The Stone House, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
The Stone House at Custer’s battlefield dates from 1894 and it is reputed to be a site where people have had strange haunt like experiences. The Battle of The Little Big Horn was fought during the 25 Jun 1876 – 26 Jun 1876. The number of Native American casualties during the battle is unclear, but the 7th Cavalry Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel George A Custer suffered 52%. This totalled a number of 16 officers and 242 troopers lost in action. At this famous battle Custer’s battalion was cut off and was engaged in a last stand action against a superior number of Native American combatants. Of the five Companies (C, E, F, I and J) that formed Custer’s Battalion, there were no survivors. The Stone House at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument was originally built to house the first superintendent of the national cemetery at Custer’s battlefield. This was a veteran soldier, Andrew Grover. Grover took up the position on 11 July 1893 and lived in tents at the site with his wife and teenage daughter until late 1894 when the house was completed. (From early 1894 they lived in a temporary two room wooden lean-to building).
Since its construction the building has been used as a house for the superintendents* and eventually the park staff and a library. The basement was used to store the bodies of the dead before they were buried in the cemetery.
The strange experiences have been retold and published in various media, but essentially they include:
1) A staff member’s wife had the TV go black on her and a voice could be heard from it repeating “second floor” twice.
2) Footsteps being heard on the second floor.
3) A reported experience from a late 19th century curator involves apparitions. He awoke to see a warrior’s tattered body sitting atop his bed and a headless torso of a cavalryman drifting across the room.
4) Another apparition seen after awaking was that of a moustached soldier sitting at the kitchen table. The witness later identified the soldier as 2nd Lt Benjamin Hodgson after she attended a tour of the site. Hodgson was born in Philadelphia on 30 June 1848. His body was recovered and returned to Philadelphia for burial.
*The cemetery superintendents were referred to as Ghost Herders by the native Crow Indians and the ritual lowering of the flag at dusk and raising it each morning were seen as signals for the spirits to come out and then return to their graves.