Take a road trip to one of these haunted spots and make it a Halloweekend.
Happy October guys! When it comes to haunted history there’s no shortage of places in Colorado to be spooked, if you’re into that kind of stuff. For starters, the iconic Stanley Hotel resides in Estes Park, made famous by Stephen King who stayed there and got inspired to write The Shining. There’s also some other seedy bits of Denver’s past immortalized in certain corners of the city, like an old brothel and the city’s first cemetery. If you want to live out your fantasy of being a ghost hunter, then you’ll definitely want to hit up these 10 spots.
1. Mattie’s House of Mirrors
Denver’s notoriously wicked Market Street has got a lot of dark history behind it, from its seedy parlor to its vibrant brothels. Known as The Row, Market Street has had a lasting impression in Denver’s past, with Mattie’s House of Mirrors being a highlight to the rumors. Mattie Silks, a “well-upholstered hellraiser” purchased the House of Mirrors in 1911. The brothel had one suicide within it, Ella Wellington, who shot herself with a revolver. The brothel was closed in 1915 when the city started to reinvent itself, but there are talks of the building still being haunted.
2. Yak & Yeti
This haunted brewpub is located inside the haunted Eli Allen house, where the wealthy Elias W. Van Vorhees and his wife, Cora, lived. The house underwent a fire from, apparently, “baby mice playing with matches” and Cora saved her children. Later, in 1940, Cora died from falling down the stairs and her children said her ghost roamed the house afterwards. The subsequent owner, Mr. Dol Bhattarai, bought the place to house his first venture into the restauranteur business, and found a little more than he bargained for. He called in ghost hunters who heard voices, apparently and there was even footage of a chair moving on its own. Aside all of that, this place has got some great Tibetan, Indian, and Nepalese food like dumplings and curry paired with award-winning craft beer.
This notoriously macabre tale has made Cheesman Park a notorious haunt, despite its elegant botanical gardens and its panoramic pavilion we see today. The 19th century saw a ton of burials take place here, as it was Denver’s first cemetery where the poor, diseased, and criminal were buried. Years later, E.P. McGovern was hired to move the bodies, and in order to do so cheaply and efficiently, he chopped up some of the bodies to fit their parts into children’s coffins. As soon as the bodies were moved, strange ghostly occurrences began to happen from sightings to physical interactions, and remains from that dark task were found all the way up to the 60s.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown survived the fall of the titanic, but succumbed to death in her sleep. It’s said she still haunts her old home, and there are often theatrical performances, readings, and history tours that take place here. This spooky season, you can try to catch a glimpse of Molly Brown in her house during evening ghost tours, for $17.
There are a few different theories behind why the Gold Camp Rail Tunnels are haunted, and it all can be summed up with an ominous black, spiked iron gate that stands before one of the tunnels to block entry. One of the stories that’s told is about a bus full of orphans that was crushed to death by a tunnel collapse. Visitors to the tunnels can still hear the giggling of children and feel the scratching of hands leaving small marks along their skin. As visitors pass from one tunnel to the third, the giggling and chattering apparently turn to screams. Despite this bit of Denver folklore, it’s nothing more than a story, but that doesn’t stop these abandoned tunnels from being totally spooky though.
Check out one of Denver’s most elegant, luxurious, and haunted hotels to date. The iconic hotel has had a lot of famous visitors, like the Beatles, but you may actually meet some visitors of the paranormal variety if you book an overnight stay. The hotel’s dark history starts back in 1911, where a high-profile double murder took place in which Frank Henwood shot and killed Sylvester Louis “Tony” von Phul, and with him, an innocent bystander as well named George Copeland. Tony and Fran were rivals hoping to win the hand of Denver socialite, Isabel Springer. Now, there are tales of ghostly hearings like a woman talking, a baby crying, and a phone that won’t stop ringing.
We couldn’t write an account of Colorado’s most haunted places without including the haunted hotel made famous by Stephen King’s The Shining, made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick. What you might not know though, is the Stanley Hotel had a history of paranormal activity even before King sent Jack Torrance and his wife there. Mr. Stanley himself, the hotel’s owner, has been seen by guests, as well as Flora Stanley, the pianist, whose playing can faintly be heard. Guests who are interested in overnight stays as ghost hunters can book a room on the famous 4th floor with a small electromagnetic reader and maybe you’ll even get lucky enough to stay in room 217, where King stayed and got inspired for his novel.
8. The Blake Street Vault
Considered one of the most haunted bars in Denver, Blake Street Vault’s history is a scandalous one. The bar was established after 1860 and was called the Charles Eyser Saloon during that time. Ladies of the Night made their business there and on one ill-fated night, the woman known as Lydia or The Lady in Red was thrown down a flight of stairs. Some say her spirit still resides in the historic bar, and spirits also frequent the Prohibition era tunnels that run underneath the bar.
Now, Blake Street Vault has been taken over by Hell or High Water Tiki of The Electric Cure acclaim. Hell or High Water Tiki plays into its haunted past with a spooky tiki theme with a side of pirates.
9. Denver International Airport
DIA, the largest airport in North America, has long had a reputation for being haunted. The airport, though one of the younger airports in the state, is rumored to be built on a sacred burial ground which is what causes some of the disruptions in the airport, not human error. “Blue Mustang” the big horse statue in the entrance of the airport, killed its constructor during the time it was built when a part of it fell on him, severed an artery in his leg, and killed him. Plus, there are a ton of supposed Illuminati symbols hidden in the murals that decorate the airport. Whether or not you believe in these spooky theories or not, it’s definitely an interesting place to be.
10. St. Elmo
A real life ghost town, St. Elmo is a fascinating place to catch glimpses of the past as well as ghosts. St. Elmo in Chaffey County that was established in 1880 and named after a novel Griffith Evans was reading at the time. Now considered a ghost town even while there are a few people who live here, most of those who visit are tourists interested in fishing, off roading, and ghost hunting. There’s a rumor that the founding family’s daughter, Annabelle Stark, continues to watch over the town, and you may just catch a glimpse of her if you’re looking hard enough.