“GHOSTS AND HAUNTINGS OF COLORADO” and More Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
Find Weird Darkness wherever you listen to podcasts: https://weirddarkness.com/listen. #paranormal,#paranormalcolorado, #familysecrets, #evileye, #coloradoghosts, #hauntedcolorado, #truestories, #paranormalstories, #ghoststories, #horrorstories, #truecrime, #cryptids
Listen to ““GHOSTS AND HAUNTINGS OF COLORADO” and More Creepy True Stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: People share some of the dark secrets they discovered about a family member after that person’s death. (Death Revealed Their Secrets) *** The evil eye is a glance believed to have the ability to cause injury or death to those on whom it falls. It’s told there was a woman in North Walsham who was so wise and powerful she could repel the evil eye! We’ll also look at how to get rid of the evil eye if you have it – and how to avoid getting it in the first place! (The Wise Woman of North Walsham) *** Haunted and spooky places are located all around the world, and Colorado is no exception. It’s one high elevation state that offers some high paranormal activity (Ghosts of Colorado)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Death Revealed Their Secrets” by Damon Davis for Graveyard Shift: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/3vrpwy95
“The Wise Woman of North Walsham” by Stacia Briggs and Siofra Connor for Eastern Daily Press:https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2ctepfnc
“Ghosts of Colorado” from LegendsOfAmerica.com (https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/2ene4vcz), UncoverColorado.com (https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/3v888t5s, https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/5tk9c9ap), and Thrillist.com (https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/58csr58e).
VIDEO: “The Hand Hotel”: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/9751
VIDEO: “The Castle Project” trailer: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/9748
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(Over time links seen above may become invalid, disappear, or have different content. I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use whenever possible. If I somehow overlooked doing so for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I will rectify it in these show notes immediately. Some links included above may benefit me financially through qualifying purchases.)
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“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46
Weird Darkness®, Weird Darkness© 2022
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It’s fairly common for people to take secrets to their graves, but that doesn’t mean those secrets won’t get discovered by the people left behind. These Redditors got together to discuss the biggest secrets they learned about a loved one after they passed.
From Redditor u/snowwhite88:
My great-uncle Ray and great-aunt Ann lived in a little house on the outer edge of town. Never had children or pets. Their house was always in some disarray; the roof needed to be repaired or siding falling off. When Uncle Ray’s truck broke down, he didn’t get it fixed, he just rode a bicycle around town. He always wore Levi’s blue jeans and a white cotton T-shirt. He would mow lawns for some extra money, and he was a car salesman back in the day.
Ray and Ann [passed] three hours apart, in different facilities. Ann first, then Ray.
Since Ray was the last one living, they contacted his next of kin, which was my mom. She got a call from a lawyer and was scared to call him back because she thought they were going to make her pay for the funerals. Lawyer says no, no, you just need to come in and talk to me.
Stacks and stacks of CDs and bonds, laundry basket filled with cash (covered in clothes), cash rolled up under kitchen sink, some here, some there… Multiple bank accounts.. Ended up being close to two million dollars.
The only bill my mom had to pay in Ray’s name after he passed was his electric bill… $37.
From Redditor u/spud_simon_salem:
In India, January 2013, both of my grandparents [passed] just hours apart. At the time, my mother and I were told that my grandfather [passed] of a brain hemorrhage and my grandmother [passed] in her sleep. My aunt and uncle flew from England (where they reside) to India when they heard my grandfather was [asleep] from the hemorrhage.
This year, my mother began talking to a man in India who was one of my grandfather’s best friends. This man was with my aunt and uncle during the time of their [passing].
According to this man, my aunt and uncle woke up and found my grandmother [deceased] in her bed and just left her there. They didn’t do anything about her dead body for hours – they just left it in her bed. While my grandmother’s corpse was still in her bed, my aunt and uncle went to the hospital to see my grandfather. The doctor said my grandfather would come out of the [sleep state] soon and would be fine. But my aunt and uncle decided to pull the plug on him anyways.
They went back to the house, and one of the housemaids showed my aunt that my grandmother’s dead body was foaming at the mouth. My aunt took her scarf, wiped away the foam, and kept the scarf there to prevent anyone from seeing the foaming.
So basically, my aunt and uncle [slayed] my grandparents.
From Redditor u/pigsfly1133:
A couple years ago, my great uncle passed. When he [passed], in addition to a mansion in Chicago, he left $15 million for his children to split up ($3 million each). As it turns out, he used to be only two steps below kingpin of a large Chicago [syndicate]. He took some money and left for good after getting [hurt] and realizing that he didn’t want his children to grow up without a father. Also, his wife had owned two wh*rehouses before selling them and marrying him.
From Redditor u/Back2Bach:
My grandmother was a lovely lady – she had little money, and lived simply. We loved each other, and it was a special relationship.
