On June 25, 1876, General Custer led 647 soldiers of the 7th Calvary in an attack against a village of more than 8,000 Sioux, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Indians. After the smoke cleared, General Custer lay dead on the battlefield along with 263 of his men. Situated near the Little Bighorn River 15 miles outside the town of Hardin, Montana, Little Bighorn Battlefield is now a national monument that attracts nearly 400,000 visitors each year. Paranormal activity has been reported by both employees and visitors to the park. Perhaps the most well-known of these reports is that of Christine Hope, an employee who lived in an apartment near the battlefields in the mid-1980s. She awoke one night to see the ghostly figure of a man sitting at her kitchen table. The man wore a military uniform and had a long handlebar mustache. The apparition did not speak to her but looked directly at her for several moments before he faded away. Later, while visiting the marker of Lt. Benjamin H. Hodgson who died in the battle, Hope became intrigued by his story and looked up further information on him. Her search yielded a photograph of the Lieutenant, who seemed to be the same man who had appeared in her apartment. A former park ranger had a startlingly vivid encounter late one night with two Indian warriors on horseback, seemingly dressed for battle in feathers and shields, sitting atop a bluff overlooking the battlefield. The apparitions clearly saw her, as one of them raised up in his saddle ostensibly to get a better look at her. The next day, the ranger climbed the bluff to check for hoofprints or some sign that someone had been there but found nothing. Visitors to the park have reported seeing ghostly soldiers marching across the battlefield and Indian warriors galloping on the backs of their war ponies, in some instances being so vivid and solid-looking that they were mistaken for reenactors. Some have even reported hearing the sounds of battle and men screaming. The Stone House, built in 1894 for the cemetery’s caretaker, is the site of various types of paranormal happenings, including phantom footsteps, apparition sightings, strange knocking on the walls, and even disembodied voices. A shadowy figure dressed in a brown shirt and cartridge belt has been reported in the visitors center and another apparition, rumored to be that of General Custer himself, has been seen making inspection rounds of the center late at night. The cemetery has its own share of paranormal activity, including cold spots and apparitions of Indians on horseback charging through the cemetery grounds. Is the Little Bighorn Battlefield truly haunted? The various personal accounts and the bloody history of the location combined certainly make for a very convincing case. At the site of what has been called the “worst military disaster in U.S. history,” it is not hard to imagine that restless spirits still roam the battlegrounds.
Written by — Melanie Billings Writer/Paranormal Investigator
LITTLE BIGHORN BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL MONUMENT EXIT 510 OFF I-90 ON HIGHWAY 212 CROW AGENCY, MONTANA 59022 TEL: 1 (406) 638-3204
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