Colorado is famous for its snow-peaked mountains, stunning river canyons, and picturesque cities, but legend has it ghosts also call the The Centennial State home. From historic hotels to healing hot springs, here are seven of the most haunted places in Colorado.
Cheesman Park – Denver
Cheesman Park was originally a cemetery, but officials eventually decided the location would be better suited as a park. So in 1893, the governing board hired undertaker E.P. McGovern to move the bodies interred there. Disorganized and greedy, McGovern and his crew cut corners and eventually sunk to the level of grave robbers. Many unknown bodies were still in the ground when construction of the park began in 1902. Approximately 2,000 souls remain there today, and legend has it some haunt their final resting place.
Confused, restless spirits reportedly wander around the cemetery, while disembodied moans and whispers frighten visitors. Tales of mysterious children who play in the dark and intense feelings of dread are also common. People who relax on the grass may find that an unseen force will prevent them from getting up.
Molly Brown House – Denver
Margaret “Molly” Brown is known for surviving the Titanic sinking in 1912. The house she and her husband shared now stands as a museum, and rumor has it the couple is still around.
Guests often smell cigar smoke, which is odd as there’s no smoking allowed in the historical museum. Could it be J.J. Brown enjoying a smoke? Molly Brown’s old room is plagued by cold spots, and her apparition has appeared creeping around corners of the house. The Brown’s daughter, Catherine Ellen, died young, but the blinds in her room reportedly raise and lower on their own.
And it’s not just the Brown family that lurks around the museum. A female apparition in Victorian dress also likes to sit at the dining room table, and even rearrange its chairs. Meanwhile, the face of a grumpy manservant appears in a mirror hanging near the first floor stairs.
Tarabino Inn – Trinidad
This inn from the early 1900s has a frightening reputation. Guests and staff have spotted a sad-looking girl in a nightgown lurking near the stairs. Others have heard footsteps in the night or the sound of children laughing. Some have felt a mysterious hand on their shoulder, only to turn around and see no one around. Perhaps the most famous spirit is a ghost named Hector who likes to smoke cherry tobacco in the library. Legend has it something “not human” resides in the Chestnut Suite.
Manitou Springs – Maintou Springs
Manitou Springs is a small town best known for its hot springs. Native American tribes once frequented the area and attributed healing properties to the soothing waters. Victorian-Era settlers had similar beliefs, and soon thousands of people traveled to the springs in hopes of getting well. Before long, the only sanitarium housing the patients exceeded capacity and doctors erected a tent village to house the sick. Many thousands died on what is known as haunted hill, and today some people claim to see apparitions near the old hospital site known as Miramont Castle.
Colorado State University, Ammons Hall – Fort Collins
Legend has it that soon after Ammons Hall was built in 1922, a young lady drowned in the indoor swimming pool. Now, students and others report many strange incidents, including wet footprints in the atrium, disembodied growls and giggles, orbs and shadowy figures, and light on an entire floor switching on and off by themselves.
Museum of Colorado Prisons – Canon City
The Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility was built in 1871, and the Women’s Prison Building followed in 1935. Both are now home to the Museum of Colorado Prisons. With a long history of suffering, it’s no wonder ghosts reportedly haunt the old jails. Visitors report cold spots and the smell of tobacco in the old laundry room. The spirit of a female prisoner who died in cell 19 also appears from time to time. Many other inmates perished within the prison walls. Are their spirits also locked away?
The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park
Grand and majestic, The Stanley Hotel opened in 1908. Author Stephen King and his wife stayed there in the 1970s, and King used this experience as inspiration for his 1977 book, The Shining. Many who stay at The Stanley report feeling the energy of past guests and even that of the hotel’s founders. One of the most famous resident ghosts is Lucy. Early in the hotel’s history, Lucy was rumored to be a runaway who was discovered living in the hotel’s basement and forced to leave. That night temperatures dropped to below freezing and Lucy was found dead in the morning. Now, many hotel guests and workers claim to see her lurking near the basement.
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