Ghost stories haunt halls of former Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora

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AURORA, Colo. – The old Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, now part of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is one of the most iconic buildings in Colorado. Those who work in the former hospital believe ghosts are haunting its halls.

The building opened in 1941. It was the largest building in Colorado at the time of its construction. Today, workers insist something strange is happening.

“There were a lot of people [who] died here,” said Dave Turnquist, associate vice chancellor for facilities management.

Turnquist says the hospital walls have seen a lot.

“[Fitzsimons] took the first patients from Pearl Harbor,” he said.

The building is also where President Dwight D. Eisenhower was treated after his 1955 heart attack. He ran the country from his top-floor hospital room for seven weeks. More than six decades later, employees swear that from the top floor to the underground network of steam tunnels and corridors, the building is haunted.

“The spirit of someone is here or the soul of someone is wandering around this building,” said Udalio “Del” Quiel, director of facilities management.

Quiel recalls a spring snowstorm in 2005 when he was working late at night.

“I notice shadows underneath the crack of my door,” he said. “I … open the door… found no one in there. I went back to my desk and sat on the chair. And I’m staring at the crack underneath the door and there goes the shadows again.”

Quiel’s experience is just one of many stories from employees who have reported doors mysteriously opening and lights turning on.

The unexplainable is all part of the eeriness at Fitzsimons. Whether that eeriness comes from a presidential ghost, spirits of lesser fame or perhaps nothing at all — there’s no denying the spooky atmosphere on the CU Anschutz campus.

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