An Abandoned Hotel in Circle, Montana Gives Us the Chills
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
UPDATE: We were informed that this building burned to the ground three weeks ago. Perhaps the trapped spirits are finally free?
The first guest was welcomed to the Gladstone Hotel on Christmas Day in December 1915. Located in the freshly platted town of Circle, MT the crumbling plaster and decrepit exterior stand as a reminder of what was meant to be a glorious railroad hotel.
The Gladstone was built by Glendive contractor Wallace T. Perham; he's believed to be the architect of the original twelve-room motel as well. It was billed as "the finest hotel in the Redwater Valley." Historians note it was the only hotel in the valley.
The Great Northern never made it to Circle, but the rush West was surging, thanks to the promise of cheap farmland and opportunities offered during the Homestead Boom. Midwesterners and East Coasters flocked to the area to give it their best shot at cattle ranching and farming in the often harsh conditions of central Montana.
In documents filed with the National Register of Historic Places, it's noted that the Gladstone went through many ups and downs in the boom-and-bust cycles of Circle.
Despite the railroad’s failure to materialize, the Gladstone Hotel reigned as the centerpiece of Circle’s burgeoning commercial district. Its saloon, restaurant, and lobby were important community meeting places, while homesteaders and ranchers from the region lodged there while conducting business in the community.
It once served as a hospital.
During the Great Influenza of 1918 - 1919, the hotel was used as a hospital/infirmary, with an on-site morgue. During Prohibition, it's alleged the hotel had a secret room that served as a speakeasy.
Business was booming again by the 40s.
The original structure was added onto in the 40s with an extra six motel rooms on the back side of the building when Circle experienced an oil boom. Once nearing 1,200 residents (in 1960), there are currently fewer than 600 remaining residents in the sleepy town.
Fine dining? Out-of-state owners?
YouTuber Justin Benz said in his video from 2018 that neighbors of the dilapidated Hotel Gladstone remember when "some out of staters" bought the building in the late '60s and tried to turn it into a fine dining establishment. We wonder how long that lasted. Probably not long... my friend Scott grew up in Circle, and he recalls the building was already abandoned when he was a kid in 1977.
Is it haunted?
I don't know if you believe in ghosts or not. I've never seen one. But I'm also not going to rule out the possibility of spiritual entities or weird energies or whatever. And a building like the abandoned Gladstone Hotel certainly checks all the creepy boxes when it comes to potential haunted-ness. Old hotel, check. Old hospital, check. The morgue in the basement, check. Yeah, it's probably haunted as hell.
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