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Walking Tour Of Denver’s Haunted Past


As one of the most cosmopolitan neighborhoods in the metro area, Capitol Hill is often considered the heart of Denver. In addition to being rich with contemporary counterculture, it has a wealth of bizarre and fantastic history.

It is nearing Halloween and ghost tours have been conducted throughout Capitol Hill all month. There are many companies that host interactive ghost stories across Denver, but the first and original ghost tour is led by Capitol Hill Ghost Tours, which offers walking tours across all of the neighborhood’s most haunted areas led by seasoned paranormal investigates.

Capitol Hill was once home to the most wealthy and affluent families in Denver. Its Victorian mansions and apartment buildings are still standing in the neighborhood today. Along with the historic architecture come historic spirits.

One of the most notable buildings in Denver is also one of the most haunted. The Brown Palace, a luxury hotel on 17th and Broadway, is home to the spirit of a Denver socialite who used to live in the hotel during the 1940s and 50s. People have claimed to hear a baby crying in the basement, an eerie waiter has been sighted in the service elevator, and guests even report seeing a formally dressed string quartet practicing their music.

Another famous haunting can be found at the Croke Patterson Mansion, built in 1890 by Thomas B. Croke. The elegant mansion was once an office building and is now a local inn and is home to one of the most chilling ghost stories in Denver.

The rumors are that Croke had only entered his grand estate once and never returned again since he was so rattled by whatever entity lurked in the mansion. Two years later, the property was sold to Thomas M. Patterson, and over the next few years, the building served a multitude of purposes. It was a dance studio, a radio station, and a boarding house before becoming an office building. That no one could occupy the building for long speaks to its unsettling nature.

The mansion underwent renovations during the 1970s and eerie things were reported by the construction crew. They would return to the job site after a day of long work and find that someone, or something, had undone all of their work. The crew merely thought some mischievous youths were up to no good, so they set guard dogs inside the building to make sure it didn’t happen again. Upon returning to the mansion, the crewman found the two Doberman Pinschers dead on the front sidewalk after the dogs leapt through the third story window to escape an unsightly spirit.

These are just a few of some of the most haunting and enticing ghost stories that lurk the buildings of Capitol Hill. These tours are an excellent way to discover Denver history as well as get in a good fright in before Hallows Eve. Even though the tours are at their spookiest approaching Samhain, they are offered all year long.

Photo: Sarai Nissan

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