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Friday, December 15, 2017

Local ghost stories get a second life on social media page

By Cindy Mullet

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Ghost stories are alive and thriving in Glendive and many can be found on a new Facebook page started by Trista Brooks.

Brooks said she has always liked hearing ghost stories and learning the history of Glendive, so when she read a recent Glendive Ranger-Review story about ghosts posted on a local discussion page and saw it had drawn around 200 comments, she decided to create a safe place for others to share their stories and experiences.

Brooks had the idea for her Glendive Hauntings Facebook page on a Saturday night. She set it up as a closed group on a Sunday morning, shared it on two Glendive sites and added a few friends. She didn’t think it would take off at all, but when she checked back membership requests had blown up and within a week she had over 450 members.

Her message at the top of the page simply invites people to tell about where they used to live in town, or buildings they worked in or stories they heard.  Her message was simple, but the response was overwhelming. By Sunday evening, stories were already rolling in.

“It’s a safe place, not a place for people to judge,” she said, adding that if members make negative or derisive comments on a story she will take them off the page.

When adding new members, Brooks looks for a Glendive connection. She wants to limit the page to people living in Glendive, former residents, or people who have friends living in Glendive, she explained.

Along with providing a forum for exchanging stories and experiences, the page also offers resource hints on where to find information on an old house, who previous owners were or what events might have taken place there, she said.

Many of the stories members have recounted are from old houses on the south side of Glendive. Others come from houses on Meade, River and Kendrick avenues in the downtown area. The old Jordan Hotel on Merrill Avenue, the old Lutheran church on the southside, the old Elks building, the Dion building and the Frontier Gateway Museum also sparked memories.

One member remembered an old typewriter in the museum that would start typing on its own. Others recalled living in houses where the lights would go off and on, doors would slam, footsteps could be heard going up and down stairs or dishes were moved from one side of a cupboard to the other.

The page also has stories of ghosts people have seen. Most of these accounts are of ghosts wandering hallways or appearing in certain rooms, but a few tell stories of children being frightened or hurt by a resident ghost, or of carrying on conversations with a ghost.

A posting from the Ranger-Review’s “Reviewing the Past” column about a woman who had committed suicide in the Jordan Hotel 100 years ago brought memories from people who had worked at the Jordan and seen a female ghost.

Stories of ghost sightings in the old Lutheran church on the southside prompted a request for a “skeptic at its finest and a techi” to help with an “informal investigation” of the site. Volunteers were quick to sign on.

Brooks doesn’t know how long interest in the Facebook page will remain high, but she plans to keep the page going, continue to collect stories and facilitate discussion.

“It’s neat to hear all the stories,” she commented.

 

Reach Cindy Mullet at
crmullet@midrivers.com

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