DENVER — The end of October is the perfect time to talk about the paranormal, to highlight the haunted, and to show off the spookier side of our state. While the Stanley Hotel of ‘The Shining’ fame might be the most well-known horror destination, Denver7’s Jason Gruenauer decided to visit a few of Colorado’s other haunts ahead of the Halloween holiday.
The Lumber Baron Inn
Built in 1890, this former home in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood has since been restored. It is home to more recent “haunted” fame with the Netflix show ’28 Days Haunted’ filming here. The show, streaming now online, follows ghost hunters as they stay on the property and attempt to contact the paranormal.
Owner Joel Bryant says he has heard noises and experienced feelings in the old mansion, which he owns with his wife. Two teenage girls were allegedly murdered in a bedroom in the 1970s. That murder was never solved.
The Lumber Baron is now open as a bed and breakfast. They host weddings as well.
To see what happened during a tour of the mansion, click on the video above.
The Patterson Inn
Another old mansion, now available for people to stay overnight, is the Patterson Inn in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The sandstone building sits at the corner of 11th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street. It was built in the 1890s, and was the home of U.S. Senator Thomas Patterson and his family. If you believe the stories, it may still be home to them.
“We’ve had two claimed full-form apparitions in this past year. Both of an older man in a black suit with a tie, white hair and a mustache,” owner Chris Chiari said. “That description is of Senator Patterson.”
One of the more famous ghost stories to come out of the Patterson came in the 1970’s, when construction workers were remodeling the upstairs.
“The workers were certain the house was haunted, the house was possessed. They convinced the owner to put two dobermans in as guard dogs. The very next morning the two dogs were found dead on the front lawn of the house,” Chiari said.
The Patterson is now a nine-room boutique hotel.
“Your experience in a haunted house has a lot to do with you and how you show up. If you have no belief, this is an old Victorian home. But if you have a curiosity, just two days ago there were guest here with ghost hunting equipment,” the owner added.
Just up the street from the Patterson, is a popular Denver park with a dark past.
In the mid-1800s, the land that is now Cheesman Park was known as Mount Prospect Cemetery. The Denver Public Library has an extensive history of the cemetery on its website, including early photographs.
“In 1893, the task of moving 5,000 graves began under the management of undertaker E.P. McGovern. Due to mishandling of the project (including allegations of dismembering corpses so they could be placed in child-size coffins), McGovern was famously dismissed before all of the graves could be relocated,” according to the library’s history of the park.
Basically, all of the headstones were removed but not all of the bodies were.
“To this day, it is estimated that there are 2,000 bodies still buried in the earth here at Cheesman Park,” ghost tour guide Michael Shube told Denver7 back in 2018, citing local historians and research.
The Denver Botanic Gardens hosts events known as ‘Ghosts in the Gardens’ to highlight the more haunting history of the area.
The Tower of Memories
A well-known cemetery in Wheat Ridge is home to a lesser-known building, and more importantly, what is inside. At the center of the Crown Hill Cemetery sits a 158-foot tower. The imposing structure is nearly a hundred years old, yet according to cemetery officials, many don’t know what lies inside.
The building is known at the ‘Tower of Memories,’ and is a mausoleum.
“It’s for above-ground burial called entombment. So when you don’t elect to be placed in the ground you can be placed in an above ground crypt,” Dana Herrera of Crown Hill said.
Inside, entire hallways over several floors are lined with crypts, marble slates with names and dates carved on them with caskets on the other side. Other sections of wall space are dedicated to hold urns holding cremated remains.
“There are 6,000 crypts, so that would be casket burials. And there’s 5,000 niches, so that is for cremated remains or ashes,” Herrera said.
In total, there are more than 10,000 people laid to rest in this single building. Herrera says she doesn’t believe the tower is haunted, yet acknowledges the eerie feeling that comes with walking the halls.
“I don’t come here alone in the dark,” she said.
The Oxford Hotel
Finally, just a half-block from Union Station sits the Oxford Hotel. Unlike the Patterson and Lumber Baron, where sightings have occurred in several places, the Oxford’s paranormal past centers around one room; Room 320.
“Back in 1898, there was a woman named Florence Montague, who, around her wedding on her wedding night, went for a walk, came back in, found her husband with another woman. (She) shot the mistress and the husband before taking her own life. And the stories that we've heard over the last 100 or so years from is all from single men who experienced very strange things happening when they're staying in this room. Sometimes the sheets are pulled off the beds, lights flicker off and on unexplainably, and even the water faucets turn off and on,” Ed Blair, the Oxford’s general manager, told Denver7.
You can stay at the Oxford, they offer specific rates to stay in Room 320.