3 Haunted Places in Colorado

Gabriella Isukh

Out of all the historic attractions in Colorado, the Stanley Hotel might be the most famous. For many this is because it’s a great place to vacation in the mountains. For others it’s because of the eerie thrill that comes from being in a place so infamous for being haunted. However, many don’t know that there are dozens of other places famous for claims of ghost sightings in the state, making Colorado one of the haunted states in the country. Here are three that stand out:

1. Cheesman Park

Cheesman park is located in one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods right outside of the city, making it a very desirable place to live. However, the park was originally a cemetery called Mount Prospect that opened in 1859. It had views of the whole city and was very popular until more cemeteries opened closer to the city. By the 1880s, it had become run down, so Congress approved a project to turn the cemetery into a park. However, this job would include relocating more than 5,000 bodies that rested in the cemetery. 

This job was up to the families of the people buried there, and after several years it had not been completed. So, the city hired a contractor to do the rest. However, the person they hired wanted to make extra money, so he began to dismember bodies in an attempt to use less coffins. Of course, the contractor was fired from the job, but no one else was ever hired. The city pulled out the remaining headstones, and it is estimated that over 3,000 bodies still lay under Cheesman park. 

The Denver Botanic Gardens also sit on part of the land that was commonly used in it’s time as a cemetery, and during construction projects there are often bones found in both places. Many people who live in the area have also reported paranormal encounters stemming from the time the park was made. 

2. Patterson Inn

Patterson Inn is located in the highly sought-after Capitol Hill neighborhood in the heart of Denver. Today it is a luxury inn for people visiting the city. But in its early years it served as a home for some of the wealthiest families in the city. The building is locally known as the Croke-Patterson-Campbell mansion, which is explained by the families who lived in it. 

The home was built by Thomas Croke, a successful businessman who had immigrated from Ireland. However, he moved out of the home 6 months after its completion because he assumed it was cursed after his mother died. It was then sold to Thomas Patterson, a journalist and politician. Patterson handed the home down to his daughter after his passing. She was married to Campbell and the name is still included.

Reports of hauntings go back to the time of Patterson. People claim to have seen the ghost of a woman who is rumored to have been his wife. The most disturbing reports come from people hearing dogs barking upstairs, even though there are none. It is known that two dobermans jumped out of a second-story window to their deaths after having been confined in a room in the house. People also claim to see Patterson himself to this day. 

3. Yak & Yeti 

The building that now hosts the Yak & Yeti restaurant in Arvada is over 100 years old and was originally the home of Eli Allen, who built the home in 1864. However, it was sold to Cora and Elias VanVoorhis in 1894. While the couple and their family lived in the house, Coras, husband, sister, mother and uncle died. There was also an incident of a fire that required reconstruction in1929.

However, people who report paranormal behavior today believe that it’s the doing of Cora, who died in the home in 1940. Cora passed after she fainted and fell down the stairs, which broke her neck and cracked her skull. Since then, the house has been converted into apartments and even another pub prior to the opening of Yak & Yeti. Throughout all of these times, there have been strange occurrences such as objects moving without reason and people continually tripping in the same place. These are thought to be the tricks of Cora VanVoorhis, and many people visit the attraction solely for that reason. 

These places have all been found to be exceptionally interesting to ghosthunters and tourists alike, and many native Coloradans might be just as surprised to learn about them as anyone else. So, as interesting as the Stanley Hotel might be, these places could provide a similar thrill for the more experienced explorer.