By Renée Jean
Two spirits are said to haunt Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cheyenne since an immigrant died working on the bell tower, along with the pastor who hired him.
That’s just one of several haunted or harrowing locations that may appear in Cheyenne’s historic “fright” tour this year, happening each weekend through Oct. 31.
Wyoming with its paths less traveled boasts many ghost stories like Saint Mark’s. The Occidental Hotel in Buffalo claims to have a youthful ghost, the daughter of an escort, still haunting its halls and moving furniture around. Sometimes she’s even been said to tap patrons on the shoulder.
There’s also the green lady at Fort Laramie, the daughter of an agent at the Fort. She left to go riding one day and never returned.
Given the rugged, independent spirits that have always been attracted to live in Wyoming, ghost stories like these should come as a surprise to no one. Wyoming settlers also endured decades of violence on the plains and many battles in the mountains, along with all the usual difficulties of pioneer life.
All that gives the state a Halloween-perfect heritage to share every October, no matter which corner of the state one might call home.
Here are just a few haunted highlights from across the state to get everyone in the proper Halloween spirit.
Cheyenne’s ‘Frightseeing’ Trolley Tour
Ghostly experiences and history intertwine for these annual tours, which are put together by working closely with paranormal investigation groups. The investigators are often participants in the tours, adding an additional spooky depth to the experience.
Costumes are encouraged for the tour, which changes up locations and stories each year. That makes it a fresh, new experience each time. Tours depart from the cutout across from the Wrangler building on Capitol Avenue between 15th Street and Lincolnway. The tour bus can sometimes run a little late, so be patient in waiting for it to appear.
For more details on Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley tours, visit online or call Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley Manager Sue James at 307-772-7265.
Tickets tend to go quickly. Book ahead of time to ensure a seat.
While in Cheyenne, plan to visit or even stay at the Historic Plains Hotel, where legend has it a woman named Rosie found her fiancé taking another woman upstairs. Rosie took care of that problem — and now it’s said that the three restless spirits still haunt the second floor of the hotel. Visit the hotel’s Facebook page for more information.
Mountain Men ghosts of Cody
This city has long been known for its mysterious deaths, unexplained disappearances and long-forgotten secrets.
The town has at least 100 years of haunted history at locations like the Irma Hotel, where staff and guests claim that a “white lady” still haunts the halls. This year, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West plans to turn down the lights and explore the haunted history of its mountain men from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 22. The experience will end outside around a campfire with Dutch oven s’mores, adult hot toddies and one final mountain man ghost story to ensure guests head to home or hotel with the proper spine-tingling chill.
Guests should dress warmly and be prepared for a bit of walking, some on uneven ground. Cost is $60 per person or $55 for Center of the West members. Advance registration required. Call 307-254-7073 or email email@example.com.
Hear It From Riverton’s Ghost Whisperer
The Fremont County Museum has planned a haunted downtown walking trek from 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 15. Local educator and ghost story aficionado Alma Law will guide the tour to favorite ghostly haunts. Spots are limited for this popular event, which costs $10 per person.
Call the Riverton Museum at 307-857-2665 for details.
Another haunt to check out while in Riverton is the Acme Theatre at 312 E. Main. Some patrons report seeing a man in the balcony watching shows, thought to be a performer from the vaudeville and penny show era.
Dying To Scare You In Laramie
Laramie’s Ghost Tours annually sell out they are so popular. This year’s tour schedule is set for Oct. 27, 28 and 29. Tickets are $22 per adult or $8 for those 12 and younger. Tour times are 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. Each tour is 90 minute and includes a haunted hayride and Wyoming Territorial Prison lights out tour. To get your tickets, call 307-760-8835.
Dazed In The Casper Corn Maze
For 11 years and counting, the Green Acres Corn Maze in Casper at 8451 Haines Road has offered a friendly ghostly experience, suitable for all ages. The seasonal maze is available through Oct. 31.
The 8-acre corn maze features three paths all laid out in a dinosaur theme. In addition to the corn maze, there’s also a petting farm, pumpkin cart rides, grain train, apple cannons, corn pit, air pillow, as well as activities like mining for gems. There’s a hay bale maze to work through that some may find just a bit easier than the large corn maze, as well as a pumpkin patch.
Bring your carving tools if you like and make your pumpkin a work of art on the spot. That way there’s no mess to clean up at home. Admission is $12 for ages 12 and up or $10 for ages 4 through 11. Kids 3 and younger are free. The Corn Maze hotline is 307-797-8796.
While you’re in Casper, after the children have gone to bed, adults might want to also check out the Wonder Bar. Employees claim lights turn on and off when no one is inside, and some also have reported hearing trailing footsteps behind them, as if someone unseen is following them.
Do Some Hard Halloween Time
The Outlaw Terror tour runs 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 28, 29, and 31 at the Wyoming Frontier Prison at 500 W. Walnut St. in Rawlins. Cost is $20 per ticket and online reservations are required. Register online.
This tour is suitable only for guests ages 12 and older. The tour self-describes as “infamous” and warns participants to “bring your own life jacket.” The fast-paced tour features loud noises, steep stairs and suggests it is not for the faint of heart.
Among the many prison legends is the pie lady, a woman who lived in Rawlins and used to bring the prisoners pies. Unfortunately, upon release, one of the prisoners tracked her down and killed her. He was sent back to prison for the crime, where the other prisoners exacted a gruesome revenge, hanging him from the top floor.
Wyoming Frontier Prison has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. Ghost hunters also have reported capturing spooky orbs on camera.