Be careful when you enter into Big Sky Country you might just encounter some big mysteries thank you for joining me for another special episode of Big Sky mysteries this episode is another true ghost story researched and collected by Montana’s very own Ellen bomber see the description below for more details on Ellen as many of you are already aware.
The appearance of a ghost can occur after a particularly violent act.
Resulting in the death of one or more people the story of the Centreville ghost is no exception and is possibly the result of a murder-suicide that happened in 1897 several years later.
Strange occurrences began and the Centreville ghost was born and the legend remains if you enjoy this episode please hit that subscribe button and the notification button so you won’t miss.
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Enjoy this true Montana ghost story welcome to Big Sky Country the Centerville ghost Centreville Huddle’s precariously against the slope of the richest Hill on earth astride a hillside so steep that each house sits nearly on top of its neighbor backyards tumble into each other challenging the housewife who hangs her wash on the clothesline at the.
Turn of the 20th century the collective Centreville community was overwhelmingly foreign-born of European ancestry these folks who came to the land of opportunity kept the traditions of their forebears the cultural heritage these adventurous immigrants brought to the great American melting pot and especially the industrial giant that was beaut rich the colorful fabric that even today several generations later makes beaut a unique and special place a.
Century ago Dublin Gulch in Centreville a suburb of Butte was home to many young men not long from Cork in Limerick they came to America with young wives or married nice girls of similar Irish Catholic backgrounds.
And together they had broods of children the first generation born outside the Emerald.
Isle these hearty Irish transplants found Butte a place where there was always work but they also found the miners life tough Centreville population crowded into small company owned cottages filling the stuffy rooms with crying babies extended families of aunts uncles and cousins and boarders who helped pay the exorbitant rent that always seemed to eat up most of their wages looming head frames.
Dotted the hillside a constant reminder of men by the hundreds tunnelling like so many ants inside the treacherous labyrinth of the minds a Hell inside the hill in the winter the clammy underground was bad enough but above the mines a pall of sulfuric smoke hung thickly over the hill lamps had to be lit at noon in the crowded kitchens where the women folk labored over endless chores danger haunted.
Every miner every hour of every day and it haunted his family too in this.
Ripe setting for horror stories tales of banshees and ghosts carried across the Atlantic and told around Centreville.
Kitchen tables found a place in the collective memory of the mining community belief in the supernatural was the norm and while the creatures that figured in the folktales always seemed to hover barely out of reach in one’s.
Imagination they made the shadows in dark alleys come alive after dark it didn’t take much.
To feel active imaginations in a place where mining accidents were so commonplace and if a man escaped death in the bowels of the hillside or in the jaws of heavy machinery the miners.
Con consumption was like as not to get him in the end in such a place the Grim Reaper could come with his random knock on any door at any moment superstition colored birth death and life in between the Irish of Dublin Gulch feared the banshees wail warning that a death was close at hand the thought.
Was enough to give even the brawny Asst miner the cold hard creeps on September 6th 1897 a horrendous crime gave the population of Centreville something to talk about beyond the usual worries of mining shift boss James Shay was making his way home from work at the mountain consolidated number.
Two during the noon hour there had been some trouble the day before at the mine Thomas lanes heavy drinking of late had caused Shay no small concern lane had been drinking again the day before despite warnings and so Shay had fired him a drunk miner put all the men at risk on this September day Shay was not thinking about the incident was lane or about anything else.
In particular as he neared the Mullen hotel but Lane lay in wait upon the porch with murder on his mind as che approached the hotel Lane raised his firearm shut one I took aim and fired pumping five bullets into his former boss the.
Victim dragged himself to a nearby doorstep as his blood drained into the dusty street deputy Sherriff McGlynn quickly arrived on the scene and momentarily held the murderer at bay but there was one bullet left in the.
Chamber Lane turned it on himself and blew his brains.
Out thus saving officials of the trouble of a trial and hanging the folk of Centreville.
Were used to death and dying but the deliberate and public manner in which the two men met their fates left the community reeling and it also made Centreville and Dublin Gulch fertile ground for haunting stories a few years after the murder suicide of.
Che in Lane the people of Centreville began to report frightening encounters the first occurred late one Saturday night when several concert goers were on.
The way home from a John Philip Sousa performance at the local Opera House the Anaconda standard of March 6 1901 carried the tale of a young man who had missed the last streetcar after the concert he and his companion had been forced to walk home to Centreville as they came to West.
Center Street the pair saw a black clad figure emerged from an alley and moved toward the car track the two paid little heed at first mistaken the solitary wanderer for some lone woman on her.
Way home from a nearby neighbours but at the top of the hill the shadowy form stopped obviously waiting for them when the two got to the top of the hill they became.
Apprehensive thinking it might be a robber but the figure threw up a black veil disclosing its face for a moment they were transfixed in amazement for the features whether male or female being or spirit were most horribly distorted marked and were illuminated by blue streaks of sulfur before they.
Could recover from the fright.
The being uttered a piercing scream turned and fled down the track moaning and screaming as.
It went a few days later the standard ran.
Editor from a minor who described his encounter with the black-robed figure he had just come. and was on his way home to Centreville following his usual route of Dublin Gulch to the railroad tracks and then west towards Main Street he had just reached the mountain cog number two when he saw a figure in black it materialized out of nowhere and stepped directly in his path as he approached he stepped to one side to pass it but the thing stepped in.
Him the miner took a step right and so.
Did the ghost or auntie or whatever it was each time the miner stepped to one side or the other to pass the figure it stepped in front of him to block his way the miner said my first impulse was to run but on second thought I found I could not move for a moment we stood there I could.
Eyes from it and I know it was glaring at me from beneath the folds of the long black veil that covered its face raising one arm above its head I followed the movement in the hand was a grinning skull with the other hand it threw back the veil revealing the most.
Horrible looking countenance that I’ve ever looked upon the face of our Chinese Joss would be an angel in comparison.
Around the face hovered an earthly blue light quite different from that produced by phosphorus then uttering a soul piercing shriek it turned and fled up the trail leading in the direction of Summit Street and disappeared in the cluster of houses in the rear of Murphy’s saloon I.
Had no desire to follow it nor do I wish to see it again the dark ghost of Centerville became the.
Topic of discussion over every back fence neighborhoods all over Butte were abuzz with accounts of the dark intruder.
Story circulated wildly it was like the opening phrase whispered in a game of gossip the gains momentum with each retelling accounts varied.
Wildly but most noted that the ghost was clad in a black robe and had some sort of eerie.
Blue phosphorescence about it one man however who claimed to have encountered the.
Its face was that of a woman he had known she had died in Centreville of the year before the Butte miner and the standard printed accounts of the.
Sightings almost daily for two weeks scaring and disrupting the community the doors of Centreville Neighborhood Market closed at dusk leaving the main street deserted youngsters accustomed to roaming the streets went to bed early with their parents bedtime admonition to be good or the ghost I’ll getcha ringing in their ears articles reported that a young woman had been kidnapped by the specter in the dark of night tied to a fence post and.
Left shivering a blacksmith on his way to work at 4 a. found the victim nearly frozen and frightened to death although miners coming off shift and late-night revelers had passed very near her the gag placed in her mouth left her unable to call for help in a.
Second incident two boys were found unconscious in an abandoned.
Cabin coming to their senses they both told how the talons of a monster had buffeted them about although they bore no marks they would.
Not change their story in yet another encounter a woman with a baby fell while running from the grisly apparition.
The dark clad Banshee snatched of the baby delivered it to the mother and sped off shrieking miners will smell ear and.
Will a spawn went looking for the dark ghost to when it suddenly popped out at them from behind a rock the two stood frozen watching helplessly as it threw up.
Its arms and a phosphorescent light appeared at the point where its head and face ought to be they began running when the ghost let out a.
Blood-curdling shriek smellier tripped cutting his face severely these incidents and injuries to the citizens of Butte prompted local law enforcement to investigate a posse of local almond gathered their firearms loaded with rock salt to keep the spirit at bay two ghost hunt along the.
Slope they had no encounters however acting police sergeant Tom Walsh Jack Murphy Michael.
Cole Haines and two newsmen resolved to see if they too could encounter Centreville ‘he’s now famous phantom it was just past midnight when the five ventured out they decided to concentrate.
Their efforts on the dark shadowy cut of the be a and P railroad that led to the mines on the hill there in a hollow was the deserted cabin rumored to be associated with the black-robed beam and where the two boys had fallen prey they found nothing there cocaine and Murphy separated from the other three to inspect.
Some more cars as they headed under the Main Street footbridge the moon pulled along the tracks and cast shadows on the hillside a tall stately figure suddenly appeared out of nowhere gliding down the steep embankment to stand directly in front of them it paused and then moved in the direction of the ramshackle cabin the sight.
Sent a chill down the spines of Murphy and kool hain both men were.
So frightened they stood there trembling Hult are.
You a man or ghost shouted Murphy the black-robe spirit or whatever it was slowly raised both hands.
Toward the sky and noiselessly seemed to glide over the rough ground still moving in the direction of the cabin the men could see it outlined in the faint light of the moon they gathered their wit’s aimed their rifles and each fired a shot at the specter from a distance of about ten feet when the deputy and newsmen reached the badly shaken Murphy and kool hain they had quite a tale to tell about their close encounter they claimed that the uplifted hands.
Seemed to be transparent appearing blood-red like a hand held over an electric light just before they fired their rifles a dull red glow appeared.
In the breast of the creature providing a well marked target its head also seemed to glow the same dull red the men were very frightened as the group made its way back they met two Finn’s who also claimed to have seen the ghost gliding toward the lonely cabin the standard put the spirit to rest on st.