Colorado has quite the haunted past. Here’s a list of some places to visit this season.
COLORADO, USA — Arguably the best part of haunted houses is knowing the blood, the knife sticking out the back of the zombie and eyeballs laying around are all fake. But there are more than a handful of places in Colorado where the ghost running down the hall might not be paid at all.
>> The video above is from 2016: Stanley hotel ghost picture prompts questions
Here’s a list of five historical sites to visit in Colorado.
EVERGREEN CEMETERY – COLORADO SPRINGS
A small chapel built to store caskets and host services in 1910 is said to be haunted with dark figures, with many feeling negative energy come over them in the space.
With the years going by, the building began to crumble, and workers reported seeing the figures.
A cemetery manager, Wil Dboer Jr., worked to raise money to restore the building and have it listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
During the tour, a woman representing the NRHP said she felt a negative force move through her entire body and quickly left the tour.
Also featured in Biography Channel’s My Ghost Story, this cemetery has plots buried since the 1860s, predating the city founded in 1871.
Evergreen was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. It is the second cemetery in the state to receive such an honor.
COLORADO GHOST TOWN – ST. ELMO
St. Elmo, located about 20 miles outside of Buena Vista, is considered one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the American West, according to the town’s historic society.
The historic society says there were at least 50 mines in the area (some sites claim there were as many as 150) producing everything from gold to silver to lead. The largest was the Mary Murphy, a gold mine just outside of town.
Drawn partially by the mining boom, the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad arrived in town in December 1880. The line helped spur both commerce and tourism in the area.
In 1890, a fire broke out in St. Elmo. Every building on the south side of Main Street and several buildings on the north side were destroyed.
In the late 1890s, new gold and other minerals discoveries began to revive the town’s struggling economy.
The revitalization ended almost as quickly as it began when a second fire ravaged the town in 1898.
Today, there are 43 original buildings left in St. Elmo. They have seen very little construction or renovation since they were built, giving visitors an authentic glimpse into what the town would have looked like in the 1880s and 1890s.
In 2002, yet another fire destroyed part of St. Elmo. The burned buildings included the original 1890s town hall, which had somehow survived the other two fires, and St. Elmo’s schoolhouse.
Both charred buildings have been restored by the Buena Vista Heritage and State Historical Fund and now function as museums.
PHOTOS: Historic St. Elmo, Colorado
COLORADO GRAND CASINO AND HOTEL – CRIPPLE CREEK
When the mines closed in Cripple Creek, both the population and tourism vastly declined.
In 1991, legalized gambling was introduced, and a resurgence began.
Many of the town’s historic buildings were refurbished and turned into casinos. Today, there are nine in Cripple Creek.
The casinos offer slot machines, table games, video poker, off-track betting and 24-hour drink service. Many also have entertainment, restaurants and on-site hotels.
In Maggies Restaurant, people report they’ve seen Maggie herself, toward the back of the building on the ground floor.
People described her as a beautiful redhead (some say brunette) around 25. She wears her hair pinned up and is said to have a positive demeanor. She mostly stays on the second and third floors of the building and has been seen playing slots with a male friend on the first floor.
The clothing she wears suggests she was an average Colorado resident around the turn of the century
On the second and third levels, many have reported hearing a lovely female voice singing a concertina in an Irish accent, as well as seeing her dancing around the third-floor ballroom.
People reported hearing her high-heeled boots strolling through the second and third floors.
Roses have a powerful aroma that signals her presence, whether unseen or seen.
She has appeared in the presence of the living and has been spotted as an “amorphous blue light” moving around the building’s corridors.
People have also seen her in solid/transparent form, according to multiple witnesses who have given a detailed description of her.
Her male friend was seen on security cameras playing the slot machines with her, but the footage mysteriously disappeared from the safe.
Colorado Researchers of Paranormal Science investigated the building and caught an electronic voice phenomenon (EVP), which are recordings interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded.
