Haunted Places in Idaho: Discovering the Ghostly Legends of the Gem State

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 12 August 2023
  • Time to read: 15 min.

Idaho is known for its natural beauty, but it also has a dark side. The state is home to several haunted places that have been the subject of numerous ghost stories and legends. From cemeteries to mansions, Idaho has a variety of spooky locations that are sure to give you chills.

One of the most haunted places in Idaho is the Shoshone Ice Caves. Located in Southern Idaho near Twin Falls, the ice caves are a popular tourist attraction that has also gained a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the United States. Visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices and other ghostly sounds, including the voice of a Shoshone princess named Edahow, who is said to haunt her burial site in the cave.

Another haunted location in Idaho is the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell. Legend has it that the ghost of a legless jogger haunts the cemetery, and many visitors have reported seeing a ghostly figure running through the cemetery at night. Other reports include strange noises and unexplained phenomena, making Canyon Hill Cemetery a popular spot for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts.

Historical Hauntings

Idaho is home to several historical sites that are believed to be haunted. These sites offer a glimpse into the state’s rich history and are perfect for those who love a good scare. Here are some of the most haunted historical sites in Idaho

Shoshone Ice Caves

The Shoshone Ice Caves are located in Southern Idaho near the Shoshone Twin Falls. These caves, part of the Black Butte Crater Lava Field, were formed by underground eruptions. Their discovery in the 1880s was accidental when a young boy was searching for his lost goat. The caves provided a unique advantage to the locals: cold beer throughout the year due to their constant icy temperature. However, in the 1940s, the caves faced a threat. People began extracting ice, leading to multiple entry points that allowed warm air in, causing the ice to melt. Thankfully, in the 1950s, Russell Robinson purchased and successfully restored the caves, bringing back the ice.

Shoshone Ice Caves – Credit sandwich

The caves are notorious for their eerie ambiance. Staff and visitors have reported hearing mysterious voices echoing from the depths and unexplained heavy footsteps when no one else is present. Legends speak of the ghost of a cave bear, but more prominently, the spirit of an Indian princess named Princess Edahow. Centuries ago, the native Shoshone Indians inhabited the area. Upon the death of their beloved princess, they chose to bury her in the ice caves, considering them sacred. Legend has it that Princess Edahow’s spirit wishes to be liberated from her icy tomb. She supposedly whispers to visitors, urging them to release her. Some even claim to have seen shadowy figures behind the icy walls, suggesting that perhaps the princess wasn’t the sole soul entombed there.

Today, the Shoshone Ice Caves stand as a testament to nature’s wonder and the mysteries of the past. Managed by Shane Wallace and Shelly Adamson, the site has been transformed into a captivating tourist attraction. While the guided tours are informative and engaging, the caves’ enigmatic aura remains, with the whispers of Princess Edahow and the tales of other spirits ensuring that the legend of the caves endures.

Canyon Hill Cemetery

Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, Idaho, is more than just a resting place for the departed. While it serves as a historical landmark, it’s also a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts. Legend has it that if you park between the trees facing the cemetery, you might encounter the “midnight jogger.” This spectral figure is known to tap on car windows and is believed to roam the cemetery grounds at night.

But who is this midnight jogger? While specific identities remain a mystery, some speculate it could be a spirit from one of the many graves, still tethered to the world of the living. Others believe it might be related to the tale of Princess Edahow from the nearby Shoshone Ice Caves, though no direct connection has been established.

Visitors have shared their eerie experiences, with some even hearing knocks on their car windows when parked near the cemetery gate. Others have reported hearing the sounds of footsteps or seeing shadowy figures in the distance. Despite the chilling tales, the cemetery remains a popular spot for both history buffs and those seeking a supernatural thrill. Whether you’re there to pay respects or to experience the unknown, Canyon Hill Cemetery promises an unforgettable visit.

Old Idaho State Penitentiary

The Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site stands as a haunting reminder of Idaho’s past. Located east of Boise, this prison functioned from 1872 to 1973. Initially built as the Territorial Prison in 1870, it expanded over the years into a complex surrounded by a towering 17-foot-high sandstone wall, with the stone quarried by the inmates themselves.

Old Idaho State Penitentiary - credit Onasill - Bill Badzo
Old Idaho State Penitentiary – credit Onasill – Bill Badzo

The penitentiary has a dark history, having housed over 13,000 inmates during its operation. Among its infamous residents were Harry Orchard, who assassinated former Governor Frank Steunenberg, and Lyda Southard, dubbed Idaho’s Lady Bluebeard for her notorious acts of killing her husbands for insurance money. The prison witnessed significant unrest, with riots breaking out in 1952, 1971, and 1973 over deplorable living conditions. These riots and the subsequent move of inmates to a new facility led to the prison’s closure in 1973.