When she [passed], I was very surprised to discover that she had quietly scrimped and saved over the years, and left enough money for me in her will to pay for my college education. That was her dream – and I had no idea, as she never said even one word about it.
From Redditor u/fretman124:
After my dad passed, I found out he had run a flamethrower for three months digging the Japanese out of the caves in the Philippines.
My dad didn’t talk about the [conflict] much. He never mentioned this part. Found out from Mom he had terrible nightmares all his life about it.
From Redditor u/emjaybe:
After my husband’s grandmother [passed] in January, they found a photo from the 1940s of a handsome man in uniform amongst her things: the back read something along the lines of “With my deepest love and devotion, Terry.” But it wasn’t her husband (who she was married to during the [conflict]), and no one had ever heard her mention him before. He must’ve meant something to her, to hold on to that photo for 70 plus years.
From Redditor u/salty_bananas:
The day my mother [passed] suddenly, I found out that both she and my dad had been married before. On top of this, the “cousin” that used to come visit us when I was a child was actually my half-sister! She had stopped coming around, but I always liked her and wished she would come back. Sad part is, even my father had lost track of his own daughter (long story involving the secret they were keeping from me, a marriage and subsequent move and then divorce of my half-sister), and he hadn’t able to locate her for years. Happy ending – 18 years after my mom’s [passing], my sister contacts me out of the blue, we meet up for a tearful reunion, and shortly afterwards, father and daughter are reunited at last! We all love each other dearly and love to get together (we each live in different states).
From Redditor u/imminent_riot:
My father [passed] when I was 12. The night before he [passed], I was staying the night with my cousins. I wanted to go home really bad because they were older than me and were all watching scary movies, and I didn’t want to but didn’t want to go to bed super early, either. I called home and begged to come home, but he wouldn’t let me. I yelled, “I HATE YOU!” and hung up the phone. Yeah, so those were my last words to Dad. I spent almost 15 years thinking he had [passed] angry with me. One day a few years ago, I was talking to my mother and mentioned how heavy that weighed on me. She shocked me by busting out laughing her a** off. She said after he hung up the phone, he cracked up because he definitely didn’t want me home. They were about to have [relations]. So yeah, he didn’t [pass] angry with me, he was just boning my mom.
From Redditor u/NoahtheRed:
My grandmother [passed] rather quickly. She got sick with pneumonia between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she [passed] just before Valentine’s Day. It was very tough on my grandfather, especially as they’d been married for over 40 years and both of them had lead exciting lives together. It was several years before my grandfather packed her clothes and belongings away, and naturally, he asked for his kids (my mom and uncles) to help, since it was tough. When they checked her coat for anything that may need to be packed separately, they found dozens of horse racing betting slips. In fact, it was hundreds of dollars worth of bets, all of them relatively recent to her [passing]. Her purse also contained as many, if not more, betting slips. What was even more interesting was that she was REALLY good at it. As in, she was going to the track and coming back hundreds of dollars richer.
My grandfather said he knew she liked to go to the horse races, and knew she occasionally gambled, but had no idea that she was as good at it as she was. We all laughed about it because, frankly, it was just one facet of a very amazing and accomplished woman.
From Redditor u/chirpyderp:
My great-great-grandmother met my great-great-grandfather on Ellis Island when immigrating to the US. She was 16, and he was 17, or so everyone believed. When she [passed] just after her alleged 97th birthday, my family discovered from immigration logs she was actually 100, and had lied about her age because it wouldn’t have been acceptable in society to a) be single at 19 and b) marry a younger man.
From a deleted Reddit user:
My father, in the late ’50s, helped rob a bank in New York. He drove the getaway car.
He did the full five years he was sentenced to because every time he got asked about the guys he worked with, he said nothing.
From Redditor u/Stevenasauraus:
My best friend since kindergarten Cheryl was [taken] by a drunk driver along with her father. Since the seventh grade, I wrote her a poem every month and mailed it to her (They weren’t Maya Angelou quality, but it’s the thought that counts, right?). I pretty much thought she would just throw them around after reading them a few times, but I discovered she had a shoebox under her bed with all 37 poems from seventh grade when I started writing them to ninth grade when she was [slain].
From Redditor u/muckinaball:
My grandfather used [syndicate] “loan” money to start his business. Found this out when a retired [wiseguy] showed up at his funeral reception.
Edit: I know he at least laundered and/or hid money, besides that I don’t know. His brother also had a very successful real estate business. Their parents (my great-grandparents) had a small farm, they did not come from any money. It was the Italian [syndicate] in the Bay Area.
From Redditor u/joannagoanna:
I wasn’t particularly close with my grandfather, I was young when he [passed], but as he was well… dying, he had to have a breathing tube put in. After he [passed], the doctors presented my grandmother with his false teeth.
