Though a term mostly used with the past, the "wild wild west" easily applies today to Wyoming's urban legends and ghost towns. The strange and beautiful landscape, eerie ghost towns, history of deranged criminals, and numerous haunted hotels make Wyoming a true terror. The remoteness of its far flung cities only enhances Wyoming's aura of isolation, a wilderness where no one can hear you scream. The rough lifestyle of the old west resonates in modern day Wyoming, the spirits of those who died tragic deaths there still haunting the waking world with their cries.
From headless ghost brides to the ghosts of cannibalistic serial killers who haunt the gas chamber where they died, creepy stories from Wyoming get especially twisted. With myths way too far fetched to be possibly real to horrifying stories backed up by gruesome piles of bones, Wyoming urban legends will make your heart race and your hair stand on end. If you want to learn more about the haunted happenings hidden in the vast wilderness of creepy Wyoming, take a gander at the tales below.
The Headless Bride Of The Old Faithful Inn
Though it has many ghost stories attached to it, Yellowstone's most famous spectre is the headless bride who haunts the Old Faithful Inn. According to legend, the bride was a rebellious teen in life, who rejected the arranged marriage set up by her wealthy father and instead wanted to marry a much older house servant. The father, who attempted to convince his daughter the servant would use her, made a condition of their marriage that the couple received no financial assistance other than her dowry, hoping to scare the servant off. It didn't work.
The couple honeymooned at the Old Faithful Inn, where the girl's new husband wasted her entire dowry gambling and became violent, only to disappear when the money ran out. Hotel staff found the girl's dead body left in the bathtub, and her severed head at the top of the hotel's Crow's Nest. Over the years, her ghost, dressed in white, has been seen descending the Crow's Nest stairs with her head under her arm.
The Ghosts Of Fort Laramie
Fort Laramie has a long history as trading post and then military fort, and is allegedly haunted by a legion of ghosts, the most famous being the Lady in Green. Back when it was a trading post, the post leader's daughter rode off on a black horse, and never returned. According to legend, her ghost appears at Fort Laramie every seven years. She wears a long green riding dress and veiled riding hat and carries a jeweled whip, still atop her black stallion.
But the Lady in Green is merely the tip of Fort Laramie's paranormal iceberg. The Captain's Quarters reportedly hosts a ghost named George, and bright lights flash in its windows, though the building has no electricity. In Old Bedlam, the oldest military building in Wyoming, a ghostly officer makes rounds throughout the building, demanding guests "be quiet." Other apparitions, including a headless man, a bloody surgeon, and even a Civil War soldier, prowl the outer grounds.
Big Nose George Becomes A Pair Of ShoesPhoto: Wikimedia Commons
Criminal George Parrot, known by a host of aliases including Big Nose George, is not only infamous for being hanged as an outlaw, but also for what happened to his body afterwards. A member of an outlaw group that robbed traveling wagons and shipments, Parrot eventually separated from the group after their trouble began to catch up to them, causing the band of thieves to disperse. Openly bragging of his crimes, including murder, in a Montana bar lead to his capture and return to Wyoming to stand trial. After a failed prison escape, he was finally killed by an angry vigilante mob of about 200 people.
After his death, Doctors Thomas Maghee and John Osborne took his body to study his brain, and see if he could find the difference between Parrot's criminal brain and a 'regular brain.' They found nothing and then subjected the body to a series of bizarre atrocities. A death mask was made of his face, and the Osborne skinned his chest and sent the skin to a tannery with instructions for it to be made into a medicine bag and shoes. His skull cap was also used as an ashtray. They kept the rest of his dismembered body preserved in a whiskey barrel for over a year while Osborne continued to conduct bizarre experiments on it. This all was forgotten about until 1950, when the barrel full of Parrot's bones was discovered buried behind what used to be the doctors' office.
The Mystery Of The Pedro Mountains Mummy
For centuries Native Americans believed in a pygmy race of tiny people who would attack them with small weapons. These small people were accepted as simple lore, until a pair of prospectors found what appeared to be the mummy of a fully grown old man the size of a child. Discovered in 1934 in a cave in the Pedro Mountains about 60 miles from Casper, Wyoming, the mummy did rounds in local sideshows in a glass bottle, before being purchased by a local businessman and being lost forever in 1950. Many believed that this mummy proved the existence of a pygmy race in North America for years. Most likely, the mummy was a Native American child, and should it ever turn up, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act would require it to be returned to where it was found.