The Old Prison Museum in Deer Lodge is just one of several museums within the Powell County Museum complex. The Montana Auto Museum is adjacent to the prison, connected through the Old Prison Museum gift shop and offices. Investigators usually include the auto museum in their search for paranormal activity. The collection includes 150 cars from Model A’s to Mustangs. Many people sat behind the wheels or were passengers in the vehicles. Imagine the varied energies they might hold within their metal shells. Museum employees claim to have experienced paranormal activity there. At least one employee believes the spirit of a child frequents the nooks and crannies among the rows of silent, parked automobiles. Certainly many of the vehicles carried children. Families vacationed in them, and who knows what adventures, or misadventures, befell those long ago travelers.

I can testify to one eerie piece of evidence that suggests the spirits of children, or at the least their residual energies, linger in the dark after hours. In 2009, investigators captured an incredibly creepy EVP (electronic voice phenomena) among the empty vehicles. The tape, left alone and running, revealed a faint, young voice. The refrain is enough to give you the cold, hard creeps. A plaintive little voice sings one troubling line: “Ring around the rosy….”

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--Ellen Baumler, excerpt from "Ghosts of the Last Best Place"

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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