Last summer, while investigating the Battle of Red Buttes, Fort Caspar Museum manager Rick Young had a few abnormal -- if not paranormal -- experiences.
"There was all sorts of stuff moving around in here when we were doing that," Young said.
When he left the evening before, everything was normal, he said. But when he arrived the next morning, chairs were pushed up against the inside of the doors, guns were cocked, and ramrods were in the barrels. In the Sutler Store on the property, Young was particularly perplexed, he said.
"The door opens to the inside, so I don't know how you'd get out of there with the chair against the door," he said.
The multi-use room at Fort Caspar was filled to capacity Saturday evening, but it wasn't the usual history buffs who made it a standing-room-only event.
The spectators were interested in what history may have left behind at the old fort: ghosts.
Those interested in the possibility of paranormal activity gathered to watch a presentation of findings by the Paranormal Research Society of Casper. The ghost hunters did an in-depth, overnight search of the state historical site in April, and caught at least one odd recording of an unknown voice.
"It's an opportunity to get some new faces in here," Young said of the presentation.
Attendees heard the story of the Sutler Store, where a photo, taken from outside when no one else was around, showed a face staring out from the window.
And researchers couldn't keep batteries working inside the store.
"We went through three sets of brand-new batteries [for the video camera]," said Lisa Lauderdale with the Paranormal Research Society. "The theory behind it is that ghosts need the energy to manifest."
Fort Caspar Museum is built on the same land where, in 1862, the actual fort housed thousands of soldiers. Some of those soldiers died at the fort, from fights with American Indians, accidents and diseases. And for years before the Army arrived, people on their way west on the Oregon and Mormon trails passed through the grounds.
Despite having none of the original buildings, Young said, there's plenty of history on the property to warrant a haunting or two.
When the fort was being rebuilt, construction workers were digging and found five bodies buried on the grounds. Remains from three more bodies have been accidentally recovered since then. More are certainly buried there, Young said, but he has "no intention" of digging them up.
So, does Young think the fort is haunted?
"I don't know," he said, "but we've certainly had weird stuff happening. ... There's certainly a lot of history, and a lot of violent history on this land."
Contact reporter Megan Lee at (307) 266-0616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read her DogBlog at tribtown.trib.com/MeganLee/blog.