Monday, October 14, 2013

Ghost on the Little Rosebud

Bob Ferguson was a cowboy who lived alone on a ranch on the Little Rosebud, a tributary of Rosebud Creek. He ran some cattle and seemed to prosper. In May of 1890, Ferguson disappeared. Neighbors noted that he was missing after a few weeks, and searched for him, but they found no trace of him. During the spring roundup, all the cowboys kept an eye out for him especially since he had been one of their own. Sure enough, one of them eventually came upon Ferguson’s body buried in the red shale hills near his cabin. It appeared that he had been killed by the Cheyenne. Ferguson left a sister who sold the ranch to a man named Beattie. Not long after Beattie and his wife had moved in, they began to experience a nightly rapping on the cabin door. When Beattie flung it open, no one was there. When Mrs. Beattie’s husband was away, as he sometimes traveled, she was not a timid woman and had no hesitation in opening the door. But no one was ever there, and she declared that there was something wrong with the ranch. Beattie thought perhaps someone was playing a trick on him who wanted to drive him away since this was prime ranch land. So he hung onto the ranch. His wife died and he remarried, and the second Mrs. Beattie also experienced the rapping. Finally the government bought the ranch as part of the Cheyenne Reservation. Many Cheyennes applied for this desirable land. The family that secured it moved in and immediately was plagued with the mysterious nighttime rapping. They did not stay long, nor did the next occupants, nor the next. The buildings were abandoned and crumbled back to the earth, and no one can tell where the haunted ranch used to be, or if Bob Ferguson still roams his property.

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