Apparently, when he was 21, as a birthday present, his father had taken him to the dentist to have all his teeth pulled and have false ones put in. No one knew, including his wife and all his kids. Apparently, this was common practice.
Up next… The evil eye is a glance believed to have the ability to cause injury or death to those on whom it falls. But one woman was considered so wise and powerful that she could repel the evil eye! We’ll also look at how to get rid of the evil eye if you have it – and how to avoid getting it in the first place – when Weird Darkness returns!
STORY: THE WISE WOMAN OF NORTH WALSHAM==========
She was the wise woman of Walsham who could reverse the ‘evil eye’ and whose work was still remembered within living memory.
In the past, as now, people have always wondered why terrible things happen to good people – and a belief that someone had fallen under a curse seemed as a good a reason as any to cling to. They might be the gateway to the soul, but many believe that a purposeful stare can inflict great magical damage on another person: it’s when a dirty look turns into the evil eye. One should, by the way, not confuse the eye amulet (often called ‘the evil eye’, a cobalt-blue charm) which is actually anti-witchcraft, with the glare that causes so much damage.
The curse of the evil eye stems from a belief that someone who achieves success in their life or recognition also attracts envy from those who are around them. This envy then turns into a curse that can undo good fortune. In Heliodorus of Emesa in ancient Greek romance Aethiopica, the author writes: “When anyone looks at what is excellent with an envious eye he fills the surrounding atmosphere with a pernicious quality and transmits his own envenomed exhalations into whatever is nearest to him.” Greek philosopher Plutarch believed the human eye had the power of releasing invisible rays of energy that were so strong they had the power to kill small animals or even children. The evil eye was thought to be so powerful that it could cause misfortune, injury, disease or even death if you were the subject of a malicious glance: it could also cause harm to property, animals or loved ones.
It was little surprise, then, that those who believed they had fallen under an evil spell were keen to rid themselves of the magical curse In a letter written to the Eastern Daily Press in March 1894, William Cooke of Stalham wrote about a Mrs Wisby of North Walsham who was often called on to reverse the effects of the evil eye or “being overlooked” as it was also called. “Her chief speciality was the power of putting a mark on the possessor of the evil optic (distance no object),” he wrote.
Cooke then recounted the story of a young coachman who took a new job only to find that his horses quickly deteriorated under his care, their coats becoming ragged as they grew thin. He was told that the former holder of his job had “overlooked” him. Hastening to North Walsham to see Mrs Wisby, she quickly told him that the man who had caused him ill was “bearded like a pard”, a phrase Shakespeare used to refer to someone who had a patchy beard like a leopard’s spotted coat. She told the coachman that she would put a mark on the man and that in three days it would be apparent: three days later, the man was seen without his beard after it mysteriously fell out almost overnight.
Mrs Wisby would create charms or amulets which consisted of verses of Bible scripture written on strips of paper which were carried by those that needed them. As Mr Cooke put it: “In the face of the advance of education in many of our rural parishes, the belief in witches and witchcraft is as strong as when the notorious Hopkins drove such a roaring trade as a witchfinder. “Imps are still dreaded. The cauldron of the weird sisters still bubbles. I may add the late Mrs. Wisby was also noted for her skill in the healing art, her medicines acting both as a charm and cure.”
In 1932, Ernest Edward Smith sent a poem to the Eastern Daily Press which was published the day after Boxing Day – it was about a strange story told to a child by his grandfather of something which happened in 1839. The man had reared a herd of swine but the litter sickened and despite his best efforts, failed to thrive. A neighbour offered some help.
“A neighbour who was in the line,
“expert in things concerning swine,
“looked at the pigs—then scratched his head,
“paused long—his ginger whiskers twitched;
“and, turning to the farmer, said—
“‘Why, these here pigs have been bewitched.’
“… And so the afflicted farmer tries
“what Mrs. Wisby would advise—
“a woman in such matters wise,
“her skill was sought the country round,
“And here the remedy he found,
“and having paid the appropriate fee,
“he hurried home in time for tea.”
On a dark, moonless night, the farmer and his farmhand waited for the magic to start. “Before the hour of midnight chime: rustle in the pigstye near, is warning of the spell at work.” While the pigs died – turning from white to black as they breathed their last and the farmer burnt one ceremonially to purge the witchcraft – as the clock struck midnight a figure appeared at the door begging for pardon.
“Tis said if you should not speak first, the witch will swell, and swell—and burst and I am told by those who know of witches’ manners odious, the smallest harm that they can do, is make their victim verminous: sometimes this malady is switched on people who are not bewitched!” The storyteller refused to give the identity of the man who begged forgiveness, but added that he was in the churchyard nearby, buried close to the witch in question.
So – what should you do if you believe you’ve fallen victim to the evil eye? Firstly, it’s best to avoid becoming the victim of the evil eye in the first place. Scatter salt inside your front door, ask all your family to urinate in a bucket and pour the contents outside your house (a fun activity for lockdown) and don’t whatever you do, spill olive oil. Secondly, carry an evil eye amulet, as described above or if you need something quickly, carry garlic instead (which has the added bonus of repelling vampires). You can pass an egg over an afflicted person’s forehead and body and then break the egg over a bowl of water and look for the shape of an eye to appear which will show that the power of the curse has been removed. And if you need to stop the evil eye in its tracks as it happens, make the sign of the horns – extend the index and little fingers while holding the middle and ring fingers down with your thumb – downwards. Good luck.
One of our Weirdo first-responders called the Darkline recently!
Thanks for the story, (Officer)… and thank you for your service! Mike also called in with a story – and if it wasn’t in a different part of the country you’d swear he was talking about the area we just heard our police officer talking about!
Thanks, Mike! Great stuff! If you have a true paranormal or creepy story to share, you can do what these Weirdos did and call the DarkLine at 1-877-277-5944. That’s 1-877-277-5944.
Up next on Weird Darkness… Haunted and spooky places are located all around the world, and Colorado is no exception. It’s one high elevation state that offers some high paranormal activity (Ghosts of Colorado)
STORY: GHOSTS OF COLORADO==========
If you’re traveling to Colorado and want to explore the spookiest places it has on offer, here are just a handful. These are some of the scariest spots, ranging from obsolete mining towns and century-old hotels to ethereal cemeteries and homes of ill-fated events.
The Hand Hotel: For decades, Fairplay’s Hand Hotel has been the location of some of the most terrifying or outlandish claims of paranormal activity, depending on who you ask. In 2010, a paranormal investigator claimed they were touched by an apparition that left a “burning sensation” on their body. Others claim a “demonic dog” lurks in the building’s basement. But while these claims might be quickly dismissed by some, the hotel’s ghostly reputation was serious enough to inspire a news crew to film a story about ghostly happenings there during the 1980’s. Now available on YouTube, interviews of the staff portray a hotel that was constantly haunted by mischievous and sometimes threatening spirits. By the end of the segment, unexplainable events caught on tape seemed to have convinced the news team that the hotel staff members were being truthful. Unlike other hotels that embrace their haunted reputations, these days the Hand Hotel seems to pride itself more on its quaint, nostalgic trappings than ghosts or demon dogs.
The Highlands Ranch Mansion: In 1891, this castle-like, sprawling stone-house was built by J.W. Springer – a well-heeled Easterner who set up the Cattle Ranch and Cross Country Horse. In 1926, F. Kistler bought the Highlands Ranch Mansion and his daughter Julia’s ghost is alleged to haunt this house from then on. Many people claim they have heard her sobs and have seen her silhouetted figure even when the place was vacant.
The Goldminer Hotel: Built in 1897, Nederland’s Goldminer Hotel aims to immerse its guests in nostalgic and hospitable wonder, with home-cooked meals and “A night sky so dark you can see everything,” according to their website. Well, depending on what you believe, the hotel is so nice that some formerly living gusts refuse to leave. The owners report hearing about a woman feeling the presence of a “female entity” watching her in her room as she got ready for bed. In another account, a plumber skeptical of ghosts converted into a fervent believer after turning the building’s water off in the basement only to see it running again in the upstair’s section of the hotel. After this happened three times, the plumber yelled to no one in particular, “OK, I believe now! Let me finish and get out of here!”
Central City Masonic Cemetery: Founded as a mining town in the late 1800s, Central City is now known as a destination for those looking to head to the hills for a gambling fix in the casinos that now dot the area. But one thing hasn’t changed: the woman in black who twice a year appears in this hilltop cemetery above the town. Known as the “Columbine Lady,” she comes to visit the grave of John Cameron, a prominent former resident of Central City who died in 1884. Some believe she is his fiancee, appearing to leave flowers for her lost love on November 1st, the anniversary of Cameron’s death, and April 5th, a date for which the significance remains a mystery… much like the woman herself.
The Black Monarch Hotel: When contractor Adam Zimmerli purchased an old hotel in the once-booming mining town of Victor, Colorado, locals emphatically warned him that the building was haunted. But rather than cut his losses and sell or try to scrub out the unholy presences thought to still occupy the building, he decided to own the creepiness by converting the property into a serial killer-themed hotel. With rooms named after notorious and deeply terrifying serial murderers like H.H. Holmes and Elizabeth Bathory, the Black Monarch Hotel stops at nothing to celebrate the macabre in a setting that already contained a dark past. A recent feature of the hotel published by The Guardian details a historical account that local miners in the area were murdered by gangsters who were hired by powerful corporations. According to Zimmerli, these same wealthy mine owners suspected of these crimes were known to frequent the hotel back when it was a casino and bordello. Zimmerli claims some of the miners were murdered when the mines they were working in were intentionally collapsed with them inside. Today, the hotel staff says some guests have only been able to stay a couple of hours out of fear. But while the presence of actual ghosts in the hotel and whether memorializing serial killers is a good idea or not are up for debate, it’s clear that the Black Monarch has quite a story to tell.
