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October 2008 An Electronic Blast

From Fort Laramie Historical Association

In this issue

Be a Part of History!

  • Western expansion began at Fort Laramie and can only continue with your involvement. If you would like information on becoming a Fort Laramie Historical Association Member, please send us an email.

    Being a part of history benefits everyone!

Ghosts of Fort Laramie

Old Bedlam in 1938 prior to restoration-- would have made a great haunted house!With Halloween just a day away, I did a little research to see when and how the "Halloween" as we American's know it, came about. The History.com website shed some light on the subject. Their site states:

"In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition."

Since Fort Laramie was so far out on the frontier, trick-or-treating probably wasn't popular yet, but Fort Laramie does have many long-time, famous ghost residents that rattle the rafters, flicker lights, and show a fleeting glimpse of themselves from time to time.

"The Lady in Green" is probably one of the oldest ghost residents of Fort Laramie, who can be seen every seven years, riding a black stallion in her green riding dress. Legend has it that a young, officer's daughter liked to ride outside of the fort against her father's wishes and during one of those rides, never returned. In 1871, a Lieutenant James Nicholas Allison spotted her and learned that stories of such a woman had been told for over 20 years. If my math is correct and she rides every 7 years, those of you who would like to spot her will have to wait until 2011 for her next ride-- mark it on your calendar!

As I was writing this article, I heard one of the current Fort Laramie maintenance employees had taken a picture of a ghost at Fort Laramie.Ghost of Old Bedlam (look on lower level, on the right side of the 3rd post from right)photo taken October 2004 by Kevin Haberman NPS employeeKevin told me he was taking pictures around the Fort on a very foggy morning. As he was looking at the pictures he had taken, he noticed what looked like a person on the porch of Old Bedlam, but he knew no one was there! On his computer he was able to zoom in and you can see distinct facial features. Kevin also shared the following ghost story with me:

Myself and a co-worker were doing a interior plaster remodeling of the Surgeons Quarters. We were in the process of mixing lime plaster inside the lower hallway (just outside the Surgeons den) where we were working. It was early in the morning and during that time of year it was quite dark out still, so we were working with work lights. I was working on one side of the hallway and my co-worker was on the opposite end, when I began to smell the distinct scent of Rose water (a type of rose scented perfume used during the late 1800's). This was highly unusual as I had never smelled that in any of these buildings before and certainly not over the choking dust that lime mortar powder creates. I looked down the hall to my co-worker to see a strange expression on his face as well. We had heard stories of this event before, but never experienced anything like this. I then began to get the distinct impression that we were being watched, even though we were the only two in the building at the time. Moderately weirded out, we decided to leave the building for awhile. We returned about 15 minutes later and the scent was completely gone, but the smell of the lime powder dust was definitely there. This event would not have been half as strange except for the fact that it was experienced by two different people, at the same time, with no discussion being made prior to the incident.

If you haven't got enough of the supernatural yet, you might want to purchase one of the books mentioned below. 100% of the profits from our Bookstore are reinvested in Fort Laramie-- Old Bedlam will never look like a haunted house again!! And speaking of haunted houses-- if you love haunted houses, board games & FREE downloads, check out this awesome 3-D board game called "Escape From The Haunted Mansion".

Happy Haunting & Happy Halloween!

Available For Purchase

Wyoming Ghost Stories

$12.95

Wyoming Ghost Stories by Debra D. Munn available for $12.95

Here are the ghosts of Wyoming, the strange but true tales of unnerving sights and sounds that have never been explained. Footsteps when no one is there, things that move that shouldn't move, spectral bedside visitors and ghastly ghoulish sights. These stories span the state wherever ghosts ramble and roam. So find a comfortable chair and settle in for an entertaining read about the Cowboy State's ghosts... and is that a ghostly wail you hear or just the Wyoming wind?

Ghosts of the Old West

$14.95

Ghosts of the Old West by Earl Murray available for $14.95

Even today the American West remains a frontier of mystery and intrigue, filled with the spirits of trappers and traders, Native Americans and settlers. These spirits have been sighted while haunting the West's beautiful and rugged land. In Ghosts of the Old West, acclaimed Western author Earl Murray conveys these stories in a narration so eerie and so chilling we advise reading this with all the lights on in the safety of your home.