Bismarck is the capital city of North Dakota. Tourists love the landscaped grounds and photographable places in the city. There are many places to visit like the Dakota Zoo where there are grizzly bears and endangered Bengal tigers and the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum.
An aerial shot of Bismarck, North Dakota. (Link: https://downtownbismarck.com/february-14-downtown-bismarck-news/)
Another reason why people visit this area is because of the supposedly haunted Liberty Memorial Building. Many have claimed that it is haunted by a ghostly presence referred to as the “Stack Monster.”
History Of Liberty Memorial Building
Liberty Memorial Building is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. It was completed in 1924 and remains to be the oldest building that stands on the capitol grounds. The original purpose of the building was to provide an additional office space for state agencies like the state’s Supreme Court, The State Library, and the Historical Society. It also marked the end of World War I because the building commemorated the men and women who served in that far.
The Liberty Memorial Building as seen in a postcard. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Liberty_Memorial_Building,_Bismarck,_N._Dak_(75515).jpg)
The building was designed by Keith & Kurke and the design was like many federal-type buildings during that time. The total cost of the building back then was $450,000 because the foundation was sawed granite, the exterior walls of the ground level were made of Bedford Stone, the main doors were made from ornamental bronze, and the walls of the first floor lobby were Kasota Stone.
By 1981, the building underwent a major renovation. Now, it is where the North Dakota State Library is located.
The Stack Monster At The Liberty Memorial Building
According to employee and visitors of the Liberty Memorial Building, the “Stack Monster” made its presence known by letting people hear mysterious footsteps, seeing shadows while there are no people around, and hearing disembodied voices. Sometimes, the Stack Monster even calls people’s names or coughs.
Liberty Memorial Building at night. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/randy394/4177533659/in/photostream/)
In 1967, an archivist by the name of Liess Vantine was working late with a co-worker named Craig Gannon. Vantine said that while he was working in the subbasement, he heard a voice call his name saying, “Come here, Liess.” He believed it was Gannon but he was surprised that his co-worker was two floors up from where he was.
The stairs leading up the Liberty Memorial Building. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/landerholm/8183691087)
In July 1972, one James Sperry, a former superintendent of The Historical Society, was still in the area at around 9 P.M. in his office. He had his dog with him and when he went to take a break from work, he and his dog went down to the first floor and talked to a society archivist named Frank Vyzralek. According to them, while they were talking, they saw a shadow run down the hall then down the stairs into the basement. Seconds later, another shadow went up the stairs and down the hall. They claimed that the scared shadow had a tail between its legs.
Frank Vyzralek and James Sperry in an undated photo with some of their co-workers (Link: http://www.digitalhorizonsonline.org/digital/collection/uw-ndshs/id/10080/)
Sperry was once again working late at night when he took the elevator to the basement. He saw a man with a white shirt walk into a storage area that had no exit point but the entrance. Sperry then went to follow that man and when he turned on the light in the storage area, no one was there.
Walter Bailey, a historic preservation planner then, said that he was alone working at night in the Liberty Memorial Building when he was overwhelmed by the feeling that he should leave quickly. It was the same feeling felt by Vyzralek one evening. Both of them left immediately. Bailey also heard footsteps coming from the first floor even if no one else was in the building but him.
An administrative officer named Ron Warner went to the Liberty Memorial Building one evening when he heard a cough. He investigated when no one answered him and later found out he was alone.
Is The Stack Monster Still At The Liberty Memorial Building?
According to an administrative assistant, before the big move in 1981 due to the renovations, she saw the Stack Monster literally leave. She said that from where she was sitting, she saw the outside doors slowly open by itself. These doors were heavy so she is convinced it was not the wind. The entity also reportedly closed the door after leaving.
Some say that the building is no longer haunted since 1981 when the renovations took place. Who knows, maybe when you visit the Liberty Memorial Building you will feel the presence of the Stack Monster.
The Liberty Memorial Building today (Link: https://www.history.nd.gov/hp/WWImemorials.html)