St. Elmo Ghost Town: With relics from Colorado’s mining past well intact, this ghost town is a popular destination for those looking to get a glimpse into the past. But as you explore the remaining buildings, including the previously bustling general store, stay alert… you might just get a peek at St. Elmo’s most well known former (and possibly present) resident, Annabelle Stark. The town was originally settled in 1878, and the Starks arrived in 1881 toting a young Annabelle along. The Stark children were kept quite isolated in the town, and despite having left at one point to marry, Annabelle mysteriously returned only a short time later and is now said to remain as the town’s supernatural protector.
The Victor Hotel: High atop the Rocky Mountains at 9,708 feet, the historic mining town of Victor is among Colorado’s most elevated communities. The town is so high, in fact, that graves can’t be dug during the harsh winters when the ground freezes over. After the Victor Hotel was rebuilt after a fire devastated the building in 1899, it was used––for some ungodly reason––as a “holding cell for the dead” during the winter months as locals waited for the ground to thaw. Dead bodies were thrown onto the elevator and stored on the fourth floor where they’d wait to be transferred to their final resting places. Unsurprisingly, guest accounts describe a whole lot of terrifying things happening on the fourth floor, including headless and limbless figures popping up in rooms and roaming the hallways. What is surprising is that the Victor Hotel makes its fourth floor avoidable for guests, and that some willingly book rooms there in hopes of catching a glimpse of something spooky. Other phenomena is regularly said to occur at the hotel, such as kitchen utensils being thrown across the room, visions of misty figures accompanied by bursts of cold air, and the elevator traveling from floor to floor all by itself.
The Molly Brown House: Surprisingly, Molly Brown was one of the Titanic survivors – she was renowned for her charitable, philanthropic, and humanitarian socialite status. People visit her house frequently and have reported the spirits’ activity there. Her house is one of the most popular haunted spots in Colorado to visit when looking for paranormal activity.
Oxford Hotel: As Denver’s oldest boutique hotel, this spot is associated with some chilling stories, including one involving bathroom stalls miraculously locking by themselves and trapping helpless guests. In 1898, a brutal murder suicide took place in room 320 committed by a guest named Florence Montague. Over the years, numerous single male guests staying in the room are said to have complained of sheets inexplicably flying off the bed and their arms being violently pulled. In the Cruise Room hotel bar, bartenders report seeing an old postal worker who matches the description of one who died in the 1930’s while trying to deliver Christmas gifts to Children in Central City.
Gold Camp Rail Tunnels: Originally built in the 1800s for rail use during the Gold Rush, three of the original nine tunnels located just outside Colorado Springs have since collapsed. The remaining tunnels have been converted for vehicle use, while an ominous spiked gate blocks entry to the others. And that’s where things turn creepy. From stories of workers killed during construction of the tunnels to a tale about a bus filled with children that died in the third tunnel collapse, there are a lot of theories as to why this location may be haunted. But regardless, the fact remains that many reports of children’s laughter, dark figures lurking, and even dusty fingerprints left behind on cars that dare to stop in the still open tunnels surround this spooky destination.
The Baldpate Inn in Estes Park: The Baldpate Inn, nestled along the mountainside at an elevation of 9,000 feet near the Rocky Mountain National Park, has served guests for more than 100 years. Today, it is said to be haunted. Gordon and Ethel Mace, who were newlyweds, homesteaded the property in Estes Park and built a classic log cabin in 1911. To supplement their income, they built several small tourist cabins, which proved to be a huge success. Next, they began to make plans to build a larger lodging facility, and in 1917 they opened the Baldpate Inn. They named the inn after a fictional inn in a mystery novel where regular guests were given their own keys to the building. The Maces practiced this tradition until World War I, when the cost of metal rose so steeply, they could no longer afford to give away keys. When this happened, their loyal guests started bringing a key with them to leave at the inn, which started the famous “Key Room,” which holds over 20,000 keys. Keys from Westminster Abby, Mozart’s wine cellar, the Pentagon, and even Frankenstein’s castle adorn the room. Today, both Ethel and Gordon reportedly continue to stay at their old Inn spiritually. Staff and guests say that Ethel has haunted her old room for years and particularly likes spending time in the Key Room. She also likes to sit in a wing-backed rocker before a fireplace located in a storage room. Her feet up, she is said to sit in the rocker reading the bible. Evidently, Ethel supported the prohibitionists because she also likes to spill mixed drinks, while others tend to fly off tables. Gordon’s pet peeve, on the other hand, is evidently smoking. Though the lodge does not allow smoking, if a guest does light up a cigarette, something smashes it, or their cigarette packs come up missing. Baldpate Inn is now run by the Smith family, who purchased the inn in 1986. Only the second family to ever own the inn, the Smiths continue to welcome guests in the same fashion as the Maces. The 12-room lodge is open from Memorial Day to mid-October 1st and is located seven miles south of Estes Park at 4900 South Highway 7.
