The Headless Bride at Yellowstone National Park

Once there was a lady who grew up in New York, her family was quite well-to-do as they were transporters for the area. In those days, rich youngsters were required to make their presentation in the public arena and to wed a well-off young person from a upper class family. At the same time this fair lady was a bit of a radical. When she became mature enough to wed, she despised the rich youthful society men and fell for a more established man who was filling in as a steward in her home.

Yet as I’m sure you’d have guessed there was a huge contention inside the family after the she had reported her decision of spouse. Her elders were irate, especially the patriarch, who blamed the steward for courting his little girl as a means to expedite and grow his position in the families business. Nonetheless, she demanded the marriage, her father gave the couple a large amount of money with the stipulation that they leave after the ceremony of marriage and never return.

When the newly wed couple arrived at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone, the once steward had bet away the greater part of the cash that his wife’s family had presented to the love birds. There was not enough cash for the couple to complete their honeymoon, much less to purchase a house and begin their life together.

The young lady had became vexed with her spouse. They had argued constantly about money during the stint of the honeymoon, and by now, she realized that her father had been right about the insatiability of her new spouse. He was clearly more intrigued by her fortune than being with her. Still, they were now bankrupt and required something to pay the hotel and services here at Yellowstone, so she had not choice but to call on her parents for more funds to pay their bill.

Her mother nor father would not provide any relief. They declined any further involvement in the finances of the newlywed couple.

That evening, after she had been unable to produce any money from her family, the couple had a horrid battle in their hotel room. The new husband frenzied out of the Inn in an anger, leaving his lady in the hotel room. The woman did not come out of the room for days, after days had passed the staff finally had to enter the room as the bill had still laid unpaid and there had been no sign of activity from the room.

The maid knocked and of course as you guessed, there was no answer. The maid finally entered the room using the master key and gazed upon a horrific site. The room looked as though a mad bull had cleared through the inside. Garments were strewn all over, and the bedclothes were thrown on the floor. Even worse, the maid was practically smothered by the metallic smell that pervaded everything. There was no indication of the other half of the newlywed couple, yet the stink that wafted from the connected lavatory indicated at what the maid would find. Lying in the bathtub in a pool of dark soupy blood was the corpse of the poor newlywed bride, well at least most of what was once her young body. Her head had been removed and was nowhere in the room.

The maid’s shrills of horror alerted the rest of the hotel. The local police were brought in, the bride’s mother and father were updated on the status of their poorly misled late daughter and the room was washed leaving no indication of the horrors from just hours before. The detectives had done anything and everything they could have done to find the brutal killer but unfortunately he was nowhere to be found. Eventually, after some time passed, the entire story was quieted to avoid embarrassment to the family.

Bloody Bathtub

A couple of days after the news of the homicide, a horrid smell was noticed up in the Crows Nest where the musical artists frequently played, the smell was followed to its source: The spouse’s rotting head. Her blonde wavy hair surrounded her wide-peered gaze of horror. The stench was unbearable.

The funeral of the tortured bride ought to have been the end of the repulsive occurrence and that it proved to be until one late night when a hotel courtier up late studying heard a weird commotion originating from the foyer. It was the stroke of midnight when he rushed out onto the gallery and looked upward, looking for the source of his interruption. He found towards the Crows Nest, far above, and saw a shining figure in white gradually following the stairs downward from the Crows Nest. Tucked under its arm was a head! Solidified with horror, the man viewed the lady plummet the steps and hover along the passageway until she arrived at the entryway of her old room. At that point she vanished!

From that day ahead, there are individuals who say they can see the headless lady floating down the stairs from the Crows Nest at the stroke of midnight; tragically looking for her lost murdering husband and her lost dreams of happiness.

The Headless Bride Captured with NightVision Camera
The Headless Bride Captured with NightVision Camera



Ghostly Legends of Cheyenne

Cheyenne got its start in July, 1867, when General Grenville M. Dodge and his survey crew platted the site now known as Cheyenne, Wyoming in anticipation of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad through the territory. By the time the first track was built some four months later, 4,000 people had already migrated to the new city. The railroaders and first settlers were quickly joined by gamblers, saloon owners, thieves, opportunists, prostitutes, miners and cowboys, as well as legitimate business men. The fledgling city, busting at the seams, was a wild and lawless place during its first days so it should come as no surprise that it is said to be one of the most haunted places in Wyoming. In the days preceding Halloween, a Cheyenne Trolley offers two tours per night for ghost hunters hungry for the tales. Here are but a few of the legends we’ve picked up along the way.

