Casper, Wyoming was established in 1888 and is presently home to approximately 50,000 people. Casper was named after Lieutenant Caspar Collins who came to the area to protect a wagon train that was carrying supplies for the Fort that was then known as Platte Bridge Station. Caspar Collins was killed in hand to hand combat with Red Cloud and Lakota warriors as he made his way across the bridge to the fort. He was killed while trying to rescue a wounded man by pulling the man up onto his horse. He lost control of the horse and the horse galloped directly into the Lakota army. Apparently, Caspar Collin’s body was found with an arrow sticking out of his forehead, the reins in his teeth, and a pistol in each hand. Years later, a Nobody accidentally mispelled the name “Caspar” as “Casper” and this new spelling stuck probably because the other nobodies around at the time knew how to spell any better.
Casper has a rather violent history. A gun fight on Main Street between the mayor and his business partner resulted in the death of the business partner. Early store clerks built up little forts of flour sacks around their beds (they slept at the store to protect their goods from being stolen) to divert stray bullets.
A number of trails pass through Casper, including the Mormon Trail, California Trail, Oregon Trail, Pony Express, and a smattering of cattle trails.
The Ivy House was built in 1902. Between 1902 and 1940 it exchanged hands 26 times! In 1940, Mr. and Mrs. White purchased the property and added two grand front porches to it. They owned the home until Mrs. White passed away at 93 years of age in 1995. Mrs. White often could not afford to have repairs made to the building and so would pay for repairs by baking cookies and other treats (which often meant that the repairs made were not quite up to par). In 1996, Tom and Kathy Johnson purchased the property.
The owner of the Ivy House Bed and Breakfast, Tom Johnson, was not initially a believer in ghosts. After beginning renovations on the property, however, he experienced a number of paranormal events. A drill was unplugged while Tom was standing on a ladder, with the cord left dangling for a few moments before it fell to the ground. A 2×4 flew 19 feet across the room at him, after he had neatly stacked them in the corner. Strange smells were reported. Light anomalies, ectoplasms, and vortices were recorded when the Johnson’s began recording the progression of their renovations on film. Disembodied knocking sounds have been reported by guests as well as the sound of doorknobs turning. Full body apparitions have been reported including apparitions of a little old lady, a man who appears to be building something, and two siamese cats.
Alarms in explicably go off in a particular place in the parking lot, purportedly where there used to be a sitting room that has since been deconstructed. Cold spots have been reported.
The owners, Tom and Kathy Johnson annually host a Haunted Slumber Party at the Inn on Halloween.
To see some photos of light anomalies captured at the Ivy House Inn, visit this link http://www.hauntster.net/Ivy_House_Inn.htm
The Natrona County High School, also reportedly haunted, is visible from the Ivy House Bed and Breakfast.
Hauntster.net (200-2004). Tamara Thorne’s Hauntster: Anomalies with Attitude: Haunting at the Ivy House Inn. Retrieved November 22, 2009 from http://www.hauntster.net/Ivy_House_Inn.htm
Shadowlord (1998). Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Retrieved August 11, 2008 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/wyoming.htm
Wyoming Homestay and Outdoor Adventures (2006). Bed and Breakfast Inns and Ranches of Wyoming. Retrieved November 22, 2009 from http://www.wyomingbnb-ranchrec.com/City.Casper.html
www.Legends of America.com (2003-2009).Wyoming Legends: The Haunted Ivy House Inn. Retrieved November 22, 2009 from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/WY-IvyHouseInn.html