Southern Idaho has plenty of places that go bump in the night.  From one of the area’s earliest homesteads to the gravesite of a notorious mass murderer. Do you dare explore these spooky spots?

The Stricker Ranch

The historic home at Rock Creek Station — an early, bustling stagecoach stop — has long been a haven for paranormal investigators. But why? The house was built in 1901 by Herman Stricker and his partner, John Botset, on a site that had already been a stagecoach station for more than 35 years.

There is a small cemetery on the Rock Creek Station property, the final home to unlucky travelers who never made it to their destination. Some have seen shadowy figures there, and others have sensed the bustling presence of Herman Stricker’s wife. You can visit the site from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but for the best chance of seeing Mrs. Stricker or other entities, get there early or late. The spirits seem to be active around dusk. 3175 Stricker Cabin Road, Hansen.

Howell’s Opera House in Oakley

Oakley is home to some of the most outstanding Victorian architecture in Idaho — and to ghostly presences at its old opera house. The Howell Opera House is still used today for performances and productions. The building was built by and named for B.P. Howells, the first prosecutor for Cassia County. In his book “Ghosts of Idaho’s Magic Valley: Hauntings and Lore,” Andy Weeks writes: “One time, during a play, when the actors and actresses were dressed in cowboy attire, some of the cast members noticed an added person onstage. When it was inquired who the additional woman was, no one knew. And she could not be found anywhere afterwards.”

Spooky. 160 N. Blaine Avenue, Oakley.

The Gravesite of Lady Bluebeard

In the early 20th century, Lyda Southard’s murderous exploits made major national headlines. She married seven times, and four of those marriages made her a widow — a suspiciously high number. In 1915, Southard’s husband, brother-in-law, and young daughter all died on a Twin Falls ranch. Just before his untimely death, her husband had taken out a significant life insurance policy. Shortly after, Southard remarried and moved to Montana. There, her second husband died in 1918 after also taking out a life insurance policy.

According to Mychelle Matthews, with the Twin Falls Times-News’, the County Sheriff’s Department Deputy led the case investigation. By the time they tracked her down, she was on her fifth (still living) husband and had been widowed a fourth time in 1920. They brought her from Honolulu to stand trial in Idaho. Southard was convicted and sent to the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. She escaped in 1931 and was eventually released on probation in 1941, pardoned in 1942, and died in 1958. Lyda Southard is buried at Sunset Memorial Park in Twin Falls. Sunset Memorial Park, 2296 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls.

Albion Idaho College

Rumors about ghostly activities have haunted the Albion Idaho College campus since the 1940s. The state founded the college in 1893. Before it closed in 1951, hundreds of students had passed through its halls and it seems that some never left. The current owners, Trey and Heather Mortensen, told the Twin Falls Times-News that before they turned on electricity in the buildings they could see lights emanating from its windows.

Featured on the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventurers, the school attracted national attention too. Lately, the school is most famous for the Haunted Mansions of Albion. It is a uniquely terrifying experience created every fall for thrill-seeking guests. Actors in gruesome makeup chase and thoroughly frighten willing attendees as they roam the campus buildings. Hurry if you want to see the Haunted Mansions of Albion, because it is only available October through the first week of November.

Directions and tickets: Click Here +

Sidewinders Bar and Grill in Murtaugh

In the book “The Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide: Over 1,000 Haunted Places You Can Experience” by Rich Newman, it details the Sidewinders Bar as haunted by a “poltergeist-like” entity that turns lights and the jukebox off and on. Sometimes, patrons can hear a ghostly piano. Maybe this should be expected, the building has been around for nearly 110 years and has been occupied by many different establishments.

109 Archer Street, Murtaugh.

Get Inn in Gooding

Designed by renowned architectural firm Tourtellotte and Hummel, the Gooding University Inn is a beautiful building. Built on land donated by Frank Gooding for a college the school ran from 1917-1941. But it’s the landmark’s history as a tuberculosis hospital in 1947 that thickens the stories around its hauntings. The 19,000-square-foot building has attracted ghost hunters for years, who hear disembodied footsteps and other scary sounds in its halls. If you’d like to seek out the spirits yourselves, visitors can book a room: They’re $65-$85 a night.

Directions and reservations: Click Here +

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