The Bustling Belton Chalet

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The Bustling Belton Chalet

Bustling Belton Chalet

West Glacier, Montana is home to the Glacier National Park.  The Park boasts over fifteen hundred square miles of wilderness area, located in the Rocky Mountains.  There are over seven hundred miles available to hike, lakes to explore, peaks and valleys to surmount, and grizzly bears to run from.  Even more scary than the grizzly bears, West Glacier is also home to the Belton Chalet.

The Belton Chalet is a grand hotel with restored lodge rooms and cottages.  The breathtaking Belton Chalet celebrated its one hundredth year in 2010, after being built in 1910, and restored in the early 2000s.  At that time, it was named a National Historic Landmark designated of Great Northern Railway Buildings.  The Belton Chalet was one of the First Great Northern Railway Hotels.  One of its biggest selling points was the lovely waitresses that were imported from Minnesota who dressed as Swiss milkmaids and served entertained patrons.

(images:flickr/37388809@N00) Belton Chalet Haunted Room

(images:flickr/[email protected])
Belton Chalet Haunted Room

Unfortunately, despite its grand appearance and Swiss milkmaids, the Belton Chalet struggles to keep employees.  After working just a short time, many refuse to re-enter the hotel.  Those they can get back in refuse to work certain shifts or to enter certain areas.  It is no surprise they would have so many issues, considering the amount of unruly or unwelcome guests who opted never to leave.

Guests commonly report hearing boots walking down the hall, stopping directly in front of their door and then hearing nothing.  The more unfortunate guests report then seeing the apparition of a man in the corner of their room, apparently the owner of the clunking boots traveling the hallways.  The older man stands in the corner of the room, dressed in dated clothing courageously makes eye contact with those unfortunate enough to share a room with him.  He is rumored to be the railroad magnate involved in the original build of the hotel.

Due to rumors of having been built on an Indian burial ground, the hotel enlisted a Blackfeet Indian elder to cleanse the hotel with a Native American ritual.  He slowly walked through every inch of the hotel with an abalone  shell, pausing to stop at each door.  The medicine man’s efforts were rumored to help as many indicated the energy of the hotel went from feeling ominous to more playful.  Lasting spirits even seemed to listen when staff told them to “be quiet” when they were too rowdy.  In fact, much of the activity ceased for over fifty years until renovations began in 1998.

(images:28465552@N05/flickr)

(images:[email protected]/flickr)

Much of the raucous comes from the Grill and Tap Room, even long after closing hours.  The hotel dog even refuses to go up to the area.  Others describe smelling a ghost with a pungent odor, or seeing a man in a derby hat who carries a satchel.  Disembodied sobbing comes from rooms 30 and 37.  Voices call guest’s names, while slamming doors, turning on faucets, flickering lights, and banging pans.  Ice cold chills can be felt in various areas throughout the hotel.  The light fixture above the grand stairs is commonly seen violently swinging- with no explanation.

Some claim the activity stems from a man who was killed by a train nearby.  Others claim it is the woman who threw herself over the ledge due to extreme remorse and sadness.  Others can’t explain the random marble bouncing down the stairs or the kerosene smoke smudges that appear on newly painted walls or cleaned windows.  Despite the disagreement, there is no denying that even if the off season, the Belton Chalet is always busy.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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