DENVER (KDVR) – While conducting a leisurely fall walk through the Capitol Hill neighborhood, you might come across the structure built in the 1880s that has both preserved the unsinkable history of Molly Brown, and the hauntings that some have experienced while inside.
You may know Molly Brown from her role in the timeless and tragic tale that left the Titanic sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after completing only half of its inaugural trip. She was possibly the most famous survivor of this tragedy, but her story started long before that.
The unsinkable origins of Molly Brown
According to the Molly Brown House Museum, the Missouri-born woman, legally named Margaret Tobin, relocated to Leadville when she reached young adulthood. As the mining industry began to suffer there, she offered up her time to soup kitchens and other charitable organizations.
In 1886, during this spell of philanthropic efforts, Molly met and married J.J. Brown who was a mining engineer.
A few years later, when the silver market bottomed out in 1893, J.J. was fortunate enough to have a financial stake in a mine where gold was discovered. With this newly acquired fortune, the couple was able to buy a home in 1894 in Denver that today is still located at 1340 Pennsylvania St.
Be forewarned, however, that if you plan to embark on one of these museum tours, it would be shortsighted of you to not be fully aware of the spooky and Halloweenesque occurrences witnessed by visitors and staff while inside the former home of one of the region’s most remarkable women.
Hauntings at the Molly Brown House Museum
In 1902, the Browns departed on a world tour but the house they left behind was not left vacant. According to Ghost City Tours, the elaborate residence served James Orman and his family as the governor’s mansion.
The Browns would eventually split up and the house would change hands a few times before eventually being preserved by citizens in 1970 who stepped forward and purchased the property after the city publicly mulled over the idea of tearing it down.
Now, events open to the public are held at the philanthropic figure’s former house, but there are several instances, some reoccurring, leaving visitors concerned that ghostly residents may be partaking in these tours.
This is a non-smoking section J.J.
One peculiar happening that is not easily explained is the odorous presence of pipe smoke that some have reportedly sniffed while meandering through the museum, which is a non-smoking facility.
According to the haunting-focused experts at Denver Terrors, this may be the smell protruding from J.J. Brown’s pipe, who was a known smoking enthusiast.
Disembodied feng shui
Another reoccurring incident that has been reported by the museum’s staff is the unexplained rearranging of furniture.
According to Denver Terrors, some witnesses have seen a Victorian dress-wearing woman moving various couches and chairs around the museum, but it is unclear whether or not the figure carried a resemblance to Molly Brown.
Also seen around the house at various times are Molly and her family members, sometimes taking the form of eery cold spots in the house.
Who loosened the lights?
Another haunting feature of the museum is not so much scary as it is tedious.
According to museum employees, lights around the house constantly come undone, which again isn’t so much scary as it is an annoying addition to the staff’s workload.
Opportunities to witness these hauntings yourself
If these tales of the spooky intrigue you into taking in the museum firsthand, you might be interested to hear that an annually held celebration of horror is entering its 29th year of existence, and this year’s iteration is set to take place at the museum.
Victorian Horrors 2022 will be held throughout the second half of October and consists of readings of Gothic horror classics from legendary writers like Edgar Allen Poe, H.G. Wells, Ambrose Bierce and more.
Victorian Horror 2022 performances:
- Weekend 1: Oct. 14, 15, 16
- Weekend 2: Oct. 20, 21, 22
- Weekend 3: Oct. 27, 28, 29
Tickets are moving off of the digital shelf fast so if this event interests you, consider moving on these quickly.
The classic tales will be presented by local authors, so why not dip your toe into some moderately spooky history, exclusive only to the Centennial State?