Haunted America: The Ghosts of Rawlins, Wyoming

In the United States alone there are virtually millions of haunted locations and ghost sightings recorded daily. Some of these places draw in tourists, thrill seekers, and paranormal experts looking to understand the walking dead. While other haunted locations seem to welcome the living so that they may aid those misguided spirits into crossing over into a place of peace and finality. Unfortunately, many of these on the move ghosts do not wish to rest, and in fact enjoy wreaking havoc as they clearly come to form by manifesting themselves from everyday household noises, and then creating disorder to the point of driving the living occupants of a dwelling over the edge and into the very real possibility of insanity.

The Ferris Mansion in Rawlins, Wyoming has a few deceased occupants that will do just that. In fact the poltergeist activity covers a wide range of problematic occurrences from unexplained electrical malfunctions, strange sounds, and ghostly sightings that will put the paranormal experts on edge. The obvious sound of footsteps, knocking, whispering, and faint banging disturbances are hard to ignore during the day, and often wake up the guests throughout the evening leaving tired visitors desperate for a good nights sleep that isn’t going to happen once the ghostly activity has begun.

The history of the Queen Anne style Victorian Ferris Mansion holds a few obvious reasons as to why there may be a few unsettled and deceased occupants who plainly refuse to leave, and instead choose to turn a stately home into a live and completely haunted residence straight out of a horror movie. The ghostly encounters began shortly after the sudden death of Cecil Ferris sometime during the early 1900’s. The young, well educated and full of life son of George and Julia Ferris was in no way ready to die. Sadly he was killed by a single fatal shot that was fired by his older brother who had been playing with his father’s gun and carrying on by attempting to frighten his younger sibling most of the evening.

The wealth and status of the family was envied by many, and hard to ignore by those less fortunate as the costs of building such a grand mansion was approximately $60,000. It was also noted that the family seemed to have bad luck when it came to tragedies, as was the case of George Ferris who was instantly killed during a runaway horse team accident while returning from his copper mine in Encampment, Wyoming. With the death of her husband, the completion of the mansion was halted, and Julia Ferris for whatever reason never completed the final touches to the home that she loved so dearly. However she did remain in the grand structure until her death in 1931.

Updates to the mansion transformed the dim gas lighting to a clearer image with modern electricity, and it is noted that electrical malfunctions immediately came with the changes to the mansions interior. During the 1940’s the grand 8,000 square foot mansion was turned into apartments, leaving it in a state of upheaval and disharmony. Workmen noted several ghostly sightings that scared them into leaving for the day, and two men were reported dead during the construction phase.

Many families have occupied the mansion throughout the years, and reports have flowed in steadily when it comes to the paranormal activity that freely flows from the roof to the floorboards of the mansion. Poltergeist activity became strongly evident with each unexplained noise that permeated the structure, and many apparitions including Cecil, a few unidentified male apparitions, and an older woman in a long white period nightgown regularly appear in virtually every corner of the mansion. The lady in white for whatever reason is drawn to the kitchen area, and can often be seen there in her ghostly white attire. In 1986 the Ferris Mansion became a lovely bed & breakfast, and reconstruction from the owners has brought the beautiful structure back to its original grand state.

Location: 607 W Maple St, Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 Phone: 1-307-710-3961

Contact for Booking: [email protected]

Ferris Family Facts: The Paranormal Social Network researched the Ferris family, and quickly learned that George Ferris was a member of the House of Representatives in 1873. By 1875 he was a member of the Territorial Legislative Assembly, and the Wyoming Constitutional Convention in Carbon County. George Ferris, a prominent Rawlins, Wyoming businessman, was at the height of his career, and the sole owner of the Ferris-Haggarty mine in the Grand Encampment copper mining district. Plans for the Ferris Mansion included a design that would demonstrate the latest and most fashionable architecture building materials available to man. The Victorian structure was and is still quite literally brilliant and striking to look at.

Sources:

http://www.ferrismansion.com/Just_Host/Welcome.html

http://www.wyomingtalesandtrails.com/rawlins3.html

http://www.mightbehaunted.com/WYOMING.html

http://theshadowlands.net/places/wyoming.htm

http://www.strangeusa.com/Viewlocation.aspx?id=11082

http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/wy-rawlins-ferrismansionbedbreakfast-page.html