Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Montana’s Little Girl Lost

In Helena, Montana on 9th Avenue sits a Victorian mansion that was built in the 1880s.

One mansion on 9th Avenue that
has been renovated.
The original owner William Zastrow lost his first wife and then remarried. After his death in 1912 his second wife Marie lived in the home until 1927.

William Zastrow had no children but like many of his neighbors he took in borders in the 1890s because of the mining boom.

It is believed at this time a major tragedy took place in the home--but the details are lost to history.

In 1995 a Helena newspaper, Independent Record published a story about the Zastrow mansion being haunted.

A Mystery

A mother and her young daughter lived in the home in the early 1970s. This daughter played with a neighborhood boy that lived close by.

The two would ride their tricycles endlessly around the upstairs hallway. The mother would hear them laughing and pedaling as she did her chores downstairs.

One morning the mother heard the two playing upstairs. She had not noticed the neighbor boy enter the home but she was glad her daughter had a playmate and that the two had so much fun together.

At lunchtime she went upstairs to get the two so they could eat. As she walked up the stairs their laughter ceased but she heard two voices whispering.

When she reached the landing her daughter was playing quietly in a corner. The rocking chair at the end of the hall was rocking slowly back and forth.

There was no sign of neighbor boy. She searched but there were no other children upstairs.

A Crying Girl

Not long after this the mother awoke one night to the sound of a child crying. She immediately went to her daughter’s room but she was fast asleep.

A few nights later she awoke again. This time the sobbing was even louder.

She turned over and saw a little girl with old-fashioned brown ringlets partially covering her face. She wore a rumpled Victorian-era dress. She stood next to the bed crying hysterically then she faded away.

The mother awoke the next morning feeling that she must of had a weird dream. But when the same image continued to appear at her bedside always crying she knew it wasn’t a dream.

The mother became depressed feeling there was nothing she could do to help ease this little girl’s sadness.

As time passed, the girl would turn away and head toward the hall where two adults stood, a male with a mustache and a woman wearing a black silk Victorian dress.

Each would take one of the girl’s hands. It appeared she did not want to go with them for she tugged at their hands trying to free herself and crying even louder.

The mother watched this scene unfold several times--each time the three would then just disappear through a wall.

After a time, the little girl still appeared but now she would walk into the hall and stop and gaze out a window that overlooked the valley.

Always the ringlets fell over her face so the mother never saw her face clearly.

She felt instinctively this little girl must have lost her real parents and "didn’t know how to find them."

Months before this woman moved from the house she arranged to meet with a circle of friends in the home’s backyard one evening. They held hands and tried to send positive thoughts to the little girl.

They communicated that everything was all right and that she should "step into the next world." But this ceremony did not work for after this the mother still heard her crying.

The group once more gathered and tried, this time the crying stopped.

The Next Owner

A single woman stayed in the home in the late 1970s.

She never saw the little girl ghost but she felt she still haunted the house. She experienced what she described as "tricks" this ghost played.

Her most cherished possession was an old German clock. Even though this clock had always worked, once she moved in and hung it on the wall it stopped working.

She had it repaired several times but each time she returned it to the old home it stopped. She finally gave it to a friend for safekeeping. At its new location it "kept perfect time."

She had a family antique chair reupholstered but soon after it was unwrapped and placed in the home a purple stain appeared on the back of the seat.

The owner knew she had not done this so she wondered if this had happened at the upholstery shop. Upset, she planned to return it but the next morning the stain was gone.

The stain appeared several more times it then would completely disappear again.

The new owner found out about the crying child several years after she moved in. She felt this little girl was now happier since she enjoys playing pranks. 

In the winter months when there is frost on the mansions' windows neighbors report seeing an oval shape wiped clear in one window pane. They state they see a small face hidden by ringlets looking toward the valley.

Excerpts from Spirit Tailings by Ellen Baumler

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