Today, the Old Idaho Penitentiary is a popular site for history enthusiasts and paranormal investigators. Shows like Ghost Adventures have explored its eerie corridors, and many visitors have reported unexplained phenomena, suggesting that the spirits of past inmates might still linger within its walls. The prison’s legacy is also preserved through the Idaho State Historical Society’s podcast “Behind Gray Walls,” which delves into individual inmate stories.

Silver City

Silver City, Idaho once gleamed with the promise of gold and silver. In the 1880s, this mining town boasted a population of around 2,500 and had approximately 75 businesses. It wasn’t just any town; it was considered one of the major cities in the Idaho Territory. The first daily newspaper, telegraph office, electric, and telephone services in the Idaho Territory sprouted here. Alongside Idaho City in the Boise Basin, Silver City played a pivotal role in boosting Boise’s growth as a pivotal staging and supply point.

Silver City – Credit Jimmy Emerson

Yet, as the mines dried up, whispers of the supernatural began to echo through the town. Abandoned mines and homes became the backdrop for eerie tales. Locals and visitors reported seeing apparitions of miners still working in the mines, hearing the distant sounds of pickaxes, and even catching glimpses of Willie Hawes, the town’s last permanent resident, wandering the streets long after his passing. Some say the spirits of those who once sought their fortunes in Silver City are still tethered to the place, unable to move on.

Today, Silver City stands as a testament to its past. About 70 buildings still stand, many owned by descendants of the original miners. The Idaho Hotel in Silver City, restored in 1972, offers a glimpse into the past with its antique furnishings and indoor plumbing. While the town might not buzz with the same energy, it’s a significant tourist destination, especially for those intrigued by history and the allure of ghost towns.

Stricker Ranch

Stricker Ranch, also known as Rock Creek Station, holds a significant place in Idaho’s history. Established in 1865, this ranch was strategically positioned along the Oregon Trail and served as one of the stops west of Fort Hall, Idaho. Beyond its historical importance as a stop on the Oregon Trail, the ranch played a pivotal role as a hub for the Overland mail stage route and the Kelton Freight Road. Over the years, many of the ranch’s structures have succumbed to the ravages of time. However, the original store, wet cellar, and the Stricker home still stand as silent witnesses to the past. These structures are currently under the preservation efforts of the Idaho State Historical Society and the non-profit organization, Friends of Stricker, Inc.

But history isn’t the only thing that lingers at Stricker Ranch. Rumors have it that the ranch and its buildings are haunted. While these spirits are believed to be friendly, visitors often report an eerie feeling, with some even claiming to have encountered these otherworldly residents. Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or a skeptic, a visit to Stricker Ranch promises an experience filled with intrigue and mystery.

Today, while many of the ranch’s original structures are lost, the ones that remain are open to the public. The Stricker home, surrounded by lush shade trees and meticulous landscaping, offers a serene setting, perfect for a picnic or even a séance, depending on your adventurous spirit. Whether you’re there to connect with history or hoping for a paranormal encounter, Stricker Ranch ensures a memorable visit.

Burke Ghost Town

Burke, Idaho, once a bustling mining town, was established in 1887. Nestled in the heart of the Burke Canyon, it was a hub for silver, lead, and zinc mining. The town’s unique geography, with the narrow 300-foot-wide Burke Canyon, led to some peculiar architectural choices. One of the most notable was a hotel built above the railway and Canyon Creek, with the train track running right through a portion of the hotel lobby. This innovative design was a testament to the town’s adaptability and resilience.

However, Burke wasn’t just known for its mining operations. Whispers of the paranormal have long been associated with the town. Given its rich history, which includes the Idaho mining wars of 1899 and the significant 1892 Coeur d’Alene labor strike, it’s no surprise that tales of ghostly apparitions and eerie occurrences have been passed down through generations. Some say the spirits of miners still wander the town, forever attached to the place they once called home.

The 20th century saw a decline in Burke’s fortunes. Natural disasters, coupled with the closure of several mines, led to its eventual abandonment. By the 1990s, the last mine in Burke had closed, and the town’s population dwindled to a mere fifteen residents by 1990. Today, while the mines are silent, the echoes of the past still resonate. The ghost town stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who once lived and worked there, and perhaps, some who never left.

