The Dumas Brothel located in Butte, Montana was built-in 1890 and remained in operation until 1982.
It is not surprising that America’s longest running bordello with its history of booze, gambling, prostitution and death is said to be haunted. The brothel with its 43 rooms was a very busy place in its heyday, as silver miners working three shifts per day, made frequent visits to the Dumas.
The ghostly activity at the Dumas runs the gambit of paranormal activity. Reports range from cold spots to being touched by invisible hands. Also, disembodied voices, moaning and groaning and sounds that would be expected at a brothel.
Many photos have been taken that show various manifestations including the mysterious floating orbs which seem to be all through the Dumas. While some ghosts have been identified, most are unknown and believed to be apparitions of prostitutes who died at the Dumas.
One of these ghosts however is very well-known, it is the ghost of former Dumas Brothel madame Elenore Knot.
Elenore Knot had been madame of the brothel for years and was very financially successful. However madame Knot had decided to make a major change in her life. Tired of her role at the Dumas, Knot wanted to get away from it all and just enjoy her life.
She had met a successful man and she believed they were truly in love. Despite the fact that he was married the two planed to runaway together. When the time came that the man was to meet her he was a no-show.
She waited with her suitcase packed but he never arrived. The next morning Knot was found dead in her room at the brothel. She had committed suicide with a combination of sleeping pills and alcohol.
A sad ending for the madame but it appears that she has never given up hope that her lover will soon arrive. The ghost of madame Knot has been seen on many occasions by several witness, she is said to be standing or pacing, waiting with suitcase in hand.
The Dumas Brothel has become a popular tourist spot and has been featured on several of the TV ghost hunting shows. The building itself has changed little over its long history and is a registered historical site. The Dumas brothel is also the last remaining example of a style of architecture known as “American Brothel.”
Columbus Ghost Tours / Booze & Boos is an Ohio-based tour company that offers excursions locally, regionally and abroad.
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I was there June 2021 with a local guide. She works with a local history group and the current property owners. I found nothing overtly hostile and had nothing thrown at me, although I could feel that the spirits did not want me in the 1st floor alley cribs, one of the basement cribs, and the front (A-D corner) suite. The alley crib area felt chaotic, any spirit(s) in the basement crib in question were prickly, and the spirit(s) in the 2nd floor suite asked me to leave twice over the Spirit Box. I came to communicate, not to hunt, so I complied. For those of us who are presently living, consider how you’d feel if you were a spirit stuck somewhere, confused, frustrated, and perhaps not understanding how much time had passed and living people showed up regularly to harass, mock, and provoke you. My local guide felt that some of them were trying to influence her, and another local guide feared that she was under attack. I didn’t pry but left some helpful herbs, incense, and essential oils. I respected the spirits’ space, they answered some of my long-standing questions (but not all) and used the local guide’s voice to make some brief comments that were only captured on digital audio. I hope that offering love, respect, human kindness, fruits and non-alcoholic beverages (remember that some had substance abuse problems in life) has made things more peaceful for them, and perhaps helped them to move on. In the case of the basement crib, things felt better there after the offering. However, judging by their ability to interfere with electronics, produce physical sensations in the living, and use energy (sometimes taking it too quickly) from the living, they are capable of interacting with the physical world. In other words, don’t treat them with disrespect or make them angry because they can and will fight back.