Dumas Brothel Ghost Hunt
Friday June 10th 2022
Our Ghost Hunts at the Dumas Brothel in Butte, Montana are not for the faint of heart.
The residual energy is still embedded in these very walls, and the spirits here will let their presences be known.
Many believe that several of those ladies that worked in this brothel are still lurking in the shadows trying to get your attention.
are unique, structured, small ghost hunting events for the paranormal enthusiast. We have booked highly sought after locations across America, and are making them available to a select few.
Each event is limited to very limited guests, giving you more time with equipment, with team members and with the haunted location itself to explore, discover and question.
This historic two-story Victorian home located in Butte, Montana was built in 1890 and was opened as a brothel upon its completion by Joseph and Arthur Nadeau of French Canada. Within a short distance of the copper mines, the Dumas Brothel quickly became a popular place for men to find their pleasure. It was a working brothel for over nine decades, ceasing operations in 1982 when the owner, Ruby Garrett, was arrested for tax evasion.
The bordello changed hands a number of times over the years. It was purchased in 1922 by Dick and Lillian Walden who ran it until 1950 when Elinore Knott took over. After Elinore died on the property in 1955, Bonita Farren, the woman who discovered Elinore’s body in the upstairs Madam’s room, oversaw operations until 1971. Bonita’s husband John reportedly died after falling at the Dumas. Ruby Garrett, who also went by the name Lee Arrigoni, was the next owner of the brothel. She had previously been convicted of manslaughter in 1959 when she killed her husband after suffering his abuse, a crime for which she only served nine months. Ruby went on to run the house until her finances came under scrutiny after the house had been robbed and the thieves went on trial. The bordello finally closed its doors in 1982.
When Ruby decided to sell off the furnishings of the brothel in 1990, she ended up selling the building to antiques dealer Rudy Giecek with the understanding that he would open up the space as a museum – which he did for 20 years. Travis Eskelen and Michael Piche purchased the building – which was in dire need of many repairs and on which back taxes were owed – in 2012. They had planned to restore the building and open it as a bed and breakfast, until tragedy struck, and Michael died in early 2018.
The Dumas is now owned by David and Charlee Pierce, who are working to restore the beauty and grandeur of this historic bordello so the history of the brothel and the role it played in the city of Butte can be preserved. The question is, will the spirits who apparently still linger here be happy to receive visitors? And how will they make themselves known?
Dumas Brothel holds a place in American history unlike any other as the longest operational brothel in the country. This haunting property was the subject of dramatic investigation on Ghost Adventures, and now you can see it for yourself with Ghost Hunts USA – if you dare!
It was opened in 1890 by Joseph and Arthur Nadeau, and they chose to use Joseph’s wife’s maiden name instead of their own as they were already successful businessmen, and they didn’t want the brothel they ran to tarnish their good name. The two-story Victorian brick building continued to be run as a brothel until 1982. Rumors abound regarding tunnels that ran from the structure directly to the mines where many a working man could have easy and secretive access to the ladies. The first floor consisted of larger rooms with pocket doors where the women could essentially be put on display. The second floor offered large rooms and a balcony where wealthy and powerful men could enjoy their pleasure in comfort. The basement was also an area where the prostitutes worked which contained 43 “cribs” – spaces just large enough for a bed – where the common man, such as miners, would partake in the women at any given time of day.
There were several owners and Madams throughout the decades, including Dick and Lillian Walden who operated it from 1922 until 1950. The government attempted to shut it down in 1942 in order to attempt to prevent young men who were headed off to war from contracting disease. Elinore Knott was the next owner of the brothel, which by that time had become known as the Dumas Hotel. She was in charge from 1950 until her death on the property in the upstairs Madams’ room in 1955. Rumors claim that she committed suicide when her lover failed to take her away as he promised, even though her death certificate states “coronary occlusion” as the cause.
Bonita Farren, the person who found Elinore’s body, was the next person to manage the house until 1971. Her husband John reportedly died after falling at the Dumas. In 1971, the infamous Ruby Garrett became the owner. She had run several other brothels and had been convicted of killing her husband after suffering his abuse, but she only served nine months. Ruby ran the Dumas until she was convicted again – this time of tax evasion – after her finances became known due to a robbery at the brothel, and it was shut down in 1982.
There are so many secrets hidden in the walls of the Dumas; so many stories that are waiting to be told. What clues will you uncover when you join us in this infamous place of ill repute? With layers of residual energy throughout the building from the men who frequented the bedrooms and cribs, to the working women who pleased them, it’s probably only a matter of time before guests will likely have experiences of their own. There are stories of visitors claiming interaction with Elinore Knott, or a young prostitute called Sarah, as well as an older woman named Sandra, who is described as being a loving and caring working lady until she retired at age 61.
Staff and visitors have reported seeing smoky mists on the first floor, and the full-bodied apparition of Elinore Knott. Often the scent of cigar smoke is present, and people have claimed to be touched by the loving hand of Sandra. Poltergeist activity of doors unlatching and dishes flying across the room have also been noted. Others see a male entity in the basement, and many have captured various EVPs on voice recorders.
Join us and see if you can uncover the truth behind the people of the Dumas. Will Elinore tell you about her ill-fated love affair? Will Sandra reach out and take your hand? Will you encounter the men who found their pleasure in the tiny cribs in the basement? There’s only one way to find out…