(HELENA) This time of year, Montana ghost stories are not hard to find.

Much of the credit for that goes to Ellen Baumler, of the Montana Historical Society, who is preparing for the release of her 5th book of Montana ghost stories.

“There’s a great story about a haunted homestead,” Baumler said as she trails off.

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The interpretive historian and author has a knack for bringing a good ghost story to life.

“I take these little threads and make them into coherent stories, getting the flavor of the historical background,” said Baumler.

While she’ll start telling parts of some of the stories in her new book, she’s not giving it all away.

In her latest book, “Ghosts of the Last Best Place,” Baumler travels the state to put some previously unknown stories into historical context.

There’s the one of a Missoula family who had no idea the ghost in their house was famous Montana artist Edgar Paxson.

“He had a habit of calling his muse the ghost.  And so it’s interesting that he seemed to return.  At least for this particular family,” said Baumler.  “And that’s a great story.”

Then there are the reports of sightings of a bright light in an area named for a man that some believe still wanders the place to this day.

“An old cowboy supposedly still carries his lantern on top of this butte named after him and he was quite a character.  He had a four-foot long beard, and these glittering eyes that people still remember stories about him.”

Even though these stories took Baumler across the state of Montana investigating ghostly occurrences, there are still a couple that is close to home, including the story of two people who were killed during construction Montana’s state Capitol.

Baumler said, “I think a lot of time when energy happens in a place, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad or indifferent, sometimes that energy does replay, and we can’t really explain why that happens.”

She thinks whether you’re a believer or not most people are open to the possibility of ghostly beings and occurrences, and you can certainly discover them by opening up her latest book.

It’s available now at the Montana Historical Society bookstore.


Reporter: Melissa Jensen