Ghostly Outings in the Colorado Rockies
'Tis the season for chilly evenings, tea by the fireside, haunted houses and ghost walks. All of these things can easily be accomplished in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and each of the destinations in this article are less than a two-hour drive from Denver.
Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
One of the best haunted outings that I’ve taken in Colorado was the Cemetery Stroll in Leadville with author Roger Pretti. Pretti wrote Lost Between Heaven and Leadville: Specters, Spooks and Shades of the Departed in a Colorado Silver Camp. Obviously, he knows his stuff.
Guests on this stroll explore the 147-acre Leadville Cemetery. Life was rough in Leadville’s heyday, and this cemetery is filled with tales of woe. For example, the story of Emma Wilson didn’t have a happy ending. Like many children living in Leadville during the 1800s, Emma didn’t make it past the age of 11. She fell down a mineshaft and died in 1885. This tour visits her grave and many others.
The Leadville Cemetery Stroll, as well as a Ghost Walk, depart from the Delaware Hotel and tickets can be purchased at the hotel.
WHERE TO STAY: The Delaware is the home of several ghosts, but perhaps the most well-known is Mary Coffey whose head and torso floats around the southwest wing of the second floor. Ask Pretti for the whole story.
Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
The Silver Queen Walking tours developed out of a desire and demand that Georgetown have historic walking tours. After all, the town is a National Historic Landmark District, and with 240 protected buildings, it’s practically a museum. The tours have been such a hit that guide Anne Marie Cannon developed a ghost tour for this fall.
Cannon explains to her tour groups that spirits and ghosts are attracted to the familiar, and because Georgetown’s architectural landscape and the mountains surrounding it haven’t changed much since the town was founded in the mid-1800s, a lot of people have crossed over but are still lingering in town because it’s familiar.
Her tour combines history and ghost stories and has eight stops, including a Victorian home. They will run throughout October. During the holidays Cannon will continue to provide her historical walking tours and then take a break until spring.
WHERE TO STAY: Hotel Chateau Chamonix isn’t haunted, but it’s a beautiful property featuring amenities like creekfront hot tubs and an in-room French-inspired breakfast.
Golden is close to home for Denver residents, but it feels a million miles away from the big city. Tucked into the mountainside, this idyllic town has three different haunted outings to choose from this year.
The Golden History Museum is hosting multiple cemetery tours on the last weekend in October. Go here for details and other events at the Golden History Museum.
Colorado Haunted History is hosting the “Murder, Mayhem & Madness Tour” covering everything from shootouts to paranormal activity. May not be suitable for children under 13. See dates and make a reservation at ColoradoHauntedHistory.com.
Golden Hayrides is getting into the Halloween spirit this year by adding physic Troy Griffin to their Haunted Hayrides schedule for two weekends in October. This outing includes warm spiked or unspiked cocktails, pumpkin cupcakes and ghostly tales. Learn more here.
WHERE TO STAY: My research doesn’t indicate that the Golden Hotel is haunted, but I can write from personal experience that it’s a very nice place to stay when visiting Golden, Colorado.