Colorado is, without a doubt, a beautiful state with rolling plains and majestic mountains as far as the eye can see. It is also incredibly haunted. Almost every Colorado town and city has at least one haunted hotel or creepy visitor attraction.
So let’s get right to it! Here are the ten most haunted places in Colorado.
1. Molly Brown House, Denver
It does seem like poor Molly Brown can’t catch a break! First, she gets all caught up in the sinking of the Titanic, and now her house is known as one of the most haunted places in Colorado!
Her house in Denver was built in 1889, although Molly and her husband, James Joseph Brown (JJ), didn’t buy it until 1894. When Molly died in 1932, her home was split into 12 separate apartments. It was later a gentleman’s boarding house before being leased to the city to serve as a home for wayward girls,
Several entities are said to haunt the Molly Brown House, including both Molly and her husband JJ. It is said that their daughter Catherine Ellen is also still around.
Catherine died young due to disease, and now the blinds in her room go up and down of their own accord.
At least six other spirits are in the building, and a number seem to come and go, much as Molly’s many guests would have done while she was alive.
2. Central City Masonic Cemetery, Denver
The Central City Masonic Cemetery lies about 35 miles west of Denver in an area known as ‘The Richest Square Mile on Earth.’ It came into use in the 1860s, and although it is now decaying and damaged, this is down to wear and tear over the years rather than vandalism. Like many cemeteries, it is also said to be incredibly haunted.
A local story says that every April 5th and November 1st, a beautiful lady in a black satin gown comes to lay flowers on the grave of one John Edward Cameron.
He passed away on November 1st, 1885, of paralysis of the heart. The lady planted a rosebush by his grave, which would bloom every Spring. Is her presence here on April 5th her returning to tend the roses?
She would also visit on the anniversary of his death and lay a bunch of columbines on his grave. She stopped visiting his grave in 1888, but a few years later, she started making her twice-annual visits and has done so ever since.
3. Hotel Jerome, Aspen
He often appears to guests wet and shivering with the cold. He will then vanish suddenly, leaving behind a trail of wet footprints. Room 310 was the room that his family stayed in 1936 when he died. The ‘Water Boy,’ as he is known, is by no means the only spirit on the third floor, and some of the staff refuse to work up there because of the hauntings and an evil presence.
Other ghosts said to make their home in the hotel include a maid called Katie and a miner called Henry.
4. The City of Cripple Creek
The City of Cripple Creek in Colorado gives a new meaning to ghost town! There isn’t a building in the city that isn’t haunted! Let’s take a brief look at one or two of the scarier buildings in Cripple Creek.
The Hotel St. Nicholas was built in 1898 as a hospital for prospectors and their families. Over the years, it was expanded upon and later began caring for mentally ill patients. It was closed down when the population started to dwindle as the gold rush ended.
One witness account from two women who checked into room 11 describes how they slept with the television on since they were so uncomfortable in the room.
One of the ladies felt something sit on the end of her bed by her feet but could not see anything. However, the following morning her friend said she had awoken to see a shadow in that spot but hadn’t said anything as she thought it was just her eyes playing tricks on her!
Another spooky hotel in Cripple Creek is the Palace Hotel, where a lady in a nightgown is often seen walking around the halls carrying another nightgown.
5. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
Of course, the hotel is the one that inspired Stephen King’s classic The Shining, and the horror master is said to have written at least part of the book while staying at the hotel.
Guests and staff alike have experienced the many examples of paranormal activity within the hotel. There are many spirits here, but the two most active seem to be the former F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora.
It is said that even in death, Flora enjoys sitting in the ballroom playing her piano. Incidentally, this was a gift from her husband in celebration of the hotel’s grand opening, and it still has pride of place in the ballroom. Some have witnessed their keys moving independently, while others have seen Flora sitting at the piano.
6. The Museum of Colorado Prisons, Cañon City
Cañon City in southern Colorado is home to the Museum of Colorado Prisons, originally an all-female prison that opened in 1935. Still, it now houses prison artifacts that date back more than 140 years! The cries and the pain from the past inmates and souls attached to the artifacts are trapped within its walls to this day. People have reported seeing shadow figures lurking in the cells, hearing disembodied female voices, full-bodied apparitions, and several poltergeist-type occurrences.
The museum is currently not in operation as a prison; however, next door to the museum is a prison that has been in operation since 1871. The present and formerly imprisoned combine to create an energy so dark and disturbing that paranormal experiences are a constant. Book a Colorado Prisons Museum Tour if you dare!
7. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Located in the Broadmoor area of Colorado Springs and sitting amongst the spectacular backdrop of picturesque mountains, The Broadmoor is a luxury resort retreat with a difference. It’s haunted by the spirit of the original owner, Julie Penrose.
One day Julie mysteriously went missing in the woods. She was discovered in the early morning, unclothed and confused about how she got there, dying shortly after that. Her unexplained disappearance and subsequent death have caused her spirit to be permanently tied to the Broadmoor, roaming the halls and penthouse where she once stayed.
8. St. Elmo Ghost Town, Chaffee County
Founded in 1880 after discovering silver and gold, St. Elmo in Chaffee County is Colorado’s most intact ghost town. While the preservation is popular with tourists from all over the state, perhaps the most intriguing draw is its history of paranormal activity.
As you wander around the remaining buildings, you may come face to face with St. Elmo’s most famous long-time ethereal resident, Annabelle Stark. The Starks were part of the town’s elite. They managed the general store and adjoining Home Comfort Hotel.
After the death of Annabelle, the grandchildren of a family friend were playing in a room of the hotel when suddenly the temperature plummeted 20 degrees and all the doors slammed shut. The children were traumatized, refusing to set foot in the hotel again.
Later one of the older grandchildren in her 20s tried to fix up the building, leaving one night with all the cleaning equipment put neatly away. She returned the following day to find it scattered all over the floor.
This continued for several nights until they started locking them away, only to find them on the floor again the following morning.
9. Highlands Ranch Mansion, Highlands Ranch
Built in 1881, this stately mansion is now rented out for corporate events and weddings. However, during the early to late 20th century, several families lived here at different times.
Some of these deceased family members have stayed behind as there are countless reports of paranormal goings-on throughout the mansion.
One common sighting is of Julia, the 11-year-old daughter of Frank Kistler. She died in 1937 in the upstairs bedroom, a room where her apparition is regularly seen. Julia has also been witnessed walking down the hallways and peering out of the windows.
Among the many other spirits that haunt the Highlands Mansion is a woman who can be heard sobbing and a dark figure that moves around an otherwise vacant house.
10. Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs
As far as ghosts go, if the ones that haunt here weren’t famous in life, they most certainly after death.
Several spirits are said to wander here, and the most common of which is a young Victorian girl, often seen playing with a ball.
There’s the spirit of a woman who likes to peer over male guests in their beds, an angry male presence hanging around the fifth floor, and more.