The Haunting of the Liberty Memorial Building

Liberty Memorial Building – Burleigh County, Bismarck, North Dakota

Photograph ©Bev and Steve

604 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
(800) 472-2104

Built in the early nineteenth century, this building was originally constructed to serve as state offices and the Historical Society, the State Library and the Supreme Court. Employees who worked for these offices made many claims of strange and paranormal activities over the years and several of these people even left their jobs from fear.

One employee who had a few interesting experiences was James Sperry, a superintendent of the Historical Society in the early 1970’s. James was working late one evening and he had brought in his dog, “Shadow”, to keep him company. James decided to take a break and went downstairs to visit with Historical Society archivist, Frank Vyzraiek. While chatting with Frank, Shadow suddenly began to growl, showing his teeth and laying his ears back. Shadow took off running down the hallway and then down to the basement area. Before James and Frank had a chance to follow, Shadow came bounding back up the steps, shaking and whimpering. On another occasion, James was working late again and took the elevator to the basement. When the doors to the elevator opened, James saw a man walk into one of the storage rooms. The man was not familiar to James and he decided to follow him. James entered the storage room to discover that the light was still off and when he turned it on he discovered that no one was there. This storage room is also reported to have only one entrance.

Another employee, Liess Vantine, was working late one evening with a coworker, Craig Gannon. Liess had went to the basement to do some work but stopped to seek out Craig when he heard him calling his name from another area in the basement. Liess never did find Craig in the basement, instead he found him two floors up and Craig claimed that he hadn’t been to the basement, nor had he been calling for Liess.

Historic Preservationist, Walter Bailey, claimed that when he would attempt to work late in the building, he would be overcome by the feeling that someone or something wanted him to leave. Bailey also reported hearing footsteps in the hallways of the first floor but when he investigated, the first floor would always be empty.

Some of the other reports made in this building from the early seventies until the early eighties were the sounds of coughing, doors opening and closing and lights flickering for no apparent reason. There have been no other reports since the early eighties when the Historical Society moved. I suppose this apparition could have moved on or perhaps there are no longer any living employees in this old building after hours to report strange the happenings.