Denver, founded in 1859, has had almost 160 years to produce scary places and urban legends that make the hair rise on the back of your neck. Ghost hunters and paranormal investigators have plenty to explore in the Mile High City.
So let’s go explore the things that go bump in the night. Come enter our lair – if you dare – and we’ll tell you about scary stuff in the Queen City of the Plains.
1. Cheesman Park
It’s estimated that this former site of the Prospect Hill Cemetery, which opened in 1858, still has 2,000-plus bodies buried – although the idea was to move ALL the bodies elsewhere once the city decided the site would become the home of Congress and Cheesman Parks. Families of those buried were given 90 days to find their bodies and move them elsewhere.
That didn’t go well, as many of those buried were criminals and vagrants, leaving more than 5,000 bodies unclaimed. More were located and moved as the park was built. But the end result is chilling: There have been many reports of ghost sightings at night.
2. The Lumber Baron Inn
Lumber baron John Mouat built a mansion in 1890. But after ownership changes, the building was empty in the 1970s. It’s alleged that two murders happened in the building; both are unsolved. The Lumber Baron Inn has been restored into a bed and breakfast, and guests occasionally hear unexplainable footsteps and electric voice phenomena.
3. The Stanley Hotel
Famed novelist Stephen King wrote “The Shining” after staying at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Freelan Oscar Stanley opened the hotel in 1909; today, some believe he and his wife both haunt the joint, even trying to serve guests at check-in. Stanley played the piano, and there are reports of the ballroom piano playing by itself. People also have seen apparitions in their rooms, and guests’ jewelry, watches and luggage have disappeared.
The hotel offers ghost tours.
4. The Buckhorn Exchange
Denver’s oldest restaurant opened in 1893, and fed miners, railroad workers, traders, cowboys and other builders of the West. Some of them met violent deaths and may be haunting the restaurant, complete with voices, footsteps, and chairs and tables moving on their own.
5. Croke-Patterson Mansion
One night in the 1970s, two Doberman Pinschers were placed there to guard the home. But both were found dead the next day after jumping from the third-floor window to the sidewalk. Who’s haunting the mansion? Supposedly a child that’s been seen sliding on the stairway; people also hear voices and footsteps.
6. Brown Palace Hotel
Reflected light on the Brown Palace Hotel. pic.twitter.com/M6j03PfAP2
— Nick Arvin (@NickArvin) November 3, 2015
Staffers put up with some interesting phenomena: a crying baby in the basement; the ghost of a railroad manager that walks across the lobby, then disappears into a wall, just like Harry Potter and his schoolmates; a ghostly string quartet; and a waiter that rides the service elevator, then disappears when it reaches its destination.
7. Colorado State Capitol Building
People working late hours there have reported seeing a woman wearing a long dress wandering the halls and gliding down stairs at night.
Ghosts also haunt the Governor’s Mansion, people say. Staffers and other people have reported footsteps, whispers and cold spots throughout the building.
8. Molly Brown House
— CBSDenver (@CBSDenver) August 21, 2018
The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the Titanic disaster, wouldn’t allow husband J.J. Brown to smoke in the home. Apparently, things are more to his liking these days. It’s said that his ghost spreads the smell of pope tobacco throughout the house, and he can be heard opening and closing doors. Molly herself, daughter Catherine Ellen and other ghosts also hang out, it’s said.
9. Denver Public Library
A violent ghost that pushes and hits staffers hangs out in the basement, we’re told.
10. The Denver Children’s Home
In 1888, a fire killed several children on the third floor. Today, staffers hear their crying and screaming. Also, it’s said that a woman in a white dress descends a staircase and walks down a hallway.
11. The Oxford Hotel
It was built in 1891, thus ghosts have had plenty of time to move in. In one room, a female ghost has been spotted in a room and photos have captured her faint image. Supposedly, her husband murdered her there when he found her with her lover.
12. Grant-Humphreys Mansion
Albert E. Humphreys bought this building in 1917 from Mary Matteson Goodell, widow of the third Colorado governor, James Benton Grant. A shooting incident took Humphreys’ life later, and it’s reported that his ghost still hangs out.
13. Hotel Teatro
This luxury hotel has had reports about a ghostly tool man, a former mechanic that died in a work-related accident. Still, he’s been seen wandering the joint, carrying his toolbox.
14. Fairmount Cemetery
Founded in 1890, there’s talk of phantom vehicles, mysterious floating lights and pushes from unseen hands.