Farragut State Park

Farragut State Park is a sprawling 4,000-acre public recreation area located at the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of the Idaho Panhandle. The park, which is about thirty miles northeast of Coeur d’Alene, offers a plethora of activities, including camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, boating, and more. The park’s location, with its scenic views of Lake Pend Oreille, makes it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The history of Farragut State Park is deeply intertwined with the military. The grounds of the park were once the Farragut Naval Training Station, a significant training base for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Over its brief 30-month existence, the station saw more than 293,000 sailors receive their basic training. The facility was decommissioned in June 1946, but its legacy lived on. By 1966, the area was designated as Farragut State Park. The park also holds a special place in the history of Scouting in Idaho. It has hosted several significant Scouting events, including the World Scout Jamboree in 1967, which was the only time this global event was held in the U.S. until 2019.

Farragut State Park - Credit Cardboard America™
Farragut State Park – Credit Cardboard America™

While the park is primarily known for its natural beauty and historical significance, there have been whispers of the supernatural. Given its past as a naval training station and the sheer number of individuals who passed through, some believe that echoes of the past might still linger. Visitors have occasionally reported an eerie feeling, especially near the old naval structures. Whether these tales are mere folklore or have a basis in reality, they add another layer of intrigue to this already fascinating park.

Gooding University Inn

Gooding University Inn in Gooding, Idaho, has a haunting history that sends chills down the spine of many who hear its tales. This building is the last remaining structure of the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital. Today, it serves as an inn, but its past is far from forgotten. The inn is believed to be haunted by numerous spirits, remnants of its days as a tuberculosis hospital.

Gooding University Inn
Gooding University Inn

The owners and staff of the inn have reported numerous paranormal incidents. They’ve been terrorized by whispering voices, apparitions of ghostly children, and even the spirit of an angry old man. These accounts have attracted the attention of paranormal enthusiasts and investigators, including the crew of the show “Ghost Adventures.” They conducted an investigation into the inn’s supernatural occurrences, adding to the inn’s reputation as a hotspot for paranormal activity.

For those brave enough to visit, the Gooding University Inn offers more than just a night’s stay. It promises an experience filled with history, mystery, and perhaps a ghostly encounter or two. Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or just curious about the inn’s storied past, a visit to this haunted location is sure to be unforgettable.

Idanha Hotel

Idanha Hotel, located at the corner of 10th and Main Street in downtown Boise, Idaho, is a historic building with a rich past. Constructed in 1901, this French-Chateau styled structure was initially designed by architect William S. Campbell. With its red brick exterior, round turrets on its three prominent corners, and a mansard roof, the hotel stands out as an architectural marvel. Built on a sandstone basement and foundation, it’s one of the few remaining buildings in downtown Boise with such a foundation. Initially functioning as a hotel, the Idanha Building was transformed into an apartment building in the 1970s. Today, it houses the Bombay Grill and Guru Donuts on its 1st floor and the 10th Street Station Bar in its basement.

However, the Idanha Hotel isn’t just known for its architectural beauty and historical significance. Over the years, the building has gained a reputation for its paranormal activity. Residents and staff have reported numerous eerie occurrences, especially on the third and fourth floors. The Bombay Grill staff has recounted instances where pans, pots, and silverware have mysteriously flown off shelves, with some utensils even targeting employees. Residents have shared chilling tales of their blankets being yanked off while they slept and even being dragged out of bed.

Today, the Idanha Hotel stands as a testament to Boise’s history and its connection to the supernatural. Whether you’re a history buff or a paranormal enthusiast, a visit to the Idanha Hotel promises a blend of the past and the mysterious, making it a must-visit spot in Boise.

In conclusion, Idaho is home to several paranormal hotspots that offer a unique and spine-chilling experience for those who dare to explore them. While the existence of ghosts and paranormal activity is still a topic of debate, the stories and experiences of those who have visited these places cannot be ignored.

Haunted Road Trips

For those seeking a spooky adventure in Idaho, a haunted road trip may be just the ticket. With its rich history and abundance of ghost stories, Idaho has plenty of destinations for thrill-seekers. Here are a few haunted road trip options to consider:

North Idaho

North Idaho is a region with a rich history, and it’s also home to some of the state’s most haunted locations. One such location is the Cataldo Mission, located in the town of Cataldo.

Certainly, let’s delve deeper into the paranormal side of the Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park, also known as the Cataldo Mission.

The Cataldo Mission, with its rich history and deep roots in spirituality, has long been a subject of intrigue and mystery. Over the years, visitors and locals alike have whispered tales of unexplained occurrences within its walls and on the surrounding grounds. The mission’s age and its connection to numerous historical events have made it a prime location for ghostly tales.

While the mission stands as a testament to the dedication and faith of those who built it, some believe that the spirits of the past never truly left. There have been reports of apparitions appearing in the church, especially during the twilight hours. Some visitors have claimed to hear faint hymns and prayers echoing through the empty halls, even when no one else is around. The surrounding property, which includes two cemeteries, has its own share of eerie tales. Late-night wanderers have reported seeing shadowy figures moving between the tombstones, disappearing when approached.

