If there are ghosts in Butte, Montana, here are the places you’ll find them
In Butte, Montana, ghosts seem to just be a part of the local landscape. In a town that is rich in mining history and stories of sudden wealth, there are an equal number of stories centered around loss and personal tragedy. Locals tell tales of the "Centerville Ghost" which supposedly roamed the hill early in it's history and present day workers at the county Courthouse cannot explain the unmanned activity of it's elevators late at night. If you're looking to find a ghost in Butte, where are you going to find them? Here are our best bets.
1. Clark Chateau
The Clark Chateau was built in the late 1890s by Butte Copper King and future United States Senator William A. Clark for his son, Charles. In the years past, ownership of the beautiful mansion has passed though the hands of copper magnate James A. Murray whose ruthlessness was portrayed in this season's opening episode of The Travel Channel's "Ghosts of Devil's Perch" to it's current owner, the city of Butte-Silver Bow. Is it haunted? Many believe so and state that activity, particularly on the third floor, can be heard and sometimes witnessed at all hours of the day.
2. Old City Hall
Butte's old City Hall, in addition to housing a full court room in one of the upper floors houses the "Butte Bastille", or old city jail in the basement. It is in that basement that a young Robert Knievel was given the nickname "Evel" by a joking jailer. The jail, though, was not a joke. Butte was one of the roughest places in the country and violent crime was not uncommon. Neither was violence on inmates or guards for that matter. The Bastille would house the worst offenders and some of it's secrets still remain within it's walls.
3. Granite Mountain Mine
The Granite Mountain Mine is the site of one of the most deadly and horrific mining disasters in American History and the worst that Butte has seen in all of her years. On June 8, 1917 a fire broke out in the mine's shaft, sucking oxygen and shooting flame, with hundreds of workers on shift underneath the Earth's surface. The panic and chaos that ensued, chronicled Michael Punke's outstanding book "Fire and Brimstone", cost the lives of 167 miners. These men did not die peacefully and although the headframe itself is unaccessible, the feeling you get when driving by is always chilling.
4. Old St. James Hospital
The old St, James Hospital gives off a creepy vibe from any angle. Retired from medical service in the 1960s, lower levels of the building served as apartments and small offices through the 1980s. Adjacent to the present-day Mercury Street Medical, reports of crying babies, moving objects and unexplained noises persist are reported by visitors and investigators.
5. Vu Villa Bar and Pizza
The present day Vu Villa Bar and Pizza is the home away from home for Montana Tech students and once served as a mercantile and residence to the Campana family. Local legend holds that is the upstairs residence area hosts the greatest amount of supernatural energy, which some say are those of the original owners, but bartenders in the early 2000s were known to leave a solo barstool on the floor after close to satiate the active spirit who was known to scatter papers and break bottles if they didn't.