Talk about some Spooky Fun!

Are you looking for a weekend road trip?  How about experiencing 7 ghost towns that are about 50 miles from Bismarck?  Sounds to me like some spooky good fun.  To be honest, most of these towns will be void of anything.  You'll be hard-pressed even to find a structure in these once-thriving communities, but in the spirit of things, it will still be fun to imagine what was.

So, let's have a little creepy fun, and here are 7 ghost towns within 50 miles of Bismarck.

Rick Rider
Rick Rider

#1 Lark, North Dakota.

Lark is located about 10 miles west of Flasher, North Dakota.  Roughly 50 miles from Bismarck.  The town was located just off Highway 21 to the north.  I know this town well (I'm using the word town loosely), and I've done a lot of pheasant hunting around it in the past.

There really is nothing left that shows any remains of the town.  Only a couple of farms north of the highway.  There are a couple of old structures on one of these farms.  I'm not sure if they're part of the old town or not.  I stopped by the farm a few weeks back, but couldn't find a living soul (insert creepy laugh).

According to Grant County, the city was once a thriving railway community.  The post office was opened in 1906.  During the height of the community population in the early 1900s, there was a hardware store, a lumber yard, a church, an implement dealer, two general stores, a community hall, two cream stations, a blacksmith shop, and others.

#2 Arena, North Dakota.  

Arena is about 35 miles northeast of Bismarck and east of the town of Wing, North Dakota in Burleigh County.  According to Legends of America, Arena was founded in 1906 by the Patterson Land Company of Minnesota.

#3 Freda, North Dakota.  

Very little is known about this town.  According to Wikipedia, Freda was formed in 1910 and was another railroad town.

Believe it or not, Freda actually replaced an older town called Pearce, which was founded in 1906.  The post office was later moved one mile north and the city was renamed, Freda.  The post office closed in 1975 and in 1976 only two people remained in Freda.  Freda is located about halfway between Flasher and Shields in Grant, County.

Paul Knightly
Paul Knightly

#4 Dogtooth, North Dakota.  According to the Grant County Website, Dogtooth is a ghost town named after a pair of buttes near the town resembling the molars on a dog's lower jaw.

The town was located east of the city of Raleigh.  Today, the lone bar in Raleigh is named "The Dogtooth."  According to Wikipedia, Dogtooth was first established as a station in 1876 on the railroad.  A post office then came to be in 1900.

#5 Brisbane, North Dakota.  According to the Grant County website, Brisbane is located about 5 miles southeast of Carson.

A post office was opened in 1910.  Shortly thereafter the town was bustling with a general store, a school, a hardware store, a blacksmith shop, and a restaurant.  Now, all that's left of this community are the spirits of the past.

#6 Sims, North Dakota.  Located in Morton County about 50 miles west of Mandan.  Even though the town is abandoned it does still have an active church.  Sims Scandinavian Lutheran Church.  First Lady Laura Bush even visited this church in 2008, according to Wikipedia.  The town is reported to have one soul remaining, known as the "Gray Lady Ghost" who reportedly haunts the church and even plays the organ from time to time. YIKES!

#7 Blue Grass, North Dakota.  Located 35 miles northwest of Mandan.  Its peak population was only 20 people.  The railroad never reached this Morton County Town.

Other North Dakota Ghost Towns worth a look include:

Griffin, North Dakota (Bowman County).

Trotters, North Dakota (located near the Little Missouri National Grasslands).

Thelen, North Dakota (Golden Valley County).

Charbonneau, North Dakota (west of Watford City).

Sherbrooke, North Dakota (Steele County).

Temple, North Dakota (Williams County).

Lincoln Valley, North Dakota (Sheridan County)

Straubville, North Dakota (Sargent County)

Hesper, North Dakota (Benson County)

Nanson, North Dakota (Rolette County)

Eastedge, North Dakota (Barnes County)

Omemee, North Dakota (Bottineau County)

LOOK: How Halloween has changed in the past 100 years

Stacker compiled a list of ways that Halloween has changed over the last 100 years, from how we celebrate it on the day to the costumes we wear trick-or-treating. We’ve included events, inventions, and trends that changed the ways that Halloween was celebrated over time. Many of these traditions were phased out over time. But just like fake blood in a carpet, every bit of Halloween’s history left an impression we can see traces of today.

Gallery Credit: Brit McGinnis

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