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8 Historically Haunted Places in Billings MT

Billings, Montana has a rich history dating back over 140 years. The land was originally inhabited by the Crow Nation before being explored by settlers in the late 1800s. In 1882, the Northern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through the area, leading to the establishment of the town of Billings. The arrival of the railroad spurred growth, and Billings grew to become the largest city in Montana by the early 1900s. In its early days, the town was a hub for ranching, mining, and agriculture. Today, if you’re lucky, you may still be able to catch a glimpse of Billings’ past at these reportedly haunted places.

Western Heritage Center

The Western Heritage Center building in Billings has a rich history dating back to its construction in 1901 as the Parmly Billings Memorial Library. In 1969, the building was threatened with demolition, but a grassroots effort led to its preservation and transformation into the Western Heritage Center in 1971. Today, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a cultural institution that showcases the history and culture of the American West. The Western Heritage Center features exhibits, educational programs, and events that explore the region’s unique heritage. But that’s not all this building features. Rumor has it that the Western Heritage Center building is home to a several ghostly apparitions. Visitors to the building have claimed to see the apparition of an elderly man standing next to the fireplace. They also say that a female ghost likes to roam the first floor of the building. And then there is the claim that a young child that goes by the name “Priscilla” leaves her footprints in the attic. People have also claimed to hear loud footsteps coming from upstairs. 

Dude Rancher Lodge

The Dude Rancher Lodge is a motel in Billings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lodge was built in 1950 with a Hollywood-western style theme inside and out with many custom features, most original to the building.  

The lodge is said to be haunted by the ghost of Annabel Goan. She is said to “watch over” the facility and does helpful things like unlock stuck doors. Annabel and Percival Goan were responsible for the construction and operation of the hotel until Percival’s death in 1962. Employees of the lodge also report seeing dark shapes flying along a maintenance corridor in the basement, as well as the ghost of a man in a blue shirt, who usually would walk down a hall toward the kitchen and disappear. There have also been reports of  lights and televisions turning on and off for no apparent reason, knocking on doors with no one there, and sounds and voices with no one present. 

Moss Mansion Museum

The Moss Mansion Museum is a historic house museum located in Billings. The mansion was built in 1903 by Preston Boyd Moss, a wealthy businessman and pioneer. The architectural style of the mansion is a mix of Arts and Crafts and Neo-Classical Revival, and it is a prime example of the affluent lifestyle of the early 20th century. The mansion boasts 28 rooms spread over four floors and is decorated with period furniture, art, and artifacts. The home remained in the Moss family until 1984 when it was donated to the city of Billings by their daughter, Melville Moss Hawkes. 

If you plan to visit this historic facility, don’t be too surprised if you hear a few noises you weren’t expecting. Apparently, several original family members died in the home, including Virginia, the youngest of the Moss children, who sadly passed away at the age of 6. People have claimed to see her ghost wandering through the museum. Staff and visitors have also heard voices which they believe to be Moss family members and there have even been reports of people getting tapped on the shoulder. 

Yellowstone Art Museum

The Yellowstone Art Museum opened in October 1964 as the Yellowstone Art Center in the former Yellowstone County Jail, which was originally constructed in 1884. The partial basement of the jail was used for storage, while the upper two floors served as cell blocks. In 1916, the county constructed additions to the west and north. Although only one hanging is known to have taken place at the jail site (1918), it is unknown as to how many other deaths took place within the walls of the building. Today, visitors to the building report hearing screams and the sounds of shackles and chains rattling around. Perhaps the prisionors never left?

2223 Montana Ave

2223 Montana Ave is notorious for being one of Billing’s top haunted hot spots. The story goes, that on December 8th, 1945, an airplane holding returning soldiers from WWII crashed in a field east of Rocky Mountain College, resulting in the untimely deaths of 17 servicemen and 2 pilots. The bodies of 13 of the men had to be stored in the refrigerated warehouse of the local grocery store located at 2223 Montana Avenue. People working at and visiting the location claim to have seen an apparition of a soldier in uniform who all of a sudden vanishes. Could this place be showcasing a residual haunting? 

Juliano's Restaurant

Rumor has it that Juliano’s Restaurant in Billings is haunted by a former resident named Earnest E. Murray. Earnest and his wife, Amy, lived in the beautiful Victorian home in the first half of the 20th century. People claim to see Murray’s ghostly apparition hanging out by the staircase. People also report doors opening and closing with no-one present, the feeling of being watched, objects moving on their own, cold spots, and even the sound of a dog’s claws clattering against the floor. 

Alberta Bair Theatre

The Art Deco-inspired Alberta Bair Theater was designed by Robert Reamer in the 1920s during the Great Depression, and opened in 1931 as a vaudeville and motion picture house. The facility was large and seated around 1,400 people and was built on land that was previously the homestead of businessman Charles M. Bair. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the theater hosted numerous performers and well-known stars. But having been a center of live entertainment isn’t all this beautiful historic building is known for. People have witnessed seeing a male apparition who seems to be angry and a bit grumpy. Some people believe he is the ghost of a former workman who was buried in the cement foundation. Other people have reported seeing the ghost of a friendly female who seems to be watching performances. Some believe she is the ghost of Alberta Bair who passed in 1993. Alberta, the daughter of Charles Bair, had donated a significant amount of money toward theatre renovations in the 1980’s.  

The Ghost Jogger on Airport Road

No city would be complete without having a least one story about a ghost who likes to appear alongside old roads, and Billings is no exception. Legend has it, that if you drive down Airport Road (at night of course), you may just catch a glimpse of a ghost jogger running along the side of the road. Some believe it to be the spirit of a man who was hit by a truck while out for a jog. 

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