A ghost walk through history at Fort Buford


When it comes to revisiting history, Fort Buford stands as a reminder to times gone by. This fall season, on Oct. 21, the fort will once again breathe life into the tales of  past residents through its Ghost Walk.

An event that began sometime over 15 years ago, the Ghost Walk has become a cherished tradition, inviting history enthusiasts and families from near and far.

Fort Buford, with its rich historical background, played a pivotal role in the post-Civil War frontier military operations until its abandonment in 1895. It was at strategic locations like this that soldiers, settlers and Native Americans saw the unfolding of an era that would define the West. Today, the fort’s significance is not just limited to its brick and mortar, but also in the stories of those who walked its grounds.

It’s stories like these that the Ghost Walk aims to illuminate. Far from the spine-chilling tales one might expect from such an event, the Ghost Walk is an immersive storytelling experience. Actors, many of whom have participated for years, wear historical garb and take on the roles of real individuals who once called Fort Buford home.

Imagine hearing from the soldier, stationed on guard duty on a quiet shift, only to have his life tragically cut short by an accidental shot to his foot. Or the woodcutter, meeting his untimely end in a wood-cutting mishap. Every person had a story, every corner of the fort has an echo of the past, and this event seeks to amplify those echoes to the present day.

Last year’s format allowed groups to embark on their historical journey with a sense of discovery, moving at their own pace. This year, whispers suggest a staggered entry system, ensuring every visitor gets an intimate, unspoiled view of the past. As participants wander through candlelit buildings, a detailed booklet further highlights the stories of those who are presenting.

One of the event's greatest strengths is its ability to humanize history. By portraying real individuals, it emphasizes the emotional, lived experiences behind the broad strokes of history, making it relatable and impactful. It drives home the fact that every individual, be it the commanding officer or a woodcutter, played a part in shaping the narrative of Fort Buford.

While the Ghost Walk offers an unparalleled journey into the past, here are a few tips for attendees: dress according to the weather forecast, choose comfortable footwear suitable for walking and carry a flashlight, if preferred.

The organizers have urged attendees to keep an eye on Fort Buford's official Facebook page for real-time updates and further details. Whether a history buff or just seeking a unique evening out, the Ghost Walk promises an unforgettable experience.

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