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. It seems like almost every town and city in Colorado has at least one haunted hotel or creepy visitor attraction.
So let’s get right to it! Here are the 8 most haunted places in Colorado…
1. Molly Brown House, Denver
It really 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! Molly Brown loved to travel, but she received word that a family member was sick during one of her voyages, and she had to return home immediately.
The first ship that she was able to book passage on happened to be the Titanic, and we all know how that ended up! Molly was fortunate enough to be among the survivors. For the remainder of her life, she relished any opportunity to entertain high society friends with tales of how she rowed a lifeboat for 7.5 hours to safety! Her tale is likely somewhat embellished, but it earned her the nickname ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’!
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. In 1958, the house was run as a gentleman’s boarding house before being leased to the city to serve as a home for wayward girls. In 1970, the house was purchased and restored to its former glory. It is now operated as a museum.
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. She died young due to disease, and now the blinds in her room go up and down of their own accord. There are at least 6 other spirits in the building, and a number that seems 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 5th of April and 1st of November, a beautiful lady in a black satin gown comes to lay flowers on the grave of one John Edward Cameron. The story that goes along with this apparition is a sad but somewhat romantic one. John Edward Cameron was a much-desired bachelor, and all of the local girls were keen to snare him. However, he never showed interest in any of them. He had eyes for only one lady – the one who still visits him to this day!
He passed away on November 1st, 1885, of paralysis of the heart. The lady apparently 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 in 1888, but a few years later, she started making her twice-annual visits and has done so ever since.
3. Hotel Jerome, AspenBOOK NOW
Aspen is perhaps best known for Skiing, but the town also harbors a few ghosts! Many of which hang out at the Hotel Jerome. Room number 310 is haunted by the spirit of a little boy who unfortunately died when he drowned in the hotel’s pool.
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 a malevolent presence.
Some of the other ghosts that are said to make their home in the hotel include Katie Kerrigan and Henry O’Callister. Katie was an attractive young woman who worked at the hotel as a maid.
Lots of the guests noticed her and paid her plenty of attention, which made some of the other maids jealous. They often played pranks on her. However, one of the pranks went very wrong. She was told that her pet kitten had fallen through the ice on the nearby pond and drowned, and when she ran down to check this out, she too fell into the freezing water.
She was rescued and brought back to the hotel but later died of pneumonia. She often appears in the rooms and turns down the sheets just as she would have in life. The maids working at the Hotel Jerome today often come in and find that their work has already been done for them!
Henry O’Callister was a gentleman who made his fortune working in the mining industry. He moved to Aspen and promptly fell head over heels in love with a Boston heiress names Clarissa Wellington. She wanted to marry, but her father forbade it. Clarissa returned home to Boston, leaving Henry alone in Aspen, where he died of a broken heart. He can still be heard wandering the halls of the hotel at night sobbing over his lost love.
4. The City of Cripple Creek
The City of Cripple Creek in Colorado gives a whole new meaning to the term ghost town! It seems like 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 originally built in 1898 as a hospital for prospectors and their families. Over the years, it was expanded and started caring for mentally ill patients. It was closed down when the population started to dwindle as the gold rush came to an end.
It has since been converted into a hotel and Room 11, in particular, is extremely haunted! In fact, visiting paranormal fans often request this room when they stay at the hotel. One witness account from two women who checked into the room describes how they slept with the television since they were so uncomfortable in the darkroom.
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 that she had awoken to see a shadow in that exact 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.
Then there is the Imperial Hotel, which is haunted by George Long, who used to run the hotel. He was apparently murdered by his disabled daughter in revenge for him keeping her locked in her room. She hit him with an iron skillet, and he fell down the stairs to the basement, which is now the hotel’s Red Rooster Bar. His presence is felt in the hotel, and the security guards have reported hearing him playing the slot machines at night!
5. The Stanley Hotel, Estes ParkBOOK NOW
There isn’t a paranormal or horror fan alive who hasn’t heard of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. If you can’t quite put your finger on why you know the name, then perhaps the words ‘Here’s Johnny!’ will refresh your memory? 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 that occur 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 the keys moving on their own, while others have actually seen Flora sitting at the piano.
Room 418 is one of the paranormal hotspots in the hotel, and it is a hive of paranormal activity. This is the room in which Stephen King stayed, and he is one of the many guests who say that they have seen and heard children playing here in the dead of night either inside the room or just outside the door.
Another room with a reputation for strange occurrences is Room 407. There is a spirit here who loves flicking the lights on and off, and there have been reports of a face in the window seen by people outside looking up at the room. There are reports of footsteps, disembodied voices throughout the hotel, and other strange unexplained sounds – especially up on the fourth floor. In fact, the hotel even runs its own ghost tours regularly for guests staying at the hotel.
6. The Museum of Colorado Prisons, Cañon City
Cañon City in southern Colorado is home to the Museum of Colorado Prisons, which was 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, heard disembodied female voices, full-bodied apparitions, as well as 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 sat 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.
Accused of having an affair with the wealthy Prussian Count who owned the land and casino next door, Julie would stay in the penthouse whilst her husband Spencer was away on business. One day Julie mysteriously went missing in the woods. She was discovered in the early morning hours, unclothed and confused as to how she got there, dying shortly thereafter. 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.
Julie is behind most of the hotel’s strange occurrences, with guests often reporting their lights being switched on and off, inexplicable cold spots, and personal items being moved in their rooms. Staff members and guests have witnessed a female apparition in a long dress described as floating down the hallways. If you choose to stay in the penthouse, you will likely suffer from a deep uneasy feeling often reported by guests. If you’re one of a nervous disposition, then be warned, you may be awoken by Julie, angry that you’re in her bed! She’s known to rip off your covers and grab you by the ankle!
8. St. Elmo Ghost Town, Chaffee County
Founded in 1880 after discovering silver and gold, St. Elmo in Chaffee County is considered Colorado’s most intact ghost town. Whilst 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 ethereal resident, Annabelle Stark. The Starks were part of the town’s elite. Having moved to St. Elmo in 1881, with their 3 young children, including young Annabelle, the father, Anton, became a section boss at one of the local mines, whilst his wife managed the general store adjoining Home Comfort Hotel.
After a fire in 1880, the town was never fully rebuilt, then a short time later, the local mines had been depleted, leading to a severe decline in the towns’ population. The final nail in the coffin for the town was the closure of the Alpine Tunnel in 1910. The Starks tried to keep the town alive by renting out the empty cabins in town to tourists, all whilst still running their general store, but the town continued its demise. Annabelle went away to marry in 1922 but mysteriously returned 2 years later, remaining there for the rest of her life.
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 ever 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 next morning 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.
Find Haunted Hotels Near You!
Haunted Cities in Colorado
Known for its exceptional array of outdoor activities, Colorado Springs is one of the top locations to visit in the country. But “Little London” isn’t just about amazing hiking and ski resorts. It’s also believed to be one of the most haunted places in the state.
Denver, Colorado’s capital city, is 1 mile above sea level, giving it the name the Mile High City. However high it may be, it can’t escape the many reports of paranormal occurrences all over the city. Spirits and ghost stories lingering for centuries are waiting to be discovered.
If you go looking for haunted locations around Colorado, it won’t take you long to stumble across a haunted hotel. The state is full of them! It’s also home to perhaps the most famous haunted hotel of them all, The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – the inspiration for Stephen King’s ‘The Shining.’