The Fortune Hotel: In yet another sign that Victor is one of the creepiest towns in Colorado, the recently remodeled Fortune Club diner and hotel is said to be one of many paranormal hotspots. When the building underwent serious renovations in 2016, the hotel’s new owners shared stories of doors slamming and a loud banging under their feet while cooking in the kitchen. A black cat frequently roamed the building, even though no such animal belongs to the owners. And while painting one night, one of the owners witnessed his paintbrush inexplicably fly into the air and slam back down on the floor before looking up and seeing the image of a woman in a Victorian dress. While the Fortune Club’s owners say that paranormal activity has slowed since wrapping up remodeling, the hotel’s guests tell a different story. One man woke in the night to hear footsteps pacing between him and a woman who was sleeping next to him in another bed. He felt a hand on his shoulder before feeling the presence leave the room.
Cheesman Park: Denver has many lovely parks that are welcome retreats for residents to enjoy some time in the outdoors, and Chessman is no exception. Well, except for one small detail. The park was also formerly Denver’s first graveyard. While some of the bodies originally buried there were moved by loved ones after it was decided that the land would be used for a park instead, many were left unclaimed. Enter E.P. McGovern. He was tasked with moving the remaining bodies, with a fee to be paid for each. So instead of moving them whole, he opted to hack up the remains so they’d fit into children’s coffins leaving McGovern a larger check to collect. Remains leftover from this self-serving horror were found as late as the 1960s, and tales of strange apparitions in the park (and the nearby Botanic Gardens) continue today.
Hotel Jerome: Hotel Jerome is second to none when we talk about the spookiest and ghostliest place in Colorado. It offers a calm and luxury stay in the township of Aspen. It’s famous for its exceptional blend of historical heritage and contemporary luxury. In 1880, the biggest silver nugget was extracted from the indigenous Smuggler Mine and in subsequent to that, in 1889, the Aspen town was established on the top of the silver mine. The hotel kept on thriving with people until the mines became closed. After that, the hotel’s space was refurbished to become the hot spot of the social life of the town. The hotel is rumored to have a boy’s ghost who drowned and died in its swimming pool. It’s said that the boy will appear randomly and stare at visitors. Do you think you’re ready for this?
The Stanley Hotel: This place managed to freak out the Stephen King, the veritable king of scream, prompting the author to pen The Shining after a one night stay in the now infamous room 217. Although the film version was not shot at the Stanley, a later miniseries was… and both versions of the frightening tale play on a non-stop loop in the rooms. Built in 1909, there are over a century’s worth of ghost stories lingering in the halls here, including King’s sighting of ghostly children playing in the halls. Ever since, guests have reported a variety of strange noises, unsettling presences, and even some mysterious figures caught on film. Pro-tip: chat with the staff if you get a chance to visit, many have their own close encounters that they’re more than happy to share.
Riverdale Road: Sometimes referred to as the most haunted road in America, this small stretch of asphalt outside of Denver is the source of many a terrifying tale. Rusty metal gates were previously left behind from a mansion where a man supposedly became possessed by the devil before burning down the house and killing his family. This became known as the Gates of Hell, although the structure is now gone, the paranormal activity has not slowed down. It is also said that the road was built on Native American burial grounds, and that it’s been the site of many tragic accidents. Reports of headless animals left behind, strange voices chanting, figures appearing then disappearing from sight, and bloody handprints spattered on signs have all been rumoured in the area.
The Broadmoor: This sprawling five star hotel has a lot to offer for anyone seeking a relaxing and indulgent getaway. But along with the golf course, spa, and nearby zoo, there’s one feature you won’t find in any brochure. Staff and guests alike have reported the presence of a woman, often in the penthouse where Julie Penrose, co-founder of the property once lived. While not confirmed, Penrose’s death is said to have been surrounded by a strange occurrence in which she went missing and was later found, confused and shaking in the woods nearby with no memory of how she got there. She passed away a week later, and perhaps her spirit remains, watching over the property and seeking answers about her own mysterious death.
