Hotel Metlen

More From Montana

A young, upbeat female spirit makes the best of her after-life here.

Several spectral human bar flies hang out in their favorite place!

Other spirits with ties to the building are also here.



The 1897 Historic Hotel Metlen is an impressive 1897, three story, 32,000 sq ft., brick structure, made complete with dormer windows on the third floor, topped with a Victorian tower. Like many buildings constructed around the turn of the century, the structure sits on a granite stone foundation. It has two historic saloons, a dance floor, a restaurant, eight restored rooms on the second floor, and a gaming casino bar area; everything needed for a great time of entertainment!


The Historic Hotel Metlen is looking in great shape, inside and out, as three generations of a family-owned establishment have worked hard to stabilize and restore/renovate this beloved hotel. Phylly, long-time family friend and hotel manager has also invested money for needed repairs and improvements, like the new carpet on the second floor.

Interesting features inside include eye-popping woodwork throughout the building. It has been noted that the original woodwork on the bars in the two oldest saloons came from Bannack, Montana, the early county seat in Montana Territory, before it became a state.

Original furnishings or replicas of original furnishings and many other fascinating relics are part of the decor, adding an interesting aura of the past. Some are displayed throughout the building. On the third floor, one of the rooms is set up like a display of what one of the guest rooms would look like, when the hotel first opened.

Currently, some of the restored rooms on the second floor are rented to staff, family friends and special visitors. The restaurant isn’t open, while the hotel remains on the real estate market, except when Phylly makes such dishes as sloppy Joe’s for some customers. The kitchen is still fully functional.



The Historic Hotel Metlen, that was originally named “The Metlen Hotel and Saloon,” was built by J.C. Metlen, an enterprising businessman, to be a first-class, railroad hotel. It specialized in offering luxury accommodations for travelers, traveling out in the wilds of Montana, to attend to business in the bustling city of Dillon. It was located just a convenient walk from Dillon’s railroad stop.

For many years, The Metlen Hotel and Saloon enjoyed a high occupancy rate from railroad travelers. As the ridership on the railroad decreased because people were finding more convenient ways to travel, their business slowly dried up. The two bars were still a hot spot with the local populous and events were still being held there.

The rooms located on the second and third floor became low-cost rentals. The hotel itself slowly became a fixer-upper opportunity, in need of a boatload of money to renovate the rooms, and a needed face-lift of its exterior.

The Metlen Hotel and Saloon was fortunate though, to have owners that were dedicated in keeping up her appearance as best they could throughout the years. By the early 1980s’, the owners successfully got their property accepted as worthy to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, protecting the future of their building, December 13th, 1983.

Soon after, they passed the torch onto a new owner, a family who loved the structure as much as the former owners did.

For a time, just the first floor was bringing in any revenue; sort of what happened to The Rex, a railroad hotel that was located in Billings, Montana. However, the family enhanced the money-making areas of the hotel, while putting a lot of effort in marketing their establishment for a variety of purposes. Soon, they had more money flowing into their business, and were able to make repairs and eventually restart the restoration process.

The Metlen Hotel and Saloon continued to be a place of good memories, as the people of Dillon and students of the universities would come and enjoy themselves, eating at the then active restaurant, and dancing, drinking and/or gaming.

The Metlen Hotel was closed for a time, in 2011, during a more intense renovation/restoration period that included the first floor areas, and the outside of the structure. Special attention was paid to renovate some of the rooms. Later in 2011, The hotel reopened as “The Historic Hotel Metlen.”

Hotel Metlen looks like a well-cared for historic hotel with new paint and shingles, a new front bar and dance floor, with great l.e.d. lighting and sound was added as well. A third bar for gaming and cards was created out of the first floor apartment.

In 2013, the last member of the family wished to retire, and so, The Historic Hotel Metlen, once again is for sale, offering “The rare opportunity to own a piece of history!” Looking at the pictures on the real estate site it is a wonderful historic building, inside and out, and was restored and renovated beautifully.

