Montana Gold Mining Ghost Town

How To Get Free Housing, Food: Stay In This Haunted Montana Ghost Town

The federal government is looking for volunteers to stay in an old gold-mining ghost town in Montana. Willing participants will receive a free furnished cabin and food. There is a catch though, or maybe two or three catches.

The town is called Garnet. In its heyday, about the turn of the century, it had a population of roughly 1,000 people, according to Fox News. But as the gold mines became exhausted, the town started going bust.

By 1918, it was mostly abandoned, left intact as a ghost town (aside from a fire that wiped out half the town about six years ago).

Now, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Missoula is looking for volunteers to stay in the town. Duties would include giving tours, selling souvenirs, and assisting with basic site maintenance, according to the Huffington Post, which would end at about 4:30 p.m. Leaving residents there to enjoy the great outdoors, and not much else.

The Montana town has been left in nearly the same state as it was a century ago, meaning there’s no running water, no electricity, and certainly no internet. For people wanting to get away from it all, that might not be too much of a catch, but there’s something more in the fine print.

Helena Independent Record published some of the descriptions of Garnet’s otherworldly activities after dark from author Ellen Baumler.

“People have heard ghostly fingers striking piano keys, with the music floating across the empty buildings. She said that especially during the winter months, Garnet visitors see visions and hear unearthly noises… Late at night, the spirits of Garnet come out to play in the moonlight. Sometimes, in the deep winter quiet, a piano tinkles in Kelley’s Saloon and the spirits dance to ghostly music. But the moment a living, human hand touches the building, the noises stop.”

At least you won’t be lonely, which leads to the final catch.

The local Missoulian news site first published an article about the call for volunteers on Monday afternoon. The BLM spokeswoman told the Missoulian their story was a huge success.

“Garnet Ghost Town Ranger Nacoma Gainan told me the next morning he already had 130 emails and he didn’t know how many phone calls. The phone was ringing all morning.”

Which means the position has been filled. They reportedly needed about four people, and 400 applied. That means this former gold mining ghost town in Montana has a higher applicant rejection rate than Harvard University. Who wanted to live with ghosts anyways…

[Image Credit: JohnDavidStutts/Wikimedia Commons]

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