Atlas Theatre – Built in 1887, this three story building originally held a confectionary shop on the lower level and the upper floors were utilized as office space. However, in 1907, architect William Dubois was hired to convert the first floor into a theatre. The next year, the Atlas Theatre opened and continued to operate until 1929. Closed for a couple of months, it was then reopened as the Strand. By the mid 1950’s, the building sat abandoned until 1961, when it reopened as the Pink Pony night club. Remaining open for only two short years, the building again sat idle until in 1966, when the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players began to use the Atlas for live theater productions. In 1971, the theater company purchased the Atlas, and two years later it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though little is known about them, the historic theatre is said to be called home to two active ghosts. The Atlas Theatre building is located at 211 W. 16th Street.

Deming Elementary School – Built in 1945, the school is allegedly haunted by a man he was killed in the furnace room years ago. At night lights are said to be seen flickering in the building and clanking noises are heard. Legend also has it that if you look into a window at night, you will not only see your own shadow, but another next to it that is seemingly cast by an unknown entity. The school is located at 715 West 5th Avenue.

Francis E. Warren Air Force Base – Located three miles west of Cheyenne, this Air Force base was first established as Fort D.A. Russell in 1867. Named in honor of Civil War Brigadier General David A. Russell, it is the oldest continuously active military installation in the Air Force. Over the years it served the U.S. Army and Cavalry in protecting the frontier and served through the Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. In 1949, 80 years after its founding, the fort became Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. Today, the base is home to the 90th Space Wing and Headquarters and is one of four strategic missile bases in the United States. Though modern facilities make up the base today, many of the historic structures still remain. Along with these old buildings, legends are told that many of the old cavalry soldiers also continue to linger, often seen walking upon the grounds or in the dormitories. Another story tells of a spirit that is said to harass female members of the security teams. Civilians are only allowed on base during periodic public tours or if “sponsored” by military personnel.

The Plains Hotel – In the late 1800’s the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming was called “The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the “Plains Hotel.” The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December, 1909.

When a newly married couple checked in here years ago, the bride caught her groom with another woman and after killing them both, she turned the gun upon herself. All three are said to haunt this historic hotel.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – Cheyenne’s Episcopal congregation first held services in a small frame church in 1868. However, by 1886, the congregation, made up of a number of cattle barons and large ranchers, had begun to outgrow the small building and plans were made to construct a new one. However, the winter of 1886-87 with a very bad one and blizzards and severe cold killed many of the cattle. Without the prosperity of the ranchers, it would be more than two more years before the building was ready to hold services. Opened in 1888, it was still not entirely complete as the bell tower was not done and was simply capped off.

It would be years before the bell tower was finally completed in 1924. Skilled in old world masonry, two Swedish men were hired to complete the tower. However, when it was forty feet high, the two masons simply disappeared. When new workers were hired they immediately began to complain of hearing strange tappings, the sounds of hammering, and whispers coming from the very walls of the tower.

Years later, a man came forward explaining that when the original masons were working on the tower, one of them slipped and fell to his death. The other, panicked that he would be deported, entombed the man’s remains in the tower wall.

Though no longer the case, the church once allowed public tours of the tower around Halloween. A psychic who visited during this time reported sensing two spirits in the tower – one of whom was very upset, and the other, an elderly white-haired man who walked with a cane. The two spirits are thought to be the mason that fell to his death, and Father Rafter, who had hired the men.

Over the years, many people have claimed to have heard a church pipe organ, that was once located in the bell tower, even after it was removed from the building. Others have reported that the church bells have often been known to ring of their own accord, and allegedly whispers can still be heard within the church. The church is located at 1908 Central Avenue.

Ghosts of the Plains Hotel, Cheyenne

In the late 1800’s the City of Cheyenne, Wyoming was called “The Magic City of the Plains,” so it was only appropriate when a luxurious hotel opened in 1911, it called itself the “Plains Hotel.” The concept of the elegant hotel was born at the annual $1 dinner of the Industrial Club (now the Chamber of Commerce) in December, 1909.

In the midst of the meeting, Thomas Heaney, club President, interrupted the other discussions to give his opinion that Cheyenne was badly in need of a new and modern hotel. At the time, the main hotel in town was one called the Inter-Ocean which, over time had become outdated and had taken on the more of a role as the city’s principal watering hole.

Though Heaney had said this in a somewhat joking fashion, the other men agreed and by February of the following year, the Cheyenne Securities Company was organized for the purpose of building a new hotel. Moving quickly, the hotel was designed by architect William Duboise and in March, a contract was awarded to build it. Construction started in June, 1910 and in March, 1911 it was completed at a costs of about $250,000, including furnishings.

On March 9, 1911, the hotel hosted an elaborate grand opening that was attended by men in full evening dress, gallant Army Officers and a host of elegantly gowned ladies. As a band played until the wee hours of the morning, the guests danced and admired the magnificent appointments and furnishings of the new hotel, modern to the smallest detail.

The five story hotel featured three elevators, 100 guest rooms, lush velvet carpets, fine furnishings, private baths, and telephones in the guest rooms, luxuries not seen in most hotels of the time.

The lobby was lighted through a mission art panel skylight, decorated with heavy brass fixtures and leather furniture, and its floor was finished in tile and mahogany. The staircase leading from the lobby was made of solid marble and steel. The lobby bar gleamed with plate glass and mahogany fixtures. On the Mezzanine level, an orchestra entertained guests

The hotel soon attracted numerous cattle barons, oil tycoons, and the many travelers making their way to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Guests raved about the amenities and service provided at the hotel. But for one couple, their stay would end in tragedy.

According the legend, a bride named Rosie and her new groom checked into the hotel on their honeymoon. One evening the groom went down to the lounge to have a drink and while he was there he met a prostitute. After a prolonged absence, Rosie went in search of her new husband, only to find him and his “lady friend” pleasantly chatting at the bar. Within moments, she watched as the pair left the lounge and headed upstairs together. Rosie silently followed them to the woman’s fourth floor room, where in a jealous rage she shot them both with her husband’s gun. Afterwards, Rosie returned to the honeymoon suite and turned the gun on herself.

Since the tragedy, the spirits of all three have been seen on many occasions by both employees and guests of the historic hotel.

Housekeeping staff often hear the sounds of both laughter and crying coming from the room that Rosie and her husband once occupied. However, when they open the door, no one is in the room. Rosie, herself, is often spotted walking in a long blue gown on the second floor.

Seemingly, the groom is more restless as he is sighted all over the hotel dressed in early 1900’s clothing. Wearing a long tail black dress coat, black boots, and a white shirt with a large silver button at its top, he is most often spotted on the fourth floor and in the basement.

The “other woman” has also been seen, most often on the second floor, wearing a short red dress with white lace. On one occasion, when the hotel was decorated for Halloween, the staff had placed two mannequins dressed in wedding attire in the lobby. Just as an employee spotted the spirit of the “other woman,” the mannequin dressed as a bride toppled over. After looking down at the fallen “bride,” the employee looked up and the spirit had vanished.

Today, the Plains Hotel continues to cater to the many travelers of Cheyenne. Offering 130 fully restored guest rooms and suites, the rooms are furnished in an “Old West” style complete with original artwork and photography by Wyoming artists. Though maintaining its historic heritage, the hotel offers all the modern amenities that are expected of today’s travelers.

Ivy House Inn in Casper

Casper, Wyoming is home to the Ivy House Inn Bed & Breakfast, a beautiful Cape Cod style inn that also apparently houses not only the ghost of its prior owner, but also her two Siamese cats, as well.

Built where the prairie meets the Rocky Mountains in 1916 by Mr. and Mrs. White, the roomy three story home was finally complete when two grand front porches were added in 1940.

Said to have been controlling in life, Mrs. White apparently continues her manipulating behavior in the after life by ensuring that guests do not drink or smoke in her place. However, Mrs. White doesn’t appear to limit her activities to only undesirable activities, she shows up all the time according to owners and guests of the historic inn.

At the age of 93, Mrs. White passed away in 1995 and the house was purchased by Tom and Kathy Johnson in 1996. Tom Johnson didn’t believe in ghosts when he bought the property, but that all changed as he began the work of renovating the home into a bed and breakfast inn.

Evidently, Mrs. White was not entirely happy with the renovations, as suddenly, when Johnson was using a power drill, it stopped working. As he turned around, the plug was hanging in mid-air for several seconds before it fell to the floor. On another occasion, a hammer simply got up and walked out the room.

To say the least, Tom Johnson is a believer today, so much so that he has since become a paranormal investigator. He also believes that the inn not only houses Mrs. White, but also several other spirits, including two Siamese cats. These two spectral felines have often been seen running throughout the building and one guest reported that a cat slept on the end the bed, purring contentedly.

Another apparition is that of a man that is often seen in the back parking area, where car alarms are set off regularly. Perhaps, this is Mr. White? Another guest reported seeing a male figure standing above her bed and heard a mail voicing saying, “Isn’t it funny how people get lost?”

