DENVER (KDVR) – It may not feel like we’re entering the spooky fall season, emphasized by the ongoing heatwave impacting the region, but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to start getting into a proper Halloween headspace.
It only takes a simple Google search to see the long and widespread history that the City of Denver carries in regard to ghosts and their affiliated hauntings.
So, we thought we’d expedite your hunt for haunts by laying out five spooky spots, unique to Denver, certain to educate you on some local history while preparing you for the incoming jump scare of a season.
5 haunted spots across Denver
420 East 11th Ave. Suite 12
This structure built in 1891 was once known as the Croke Patterson Mansion, wearing the same namesake as its builder, state Senator Thomas B. Croke. According to Patterson Inn’s history page, Croke held onto it for a short spell before handing the keys over to Thomas P. Patterson in 1893.
Since then, visitors of the inn have reported multiple kinds of hauntings, including hearing the barking of a pair of Dobermans, believed to be the ghosts of a pair of canines that were trapped on the inn’s second floor, and jumped to their deaths while trying to escape.
According to Ghost City Tours, visitors to the inn have reportedly heard a mother and her baby crying in the basement. Some believe these wails belong to the ghost of a child who died and was buried in the basement by her mother. Other reports of supportive hauntings, like when a pregnant woman who was trying to get in a comfortable position while sleeping reported being aided by a ghostly figure who helped her reposition, before disappearing altogether.
The Oxford Hotel
1600 17th St.
According to local ghost experts, Denver Terrors, the construction of this hotel was the result of three Denver businessmen who all felt that the long walk from Union Station to the downtown hotels already in existence in 1890 was too far. So, Adolph Zang, Philip Feldhauser, and William Mygatt put their money together and opened the Union Station adjacent business.
Two separate reoccurring hauntings reported at the Oxford Hotel occur in Room 320 and the bar respectively.
Denver Terrors said that some single men who’ve stayed in the room have felt a pulling on their arms from unknown forces. Those same unseen forces have also ripped bed sheets off of some single men just trying to catch some slumber.
The other haunting occurs in the bar where a postal worker, wearing an older iteration of the uniform, comes in while muttering “the children, I have to get the gifts to the children,” downing his beer, and exiting the establishment. Denver Terrors said that there was a postal worker in the 1930s who had to travel from Denver to Central City to deliver Christmas gifts but never made it. After the winter snow melted away, his body was found, along with the gifts he was to deliver.
1100 14th St.
According to Legends of America, this structure has held several identities since it was built in 1911, initially serving as the Denver Tramway Building before being transformed into a campus for the University of Colorado, and eventually serving as the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
Once restoration efforts began in 1997, however, reports of peculiar and strange happenings began to pile up. A group once heard voices coming from an office, but once they arrived at the room, no one was there to speak.
Outside of this one-off haunt, Legends of America said that there have been multiple sightings of the ghost of a mechanic, otherwise known as the “tool man,” who is believed to have died in an accident while working on railcars when the building served as the tramway.
1599 East 8th Ave.
Something that those strolling around this downtown Denver park may not know is that there are a good number of bodies buried under the green surface. Just to be clear, these aren’t recent burials.
According to Visit Denver, in 1858 and throughout the height of the region’s gold rush, Cheesman Park served as Denver’s first cemetery.
In 1890, after roughly 5,000 bodies had been buried there, city officials announced that they were moving the cemetery and were turning the plot of land into a park, naming it after one of the city’s founders, Walter Cheesman. Relatives of those buried were given the chance to relocate the remains of their loved ones, but many of those buried were vagrants and didn’t have anyone to claim them.
According to Visit Denver, a city contract was awarded to undertaker E. P. McGovern in 1893, who would make $1.90 for each body removed. McGovern would approach this opportunity in grotesque fashion, as he would chop up bodies into smaller pieces so he could place them in child-sized coffins, in an attempt to make more profit. During his hurried getaway, he left a mess of human remains all over the place, some of which were not even discovered until 1960 when renovation work was being completed on the park.
1000 Osage St.
Known initially as the Rio Grande Exchange, this historic landmark has been continuously open since 1893, making it the oldest restaurant in Denver.
According to Denver Terrors, the saloon would cater to railroaders, miners, cattlemen, native American chiefs and cowboys, serving dishes that can still be found on the Buckhorn’s menu to this day.
It is believed by some that anyone who died near the exchange, during its more than 125-year existence, has since called it their eternal resting place. Footsteps, voices and the innocuous moving of tables, all without a perceivable source, have been reported by visitors. So, brace for some jolts if you’re headed out for some grub at Denver’s oldest haunted eatery.