Wednesday, August 22, 2012

looking for ghosts

When we were in Montana last month, we ventured up a steep and windy mountain road to Granite Ghost Town. Silver was discovered, and the town boomed in the late 1800s--quickly topping out around 3000 people. There was a library, a school, a hospital, churches, saloons, and houses--all atop the mountain. 
And now.....well,'s ruins. Piles of brick, lumber, and scraps of metal. Broken bottles and pieces of pottery line the streets. An old can, the sole of a shoe, rusty nails. There are a few structures that refuse to give in--scattered around in the trees--so we took some time to explore. 
And look for ghosts. 

The kids were so excited at the chance of seeing a real, live, ghost. After all......that's what ghost towns are all about, right? As they looked and looked and listened and looked for happy white ghosts, peering around corners, waiting to jump out and say "BOO!".....I was also on the lookout for ghosts.....of another kind. 

I stood on what must have been Main Street. I tried to imagine the once hustling bustling road it would have been. The miners coming home after work. The children headed to and from school. Sunday afternoons, families headed to church. 

I stood in a little house. Most of the floor had given out, the roof was sagging, and board by board, piece by piece, it was falling apart. But I could see where the fire place was, the back door, and a few little rooms. I wondered where they slept? What they ate for dinner? How many children had once roamed throughout these tiny walls? Did they decorate for Christmas? How many families had lived in this little home over the years? How many people had been through that door?

I left without seeing any ghosts (the kids thought there might have been one in the bank), but with my imagination running wild with stories--stories that could have been--from this tiny mountain town.
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the end. 

Have you explored any ghost towns? 
We would love to visit more......we will never tire of looking for ghosts.


Hannah said...

Hi Sheena, I recently had my first ever experience of a ghost town (unless finding a tiny abandoned blue shack in the wilds of Scotland counts) on a roadtrip of the South West. It's called Rhyolite and it's in Nevada - it was such a fascinating place.
Like you, I couldn't help but walk the roads of Rhyolite and imagine what the people who once lived there were like. There were lots of ruins - a saloon, bank, general store, school etc, and one complete house, made of whisky bottles! The story goes that the owner was an alcoholic and drank all of his money, so didn't have enough to pay for wood to build his house, so he used his whisky bottles instead!
There's also some modern art there - lifesize statues of The Last Supper that look kind of ghost-like because they're made of white ceramic cloaks!?! and a mosaic sofa - obviously not part of the original town, but interesting nonetheless.

(I blogged about it here:)

Anna said...

Your photos are definitely haunting, if not ghost filled. It makes me wonder, who was the last person to leave, what was the town like when it was filled with conversations, laughter and people's struggles... there are so many questions about places like that it must have been so interesting to visit.

kassidi bridge said...

So cool! I've never heard of this place. One of my mothers favorite things to do while we were growing up was stopping in the middle of no where to explore old homesteads. Just old abandoned farm houses in the middle of fields. So fun!

Ashley Rose said...

Ooh! How awesomley creepy! I love stuff like that! I live in Chicago and the building I work in was originally a Victorian home built in 1895. My office is in one of the bedrooms and I like to freak myself out thinking about the family who originally lived here so long ago :) It's rumored that their children died in a fire here in what was the attick, but is now a fully furnished 3rd floor...supposedly they haunt the building, I have never hung around here at night to find out!

Anonymous said...

I've never been to an official ghost town, but I love old buildings and properties that are run down and hold a sense of history. My parent's house was a bit like that when we moved in - old falling down out buildings and water tower, a trash pile in the briars from the 1900s, a "secret" room in the attic... My friends and I loved exploring the property and pretending to live long ago.
A summer camp I used to work at in northern California also had a cool old building that had been a school house, dance hall, saloon and gathering place for the Order of the Druids. Outside was the grave of a little girl name Wilhelmina, and bottles from prohibition were still found in the nearby forest occasionally. Definitely a ghostly place!

melissa said...

i want to go to there.