The US Government Is Offering Free Room And Board In A Small Town, Yet, No One Wants To Live There

The United States government has issued a decree stating that anyone living in the abandoned town of Garnet, Montana, can stay there free of charge. Amazingly, no one has taken the unbelievable offer.

The reason why people aren’t flocking to the free room and board offer is beyond spooky.

Garnet, Montana

The town of Garnet, Montana, dates back to the 1860s. Once a bustling mining town, it is now nothing more than an abandoned plot of land with buildings that transport visitors back to the old west.

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Sherb/Wikimedia Commons
Sherb/Wikimedia Commons

Even though it has been a ghost town for centuries, the United States government is not giving up on it.

Free Room And Board With One Stipulation

In an attempt to get people back into the town of Garnet, the US government said that whoever lived there could do so free of charge. They would give them free room and board and even a monthly stipend for meals.

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Sherb/Wikimedia Commons
Sherb/Wikimedia Commons

The only stipulation: the new resident would have to work at the local souvenir shop and give tours to visitors.

Too Good To Be True?

For many, the offer probably sounds too good to be true. So, why weren’t people flocking to Garnet?

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JohnDavidStutts/Wikimedia Commons
JohnDavidStutts/Wikimedia Commons

Well, it might have to do with the fact that the abandoned town is far from other cities. Or maybe because there is little to no WIFI and not much entertainment around. The reason is actually far more complicated and spooky.

Fresh Air And Beautiful Natural Scenery

The thing is, Garnet is actually a beautiful town, located at the base of a mountain range and surrounded by miles of lush forest. With fresh air and natural scenery, Garnet is a sight to behold.

Nevada, Caliente, Basin and Range National Monument, Logan Pass Road
Bernard Friel/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Bernard Friel/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Still, no one was taking the government up on their very generous free-living offer.

Once A Mining Town

A once-booming mining town, Garnet was known for its ruby-colored stones found in the area. Even though they’re not considered precious stones, they were still valuable and had people coming to the town in hopes of striking a gold mine.

Wheeler Survey in Ely Mining District
© CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
© CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

More so, though, people were flocking to the town because the area was rich in gold-bearing quartz deposits.

People Left As Quickly As They Arrived

These deposits attracted so many people that the town was once home to 1,000 residents. Sadly, they were more concerned with what lay underneath the earth than on top of it.

Loaded Mining Pack Mules Ca 1880S
Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

As a result, many of the original buildings were not structurally sound. So, when the deposits were tapped, people left the town as quickly as they arrived.

People Came Back In 1934

Things changed when 1934 hit. The price of gold doubled that year, and people once again traveled to Garnet, Montana. Then, World War II hit, and people were drafted to fight in the war.

Leadville District, Colorado
Kean Collection/Getty Images
Kean Collection/Getty Images

As a result, people began moving out. Although, there was one woman who stayed behind, Marion Dahl.

A Saloon-Owning Widow

Marion was a widow and stayed behind in Garnet because she had no family and nowhere else to go. She was also the owner of the once-thriving saloon in town!

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

She’d been there through it all, the rise and fall of Garnet and how families came and went throughout the years.

A True Ghost Town

When Marion passed away, Garnet became a true ghost town with no residents. However, the United States government does not want it to fall off the map.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

With its beautiful sites, scenery, and history, they are trying their hardest to get people to once again become interested in living in the historic town. The thing is, no one is eager to live there.

Something Sinister In The Air

While the lack of WIFI and entertainment is enough to deter many people, it is the legends surrounding the town that make people turn away and run in the other direction.

ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

According to surrounding towns and people who have visited Garnet, there is an uneasy air around Garnet, something sinister.

The Ghost Stories Are Real

According to visitors, Garnet is a ghost town in the literal sense of the phrase. Locals around the area believe the souls of the old miners haunt the town, namely those who dined within the mines.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

While many don’t believe in the supernatural, people who have ventured to the town almost always come back with a tale.

Ghosty Laughter And Cries

People have claimed to hear spooky, eerie, and strange noises at night. They’ve said they’ve heard laughter coming from Marion’s old saloon and even laughter and crying in areas where there is no one else around.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

More shocking is there are some stories about people seeing ghostly figures wearing period clothing drifting around at night.

A Historian Even Had A Weird Experience

Allan Mathews, a Bureau of Land Management historian, has even come back from Garnet with some spooky stories of his own. Not one to believe in tall tales about ghosts, Allen was in Garnet solely for scientific research.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

Then, something happened that made him think twice about the ghost stories.

A Ghostly Figure In The Hotel Widow

One evening, when the sun was about to set, Allen was looking out of the window of the residence he was staying in. That’s when he saw what looked like an older lady, a ghostly figure standing in the window of the old hotel.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

The longer he stared, the longer the figure stared back.

There Was No One In The Hotel

Allen wasn’t entirely sure what to think of the situation. So, naturally, he walked over to the hotel and took a look inside. He found no evidence of anyone being there, let alone an old lady.

Garnet-Ghost-Town (1)
ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

The experience shook him to his core, and he had no choice but to believe the legends — Garnet was haunted.

A Mournful Paino

Ellen Baumler, a Montana resident and writer for the Historical Society, says there have been many reports of eerie incidents surrounding Garnet throughout the years.

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Dolo Inglesias/Unsplash
Dolo Inglesias/Unsplash

One such report has to do with music. People who have stayed in Garnet have said they heard mournful piano music playing in the buildings, even though no one was playing the instrument.

When The Clock Strikes Midnight

While the abandoned town is quiet during the day, everyone who has reported on the spooky instances agrees on one thing: everything weird begins happening once the sun goes down.

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Tima Mirochnichenko/Pexels
Tima Mirochnichenko/Pexels

Even the piano. Everyone who has heard the eerie music has said that it begins when the clock strikes midnight.

The Seasons Play A Role

Even the seasons seem to play a role in the supernatural occurrences. It turns out nothing really happens during the summer months. But when the weather turns cold, and winter comes around, strange things begin to happen.

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Steven Chase/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Getty Images
Steven Chase/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Getty Images

When winter comes around, the eerie piano music is the least of people’s worries.

Ghosts And Weird Sounds

Along with the piano music, people have also said they’ve seen ghostly figures and heard unearthly sounds around the abandoned town. All of them happen during the cooler winter months.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

It also seems as though the most haunted place during the winter is the old saloon, the one once owned by Marion.

People Visit But No One Lives There

In the saloon, people have reported hearing laughter and have even seen ghostly figures dancing in the room. The spookiest thing, though, is the fact that people have spotted footprints in the snow, even though there is no one around.

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ColoradoRMN/YouTube
ColoradoRMN/YouTube

Even so, many people keep coming back to visit Garnet. But no one has taken the government up on their free-living offer to stay put in the haunted town.