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The Irma Hotel in Cody is haunted.  No, really!

Now, I’m a pretty level-headed gal, and have personally never seen anything “other-worldly” – but if you ask the members of the Wyoming Area Paranormal Society, they’ll tell you that at least one ghost haunts the famous Irma Hotel, and they’ve got scientific proof!

A Ghostly Adventure at the Irma Hotel...

The stories of Buffalo Bill’s ghost haunting the Irma have been going around for years.  But Mike Darby, whose family owns the hotel, says that when they bought the place 22 years ago they didn’t know a thing about it!  It was only after they purchased the historic building that they started hearing stories about strange phenomenon – like waitresses seeing people in dining room booths, then finding no one there when they went back to that table; or feeling someone touching them when there was no one around…  What’s more, visitors staying in Room 35 over the years have reported very visible disturbances – the water in the bathroom turns on and off by itself; clothes may be moved in the middle of the night; pictures have been found off the wall and on the floor in a way that wouldn’t have resulted from falling from the nail; and most disturbing, there have been many sightings of a soldier in a cavalry uniform with a sword… BUT THEY COULD ONLY SEE HIS BOTTOM HALF.

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So when the W.A.P.S. group approached Darby last year about holding a ghost hunt, Mike thought it sounded like a good idea – let’s get these sightings and disturbances on the record!  About 25 people showed up last year to utilize the tools of the trade – electromagnetic field indicators; infrared cameras; thermal imaging cameras; and digital voice recorders.  According to W.A.P.S. founder Jez Krubeck, this equipment is used to detect what human eyes and ears simply can’t see or hear.  Last year when the ghost hunters camped out in the “hot spots” of the hotel, Jez said that some of them were rewarded with tell-tale readings on their equipment, and some of the ghost hunters heard sounds on the voice recorders after they’d left the room… SPOOKY!

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So after the success of last year’s ghost hunt, the W.A.P.S. group decided to host a second annual event, and last weekend more than 30 ghost hunters from near and far – along with ghost hunting celebrities like Karl Pfeiffer from Ghost Hunters International, and a representative from the also-haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado – gathered at the Irma to see if they could capture evidence of paranormal activity at the famous hotel.

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Seems like the ghosts were more cooperative this year, as Krubeck said that almost every participant had “something” happen to them.  Several people reported being touched by an invisible hand in Room 35, which is notorious for strange goings-on; and in Room 20 (the Colonel Cody Suite), the EMF readings showed quite a bit of activity!  What’s really interesting is that both Krubeck and another participant found that several days after the hunt, their watches quit working… and Jez says that’s the second watch of his that’s stopped after investigating at the Irma!  WEIRD…

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Mike Darby says that the ghost stories have actually been good for business – he says the stories give the hotel an added dimension, which appeals to some folks who specifically book rooms at the hotel because they’ve heard it’s haunted!

And as for making this ghost hunt an annual event?  Well, Mike says, “That’s up to the ghosts.”

Until next week, I’ll be… lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s Country (and on the lookout for spooky specters at the Irma Hotel)!