Boo Who! Five Spirited Ghost Tours in Denver

1 month ago Denver Westword



Ghost hunting, if cable is any indication, is big business these days. From Ghost Adventures to the many caught-on-camera shows that suggest evidence of the other side (many of which are curiously from Canada, where all the ghosts sincerely pardon themselves before they scare you) to the new Netflix series 28 Days Haunting, which filmed at the

Ghosts are in many ways history taken physical form, and so many small businesses that offer history tours in metro Denver also offer ghost tours, especially in the lead-up to Halloween. Here are some of your options around town if you feel like taking a good walk, hearing some local history, and quite possibly getting the pants scared off of you.

Luckily, we like to layer in Colorado, so bringing spare pants shouldn’t be a problem.

Phil Goodstein: Ghosts of Capitol Hill
Dark Side of Denver
Tickets start at $20
If you know anything about Denver ghost stories, you’ve almost assuredly come across one of local historian

Cheesman Park Ghost Tour
Denver Local Tours
Tickets $25
Cheesman is chock-full of ghosts — and for good and grisly reason, since it was once a cemetery. “What makes it all the more spooky is the unknown number of bodies still underground,” says Rachel Strobolsen, who runs Denver Local Tours with her husband. She’s had an experience of her own in Cheesman, in what had been the Potter's Field section of the graveyard. She was reading under a tree, and when she tried to get up, she felt a huge weight on her chest that lasted for almost a minute. Years later, a psychic on one of her tours tour told her what had happened: A tuberculosis patient who’d been buried in that area wanted Rachel to rest her lungs, not to get up so quickly, to take it easy. Sound advice from someone still six feet under.

The Talking Dead Haunted Pub Crawl
Golden History Tours
Tickets $50, and include one drink
Meet the ghosts lurking in the storied watering holes of Old Golden City on The Talking Dead Haunted Pub Crawl. Unlike most ghost tours, which are primarily creepy stories and old architecture, this is “the tour where the ghosts seek you,” according to owner Chris Albrecht, who’s corralled not only knowledgeable guides but also employed representatives from the afterlife to tell their own tales of drunkenness, danger and woe. If you prefer the sort of spirits that come in a bottle, rest assured that the afterlife can still include moderate and responsible alcoholic consumption.
The Denver Terrors Walking Tour
Denver Terrors
Tickets $30
“Denver’s dark history casts a long shadow over the Mile High City,” or so claims the ad copy for Denver Terrors, which offers a tour of the “seething darkness of the Queen City of the West” that promises chills having nothing to do with the crisp mountain air. The tours are described as “unflinching” and “unnerving.” Think you’re brave enough to experience “Denver’s most terrifying ghost tour”? If you’re prone to flinching and nerving, think again.

Denver After Dark Ghost Tour
Ghost City Tours
Tickets $35
The only ghost tour on this list that advertises itself as “adult-only,” Denver After Dark revisits the city's historic red-light district, where anything was available for a price. The tour comes with an "adult content and language" warning that matches right up with the movie-channel "After Dark" theme, back when late-night Cinemax was rightly called Skin-emax. While the tour isn’t kid-friendly, it is pet-friendly; your do must be at least three years old, though, so it won’t just giggle throughout the whole thing.

'Tis the season to speak of the dead. Those shades of times past who linger and haunt, who rattle their chains and moan in the wind and coalesce in the ineffable mist where there should be nothing at all — they want their stories told. And there are people in and around Denver who are both able and eager to oblige.Ghost hunting, if cable is any indication, is big business these days. From Zak Bagans ’ innumerableto the many caught-on-camera shows that suggest evidence of the other side (many of which are curiously from Canada, where all the ghosts sincerely pardon themselves before they scare you) to the new Netflix series, which filmed at the Lumber Baron , you can barely channel-surf anymore without running across someone’s scary story. Hell, it’s the Stanley Hotel ’s reason for being at this point, an entire estate devoted to perfect poltergeist-ian profit.Ghosts are in many ways history taken physical form, and so many small businesses that offer history tours in metro Denver also offer ghost tours, especially in the lead-up to Halloween. Here are some of your options around town if you feel like taking a good walk, hearing some local history, and quite possibly getting the pants scared off of you.Luckily, we like to layer in Colorado, so bringing spare pants shouldn’t be a problem.If you know anything about Denver ghost stories, you’ve almost assuredly come across one of local historian Phil Goodstein ’s many tomes, several of which are devoted to some of the more spiritually inhabited homes in Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. One of the several tours offered by Dark Side of Denver offers Goodstein himself telling the stories. Honestly, Goodstein is such a frizzy-haired font-of-manic-knowledge type that the ghosts must sometimes feel slighted by the lack of attention. (One local ghost named Karen would like to speak to the manager.) Owner Brook Lee says they're rebuilding now after losing some of their stops during the pandemic — most notably the Tattered Cover in LoDo. "There was so much to see there, so much history and so many encounters," says Lee. "Books would fly off the shelf, things like that." Still, Lee says one of the great gifts of needing to rebuild has been the company's association with Goodstein, whom Lee calls "a character, and one of Denver's great gems."Cheesman is chock-full of ghosts — and for good and grisly reason, since it was once a cemetery. “What makes it all the more spooky is the unknown number of bodies still underground,” says Rachel Strobolsen, who runs Denver Local Tours with her husband. She’s had an experience of her own in Cheesman, in what had been the Potter's Field section of the graveyard. She was reading under a tree, and when she tried to get up, she felt a huge weight on her chest that lasted for almost a minute. Years later, a psychic on one of her tours tour told her what had happened: A tuberculosis patient who’d been buried in that area wanted Rachel to rest her lungs, not to get up so quickly, to take it easy. Sound advice from someone still six feet under.Meet the ghosts lurking in the storied watering holes of Old Golden City on The Talking Dead Haunted Pub Crawl. Unlike most ghost tours, which are primarily creepy stories and old architecture, this is “the tour where the ghosts seek you,” according to owner Chris Albrecht, who’s corralled not only knowledgeable guides but also employed representatives from the afterlife to tell their own tales of drunkenness, danger and woe. If you prefer the sort of spirits that come in a bottle, rest assured that the afterlife can still include moderate and responsible alcoholic consumption.“Denver’s dark history casts a long shadow over the Mile High City,” or so claims the ad copy for Denver Terrors, which offers a tour of the “seething darkness of the Queen City of the West” that promises chills having nothing to do with the crisp mountain air. The tours are described as “unflinching” and “unnerving.” Think you’re brave enough to experience “Denver’s most terrifying ghost tour”? If you’re prone to flinching and nerving, think again.The only ghost tour on this list that advertises itself as “adult-only,” Denver After Dark revisits the city's historic red-light district, where anything was available for a price. The tour comes with an "adult content and language" warning that matches right up with the movie-channel "After Dark" theme, back when late-night Cinemax was rightly called Skin-emax. While the tour isn’t kid-friendly, it is pet-friendly; your do must be at least three years old, though, so it won’t just giggle throughout the whole thing.
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