The Ghost Boy

cabin2This story came to me from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

A few years ago, a young man moved out of his parent’s house to live on his own for the first time. He rented a cozy one bedroom cabin in Conifer. The cabin had just been refinished by the owners, so everything was new and fresh. The young man loved the cabin and moved in with his dog.

Like many homes in the area, the cabin was on a fairly large lot without close neighbors. The young man liked how quiet it was with just him and his dog after long days of working in the city. He told me the cabin was great at first. Soon enough, something strange began to happen.

The young man would sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games most evenings. He began noticing something moving out of the corner of his eye. At first he thought it was just a trick of the light coming from the TV. Then he thought maybe it had something to do with his vision. He always saw a flicker of movement in the same place, and it never happened anywhere else besides the cabin.

One night, the young man was startled awake. It was the middle of the night, and something (he had no idea what) woke him from a dead sleep in his bedroom. He sat up, looked around, and didn’t immediately notice anything out of place. Then he noticed the figure in the doorway. It was the size of a boy around eight or so. The young man turned on the lights and jumped out of bed. Of course, the figure he saw was no where to be found.

The young man didn’t see anything again for several months. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he ended up moving back home with his parents again. The boy-sized figure appeared to the young man at his parent’s house. He saw it move across the living room and dining room on a regular basis. It always stayed as a black shadow with no defining features until late one night. The young  man saw the figure out of the corner of his eye while watching TV as he had so many times before. However, this time, the figure leaned into the light as if it were trying to get a better look at the screen. The young man was able to make out the figure’s facial features. It was, in fact, the face of a young boy. He looked from the screen to the young man before disappearing.

The young man has since moved to an apartment in Lakewood with his fiancée. Their first night in the new place, both the young man and his fiancée woke in the middle of the night to see the same figure that had been following the young man for years standing in the doorway.

There hasn’t been any activity in the last month or so, but the young man thinks it’s just a matter of time before he sees the ghost boy again.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Share your story in the comments.

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Ridge Home

Photo courtesy of Drea Penndragon/Anam Paranormal

Photo courtesy of Drea Penndragon/Anam Paranormal

Ridge Home, A Division of the Colorado School of Mental Defectives, was the kind of place where ghost stories are born. It originally opened it’s doors in 1912 and was closed by the state in 1991. Ridge was closed for a variety of reasons. I have heard allegations of patient abuse, asbestos issues, plus budget woes brought on the closure of the hospital. Sadly, this site was demolished in 2004 to make way for a major renewal project.

The facility has housed children as young as five to patients in their seventies. It began as a “detention” center. The public view at the turn of the last century of people with disabilities wasn’t very favorable, and these detention centers, or asylums, were created to house the people deemed mentally defective. It was a place for the public to put those who were “lesser” to forget about them in my opinion. Later, Ridge Home became a place of rehabilitation.

The stories of Ridge Home are almost mythic to the locals. It seems everyone who has ever visited the facility has a story to share, myself included. People report seeing apparitions in the tunnels, hearing screams and moaning, feeling a sense of dread, and seeing shadows everywhere. I have heard stories about doctors and nurses treating patients like science experiments, keeping children in cages, and there even used to be a story about a nurse whose head was chopped off by a patient. All of these stories have a gruesome edge to them. They remind me of the movie House on Haunted Hill.

The story that was most interesting to me is the one of a boy hit by a train. There are tracks at the edge of the property, and a boy was killed there. I’ve heard the story a couple of different ways. One version says the boys escaped from Ridge Home, and as he was running toward the edge of the property a train struck him. The other version I’ve heard says a boy in a wheelchair pushed himself out on the tracks, and committed suicide to escape the torture he suffered at the hands of the staff at the facility. Apparently this story lives on with employees who work at the Target that was built near the property. They call this spirit The Runner. The story of where the runner came from appears to match the stories of the boy and the train.

Several years ago, these stories compelled me to go see the property for myself. I wanted to bring back my own spooky story.  My brother and I drove to the facility around midnight in the middle of summer. We had been hanging out with his friends and driving around aimlessly when I told them the stories I heard. My brother’s friends didn’t want to tag along, so it was just the two of us.

It was one of those hot, still nights in the middle of July. I remember driving with all the windows down in my car, and it was still hot that late at night. I pulled up to the property and pointed out some of the buildings to my brother. We were parked on the side of the road when my brother noticed the main gate to the property was unlocked. We decided to drive through the gate. As we approached the main administration building, I stopped the car and put it in park. My brother started to open the door to the car to get out when something caught my eye. An old swing set sat near the road. We passed it as we came in. One of the swings started to move. There was no breeze, and we didn’t drive close enough to it to disturb it with the car. Plus, only one of the swings was moving. There were two or three swings on the swing set. I yelled at my brother to get back in the car. I didn’t hear, or see anything else. Just the swing moving, as if something was playing on it. I was so spooked, I refused to hang around. I slammed the car into reverse, and got the heck out of there!

I wish I had thought to contact the owners of the property to get permission to go back to Ridge Home before it was torn down. It is my favorite source of Colorado ghost stories. At the suggestion of a friend, I plan on talking to some of the employees at the Target that is near there now, and seeing what kinds of activity may be left.

What do you think? Is the Ridge Home site haunted? Do you have any stories of your own to share? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Acknowledgements: photo courtesy of Anam Paranormal

Crying Woman of Starkville

This is a story told to me by a very nice nurse at Children’s Hospital and is re-told here with her permission.

