Pioneer Boot Hill Cemetery

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During the town’s raucous Gold Rush days, there were plenty of fights and deaths!

Fires, disease and death from child birth also took their toll.

Spirits like to enjoy activities that they enjoyed while alive.




Once a booming gold rush city, Idaho City is now a small town of 300 residents, though there are also unseen residents of the past hanging around various parts of town.



When gold was discovered in the Boise basin in 1862, Idaho City was the destination of thousands of prospectors as well as business people to provide services for the huge crowd, ranging from groceries to prostitutes. At its peak, there were more than 250 businesses at home in this town, including clothing and food stores, barbershops, pool halls and a bowling alley. For the lucky few who hit the mother lode, Operas and theaters offered entertainment for these newly wealthy patrons of the arts.

This city was transformed into “a bawdy, lusty town where whisky was cheaper that water.” As law and order was in a relaxed state, life was cheap too, and many a person died in the frequent gun fights. When the gold was mined out, most of the prospectors left, letting the town return to a normal existence.

The city, like many of the gold towns, suffered a series of fires, which destroyed about 80% of the original town. The wealthier residents were able to rebuild the city to the liking of all concerned, leaving a nice town for generations to enjoy. Visitors to Idaho City today enjoy this well-preserved gold rush town, with its plank-covered board walks, the 19th century buildings and the Pioneer & Boot Hill Cemeteries that are there to see and explore, as they stimulate the local economy.

Many people died during the town’s violent past, which often happened during the time period of the gold rush era. Besides the casualties of the many gun fights, the fires, disease and death from child birth also took their toll.

Many apparitions float, linger and saunter through both of the town’s Cemeteries, Boot Hill and Pioneer, after the sun goes down.

Several pre-teen boys, while exploring the Pioneer Cemetery, saw a foggy, misty apparition of an old prospector, described as sporting a short beard, western clothes and a vest.

In the Chinese section of this cemetery, a young Chinese girl is seen standing by a grave.

The old grocery store seems to have not only living clientele, but also an apparition shopper who likes to walk through the store, peruse the merchandise, and then saunter toward the back of the store where they vanish into the back wall!

The town’s oldest saloon, Diamond Lil’s, which was built in 1862, also is haunted by past customers, long dead, who had many a good time at this favorite place of respite, where they enjoyed a drink and perhaps a game of cards, after a hard day in the mines.


Yes indeed!



Idaho City is in western Idaho, 45 miles northeast of Boise on Highway 21. Boot Hill Cemetery is located just northeast of town.

Haunts in Idaho