They thought of a creative way to engage Maggie by inviting her to have some tea with them in the restaurant. Maggie accepted their offer and made her presence known with a strong aroma of roses.
Downtown Cripple Creek was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961. The historic buildings house shops, casinos and restaurants.
CHEESMAN PARK – DENVER
Cheesman Park is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods — a small, densely populated area bordered by Colfax Avenue on the north, York Street on the east, 8th Avenue on the south and Downing Street on the west.
Ghostly encounters are reported in the park and at several of the surrounding homes. In fact, the horror film “The Changeling” was inspired by the paranormal activity the writer experienced while living in a mansion in Cheesman Park.
In 1859, the Mount Prospect Cemetery opened on 160 acres of land in the brand new city of Denver.
At the time, cemeteries were similar to today’s parks; they were where people would go on walks or have weekend picnics. The land that was chosen for the cemetery was, therefore, some of the most desirable open space in the area. It was founded on the highest point in the vicinity, with sweeping views of the land around it.
By the 1880s, it had become run down and the city wanted to turn it into a park, which meant they needed to move the more than 5,000 bodies that were buried there.
The city first offered the families of those who were buried there a free plot at another graveyard. After several years, only about 700 bodies had been moved.
To move the rest, the city hired an undertaker named E.P. McGovern, who’s infamously known for dismembering bodies and then splitting up body parts into different coffins.
The city soon found out about the body parts and discarded coffin pieces strewn about the park and had to put a stop to it.
McGovern removed about 1,000 bodies before he was pulled from the job.
Instead of hiring someone else to finish the job properly, the city simply pulled out the remaining headstones.
It’s estimated there are around 3,000 bodies left buried under Cheesman Park.
A ghostly photo tour of Denver’s Cheesman Park
THE STANLEY HOTEL – ESTES PARK
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is perhaps the most famous haunted hotel in Colorado. Though the hotel is known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s book “The Shining,” the history of Stanley started well before then. F.O. Stanley moved to Estes Park in 1903 due to poor health, but wasn’t happy with the amenities, so he began building the hotel.
Most of the timber came from the burn scar at Bear Lake, which gives much of the hotel a faint smell of wood smoke. Stanley would transport guests to his hotel from Lyons in a Stanley Steamer on the road he built. This was the first time in history an automobile, not a train, was used to bring people to a resort.
What people now know of the hotel is the hundreds of ghost stories, and hauntings experienced on the property.
9NEWS collected stories from viewers in 2016 about the popular haunted spot. Here are a few:
Polly Bennett: “I stayed overnight there two+ years ago, and there were ‘children’ playing in the hall around midnight. Upon looking to see what was going on, there was no one out there. It was creepy!”
Mindy Reynolds Sommers: “My first time overnight at Stanley around 4am I felt my husband sit at the corner of the bed, I moved my feet over to make room. That’s when I kicked my husband who was actually laying next to me. Something was in the room. Was spooky but can’t wait to go back.”
Laurie Busnardo White: “My daughter has an amazing pic on the staircase that clearly shows a lady in a black cape. Taken on her iPod… best pic I’ve seen so far. Taken a couple years ago by my 13 year old daughter. Nothing and no one was on that staircase when the pic was taken.”
Kim Berube: “I stayed at the Stanley last year and me and my boyfriend were walking at the top of the staircase in the photo and we heard a child crying. It sounded like it was coming from the bottom of the stairs. We went to the desk and asked and the man at the desk said no children were staying at the hotel that night. It was very eerie.”
Bryce Parsons: “I’ve stayed here and let me tell you, it’s a ghost. If you don’t believe so, stay here yourself. Here is also a picture we captured. See the ghost to the left of the picture? The tour guide said his name is Phil. We also went into a room and I was the closest to the door and it started shutting, shoving past me, hitting the door frame and then clicking shut. I witnessed multiple shadows with my own eyes also. So those who don’t believe, I repeat, stay here and take the ghost tour..you won’t regret it..I’ve never seen so much paranormal activity in my life.”
PHOTOS: Inside the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park
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