Spook Your Socks Off With These Haunted Fort Collins Area Spots
If anyone says they aren’t excited for the upcoming brisk fall months and fall festivities, they’re lying. Who doesn’t love flannels, pumpkin patches, apple cider (potentially spiked of course) and our favorite fall holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween? I believe ‘spooky season’ is what the kids are calling it these days. My favorite phrase right now is ‘sweater season.’ But regardless of what you call it, learning about some of Colorado’s haunted buildings might push you one step closer in being ready for all of what our 2019 fall has to offer.
Rigged haunted houses are a big attraction for people of all ages around this time of year, but what about real haunted houses? Whether or not you believe in the myths and legends of haunted houses, ghosts and spirits, these real-life ghost stories will send enough chills down your spine to cool you off for fall without even having to experience the weather drop.
A local Fort Collins historical building in driving distance is said to spook your socks off. The Avery House, built in 1879, was originally built by Franklin and Sara Avery to own a bank and to raise their children. This creepy house is considered a National Historic Landmark; and many daily tourists ascend the creaking steps, clueless of its paranormal history. When Franklin and Sara were maintaining the building, Franklin’s brother, William, and business co-partner Frank Millington worked and lived alongside them helping run the business. Rumor has it that William Avery and Frank Millington’s wife, Mary, got rather close – too close, some might say. Then one eerie night, William became suddenly ill, and died out of nowhere. Two weeks later, Millington and Mary moved to Nebraska to be wed. When news of the marriage broke, officials re-examined William’s body, leading them to find enough arsenic (poison) to kill an elephant. With further investigation, it was then discovered that Mary had recently purchased a large amount of arsenic. Suspicious? I think yes. The widow then went to trial, but won the case with the argument that the arsenic overdose was self-inflicted. Tourists to this day have had doors close and lock behind them in the house, witnessed objects like silverware fly across the room and many have seen different Avery family members and an unhappy child’s spirit upstairs walking around.
If you’ve ever been to Greeley, Colorado, you’ll know that the general vibe of the entire city seems a little spooky. Although Greeley’s overall ‘aura’ might be a little off its rocker, we know for a fact that Ramkota Hotel, now known as Clarion Hotel, is especially out-of-the-ordinary. Back when this hotel was a theatre, legend has it that a woman named Rosy was thrown off the balcony by her boyfriend. Rosy, the ghost, is now said to still be playing tricks on guests at the hotel to this day. Visitors have complained of getting locked in their room, having room keys hidden and moved around, and a countless amount of elevator malfunctions. In 2014, a guest reported her dresser drawers being open. She went to close them, but after she did, they re-opened multiple times in a row. This guest has the footage on video ready to show the skeptical, non-believers of ‘Rosy the ghost.’
Alright, now to the one you’ve all been waiting for, The Stanley Hotel. Located in Estes Park, Colorado, this hotel is one of the largest haunted hotel attractions in Colorado. Stephen King managed to get this hotel on the map to the entire Colorado population for centuries with his award-winning novel and film, “The Shining.” If you haven’t heard of this hotel or know what I am talking about, turn on The Travel Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” series, SyFy’s “Ghost Adventures” series or if you’re not planning on visiting the Stanley anytime soon (or if you are and are feeling brave), watch and/or read The Shining.
John Mausling and his wife Jessica were on the famous ghost tour when they stopped to take a picture for a nice memory. They had 11 members in their party, and none of them had female children, let alone children at all. Look closely, and you will see the shadow of two young girls joining the tour near the staircase. Obviously, everyone’s first thought when they see this picture would be ‘it’s photoshopped, idiot.” Ben Hansen, former FBI agent and host of popular television series “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files,” thought the same thing until closer examination. Hansen later admitted that, “it ranks up there as one of the best photos of possible evidence I’ve seen.”
Lumber Baron Inn and Gardens, located in Denver, Colorado, was a lively apartment building in the 1970’s. During its hay-day, 17-year-old Cara Lee Knoche and her friend Marianne Weaver ran away from home, and were murdered in the Valentine Suite. Following this horrific incident, the Inn was vacant and eventually got boarded up. Current eye witnesses from staying in the renovated Inn report hearing footsteps in their rooms during the night and seeing glimpses of flapper girls on the staircase. A local woman who grew up near the house states that her and a group of friends would hear screams coming from the house, and they would see multiple shadows of people moving around the grounds when it was supposed to be empty. In 2016, a visitor reported that her and a friend went to take pictures of the grounds while they awaited a tour. When they later went to look at the pictures, the majority of the photos were blurred out – ruining the captured images, and the others had a hazy image of a man looking through a doorway wearing a plaid flannel shirt.
Regardless of whether you believe these haunting myths or not, these potentially haunted destinations will not disappoint if you are in need of a little fun fright this coming fall.