Yellowstone Ghost Stories

Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place. Mud pots, fumaroles, geysers, hot springs—where else can you find so many volcanic features in one region? And the wildlife was unforgettable: Grizzly bears, elk, moose, pine martins, coyotes and wolves all appeared at one time or another during my spooky tour of the world’s first National Park. During my research trip, I collected many Yellowstone ghost stories. Some are campfire tales like the Headless Bride; a folktale invented by a Yellowstone employee to entertain guests staying at Old Faithful Inn. Other ghost stories have been reported as true tales told (and retold) by visitors, rangers, soldiers, and other park employees over the years. I have even included links to two self-guided ghost tours of Yellowstone National Park, which trace the path I took as I researched the Yellowstone ghost stories included in my book, Spooky Yellowstone. Enjoy! – S.E. Schlosser

Yellowstone Ghost Stories



Drowned Man

My supervisor radioed me just after sunrise on a warm summer morning in 1929 to report another incident aboard the shipwrecked E.C. Waters out on Stevenson Island. “A bunch of drunks were boozing and brawling on the boat last night,” he said in a grumpy tone that clearly indicated his lack of morning coffee. I sighed. Again! I had no idea why so many summer visitors flocked to the wreck of the old steamboat on Stevenson Island, which lay partially submerged beside a sandy beach...

Spooky Yellowstone

Welcome to Yellowstone National Park, the place where ghosts walk! A phantom bellman assists a woman with her luggage; a picnicker has lunch with a ghost; a park ranger encounters a Sasquatch; a young man faces an ancient wilderness spirit of the Bear, and so much more. So, is the first national park really spooky? You bet.

Swept Over: Ghosts of the Lower Falls

Today the water drums of the Lower Falls in Yellowstone beat strongly, just as they did back in 1870 when the story which became a legend first took place. In those days, a group of five militia men and their Crow guide who decided to explore the little known Canyon of the Yellowstone. The explorers penetrate deep into the canyon region, keeping an eye out for signs of gold while they explored...

The Headless Bride

Once there was a lovely young woman growing up in a wealthy shipping family in New York. In those days, wealthy young women were expected to make their debut in society and to marry a wealthy young man from a good family. But our young lady was a bit of a rebel. When she grew old enough to marry, she scorned the wealthy young society men in favor of an older man who was working as a servant in her house.

The Phantom Bellman

I gasped a bit as I wheeled my heavy bag toward the white-trimmed double doors leading to the hotel lobby. I was having some trouble adjusting to the altitude in Yellowstone after living my whole life at sea level. My husband Frank, on the other hand, took to the elevation as one mountain-born, much to my annoyance. He'd already dragged the rest of our luggage inside the hotel and was checking in at the front desk as I doddered my way into the lobby and collapsed in a chair near the fireplace.

Yancey's Ghost

Yancey was a quirky old-time pioneer, gold prospector and Civil War veteran —perhaps the last of that breed—who came to Yellowstone in the 1870s and built a hotel in “Yancey’s Hole”; current day Pleasant Valley near Roosevelt Lodge.

Yellowstone Ghost Tour – The Lower Loop

Start your ghostly Yellowstone journey with a walk around the boardwalk trails around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. Then visit the Old Faithful Inn. Grab a seat outside on the Mezzanine balcony, which is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a lost little boy, while you watch Old Faithful geyser erupt....
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