The spirit people who visit and remember all their good times apparently also approve all the work done on their most favorite place, sometimes coming forward to help the living, or even protect the building from annoying paranormal investigators.



People who enjoy their earthly job, sometimes want to continue working in this world, not letting being dead get in the way.

People who die suddenly by accident, illness or murder, sometimes choose to stay in this world to continue to try to enjoy themselves, not ready to accept their quick deaths.

The paranormal activity associated with the young female entity doesn’t suggest a suicide. People who commit suicide often are melancholy in spirit form, and/or relive their self-inflicted death over and over again. A more likely scenario would be that she was murdered, or died from an accident or illness, and had an attachment to this building.

Bars and taverns are favorites with the spirits who had fond memories there while alive.

Several spirits have been discovered who like to hang out in the back bar area.

The young woman entity enjoyed dancing on the dance floor while alive.

People who have fond memories in their dwelling, like to stay in this world after they pass, wanting to continue to remember all their good times experienced there. Past owners of establishments like to see how the living are keeping the place up!

Perhaps the young woman entity was a daughter of an owner.

The male entity on the third floor could’ve been one of the past renters, or a former guest.



Female Entity

Described as a young woman, dressed in a long white dress, and is always in a positive, happy mood.

This Female Entity enjoys and appreciates the bar, stage and dance floor. Both patrons and staff have seen her happily floating around these areas.

In the restroom of the bar with the dance floor, her image was seen in the mirror by a female bartender.

This Female Entity sometimes likes to visit the living guests in Room 19, that is located just above the dance floor. One female guest who was in Room 19 saw briefly a physical appearance of the pleasant young woman.

This female entity sometimes tries to be considerate, and get some personal chuckles at the same time.

A group of high school girls were taking a tour of this historical hotel. When they went into the tower room, the windows were closed. When they left, they noticed that the windows were now all open, done very quietly so no one noticed when this occurred. Perhaps it was hot and stuffy in the tower room.

Male Entity on the Third Floor

Smell of cigar smoke has been noticed in this area.

At least one Male entity in the Bar – perhaps a former bartender or former patron in spirit form

A picture of a male entity wearing a cowboy hat was taken in the back bar.

An EVP was recorded, telling D.O.P. to “Get Out”, in an unfriendly manner.

2nd Female Entity: In the back bar.

A photo of a woman in a bonnet was taken in the back bar.

Male or Female Entity

A different EVP voice was also recorded, “They don’t know that we are dead.”


Yes Indeed! Hard evidence has been caught that supports the many personal experiences that have been reported throughout the years.

People have been reporting personal experiences for years. Both guests and staff have seen the female dressed in a white dress floating around the dance floor, and in Room 19, that is right above the dance floor.

Dillon’s Only Paranormal Group did several investigations, and captured the EVPs mentioned above, and an actual photo of the young female entity floating from the stage area. Other photos mentioned above were also caught by them.

Others have caught the photos as well of other spirits. As an example, The INTERNATIONAL PARANORMAL REPORTING GROUP possibly caught a photo of a spirit in the second bar, though they never published their analysis.

While filming a show in Bannack Ghost Town, The cast and crew of GHOST ADVENTURES hung out at The Historic Hotel during their off hours, though they stayed at another hotel due to a lack of rooms that were needed. On several occasions, they noticed the feel of spirits around them.


5 South Railroad Avenue
Dillon, MT 59725

The Historic Hotel Metlen can be found on the north side of downtown, not far from the interstate, and was within walking distance of the old railroad station, that was recently torn down. As you come into town of Dillon, you can see the hotel front and center!



  • More Haunted Montana
    By Karen Stevens
    Riverbend Publishing
  • Metlen Hotel page on
  • Hotel Metlen page on International Paranormal Reporting Group web site (
  • Photograph of Hotel Metlen on
  • Metlen Hotel Dillon Montana 7-14-07 – International Paranormal …
    IPRGC Home Page
    Photos of Dillon, Montana, on

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Montana