The best haunted houses in Denver have an incredible history. The city of Denver has boasting rights that extend far beyond her mile high status and breathtaking beauty. The Mile High City is also home to some of the most notorious haunted houses in the Rocky Mountain region including these classic residences.
1. Croke-Patterson Mansion
Address: 420 East 11th Ave.
One of the most terrifying and haunted houses lies smack in the heart of Denver less than a mile from the city capital building. It is a magnificent castle-like structure built in 1891 called the Croke-Patterson Mansion. It is well reported that the original owner, Thomas Croke refused to stay in the property. Historian claimed he was driven away by something so unnatural and frightening he felt forced to leave. The Patterson family managed to stake their claim for the next several decades and then the property exchanged hands several times, eventually facing a major renovation in the 1970’s when the real terror began.
At the time of the renovation, the construction crew would leave after a hard days work only to return the next day to find their work had been sabotaged. Their tools were missing and finished projects were somehow incomplete. Frustrated, the crew enlisted the help of two Doberman guard dogs to keep an overnight watch for suspected vandals and intruders. Not long after bringing them in, the dogs were tragically found dead on the sidewalk supposedly having jumped to their deaths from a third story window after being subjected to unknown terrors on their watch. Over the years ghostly images, unexplained apparitions, and electrical disturbances with machines and lights operating themselves have kept the Croke-Patterson active as one of the most refined yet terrifying homes in the Denver area.
2. The Haunted Lumber Baron
Address: 2555 W. 37th Ave.
Crime and hauntings seem to go hand in hand and the history of the Lumber Baron is no exception to this ghostly pattern. Built in 1889, this 8,500 square foot mansion had a lavish beginning as an exquisite home that over the decades traded hands and eventually fell into disrepair. Serving as apartment rentals in the 1970’s, the Lumber Barron was home to 17-year-old runaway Cara Lee Knoche.
In October of 1970, Cara was brutally raped and murdered in her apartment home. While the crime was in progress, Cara’s 18-year-old friend, Marianne Weaver arrived for a visit and stumbled upon the scene. It seems Marianne surprised the murderer and became a second tragic victim of the evening.
To this day, both of the girls are said to be responsible for the ongoing paranormal activity at the Lumber Baron. Along with the commonly heard footsteps and ghostly sightings, EVP recordings made by professional Denver ghost hunters claim to have uncovered details about the crime that have been passed onto investigators in hopes of an arrest in this notorious cold case.
3. Peabody-Whitehead Mansion
Address: 1128 Grant St.
We’ve all heard the phrase hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And, Eloise, the scorned spirit of the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion, reminds us just how much this saying rings true. Eloise was left at the alter on her wedding day. The distraught woman committed suicide on the property and continues to roam the grounds. She makes mischief and frightens ghost hunters from around the country. In addition to Eloise, the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion is reportedly home to around 11 other spirits.
Once home to Colorado’s governor, the Peabody-Whitehead mansion, built in 1889, has undergone many changes and renovations. The mansion has served as a boarding house, restaurant, and, most recently, office space.
Current employees share reports of calculators repeating number sequences behind locked office doors and books falling from shelves. These are all regular signs of paranormal activity at this historic landmark location. These spooky things include a ghostly baby’s cry, breaking glassware, and the ringing of disconnected service bells and phones. People have reported a flickering chandelier that wasn’t even hooked up to electricity, and a ghost who poured a bottle of beer down a cook’s shirt after the cook badmouthed homosexuals.
The mansion has even garnered a ghost-hunting visit from the Travel Channel.
4. Molly Brown House
Address: 1340 Pennsylvania Street
Denver’s best haunted houses list wouldn’t be complete without Molly Brown’s home. Molly is best known for her harrowing adventure aboard the Titanic. Molly and her husband J.J. Brown purchased the mansion on Pennsylvania Street in 1894.
The home was considered an upper-class home, but not on the scale of being a luxurious mansion of the extremely wealthy. Molly lived in the home for three decades after J.J. died. Both Molly and J.J. are said to be responsible for regular paranormal activity that exists in the house.
Restored in the 1970’s by Historic Denver, the Molly Brown house serves as a cherished museum and local landmark. Tour guides and museum workers have reported the smell of cigar smoke filling the air despite the museum being a non-smoking facility.
They’ve also had ghostly sightings of a well dressed Victorian woman and regular rearrangement of furniture as common occurrences. There have even been claims that Molly’s mother, Johanna Tobin, roams the second floor. And that a maid is often seen dusting the library shelves. They have also said that J.J. smokes in the back hallway, which may explain the cigar smoke!
5. The Denver Children’s Home
Address: 1501 Albion Street
The Ladies Relief Society formed Denver Orphans Home in 1876. They formed the home to take care of the orphans being brought to Colorado to work on the railroads and in the mines. In 1883 the first residence was opened and, within days, 40 children were living in the home. 1,128 children were living at the Denver Orphans Home by 1889.
Now known as the Denver Children’s Home, the organization still provides youth services to the community. The history of the Denver Orphan’s Home is long and spooky. It includes numerous exorcisms, a fire that claimed the lives of several children and the spirit of a sullen, lonely bride that wanders the halls.
It’s not unusual for employees or visitors to the property to hear, “the sounds of children playing, as well as whimpers and cries… on a regular basis.” In addition to the children, there is a bride-like female spirit who appears in her wedding gown, her floating apparition filling the 50-foot length of the second-floor hallway.
There are so many amazing haunted houses in Denver. There is no real way to know if a house is truly haunted, but you can find out if someone has died in your home. These are just a few of the well-documented ghost stories are sure to send a shiver down your spine.
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