State’s Urban Legends: Wyoming

The last state in our tour of America’s urban legends is Wyoming. It’s a state with wide-open land and very few urban areas. But in addition to Yellowstone Park it has some pretty impressive legends.


After checking out Old Faithful, and keep an eye out for the headless woman who haunts the lodge there, head over to Yellowstone Lake and listen. You’ll hear a whining-whisper that has been reported to last up to half a minute. The best time appears to be between sunup and 10 in the morning.

The whispers have been recorded as far back as the Native Americans but no one can explain what causes them.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

Wyoming's Devil's Tower

Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

Richard Dreyfuss made a mashed-potato version of them in Close Encounters of the Third Kind but as far as what formed the Tower, no one can say for sure.

The Native Americans have a legend that might explain it though. According to Cheyenne legends, a group of girls were attacked and killed by a bear. Only two girls escaped the bear and ran for help. They encountered two young men who hatched a plan to kill the big bear.

Using the two survivors as bait at the top of the rock, the two boys fired arrows at the bear as it kept trying to reach the top. As the bear fell back down the rock, its claws tore into the rock, leaving the grooves we see today.

Eventually, the bear got tired of being a pin cushion and fled. They have tough bears in Wyoming.

Platte River Ship of Death

According to legend there is a ghost ship that navigates the Platte River. It appears out of a spooky-looking mist and its ghostly crew can be seen on the deck around a body. You probably should look at that body too long. Legend says you will realize the corpse is a loved one of your who will soon die.

The legend was first reported back in the 1890s and the last documented sighting was in 1903. But if you are near the Platte and a fog rolls in, don’t take any chances.

Hey, the Platte River runs about a mile from my house. Well, you know where to find me the next foggy day around these parts.





About the author

Richard Paolinelli