If you're adventurous and in search of undeniable paranormal activity, the historical haunted places in Idaho are your match. These unique places full of angst, crushed dreams, and are often secluded places that never disappoint the most avid paranormal seekers.
Shoshone Ice Caves
The Shoshone Ice Caves defy logic by sitting on top of a lava tube. Located in Southern Idaho near Twin Falls in the town of Shoshone, the ice caves have an even greater attraction as one of the most haunted places in the United States. The ghost of a Shoshone princess, Edahow, haunts her burial site in the cave. Staff and visitors hear her disembodied voice, along with other ghostly voices and sounds. Phantom footsteps walk through the ice caves, chilling those who hear them. If you hear someone walking up behind you and turn around, you might catch a glimpse of her shadow flittering along the cave walls.
Old Idaho State Penitentiary
Opened in 1872, Old Idaho State Penitentiary operated until the inmate riot in December 1973, when prisoners protested their living conditions. Out of the 11 state executions, 10 took place here. The sandstone walls that retained heat during the summer and cold during the winter exacerbated living conditions. Either illness or murder claimed the lives of 110 prisoner over the century it operated.
The ghost of one of the most notorious prisoners, Raymond Allen Snowden (Idaho's Jack the Ripper), still resides in the prison. His angry ghost haunts the gallows of 5 House where his botched hanging left him strangling for 15 agonizing minutes. Visitors hear gasping and rasping as though someone is being strangled. His full-bodied apparition wanders around the scene of his failed execution.
The oppressive energy of the 12-cell confinement block, known as Siberia, is overwhelming. People hear disembodied screams and yells of prisoner sent there as punishment. Visitors and staff feel a malevolent presence throughout the prison. There are also phantom sounds of cell doors slamming, shadow people lurking in and around the cells, weird unexplained sounds, orbs, and disembodied voices that permeate the cell block. Today, the prison is on the National Register of Historic Places, and The Idaho State Historical Society operates the prison as a museum.
The Boise downtown Egyptian Theatre opened in 1927 and today, it still hosts various performing arts and movies. The two ghosts known to haunt the theatre are fairly benign. The apparition of a woman, believed to be a former staff member from the 1920s, wanders happily about the theatre. She may be responsible for some of the activity, such as turning the lights on and off and closing/opening doors.
However, much of the targeted paranormal activity is attributed to the long time projectionist, Joe, who died of a heart attack. On occasion, his disembodied laughter echoes through the theatre. Odd smells suddenly permeate the air, dissipating quickly. Joe still hangs out in the projection booth. During a performance or movie, his apparition often appears in the back rows of the upper balcony. Joe can be mischievous and often touches people to give them a little scare.
Kootenai County Jail Museum
The Kootenai County Jail Museum once housed convicts. Built in 1892, the prison was restored in 2010 and operates as a museum. Mentally ill inmates stayed on the top floor, which is the most active area for paranormal phenomena. Tour guides discover the upstairs windows open, although they were securely closed. The creepiness factor elevates when unexplained footprints appear in the dust beneath the window, as though someone has been standing there peering out.
In other parts of the jail, workers find one of the steel cell doors open although it was closed and locked. In the past, workers placed a large rock in front of the cell door, but the next morning would find the rock had been removed. Current staff hear phantom footsteps and odd noises. Visitors and staff have a sense of uneasiness and the feeling of being watched.
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Lake Coeur d'Alene was formed by the last Ice Age and is 26+ miles long. This natural lake has a few creepy stories. The first is the story of a fish woman sunning herself at Big Pointed Rock. Other paranormal creatures include an aquatic horned creature that lifts boats out of the water before slamming them back to the surface. That's enough to make any paranormal investigator want to set out on a road trip. You may hear the various unexplained sounds that haunt the lake, especially at night.
Located near Hansen, the Stricker Ranch features a cemetery on the property. Shadow people and Herman Stricker's wife often roam at night. The ranch was a stage stop (1865) along the Oregon Trail, with the homestead built later along with the Stricker home (1901). Full-bodied apparitions run and float through the field. Inside the buildings, the doors open and close by themselves. Flickering lights and various apparitions make the ranch a paranormal investigator's heaven. Idaho State Historical Society owns the ranch, managing it with the Friends of Stricker, Inc. Take advantage of the Friends of Stricker Ghost tours.
If you're in search of an authentic ghost town full of spirits and all manner of paranormal activity, then the secluded Silver City is the gem you've been searching for. This ghost town still has 75 buildings standing that were constructed in the mid-1800s. Only four businesses are still open. The historic Idaho Hotel is open and has its fair share of ghosts.
Two men died on the hotel steps after a gunfight. Their spirits decided to go on into the hotel and have been there since. Just in front of the hotel, the apparitions of a young girl and boy dressed in clothing for the 1800s play marbles in the street. You might encounter the spirit of one of the former owners, O.D. Broomhaugh, who committed suicide rather than suffer a painful death from pancreatic cancer. If you stay in his former Room 27, he'll let his presence be felt with odd noises or brush past you, so the hairs on your arms stand up. Other ghosts haunted the hotel, turning lights turn on and off. And even a cowboy apparition hangs out in the staircase wearing a Western duster. To make your hotel reservation, you must call (208) 583-4104. Silver City is only accessible from May to November by a 20-mile drive off Highway 78.
The Museum and Jail at the Brig
The Brig was the world's second-largest naval training center. Seven-hundred-seventy-six of the original buildings are still standing. The brig is located on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille and is part of the Farragut State Park. There's a lot of paranormal activity at the Museum and Jail. Full-bodied apparitions wander about the museum and former base buildings. Objects move on their own, disembodied voices engage in indistinguishable conversations, furniture is rearranged, and a uniformed apparition are common occurrences. The most frequently seen apparition is at the jail. The male apparition wears a prison uniform and is balding.
Ghosts in Idaho
If you're looking for out of the way haunts, Idaho has a wealth of different ghosts and paranormal activities. The ghosts and spirits of people who died during the Gold Rush, Industrial Revolution, and Victorian Era make their presence known, so they aren't forgotten at these haunted places in Idaho.