Autumn is here, and with it comes changes in the vegetation, a shift towards colder weather, and pumpkin spice as far as the eye can see. It’s also a time to celebrate our spooky history, and Colorado has that in spades. Nearly every major city has a spot reputed to be haunted, and there are mines, asylums, and roads scattered through the state that have at least one creepy story.
Go Ghost Hunting in Colorado
Here are five haunted spots in Colorado that you can visit, and maybe experience a creepy encounter for yourself.
Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
There’s no way to avoid this one, the Stanley Hotel is one of the most famously haunted spots in the world, thanks to it being the supposed inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The hotel was built in 1909 by Freelan and Flora Stanley, who moved to Colorado in an attempt to alleviate Freelan’s tuberculosis.
Frequent ghost experiences include:
- The sound of a piano and the keys of the grand piano in the ballroom moving independently, as playing the piano was a favorite pastime of Flora.
- Room 401 supposedly has a haunted closet where a man has been seen standing.
- Room 217 is supposedly haunted by a housekeeper who will help you unpack if she likes you.
- Room 428 is rumored to be haunted by a friendly cowboy, and several female guests have claimed to be woken by him kissing their foreheads.
Today, the hotel features ghost tours and a psychic who will do readings. There are also a series of tunnels and caves beneath the hotel, which employees used to move around the hotel undetected by guests, and some tours will lead you through these tunnels.
Molly Brown House Museum, Denver
The famed “unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the Titanic, also owned a home which has reputedly become one of the most haunted spots in Colorado. The Molly Brown House Museum, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, was built in 1889 for the famous socialite and her husband.
People often claim to see Molly wandering the home, and others claim to feel her presence in cold spots. Pipe and cigar smoke is frequently smelled in different rooms of the house, which is supposedly the presence of Molly’s husband. Their daughter, Catherine, died at a young age, and the blinds in her room have been seeing going up and down of their own accord.
- The ghost of a Victorian lady has been seen moving furniture around the dining room.
- A woman known only as “Johanna” has been seen in an upstairs bedroom.
- The ghost of a butler has been sighted standing behind people who look in a certain mirror on the first floor.
Masonic Cemetery & Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Black Hawk
Located 35 miles west of Denver, the Masonic Cemetery and Knights of Pythias Cemetery are haunted burial grounds of some renown.
The Masonic Cemetery is said to host the ghost of a woman, dressed all in black, who visits the grave of John Edward Cameron every year on April 5 and November 1. Built in the mid-1800s following a gold rush, the cemetery also has said to be haunted by a young boy who will follow visitors around, light anomalies, and orbs which appear in photos.
The Knights of Pythias, northwest on Upper Apex Road from Masonic Cemetery, has its fair share of hauntings as well. Urban explorer Derelict Doug writes:
“There are many accounts of ghostly spirits lurking between these two burial grounds. The most frequent account is of a phantom woman, who is not from the period. Rather she wears a brightly colored red and teal track-suit; circa Mid-eighties or early 1990s. She sports short curly brown hair, yet has no face. Visitors claim to encounter her as they round corners or tree lines. Often she appears directly to the right of the passerby. Before anyone can say “excuse me” or “hello”, she disappears. These interactions have been reported to startle both the otherworldly guest as well as the passerby.”
The Museum of Colorado Prisons, Cañon City
Located off Highway 50 in Southern Colorado, Cañon City built an all-female prison in 1935. In 1988, a group of Fremont County residents turned it into the Museum of Colorado Prisons, which features prison artifacts dating back nearly 150 years.
Visitors report seeing shadowy figures lurking in cells, hearing the cries of women, and the smell of phantom tobacco. In cell 19, an inmate who died reportedly never left. In addition to light orbs in photographs, visitors claim to hear her coughing coming from the cell.
St. Elmo Ghost Town, Chaffee County
St. Elmo, founded in 1880, is Colorado’s most intact ghost town. Located in the Saguache Range southwest of Buena Vista, tourists often visit because of the preservation of the town following the Gold Rush, but it has an interesting haunted history as well.
In 1881, a businessman named Anton Stark arrived in St. Elmo and spent a lot of money trying to turn the town into a place of permanent residence. He owned the general store, which was also the post office, and took control over the Home Comfort Hotel, which was the town’s main hotel. After the gold stopped flowing and the residents began moving on, the Stark family were the only family to stay and try to prevent St. Elmo from becoming a ghost town like so many others during the Gold Rush.
While there are no shortage of stories involving haunted encounters in St. Elmo, the most common, by far, include Anton’s daughter, Annabelle Stark, who continued to live in St. Elmo until her death in 1960. One legend tells of the grandchildren of a family friend who was visiting after the death of Annabelle. They were playing in a room of the hotel, when suddenly the temperature plummeted and all the doors slammed shut.
Don’t Be Haunted By Lack of Car Insurance
Haunted places are scary, but being in a car accident without auto insurance is scarier. Make sure you’re properly covered by getting a car insurance quote from Farm Bureau Insurance.