Spooky portal to the Victorian era
This year, from Oct. 12–27, tickets were available for the Victorian Horrors at the Molly Brown house. The event lived up to its spooky expectations with the house closing the doors for their regular hours at 4:30 p.m. and reopening at 6 p.m. as a portal to the past.
After the sun sets and darkness descends, the house becomes a hotspot for ghosts of popular Victorian authors and their characters, decked out in full Victorian glory. From the rooms to the actors to the hosts, every corner of the house is eerily detailed—audiences beware of mistaking ghosts as actors!
The historic house, built in 1887 on 1340 Pennsylvania St. was home to Margaret Brown, also known as “Molly,” and saved from demolition in the 1970s by Historic Denver, Inc. Molly Brown is well-known for being a Titanic survivor and her valiant actions in helping others after the event. She is also known for her passionate human-rights activism and philanthropy.
The house itself was decked out in Victorian-era flares. Dim-colored lights hung from small rustic chandeliers, casting eerie shadows over the rest of the rooms. Dressed animal skeletons and cobwebs lined the tables accompanying various dishware. Preserved beetles sat inside their own case in one of the rooms, enjoying a small tea party with a dazzling array of tiny teacups and silverware placed on their miniature table. On a table beside the case sat framed butterflies with mesmerizing wing patterns.
The actors could have been easily mistaken for the ghosts of the authors they were portraying. Dressed in appropriate Victorian-era clothing and armed with the literary works containing their characters, they ventured into literary endeavors, seamlessly telling the tales as if they themselves were living them.
The actors portrayed ghosts of authors Edgar Allen Poe, with his poem “The Raven”; Mary Shelley, with a snippet from Frankenstein; Bram Stoker, with a passage from Dracula; and Christina Rossetti, with her poem “Goblin Market”; as well as several other writers. Each portrayal was a passionate embodiment of the character, complete with chilling laughs and angst-ridden sighs.
The tour was only about 15 minutes in total but seemed to stretch well past that, featuring six tales from the ghostly authors and time to look around the house and decorations. The ability to go in and look at the bedrooms was a treat, as these are typically blocked off during regular touring.
Outside, the gift shop was open, and a stand for apple cider and home-baked goods beckoned audiences as they were leaving.
The Victorian Horrors event was an enthralling experience and perfect ending to the month of October. Be sure to watch out for the ghosts of the poets as they travel back until next year.
Molly Brown House