Cap Hill's most haunted houses
This tour will make your skin crawl
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 23:10
When the leaves start to fall and the sun sets just a little earlier, what else could a group of friends do besides walk around Capitol Hill hunting for ghosts?
The Capitol Hill Ghost Tour, guided by Denver's Haunted Times Magazine, is just the thing to get everyone in the mood for Halloween. So grab your Scooby Snacks, load up in the Mystery Machine, and get ready for a scary, fun time.
The Molly Brown House
This historic property was built in the 1880s and is modeled after English Baroque architecture. Molly Brown herself survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, after which she moved to Denver with her husband J.J. Brown and went on to become a philanthropist.
The house is guarded by stone lion heads and Egyptian Pharaohs, and with good reason. At least two people are known to have died in the house, and if you are there at the right time of night you just might run into one.
Skeleton hands have been seen reaching through the floorboards and ghostly shadows of Molly's husband, J.J. Brown, are often roaming through the house. That's just them giving you a warm welcome—you'd better watch out.
Molly Brown is also known to keep an eye on the premises. If you are there at the right moment, you just might see her watching you through her bedroom window on the second floor.
The Capitol Hill Mansion
Built in 1891, the Capitol Hill Mansion, now a bed-and-breakfast, is everything you would expect from a haunted house.
Guests staying in this house have reported being awakened at night by something tugging at their clothes. And if that wasn't annoying enough, the ghosts have even gone as far as to pull the sheets right off of you as you sleep.
One couple even experienced something poking them in the back while holding them down in their hot tub. When they checked out immediately after, they looked up to the window where they had just been and saw the figure of a woman looking down at them.
The Grant-Humphreys Mansion
Modeled after a southern plantation home, the 1902 Grant-Humphreys Mansion is now the ideal home-turned-event-location for everything entertaining. The mansion comes complete with a theater and bowling alley.
Albert E. Humphreys, the second owner, was a risky businessman and made a fortune in lumber and mining. But, when his fortune turned to dust, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Humphreys retired to one of the bedrooms one evening and started to clean his rifle. Shortly after the family heard a shot and found Humphreys with half of a face.
The Grant-Humphreys Mansion is now used to host weddings and receptions. Brides and their bridesmaids use that very same room where Humphreys shot himself to get dressed for their special day. Some brides report seeing a man in the mirror looking back at them before they head down the aisle. He either shakes his head or gives her a wink of approval. To wish her well he sends her off with a tiny pinch on her rear. What a true gentlemen.
The Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion
Built in 1890 with stones from Manitou Springs, Colo., the 13,800-square-foot Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion is a French chateau-style house based on architecture from the Loire Valley of France, and is the second most haunted house in Denver.
This mansion has everything a ghost would need to feel comfortable cohabiting with: dead cats, dead dogs, and even a dead baby.
Mrs. Patterson actually dug up her deceased baby from its grave and buried it in the basement—can you say postpartum depression?
If this wasn't enough to lure in old ghostly phantoms, how about the fact that one of the previous residents of the house was an alleged Satanist?
Willie, as he was known, used to capture animals and take them into the carriage house and proceed to torture or sacrifice them. Once he became bored with that, he decided to move onto young children. Luckily before he was able to succeed, he was caught and hung in the street.
With Willie dead and gone, all was fine until new owners took over the house. Willie's spirit wasted no time in coming back to haunt them; his ghost successfully drove them to leave the house. To this day the house remains vacant, but is currently being renovated into a bed-and-breakfast.
The Historic Peabody-Whitehead Mansion
This 1889 home belonged to ruthless Gov. James Peabody, and later, Dr. William Riddick Whitehead—this mansion is the most haunted house in Denver.
Gov. Peabody was the only governor in United States' history to ever dispatch the state militia against its own citizens.
The Colorado mining workers had gone on strike. When they refused to go back to work, Gov. Peabody sent out the militia and killed 13 non-union miners. Many of these men's ghosts are known to haunt the mansion to this very day.
The home's second owner, Dr. Whitehead, was known for his questionable medical practices.
Many of the doctor's patients met an untimely death after being treated. One of Dr. Whitehead patients was Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and after his death his spirit followed Dr. Whitehead back to Denver.
During renovation to the mansion, it is said that the construction workers kidnapped, abused, and murdered a young Native American girl and buried her body in the corner of the basement. To this day, any cement that is laid on that spot still stains red and cannot be kept clean.
Throughout the years, the owners of the mansion had a domestic helper named Lucile. She stayed with both families and died while still living in the mansion. Her spirit haunts the mansion and claims it as her own.
Now that the mansion has been converted into apartment spaces, Lucile likes to make her guests feel as unwelcome as possible.