Others, who have stayed in one of the downstairs rooms, have often reporting having had the same dream where a young man wanders back and forth from the sink to the closet.

With all the odd happenings at this historic inn, it is still the controlling Mrs. White whose presence is most often shown. One regular occurrence is when smells of the past suddenly fill a room, such as old menthol cold medications, the aroma of baking chocolate, and the odor of a scouring pad on a skillet. Her face appears in mirrors and in windows and her shadowy body is often seen walking down the hall and through walls. Guests often report someone knocking at the door, but when they answer no one appears. When they take too long to answer, the doorknob will begin to twist. Mrs. White has also been reported to have appeared in many photographs.

Paranormal investigators have researched the house on nine different occasions.

Today, the beautiful Ivy House Inn surrounds its guests with vintage antiques while still providing all the comforts of a modern inn

Site information:

Ivy House Inn
815 South Ash
Casper, Wyoming 82601

Haunted Fort Laramie

Like many other forts across the American West, Fort Laramie, with its long history, is allegedly said to be haunted. This old post, now a National Historic site, dates back to 1834, when a trading post was built here called Fort William. By the 1840s, wagon trains rested and re-supplied here, bound for west along the Oregon-California Trail. In 1841, Fort John was constructed, replacing the original wooden stockade of Fort William. Built of adobe brick, Fort John stood on a bluff overlooking the Laramie River. Eight years later, Fort Laramie, the military post, was founded in 1849. As more and more emigrants pushed westward, Indian attacks became more common, and Fort Laramie was just many of the military posts established to protect these west bound travelers.

Virtually, since the post was established, it has said to have been called home, not only to hundreds of soldiers, but also is said to be visited by a host of ghosts. The mostly well-known spirit in the vicinity of the fort is the “Lady in Green.”

Her story began when the site was known as Fort John, a trading post of the American Fur Company. The agent in charge at the time, brought his educated and sophisticated daughter to visit. Known to be an accomplished equestrian, her visit was to be brief, but she begged to stay on. Concerned for her safety on the rough frontier, he relented, after gaining her promise that she would never leave the compound without an escort. He also tasked several men to guard her any. One day, while he was away from the post, his rebellious daughter slipped away from the post on a big black horse. When someone spied her, two men quickly chased after her, calling for her to stop. But the strong-willed girl ignored them, riding ever distant on the prairie. She never returned.

When her father got back to the post, he was obviously extremely distraught, and spent a significant amount of time looking for her. But, no sign of her was ever found. What happened to the vanished girl is still a mystery.

Since then, her ghost is said to appear east of Fort Laramie on the Oregon Trail, every seven years. The lone figure is seen wearing a long, green riding dress and a veiled hat, with her dark hair tucked up beneath it. Still, she rides her big black stallion, holding a jeweled quirt.

The old Captain’s Quarters building is also said to be haunted. Built in 1870, it was intended as housing for the commanding officer, but was, instead divided into a duplex, when the commanding officer of the time chose to remain in another new dwelling. When a new officer was assigned to the post, he could “rank out of quarters” any officer junior to him, taking the house for his own. Here, a number of odd events have said to have occurred including doors opening by themselves, and the sounds of eerie footsteps when no one is present. Late at night, there have been reports of bright lights coming from inside the facility, even though it has no electricity. The spirit in the Captain’s Quarters has fondly been nicknamed George by the staff.

Another spirit is said to haunt the building known as Old Bedlam, constructed in 1849, as bachelor officers’ quarters, and the oldest military building in Wyoming. This entity, thought to be a Cavalry Officer, has been known to walk throughout the building, sometimes telling people to “be quiet.”

The Cavalry Barracks building, built in 1874, once housed hundreds of soldiers in its two large, open squad bays on the second floor. Early in the morning, the sounds of heavy boots can be heard making their way over the boardwalk, at about the time soldiers would have once answered the reveille.

Other sightings have been made in around the fort including a young man in a raincoat who looks as if he is talking to someone (though no one is there). The apparition of a surgeon has been seen, looking irritable, in a blood-covered uniform.

At Deer Creek, a small stream that runs through the fort property, a headless man has been sighted throwing rocks into the creek during the early morning hours. This ghost is said to be unfriendly and should be avoided.

Southeast of the fort is a place called Bovee Draw. Here, at around midnight, witnesses have spied the ghost of a Civil War soldier who is acting eratic. This ghost, too, is said to be manacing and should be left alone.

North of town, there is a place called Detention Dam. Here, the spirit of a man holding a blood-splattered sword has been seen staring at the water at the stroke of midnight.