Monday, October 1, 2012

Dorothy Dunn

I'm booked across the state through October to tell the ghost stories I've uncovered in my research on Montana history. I thought I'd share a few on here. Warning: spine-tingling tales ahead!

Spirits shroud the ghost town of Bannack, where sluices once ran and whiskey flowed. Vigilantes bestowed violent beginnings. But dig deeper. The town’s windswept cemetery where spirits rest, or don’t rest, is evidence of tragedies even more indelible than hangings and shootings. In August of 1916, sixteen-year-old Dorothy Dunn, her cousin Fern, and a friend waded into a dredge pond and stepped off a shelf into deep water. None could swim. A passerby saved Fern and her friend, but lovely, vivacious Dorothy drowned. The site of the accident to this day is known as Dorothy’s Hole. Bertie Mathews, whose parents ran the Meade Hotel, took the death of her best friend Dorothy very hard. Some time after the tragedy, Bertie was upstairs in the hotel where she saw the apparition of her friend. Bertie recognized Dorothy’s long blue dress. The experience scared her, and she seldom talked about it. Since then, many others have seen Dorothy upstairs in the hotel. Visitors report cold spots, and children who know nothing of Dorothy claim to have talked with a girl in a long blue dress.

The Meade Hotel, where Dorothy's ghost has been seen and felt.
John Vachon, photographer. Library of Congress LC-USF34-065619-D

Story from Montana Moments: History on the Go


  1. Nice. I wish I could hear one of your presentations.

  2. i went to bannock i got many pics of dorthoy she came after me and my friends when your there take a pic of the closet

  3. Just saw a photo of young Ms. Dunn on "Find a Grave" and God bless her, she was very young, very beautiful young lady. I wish her peace and love and hope that someday she will find peace and cross over to the other side. May she rest in the most perfect peace. It must have been an awfully sad time for her family, friends and loved ones.

  4. I was hurrying down to the creek to try to get a picture of an elk and as I was trying to look past some of the bushes at the creeks edge I heard a female voice say "I wouldn't go any farther if I was you" I stopped and looked around there was no one there. Later I Googled Bannack and found out about Dorothy, I think it was her warning me as the water was high and moving quickly.

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  6. My ex father in law was related to her.