Ghosts Check In—But Never Leave

Make your Halloween getaway at a local ‘haunted’ hotel

the-stanley

“HEEEERE’S JOHNNY!” “The Shining” is played on a continuous TV loop in guest rooms at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Photo by Zach Connor

If Halloween season has you itching to play ghost hunter, Colorado is the perfect place to pull out the EVP recorders, thermal cams and infrared lights. The state is home to a number of historic hotels with ghost stories to spare. Ready to be spooked? We’ve rounded up six sites said to be haunted. Check in now, and sweet nightmares—we mean, dreams!

THE STANLEY HOTEL
Of course, Stephen King made the Estes Park landmark famous when a stay in room 217 inspired “The Shining,” but it’s also known as one of America’s most haunted hotels thanks to items being moved or unpacked, lights flashing, doors slamming, sounds of spirit kids playing and other paranormal events. Word has it the ghost of original owner F.O. Stanley can be seen at the front desk, while his wife, Flora, can be heard playing her antique Steinway in the dead of night. Not scared? The movie “The Shining” plays on a dedicated TV channel 24/7 in guest rooms. Take the hotel’s Night Spirit Tour to learn more. 333 Wonderview Ave., Estes Park

THE OXFORD HOTEL
Single male guests staying in room 320 of this 120-plus-year-old hotel have reported an invisible force yanking their arms and sheets being pulled off. The suspected culprit? Florence Montague, who, in 1898 committed suicide after killing her lover in the room. And in the Cruise Room, the hotel’s bar, bartenders claim they’ve seen a man in a postal uniform drinking a beer and saying “I have to get the gifts to the children.” When he leaves, the bottle is found full; could he be the postman from the ’30s who was reportedly en route to deliver Christmas gifts in Central City, but never made it (his body was found that spring)? 1600 17th St.

THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL AND SPA
Open since 1892, this iconic Denver hotel has had so many specter reports, it offers a ghost tour highlighting unexplained phenomena on the property. Flickering lights, crawling carpets, sudden chills, doors slamming, unseen children laughing and papers flying off tables have all been reported, as have sightings of a man dressed like an old-fashioned railroad conductor who disappears into the wall when approached and an elderly woman in a long black dress who complains her heater is broken, but vanishes when maintenance arrives. 321 17th St.

BROOK FOREST INN
In the 100-plus years this Evergreen hotel has been in business, numerous ghosts have been reported: A boy who died of influenza and a girl killed outside run through the third-floor hallway together; a bartender who died in 1997, as well as a stable hand who killed a chambermaid and then himself, hang around. 8136 S. Brook Forest Road, Evergreen

THE LUMBER BARON INN & GARDENS
Built in 1890 in the Potter-Highlands neighborhood, the Victorian mansion, now a B&B, is known to neighbors as the “haunted castle” where two teenage girls were murdered in 1970—the cases remain unsolved. Paranormal reports include moved furniture, female voices, footsteps and cold spots. Events at the inn have included a Haunted House Hunt mystery dinner and tea with a spirit medium and the upcoming Mile High Conjure Gala, where conjuring practitioners will offer seminars. 2555 W. 37th Ave.

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OLD HAUNTS The elegant Patterson Historic Inn is said to be hubs for paramormal activity in Denver. Courtesy pattersoninn.com

PATTERSON HISTORIC INN
Formerly the Croke-Patterson Mansion, this 1891-built red sandstone mansion (now a B&B) is the subject of the documentary “The Castle Project,” which chronicles its renovation 120 years later and storied haunted past (Satanism! Guard dogs jumping from a closed third-floor window! Bats appearing out of nowhere!). In the film, workers describe hearing children’s voices, eerie whispers, an unexplained fire and odd temperature changes. Now, you’ll find a luxurious B&B with themed suites. Paranormal happenings? You’ll have to stay to find out. 420 E. 11th Ave.

4 DENVER GHOST TOURS
DENVER FREE WALKING TOURS FALL GHOST TOURS
Stroll through Capitol Hill and Cheesman Park for tales of haunted homes, museums and even a school. $18
NIGHTLY SPIRITS DENVER GHOST TOURS
This haunted LoDo pub tour starts at the historic Blake Street Vault and includes spooky tales at other nearby bars. $25 (drinks not included)
BANJO BILLY’S DENVER GHOST TOUR
The October tours include stops at the Croke-Patterson Mansion, Denver Firefighters Museum and Cheesman Park. $20-$27
CAPITOL HILL GHOST TOURS OF DENVER
Paranormal investigators Paulette and Dennis Moon take you on a walking tour, pointing out haunted mansions along the way. Prices vary

3 FAMOUS COLORADO GRAVES
JOHN HENRY “DOC” HOLLIDAY
Where: Linwood Cemetery, Glenwood Springs
RIP: The pal of Wyatt Earp and gunfighter at Tombstone’s O.K. Corral was buried in 1887 at age 36 after fighting tuberculosis (he thought the hot springs would serve as a cure).

ALFRED PACKER
Where: Littleton Cemetery, Littleton
RIP: America’s most infamous cannibal was buried in 1907 after serving 18 years of a 40-year sentence for dining on his fellow gold prospectors.

WILLIAM FREDERICK “BUFFALO BILL” CODY
Where: Lookout Mountain, Golden
RIP: The Wild West showman was buried in 1917 near the Buffalo Bill Museum, where you’ll find artifacts including Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows, Cody’s costumes and Indian artifacts.

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