The walls of the church, adorned with fabric from the Hudson’s Bay Company and hand-painted newspaper, seem to hold secrets of their own. Some say that if you press your ear against the walls, you might hear whispered conversations from days long gone. The blue stain on the interior wood, derived from local huckleberries, has been the subject of its own legends. Some believe that the stain isn’t just from berries but is a manifestation of the mission’s spiritual energy.

Whether these tales are mere folklore or have a basis in reality, the Cataldo Mission promises an experience filled with history, spirituality, and perhaps a touch of the supernatural. For those brave enough to visit, especially after dark, the mission offers a chance to connect with the past in a way that few other places can.

Another haunted location in North Idaho is the Old Montana Prison in Deer Lodge. While not technically in Idaho, this prison is just a short drive across the state line and is well worth a visit for those interested in the paranormal. The prison has a long and dark history, with reports of violent inmates and corrupt guards. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises and feeling cold spots while touring the prison.

Owyhee Mountains

The Owyhee Mountains in southwestern Idaho are home to several ghost towns and abandoned mines, making it an ideal destination for those interested in the paranormal. One such ghost town is Silver City, which was once a bustling mining town but is now largely abandoned. Visitors to Silver City have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises.

Another haunted location in the Owyhee Mountains is the abandoned town of Wickahoney. This town was once a stagecoach stop and had its own post office, but is now little more than a pile of ruins. Visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease while exploring the town.

Whether you’re interested in ghost stories or just looking for a unique road trip destination, Idaho has plenty of options to choose from. From historic missions to abandoned ghost towns, there’s something for everyone on a haunted road trip through Idaho.


Idaho is home to several haunted places that have been the subject of many ghost stories and legends. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, visiting these locations can be a thrilling experience.

From the Haunted Mansions of Albion in Albion to the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, Idaho has a variety of haunted places that are worth exploring. The Haunted World in Caldwell is the largest haunted attraction in the state and has been around for 17 years, offering more frightening entertainment than you may be willing to handle.

Apart from these well-known attractions, there are also several lesser-known haunted places in Idaho, such as the abandoned town of Silver City and the historic building of the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. These places have their own unique stories and legends that make them worth a visit.

While some may dismiss these stories as mere folklore, others believe that the supernatural is real and that these places are truly haunted. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, visiting these locations can be an exciting and memorable experience.

In conclusion, Idaho has a rich history of haunted places that are sure to give you goosebumps. Whether you are a thrill-seeker or a skeptic, exploring these locations can be a fun and exciting way to learn more about the state’s history and legends.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the most haunted places in Idaho?

Idaho is home to many haunted places, but some of the most popular ones include the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, the Haunted Mansions of Albion, and The Haunted World in Caldwell. These places have been reported to have paranormal activity and are popular among ghost hunters and thrill-seekers.

Are there any ghost tours available in Idaho?

Yes, there are several ghost tours available in Idaho. Some of the most popular ones include the Boise Haunted History Tour, the Idaho State Penitentiary Paranormal Investigation Tour, and the Haunted Coeur d’Alene Ghost Tours. These tours offer visitors a chance to explore the haunted places in Idaho and learn about their history and ghost stories.

What are the stories behind the hauntings in Idaho?

The stories behind the hauntings in Idaho vary from place to place. Some hauntings are said to be the result of tragic events that occurred in the past, while others are attributed to the restless spirits of people who died in the area. For example, the Canyon Hill Cemetery is said to be haunted by the ghost of a legless jogger who was hit by a car and died while jogging.

Have there been any paranormal investigations done in Idaho?

Yes, there have been many paranormal investigations done in Idaho. Some of the most famous investigations include those conducted at the Idaho State Penitentiary, the Old Idaho State Penitentiary, and the Haunted Mansions of Albion. These investigations have yielded some interesting findings, including EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and ghostly apparitions.

Are there any famous ghost sightings in Idaho?

Yes, there have been several famous ghost sightings in Idaho. One of the most famous sightings is that of a ghostly woman in a white dress who is said to haunt the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. Another famous sighting is that of a ghostly figure that is said to appear on the stairs of the Haunted Mansions of Albion.

What precautions should be taken when visiting haunted places in Idaho?

Visitors should take precautions when visiting haunted places in Idaho. They should always be respectful of the property and the spirits that may be present. Visitors should also be aware of their surroundings and avoid going alone, especially at night. It is also important to be prepared for any unexpected events, such as sudden changes in weather or other natural occurrences.

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