Brown Palace Hotel: For more than a century the Brown Palace Hotel has been setting the standard for luxurious accommodations in Denver, Colorado. Not only is it a place steeped in history while modernized for today’s travelers, but it is also said to play host to several other era spirits. Opened in 1892 by Henry Cordes Brown, the hotel has never closed, not even for a day, though it has undergone numerous renovations throughout the years. Brown originally left his Ohio home in 1860, planning on striking it rich in California. However, as his family passed through Denver, his wife liked it so much, she reportedly said to him, “Mr. Brown, thou may press on to California if such be thy wish. I shall remain here.” Making Denver their home, the Browns soon homesteaded 160 acres on what would later become known as Capitol Hill. A shrewd businessman, Brown developed the acreage into the most influential neighborhood in the city, where the wealthy began to build palatial brownstone mansions up and down Grant and Sherman Streets. Henry made a fortune from his real estate development; however, the economic panic of 1877 nearly destroyed him. He was forced to sell his palatial estate to Horace Tabor for $50,000, but the enterprising Brown soon recovered his fortune and by 1880 was worth nearly five million dollars, making him one of the wealthiest men in Colorado. When the Windsor Hotel, one of Denver’s most elegant at the time, would not let Brown enter because he was dressed in cowboy attire, Brown decided to build his own hotel, and in the process, outdo the Windsor. In 1888, he retained architect Frank E. Edbrooke to design a new hotel, the likes of which had never before been seen in Denver.At a cost of an unprecedented $1.6 million, the luxury hotel was built in the Italian Renaissance style on a triangular lot at the intersection of 17th and Broadway. The exterior was built with Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone, complete with 26 hand-carved stone medallions, each depicting a native Rocky Mountain animal. Made by James Whitehouse, the carvings can still be seen between the seventh-floor windows on the hotel’s exterior.
Inside, the hotel featured the nation’s first atrium lobby with balconies rising eight floors above the ground. White onyx and marble were imported for the lobby, the Grand Salon and the eighth floor ballroom and some $400,000 was spent in the fine furnishings that graced the hotel. On August 12, 1892, the hotel opened to the awed socialites of Denver, who were stunned by the iron grillwork panels, the volume of onyx and marble, the stained-glass ceiling at the top of the eight-story atrium, the fine furnishings, and numerous amenities. Serving only the very best, the Brown Palace initially provided meat, vegetables, and cream from its own farms. It generated its own electricity, had its own incineration system for garbage, and its own artesian well to provide water. During the hotel’s early days it is said that a tunnel once connected the Brown Palace with the Navarre building across the street, a gambling den and brothel at the time. Over the years, the fabulous hotel has seen hundreds of celebrity guests, from Presidents to Rock Stars, and has a wealth of stories ranging from Prohibition raids, to champion bulls having been displayed in its lobby, to the birth of the Denver Broncos, to — you got it – ghosts! One old legend is that of a Denver socialite who once lived in room 904 from 1940 to 1955. Later, when the hotel began to offer tours, the story of her life and heartbreak over a lost love were told to the visitors. Strangely, the switchboard suddenly began to receive calls from room 904. But this was impossible, as, at the time, the room was undergoing renovation and had no furnishings, lights, carpet, or telephone lines. Before long, the story was eliminated from the tour and the telephone calls from room 904 stopped coming. The main hotel’s dining room, called Ellyngton’s today, was once known as the San Marco Room, where big bands played, and later the San Marco Strings entertained the hotel’s guests. One night after an employee heard strange sounds coming from the room, he walked in to find a formally dressed string quartet practicing their music. Stunned, he said to the musicians, “You’re not supposed to be in here,” only to hear their nonchalant reply, “Oh, don’t worry about us. We live here.”
Museum of Colorado Prisons: This building was originally a women’s prison constructed in 1935 and it remains connected to a still operating prison today. Now, you can tour the site and learn more about its storied history. In fact, you might even get up close and personal with some of its former residents. People have reported orb sightings, distant voices, and other mysterious signs from beyond, including the lingering smell of tobacco. Perhaps some of these odd happenings can be traced back to some of the prison’s notorious past inmates including a convicted cannibal and a 12-year-old jailed for murder.
The Hotel Colorado: It doesn’t take having a firm belief in the paranormal to recognize that the Hotel Colorado is weighed down by grim and storied legacy. Opened in 1893, the hotel’s design was modeled after opulent resorts that were common in Italy at the time. The swanky mountain hotel had a bird sanctuary, Victorian garden, and, in a weird pre-cursor to another famous Colorado destination, a massive indoor waterfall. Some of the more outlandish and cliched stories about this Glenwood Springs hotel include a curse on the land from Native Americans who were displaced from the spot the hotel now stands. Others predictably feature the ghosts of expired guests wandering the halls and making themselves known in mischievous ways. But the facts about Hotel Colorado’s past are ghastly enough to take some accounts of paranormal activity seriously. During WWII, the building was converted into a Navy hospital, and dead soldiers were stored in the basement in a makeshift morgue. Since reestablishing itself as a hotel again after the war, visitors and staff frequently claim witnessing strange, unexplainable things all over the building, not just in the basement. Screams believed to emanate from a murdered chambermaid have been heard throughout the hotel. According to its Wikipedia page, the guest room where she was purportedly murdered is now used as a storage room due to an excess amount of paranormal activity. Other ghostly presences are so frequently seen, heard, felt, and smelt, that they now have names. A ghost affectionately dubbed “Walter” is thought to make himself known to staff and guests through the scent cigar smoke. Smoking, by the way, hasn’t been allowed in the hotel for many years.
