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Garnet, Montana’s Haunted Ghost Town

A friend shared a Huffington Post article with me that got me all kinds of excited: The Federal Government Will Put You Up In This Haunted Ghost Town, If You Dare.

Say what? That was a MUST read!

Here’s what I found out:

  • The haunted ghost town is located in Garnet, Montana.
  • It is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
  • The USBLM selects volunteers each season to give tours, sell souvenirs and help with site maintenance.
  • Volunteers are compensated with a furnished cabin and a food stipend.
  • However, there is no running water, electricity, or Wi-Fi.
  • But there are also allegedly ghosts in the ghost town.
Garnet's surviving commercial buildings - Image from Wikipedia
Garnet’s surviving commercial buildings – Image from Wikipedia

Ok, it all sounded glamorous and amazing until the no running water or electricity part. I could rough it for a few days, sure, but after that? No. I know for a fact because I’ve been without water or electricity for more than a few days thanks to hurricanes when we lived in Florida. The novelty of pretending to be pioneers wore off after three days.

The most haunted part of Garnet seems to be the hotel. The Huff Post article cited a 2010 article from the Helena Independent Record that really tantalized me:

Ellen Baumler, the Montana Historical Society’s resident ghost whisperer and author, wrote that at midnight, people have heard ghostly fingers striking piano keys, with the music floating across the empty buildings. She said that especially during the winter months, Garnet visitors see visions and hear unearthly noises.

“Late at night, the spirits of Garnet come out to play in the moonlight,” Baumler wrote in Montana Chillers. “Sometimes, in the deep winter quiet, a piano tinkles in Kelley’s Saloon and the spirits dance to ghostly music. Men’s voices echo in the empty rooms. But the moment a living, human hand touches the building, the noises stop.”

This is what Huff Post writer Andres Jaurequi cited Baumler as saying for his article:

“I have heard several people tell about experiences in the hotel. [Bureau of Land Management historian] Allan Mathews and others have seen a woman [in] one of the upstairs rooms in the hotel, gazing out the window…”

Several of Garnet's remaining miner's cabins - Image from Wikipedia
Several of Garnet’s remaining miner’s cabins – Image from Wikipedia

Apparently cabins can be rented during the winter too, a.k.a. the most active time of year for spirits.

So what do you say? Would you be able to work in these conditions with no modern amenities in a haunted ghost town? What about renting a cabin in the dead of winter and doing a little paranormal investigating?

If you’re interested in taking a Haunt Jaunt to Garnet and want to learn more, check out their website at (Which does not mention it being haunted but does tell a lot about it’s history and the great recreation to be had in the area for the outdoor types.)

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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