich quickly. Within few years it reached a population of ten thousand residents. In fact in 1865 it became the capital of Montana Territory until it gave its title to another current ghost town of Virginia City. Bannock had its own grocery store, four saloons, three hotels, three bakeries, three blacksmith shops, two meat markets, two stables, billiard hall, restaurant and even its own brewery. However as the gold rush subsided so did the population of Bannock. In the 20th century it was a small settlement until the last resident that left the city in 1970's.


Bannack Historic District was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and later Bannack State Park. Many people come here to catch evidence of alleged ghostly activity in the abandoned ghost town.




Ghostly Activity and Haunting in Bannock, Montana

Bannack Ghost Town has its share of alleged ghostly activity. One of the common apparition that is claimed to live here is that of spirit named Dorothy. Local legends claim that she drowned accidentally in the Grasshopper Creek. She is seen hover over water and on some cases calls for help. Those who tried to help a mysterious women realised that she vanished into a thin air without a trace. Other ghost hunters claim that they heard sounds of children crying. Historic records indicate that about 14 infants died in the city throughout its history so this ghostly sound can be attributed to any of these unfortunate victims. Another paranormal activity includes sounds of horsemen and sounds of the military trumpet. These sounds of unseen charging cavalry are believed to be that of US cavalry under command of Oliver Otis Howard. They passed through the city in 1977 during their pursuit of Chief Joseph and Nez Perce Native American tribe who tried to escape north to Canada.


However the most famous ghostly activity is tied to the gang of outlaws that were executed by the city officials for various crimes. The leader of this ruthless gang of bandits was actually headed by sheriff of Bannack, Henry Plummer (pictured left). Criminals that he directed attacked gold miners along the Grasshopper Creek. Eventually they moved to Virginia City and beyond. They were accused of killing of over one hundred people through out their career. Eventually they were caught, tried and hanged in Bannack on January 10, 1864 along with two deputies that is said to have aided Plummer and his gang. Over the next few weeks twenty two men were caught and lynched by the Vigilance Committee of Montana Vigilantes. Historians are still unsure on the size of the original gang and if they were even involved in any of the crimes they were accused. Whatever might be be case many of the locals and guests of Bannack Ghost Town believe they saw Henry Plummer with unidentified men who accompanies him.




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