The Patterson Hotel: With charming brownstone facing and ornate, storybook spires, at first glance, the Patterson Inn looks like nothing more than a stately Capitol Hill mansion. Constructed in 1890, this building is one of the oldest in Denver––and one of the most haunted, according to some. During the 1970’s, the Patterson Inn underwent renovations, which is when strange things began to occur around the property. Construction crews were fed up after arriving at the hotel to see their work undone multiple times, so they brought in guard dogs to keep vandals away from the site overnight. The following morning, the dogs were found dead on the sidewalk. Construction workers at the scene believed they’d jumped from a third-floor window. Today, the mansion is known for converting paranormal skeptics into full blown believers, as portrayed in the documentary film The Castle Project. While critics panned the documentary for playing up supernatural experiences and its palpable corniness, many believe that true and unexplainable events are a regular occurrence at the Patterson Inn.
And finally – a personal take from an author at LegendsOfAmerica.com about her time at the Buffalo Ranch: I grew up at the Genesee Buffalo Ranch just west of Denver, Colorado. My Father is still the caretaker of the ranch and lives in the two-story house, built by the Patrick family in the 1860s. Headed west from Missouri, the Patricks, along with their five boys, built the house and operated a stage stop on Genesee Mountain. I remember when we moved into the house, the former caretaker lived in a house trailer in the back yard. His wife would not set foot in the main house because she saw strange things and said the house was haunted. When I was about 12, I remember a night when my mother was upstairs, screaming hysterically, as our dog barked loudly at the wall. My Dad and I ran upstairs to see what the commotion was all about. When we arrived, she related that she had seen a floating, glowing green ball go down the hall and disappear through the wall. I slept with the covers over my head for the next several weeks! The next haunting came about six months later, a night that still feels as if it happened yesterday. As I was sleeping, my father woke me up and asked me if I could hear music in the house. Barely, I could make out the faint sounds of a fiddle or violin. Dad had already checked all the radios and they were not turned on. We searched for the source of the music and went downstairs, where you hear the music coming from the upper story and vise-versa. When we went outside, we could still hear the music coming from the house. We continued to hear the haunting music a couple more times that same year. A few years later we received a book from a local historian, describing the complete history of the house and the Patrick family, information that was unknown to us until we read the book. The first murder in Jefferson county happened in our front yard in the 1870s, when one of the Patrick brothers shot and killed another brother in a dispute over a dog! The brother that he killed was known to be very lazy and the only thing he liked to do was sit around and play his fiddle! When I read this and remembered the fiddle music during those nights, a cold electric sweat ran through my body. We also found out that the father of the boys is buried somewhere in the yard but there is no marker. The house has been peaceful now for several years and hopefully, the Patricks are now at peace.
Up next we’ll have a story from one of our Weirdo family members!
This next story comes from one of our Weirdo family members who has chosen to remain anonymous. Here is their story…
I’d like to start my story by saying that I love your podcast, thank you for everything. Weird Darkness has really helped me in the last few months.
This story is told in my mothers point of view.
My daughter is three years old and she is very humorous, but lately some weird things have been happening. One day after her father left for work I heard her talking , I didn’t hear what she was saying, but I Asked her who she was talking to, and she said “The man that looks like daddy!” Then another time she walked by the chair in the Livingroom, waved and said with a smile “Oh, hi!” one day we had friends over and some books flew off the shelf in her room. we were all in the Livingroom at the time. But those are all just strange incidences. one morning as I go to wake her up, her bed is in the middle of her room, I mean EXACTLY in the middle, perfectly centered. so of course I question her. I ask her if she moved her bed, “yes”, how? I ask. But no answer, I’m confused, how would a scrawny little three year old move her entire bed from the corner of her room to the middle of it, and so perfect, I ask myself. Why did you move your bed? I ask her, “The voice in the light, it told me to.” and that’s when I realize that her bed is directly under he light. at this point I’ve had enough so i research the house but there’s nothing weird, no deaths, murders, suicides or any reasoning for the place to be haunted.
I’m thirteen now and I’ve been really interested in the paranormal ever since I heard this story from my mom.