Expedition Team: Dave Miller
Date: June 20, 2022
This famous June 1876 battlefield where Northern Plains Indians, fighting to preserve their ancestral way of life, massacred over 220 7th US Cavalry soldiers including Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. With this type of tragic death, it is no surprise that park employees and visitors have reported paranormal occurrences at the battlefield. Reports of seeing ghosts of Indian warriors & cavalry soldiers, hearing unexplained voices, battle sounds, bugles or war hoops.
At the nearby Stone House, now used as a national park office, staff claimed to have seen a ghost with no head or legs, have heard footsteps and seen doorknobs turn by themselves. I could not enter Stone House due to Covid restrictions, but I talked to Ranger Steve Adelson as he related his personal experiences including seeing and following a short distance the apparition of a cavalry soldier. Next to Stone House is the Custer National Cemetery, final resting place of 5,000 early Indian War soldiers, scouts, military families, and more recent veterans.
After interviewing the ranger, I began my investigation at Custers Last Stand Hill. The hill was where 41 calvary men shot their horses for breastworks to make their final stand. Custer and his brother Tom were two of the casualties. Menacing dark storm clouds formed above as if the spirits of the soldiers and Indians were telling me to postpone my investigation.
Hiking down past Deep Ravine Trail and over Greasy Grass Ridge I heard gunshots below. In the distance down in the prairie valley on this side of the Little Bighorn River there was a house among the few trees. I stood and watched for five minutes but saw no one outside moving or shooting. There was eerie silence as the wind totally stopped even though the clouds above looked sinister. Looking south about a mile was where, in 1876, approximately 7,000 Indians (1,500 were warriors) had made their encampment. So, who had made the gunshots? Had I heard gunfire from the past?
Back in the car we drove through the entire park viewing the remaining battlefield areas. I took many photos just before the storm hit. The park was closing anyway and as we drove back past the park entrance a park ranger locked the gate behind us. It reminded me of what area Crow Agency Indians called the park rangers locking the gates at night – “Ghost Herders”.