Is the haunted history of the Custer House real or mere folklore?
Visitors from all over visit the Custer House each year, a replica of the home occupied by General Custer, who was killed in the Battle of Little Big Horn, and the General’s wife, Libbie.
“Forty years ago after we were first married, we went across country and we actually stopped at the Little Big Horn, so when we saw this it was an added interest to us,” said Frank Movalli, a visitor from Buffalo, New York.
But some might say that the Custer House has visitors of a different kind.
“Our interpretative activities that we do here in the house is guiding guests from all over the world back into 1875 to give them kind of an idea of what life was like in 1875,” said Matt Schanandore, assistant park manager with Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
Some of the tour guides at the park have reported hearing strange sounds in the Custer House.
“Some of our guides have referred to hearing a ball break on the billiards table here, which is a very common sound. Something you can kind of distinguish. And then would come up here and find that there was no ball break or anything like that,” said Schanandore.
Others have even said they’ve seen what could be an apparition looking out over the fort.
“In the window that’s facing me right now, is one of those windows that we’ve had both guests and interpretive guides in the early morning or late evening hours see a woman in a dark gown,” said Schanandore.
The Custer House has been the site of many paranormal investigations over the years, as people seek answers as to whether the house is actually haunted.
“Fall is the season when things are starting to die off and wilt away, and so you have that type of feeling when you kind of walk through that crisp air out here. Those evening nights when the sun’s setting and you’re out here, you start to get that little bit of a chill, that little bit of a tingling on your neck as you’re going through,” said Schanandore. “And so, it’s a great feeling to have that type of difference from a summer pace when you’re running and going, when you can kind of slow down a little bit and let your senses kind of take you on a journey here at the fort,” he added.
Whether you believe spirits linger at the house or that the paranormal tales are simply a fabrication of overactive minds, the next time you visit the Custer House, you may want to be on the lookout for anything that goes bump in the night.
The Custer House is open for tours from May 1st through September 30th. You can also visit it this month as part of Fort Lincoln’s Haunted Fort.