Built in 1896 as Great Falls High School, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art building was named for the founder of Great Falls. Paris Gibson was a prominent businessman who saw hydroelectric potential in the series of waterfalls on the Missouri River that the city shares its name with.
The museum opened in 1977, and is reputed to be haunted. The phenomena experienced have included the sounds of children in the halls and the ghost of a girl in the basement.
First housing prisoners in 1871, the Montana Territorial Prison served as Montana’s correctional facility for more than a century before the current state prison was constructed outside of Deer Lodge in 1979. The old prison was known for its overcrowding and insufficient facilities. Early prison conditions made inmate life difficult, with poor food and not heating or cooling.
Several convicts and staff were killed at the prison during its use. Perhaps the most notorious episode in the prison’s lifespan was its 1959 riot, which led to the Montana National Guard being dispatched after Deputy Warden Ted Rothe was slain and several guards and inmates were taken hostage. The riot ended after an anti-tank bazooka and Thompson submachine gun were fired at Cellblock 1 (shown above), allowing National Guardsmen to rush the prison. In the chaos, riot ringleader Jerry Myles killed his accomplice, Lee Smart, before committing suicide.
Buildings at the prison remain scarred by the bazooka blasts and gunfire of the riot. But some say that the prison, which is now a museum, still houses some of its inmates. It’s claimed that the ghost of convicted murderer Paul Eitner, known as “Turkey Pete,” still haunts Cell No. 1. Eitner spent 49 years incarcerated at the prison before dying of natural causes in 1967. Other phenomena reported include strange sounds and people being touched.
With an inn dating back to 1881, Boulder Hot Springs predates Montana’s statehood. Its location made it a place where miners, ranchers and businessmen could all encounter one another.
Today, it’s claimed that visitors can still encounter some of the hotel’s former guests. The most famous of these phantoms, called Simone, is said to be the ghost of a prostitute who was murdered at the hotel. The legend has never been substantiated, but visitors and staff continue to report strange experiences. Wild temperature shifts, strange energies and, of course, the sound of children running through the halls have all been described.