Little Bighorn Battlefield
Spirits/ghosts of both sides can’t let go of the trauma of war…
Some are still protecting the area.
The Battle of Little Bighorn is where General Custer and his men were brutally and totally defeated by Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, under the direction of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, took place on the grassy plains of the Bighorn River Valley and bluffs that exist around and along the Bighorn River. Also, about 5 miles from the main battleground, Reno Crossing is also part of the monument, as a bloody skirmish took place there as well.
This massacre could’ve been prevented if only General Custer would’ve listened to his scouts who told him that they had been seen by hostile Indian scouts, and that his usual tactics should be changed. Custer had too big an ego and too much confidence to listen, and as a result many died needlessly.
Tom and I visited The Battle of Little Bighorn. It was a sobering experience, sickening to see and the vibes were strong. Every place where a soldier died, there is a marker with the soldier’s name on it. The markers told the story of the battles which took place. Indian warriors were also remembered with a marker. We saw all the battlefields, starting with Last Stand Hill. We walked down the path provided, seeing how the soldiers were killed in groups as they retreated. We weren’t allowed to go down to Reno’s Crossing, but we saw it from the top of the hill.
Spirits/ghosts of both Indians and soldiers have been seen and heard by the living both on the outside areas and in the various buildings located on the monument grounds.
The Outside Battleground Area
Many people have heard frightening screams of men undergoing a grisly death, while touring the battle fields. Some with psychic abilities have even witnessed some of the battle.
Park Ranger, Mardell Plainfeather, is a Crow Indian who had a sweat lodge located next to the Bighorn River. After an elder had used it, she went into the lodge to pour water over the hot stones. After she came outside, she looked up, and saw about 60 or 70 yards up on the bluff above her, two warriors on horseback, looking down at her. They had feathers and shields as well. One got off his horse, to get a better look at her. The moon and stars were bright, so she knew that what she saw was clearly true. She left quickly.
When she came back the next morning, she climbed up the bluff, and saw no evidence of horses being there last night. There were no trees or anything there that could’ve been mistaken for Indians on horses. She did feel strong presences there, who were either Sioux or Cheyenne spirits, keeping her company. She got the feeling that they were friendly, and meant her no harm. Mardell prayed for the dead, and left an offering of sage and sweet tobacco for all the spirits who haunt Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
On Last Stand Hill and near the battlefield cemetery, many visitors have been overcome by a sense of deep sorrow and loss.
People have seen the apparition of second Lt. Benjamin Hodgson reliving his terrifying, horrible death at Reno’s Crossing. His story is explained below. It seems he sometimes visits the living as well.
On-Site Apartments near the Cemetery/Battlefield
1) During the summer of 1983 a Miss Hope was working at the national park as a student intern, whose duties included tours and talks with visitors, which she really enjoyed. She was staying in a small, comfortable apartment, built at the edge of the battleground cemetery. One evening, after a tiring day, she inadvertently fell asleep on her living room couch. Around midnight, she awoke, having an overwhelming sense of dread. Much to her alarm , she looked across her dark living room to see a man sitting, frozen in her easy chair directly across from her.
This figure could be seen plainly in detail, because light from an uncurtained window bathed him in light. The man ignored her presence, and seemed oblivious to his current surroundings. Though he was wearing modern clothes, something about his face seemed familiar. He had a haircut that was similar to soldiers who fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn, as she had closely studied many pictures of such soldiers. He had a light beard and a handlebar mustache. His eyes were wide with terror. He disappeared within a few minutes.
Later the next day, Miss Hope and Ranger Tim explored Reno’s Crossing, a place of death and terror, located deep in the Little Bighorn Valley. After Custer and his troops were completely wiped out, in the infamous battle, Major Marcas A. Reno and his defeated troops, carrying many wounded, were forced to retreat there under the cover of trees, with advancing warriors on their tails.
His terrified troops panicked and plunged into the river, where most were killed or badly wounded, turning the water blood red. Their screams echoed against the river’s bluffs. Those few who managed to draw their wounded bodies up the opposite bank, were cut down at the top by warriors. As Tim and Miss Hope retraced the path taken by Reno’s men, Miss Hope spied a marker by the water’s edge, that marked the place where 2d Lt. Benjamin H. Hodgson had died.
Back at the visitor’s center, Hodgson’s picture was found in a book that had the histories and pictures of the men killed at Reno’s Crossing. Hope identified Hodgson as the apparition who sat in her living room.
2) Employee Apartments: A & D – Throughout the years, it has been reported that shimmering forms have stood at the foot of various employees’ beds.
Two Story Stone House – Located in the Middle of the Battleground
One of the most haunted places on the battleground sight is the 1894 Stone House, built for the cemetery caretaker in the center of the battlefield where Custer and his men lost to the Indians. The job of the cemetery caretaker was first thought to be of a ghost herder by the local Indians, who kept the ghosts from going beyond the monument fence. In recent years, the Stone House has been turned into two apartments, one upstairs, and one downstairs.
1) Ranger Jacobson and his wife moved into the bottom apartment, after being warned by the local people. They experienced doorknobs twisting, opening doors, with no one living there, and unexplained footsteps, heard overhead on the second floor apartment, when no one was living there. However, the most strange incident happened when his wife took a frozen chicken out of the freezer. They suddenly heard a high-pitched whine which pierced the entire apartment. When she put the chicken down, the whining stopped. When she picked it up again, the whining sound started again. The wife promptly threw the chicken away, and the whining stopped once again. Jackson wonders if the ghosts were being protective, and had prevented his family from eating a bad chicken.
2) In 1983, the Massies lived in a four-plex near the Stone House, when Mr. Massie served as Park Interpreter. That year, the Stone House was empty of living tenants. Late one night Mardell Plainfeather, already mentioned above, who lived in one of the other four-plexes, noticed that the lights on the second floor of the Stone House were blazing away as she drove by it. Knowing that the lights had a habit of turning themselves off and on at will, she decided to have Mr. Massie check it out. Massie searched both floors, finding nothing. After he switched off the lights, he saw his terrified wife running toward him. She had been watching T.V., when the screen went blank, and she heard a strange voice, which said, “The second floor of the Stone House.” There was no rational explanation for the strange voice.
3) Apparitions have actually appeared in front of other tenants of the Stone House.
The Visitor’s Center
1) The apparition of a soldier, dressed in a brown shirt, wearing a black cartridge belt across his chest has been seen there.
2) General Custer himself has been seen roaming around the center late at night, making one last inspection before going to wherever ghosts go to retire.
Like many other battlefields, (Gettysburg), there are many restless spirits and much psychic energy swirling around the place. Many artifacts taken from the battlefield have told many stories to people who have the ability to read and interpret the psychic energy radiating from these objects.
This hotbed of ghostly activity can be found in Southeastern Montana, in a place called Crow Agency, which is 15 miles outside of Hardin on I-90.
Photos by Tom Carr, Brucedale.com/BigHorn and from nps.gov
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr