Club 13 Bar

More From Butte More From Montana

Prostitution has long been a killer; physically and emotionally!

All the gentle paranormal activity takes place upstairs, where they are still waiting…



This two story, local “watering hole” has a bright blue, eye-catching facade, added in the 1930s, while the 2nd floor facade retains its original 1880s appearance, though white-washed in the ’30s style.

The retro decor on the inside is indeed stunning, though it is eventually being transformed back to its original 1880s high style decor. The beautifully carved wooden bar that was shipped from Europe 105 years ago, was found in North Dakota and bought by the current owners, the Van Valkenburgs, and brought back to their bar. It is indeed the “center of attention.”


The owners of Club 13 Bar have a facebook page but only list the minimum facts; which is also the case on any of the websites it is listed on. They are really popular with the folks in Butte, and perhaps don’t feel the need to advertise.

The book, More Haunted Montana, by Karen Stevens provides some history, personal experiences and presents a little hard evidence on the spirits who live there. The other sections listed below offer some of the information that Karen provided in her book. To read her entire presentation, go and buy her book: More Haunted Montana!

The original ceiling, uncovered in the recent 2009-2010 restoration efforts by the Van Valkenburgs, is beautifully pressed copper in geometric designs, in grand condition.

The second story of Club 13 Bar is where the pool tables are located, though patrons can play darts at the back of the first floor. It is described in Karen Stevens’ book More Haunted Montana, as being a long and narrow room, with large windows overlooking the street. There are four cameras set up in this room, to keep an eye on the living folks upstairs playing pool, and perhaps catch a few spirits on film who still reside there.



This historic, once handsome brick building was built around 1884, and opened as the Milwaukee Beer Hall, an upper class place for drinks in the downtown area, aimed at the gentry class; probably wealthy locals and owners of a variety of businesses.

Other businesses that called this building home: a millinery shop, a carpet warehouse, as well as several other “watering holes,” called saloons. Sometime during its history, the saloons/bars that called this building home were more than popular, upper echelon, local drinking establishments, that offered cigars, wine, and harder booze.

Like many entertainment and recreation businesses in Butte, payment for sexual intimacy was covertly offered to its patrons, due to the great demand for sexual relief from all the lonely men in town with some money to spend: (The Dumas Brothel). The ladies who worked in this oldest profession hung out up on the second floor, and weren’t allowed downstairs to mingle with the patrons. But those men who were interested went up the stairs to have a drink with the ladies present, and choose a favorite sex partner.

The women had their “cribs” next door on the second floor of the clothing store. When a woman was chosen, the man would go next door, entering in the Clothiers Shop, and go upstairs for his “date.” The chosen woman would walk across the wooden catwalk to the second floor and meet him there, “the law” none the wiser. The authorities, if they knew about this “date” system, looked the other way for many years as was the case in a lot of western states (Oregon, California, Washington, etc).

Over the years, Club 13 Bar structure wasn’t kept up or maintained, and had become a fixer-upper opportunity.

The building had lost its original splendor from the past, becoming instead a rather funky place for a drink, though very popular with the local folks. Around 2007, Kandice Van Valkenburg and her husband bought this property and began the long process of restoring the building to its original beauty. On the list of things to do is to restore the facades to their original red brick splendor.



Restoring a building can act as an environmental trigger, drawing spirits who loved the original building back into this world.

Prostitution has long been a dangerous, hazardous occupation for women; physically and emotionally.

Many a prostitute died at the hands of another because of jealousy, doing something wrong, or because of unruly patrons.

Health and mental hazards came along with this profession. Some prostitutes died from disease caught from their clients. Some female prostitutes became pregnant from their work, and died in childbirth because of their unhealthy life-style, or from self-induced abortions through an opiate drug commonly used for this purpose. Others watched their premature babies die, suffering an emotional loss. Some female prostitutes killed themselves when they failed to be married by a certain age, when their fiancées were killed or when their beloveds changed their minds and left them.



All the gentile, paranormal activity takes place upstairs in the second floor pool room.

The aroma of an “old-fashioned perfume” has been noticed by the people in this area, when no one living is in there. This particular occurrence started after the remodeling/renovation process by the Van Valkenburgs had begun.

The pay-for-play juke box that is located in the pool room can turn itself on, and play the same one song; which must be a favorite of one of the spirits who still wait there.

Staff have also heard the sound of women’s voices and laughter in this pool room.

People who have worked at Club Bar 13 over the years have shared with author and paranormal investigator, Karen Stevens, that they have heard footsteps going across the ceiling of the first floor, which is the floor of the pool room. Sounds of these unseen presences moving around this room are also heard.

Figures/forms/shadows have been glimpsed by staff in this upstairs area, and seen on the observation cameras.


Probably so, though the personal experiences reported have come from just a few people so far. Chances are, though, that there are probably many more that haven’t been shared. No hard evidence has been published on line yet, because few investigations have taken place here, and those that may have been done, don’t disclose what they found on line for fear of someone stealing their evidence.

The owners may have had some done, but kept the findings very private; not wanting to disturb their happy ladies upstairs, who are gentle and benign; just excited that their place is being redone!

Staff late at night and during the day have all had personal experiences.

The four cameras that are on “24/7” upstairs in the pool room, have caught mists and apparitions hanging out.

Karen Stevens, author and investigator, caught an audible “Sigh”, on an EVP when she announced that they were ending their visit, and her assistant caught a mist on film by the doorway table. More details of her investigation can be found in her book, More Haunted Montana, a very interesting read!



13 W Broadway Street
Butte, MT 59701
(406) 723-3653

Club 13 Bar can be found just half a block west of North Main Street, three blocks north of the Dumas Brothel building, in the heart of the pub section in Butte. There are eight other bars in this part of town, all within a mile of each other.



  • Club 13 Bar on JS Online
  • Club 13 Bar on BlogLines Local Butte
  • Club 13 Bar on Yelp
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  • More Haunted Montana
    by Karen Stevens
    Riverbend Publishing

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Butte Haunts in Montana