Paris Gibson Square Museum Ghost Hunt
Great Falls, Montana
Saturday August 14th 2021
The haunted Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana has a haunted reputation.
Our overnight Ghost Hunt at this location will definitely test your nerve.
Built to be the first high school in the city of Great Falls, Montana, what is now the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art was constructed in 1896.
It served as the area high school until 1931, and then became the junior high when a new high school was built.
The city of Great Falls, Montana became home to Paris Gibson in the early 1880s. He was a businessman with a penchant for politics. He became the city’s first mayor in 1882 and was elected as a Senator in 1890, where he served for 15 years.
In 1854, he married Valeria Goodnough Sweat when she was only 16 years old. They had four children but lost two as infants. Only Philip and Theodore lived to adulthood. Gibson had a hand in constructing many buildings in town, including the Gibson Mansion along Millionaire’s Row, built in 1890, and the New Park Hotel, where Valeria died in 1900, under questionable circumstances.
Paris Gibson also played a role in the development of the city’s first high school – a sandstone structure which was built in 1896, and is now home to the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. It served as the area high school until 1931, and then became the junior high when a new high school was built. The property remained as the junior high until 1975. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and in 1977, ownership of the building was passed to the museum. This historic square is considered to be one of the oldest and best-loved landmarks in Great Falls.
The museum is a cultural center which features contemporary art, temporary and permanent exhibits, and includes a sculpture garden on lovely, landscaped grounds. But it’s said that voices and energies from the past can still be heard and felt when the museum is closed for the night. Join us to find out who might still be lingering within these halls.
Built to be the first high school in the city of Great Falls, Montana, what is now the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art was constructed in 1896. It served as the area high school until 1931, and then became the junior high when a new high school was built. The property remained as the junior high until 1975. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and in 1977, ownership of the building was passed to the museum.
So why exactly is this place rumored to be haunted? And who was Paris Gibson?
Paris Gibson was Great Falls first mayor. He was an extremely successful businessman. He was a senator. And he had a very young wife named Valeria, whom he married in 1854 when she was only 16. They had four children, but only two of them survived past infancy. However, two sons, Philip and Theodore, who lived to adulthood, each died at separate times in the state mental hospital called Warm Springs. But before Theodore was committed, there were rumors that he had something to do with his mother’s death on August 18, 1900. And there are still rumors that his father, the great Paris Gibson, did everything he could to cover up the supposed crime.
Some accounts at the time of Valeria’s demise state that she jumped to her death from a third-story window of the New Park Hotel. But other stories claim that Theodore pushed her down the stairs of their stately home and she died from a broken neck, only to have her lifeless body carried through a tunnel the led to the Park Hotel where she was tossed out from the third floor. By the way, Paris Gibson owned the New Park Hotel, too. Historical records indicate that Valeria had been an invalid for more than 30 years.
But the why the claims that the Art Museum is haunted? Well, there are many stories of visitors and staff hearing children singing from what had been the music room; or playing in the halls of the former school building. There is also the tale of the janitor and his family who lived in the corner of the attic of the school: the daughter was embarrassed by her father’s occupation at the time but is said to be young female spirit who lingers here.
Or maybe, there is something in the art museum that Valeria is still attached to on the other side. Perhaps Theodore has not moved on and inhabits one of the spaces that bears his father’s name.
Come with us to investigate this amazing location to find out what secrets may still be hidden in the town of Great Falls.