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A Halloween guide to "haunted" Denver

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Every city or town has its own story.  Often, these stories can include dark and macabre tales of deception, lies, and even murder.  Denver is no different.  Initially built around the mining boom of the mid-1800’s, Denver has had a rich past.  Situated at the base of the beautiful Rocky mountains, Denver is one of America’s prettiest cities – as well as one of its most haunted.

To get in the Halloween spirit, take a tour of some of the following haunted places in Denver.


1)
Cheesman Park

Most people have no idea that when they are out on that afternoon picnic with their family at Cheesman Park, that they may in fact be dining right above an unmarked grave.  You read correctly, the park lies on the same ground that used to be a cemetery.

Following disputes over the rightful ownership of the land back in the late 1800’s, the city began relocating the bodies via less than unscrupulous means, including forcing multiple bodies into individual caskets in order to cut costs.  Once the public got wind of these macabre happenings, work was halted.  It never was completed, and today, an estimated 2,000 bodies still lie in their original burial sites under the park.

Most visitors today tell of feelings of unexplainable sadness or dread in a place, that is today, meant for pleasure and relaxation.  But other reports are more specific, often including the sounds of hundreds of whispering voices and moans that continue to come from the fields where the open graves once laid.  Children have been seen playing in the park during the night before they mysteriously disappear and a woman is said to be seen singing to herself, before she too, suddenly vanishes. On some moonlit nights, the outlines of the old graves can still allegedly be seen.  Others have also claimed that after lying on the grass, they have found it difficult to get up, as if unseen forces are restraining them. Yet more reports tell of strange shadows and misty figures that seem to wander through through the park in confusion.

2) Brown Palace Hotel

Opened in 1892 by Henry Cordes Brown, the Brown Palace Hotel has been a Denver landmark ever since.

Over the years, the hotel has seen hundreds of celebrity guests, from Presidents to Rock Stars, and has a wealth of stories.  Throughout the years of constant activity, more stories have surfaced about some more “permanent” guests.

This century old luxury hotel is said to host a number of spirits in its historic rooms and hallways. The ghost of an old railroad ticket manager walks directly into a wall, a baby is heard crying in the basement, an ethereal waiter rides the service elevator, and a long dead string quartet has been known to practice their music here.

3) Denver International Airport

During it’s formative years, DIA encountered seemingly endless problems.  It was grossly over budget, and had countless technical problems including the notoriously flawed automated baggage system.

Along with these problems, many travelers and employees report strange occurrences inside the airport and its many hallways.

These ghostly encounters are usually attributed to the fact that the airport was built on top of an old Native American burial ground.

4) Molly Brown House

Built in 1894, the house was once home to J.J. Brown and Margaret Brown, who later would become known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” when she survived the Titanic’s sinking.

Today, the house is said to be haunted by a few restless spirits, including J.J. Brown.  He was never allowed to smoke in the house during his lifetime, and he seemingly rebels today as pipe smoke is often smelled lingering in the attic and basement.

In the dining room, chairs are often known to move on their own accord and a ghostly woman in Victorian garb as been seen. The specter of Molly’s adored cat has also said to lurk about the building.

Near the first floor staircase, some have reportedly seen an angry looking butler peering at himself in the mirror. Other phenomena includes cold spots felt throughout the house, doors that open and close of their own accord, the sounds of footsteps in the upstairs ballroom, and misty apparitions appearing in various places.

5) The Oxford Hotel

Built at the crest of the silver boom in 1891, the five-story brick structure was designed by leading architect, Frank Edbrooke, who also design the Brown Palace Hotel.  Serving as the oldest hotel in Denver, it still caters to ghostly travelers today.

In the Cruise Room, bartenders have reported seeing a man sitting at the bar wearing an old fashioned post office uniform. After ordering a beer, he reported muttered something about how expensive it was. Then as he continued to sip on his beer, he was heard to quietly make other odd comments, such as, “the children,” and “I have to get the gifts to the children.” When he left, the bartender went to pick up his “empty” bottle, only to find it was completely full. Reportedly, the spirit is that of a postal worker who was delivering Christmas presents to nearby Central City in the early 1900’s.  However, neither he nor the gifts ever arrived.  The next spring his decomposed body was found with all the gifts still in his possession.

Another tale of the Oxford alleges that a young woman was murdered by her husband in room 320 when he caught her there with her lover. In this room visitors are said to have sometimes see the faint image of a woman standing in the room, as well as others who have captured on film what appears to be a woman’s face.

6) Red Rocks Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheater is known around the world for its naturally shaped acoustics-friendly landscape.  It has seen hundreds of thousands of people pass through its “doors” since it opened in 1906.

Of of the most common ghostly reports, are of  a grizzled looking old man, often seen standing on the “restricted” side of the railings.  He is thought to have been one of the many miners who once traipsed these foothills in search of their fortune. Described as about 5’5” tall, with a beard, dirty brownish hat and a bottle in his hand, he shows himself for just a few moments for he vanishes.

Other claims are from people reporting to have  seen a wild, headless woman, brandishing a bloody hatchet.  She is often seen riding a horse throughout Red Rocks.  She is seemingly intent on stopping any mischief or illicit romance that might be taking place upon these grounds.

7) Tivoli Student Union

Located at the Auraria Campus, the Union combines services for the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State College and the University of Colorado at Denver.

The Tivoli is a Denver landmark, originally serving as one of twelve buildings of the Tivoli Brewery in 1866. The building became the student union in 1994, but still today some of the large brewing equipment still remains.

Today, voices and whispers are often heard throughout the building and according to reports, an elegant ghostly party can be heard coming through the vents on the third floor.