The story takes place in Starkville, a tiny town south of Trinidad, many years ago. The nurse’s grandparents lived in a two bedroom house on a piece of land that included a ravine. As a girl, the nurse spent lots of time at the house. Everything was great during these visits, except one thing: The crying woman.

They would hear the sobs of a woman almost nightly. It seemed to circle back and forth across the ravine, as if the woman paced while crying. The nurse said it raised the hair on the back of your neck to hear the cries. To her, they sounded desolate and full of pain.

Everybody in the family heard the woman, but nobody ever saw her. I can’t find any mention of the haunting anywhere else. The town is so small, perhaps it is a community that doesn’t like to talk about any paranormal events.

Has the ghost gone away or is the town guarding its secrets? Was it an intelligent haunting, or just a residual of something that happened in the past? What are your thoughts?

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Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum

Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum on Lookout Mountain in Golden is steeped in ghost stories. Some say Buffalo Bill himself haunts the area. Specifically, a cowboy resembling Buffalo Bill has been seen in the gift shop. I have been to the gift shop countless times (I grew up in the area) and have never seen the specter myself.

 

There is a story of a woman who fell and died on the grounds surrounding the grave and museum. I am not sure when the story started, or if there is any basis of truth to it, but the ghost of a woman can be seen in the area. This one stinks of urban legend like the lady in white from Riverdale Road.

People say souvenirs fall or fly off the shelves in the gift shop. Once again, this isn’t something I have personally witnessed. I can say that the shop doesn’t feel level in some places, and may give off the fun house feeling. Patrons may accidentally bump the merchandise and knock it down themselves.

I think the main reason Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum gives off that creepy feeling is due to the cell towers and things on the mountain. There are reported high EMF fields, which anyone who watches Ghost Hunters knows can cause a variety of side effects including disorientation, the feeling of something watching you, dizziness, and even hallucinations depending on how sensitive you are.

While Lookout Mountain may or may not be haunted, it is a great place to visit. The views are spectacular, and it’s a great place to, ahem, park if you get my meaning. There are also some neat hiking trails in the area, and it’s a fun escape from the city without having to wander too far.

Bottom line: I don’t believe Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum is haunted, but it does make for some cool ghost stories. What do you think? Haunted or not?

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Silver Cliff Cemetery: Ghost Lights

Photo by Doug Welty. Courtesy of Legends of America

Silver Cliff Cemetery is located in the town of Silver Cliff about three hours south of Denver. Silver Cliff itself is a small town with a rich mining history. It’s namesake is The Silver Cliff Mine. The Cemetery is like many cemeteries located throughout many of the small towns in Colorado. There is evidence of its western heritage, it’s small, old and a lot of the markings on the stones have been washed away; victims of the elements. For all the similarities, Silver Cliff is very special. It has documented “ghost lights.”

The ghost lights are bluish orbs that seem to dance among the headstones of Silver Cliff Cemetery. Many people have seen the lights and they have been featured in National Geographic, and you can see an article here from the local paper about the phenomenon. I believe this may be one of the truly haunted popular paranormal sites in the state.

A close friend of mine has seen the lights more than once. Each time he passes through Silver Cliff, he stops to see the lights.

There doesn’t seem to be a rational explanation for the lights. Research proved it isn’t from another light source, and there seems to be no source for the light to reflect from.

The only other explanation I’ve heard for the Silver Cliff Cemetery that isn’t ghostly is that the cemetery is built on a sidhe (pronounced shee.) A sidhe is a fairy mound, (where, according to legend, fairies live, or maybe a portal the world of the Fae) and the lights could be compared to Will ‘O the Wisp. I’ve heard stranger things, but I’m not sure how much I buy into the lights actually being fairies.

What do you think causes the ghost lights? Ghosts? Fairies? Headlights? Or something else?

 

Third Bridge (Ghost Bridge)

This is one of those stories that begs the question: Does the ghost story make the ghost, or does the ghost make the ghost story?

The Third Bridge is out on County Line Rd., east of Aurora. To me, the surroundings around the bridge are creepy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by twisted old Cottonwood (I think?) trees. There are a couple of houses nearby, but it feels like you are the only person alive out there. I was there in the middle of the day when I drove out to check it out, and it may be my urban roots showing, but I was unnerved by the silence.

The original story of the Third Bridge is that of a Native American massacre. It is said one can hear drums that get louder the longer you sit on the bridge. There are also stories af a ghost rider in the trees or riding along the bridge. I can’t find any information to support either of those stories, but that doesn’t stop people from driving out there looking for a cheap thrill.

The desire to see the ghost rider and hear the drums is what may have caused the real tragedy at the Third Bridge. In June, 1997 a horrific car accident happened on the bridge. Two cars, holding 15 teens and one pre-teen between the two of them, raced into the night to go see the area. The first car crested the hill, lost control and smashed into the guard rail. The driver of the second car, after seeing the first car wreck, tried to stop, but accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of the break. They also lost control and smashed into a tree. In the end, two teens were killed and the driver of the first car is permanently disabled.

The Third Bridge or Ghost Bridge is primed for a haunting after the horrific tragedy to happened there in the summer of 1997. I don’t know whether or not it is actually haunted, because I have not spent much time out there. What do you think? Do the ghosts of those teenagers still hang around the bridge? Are there really any Native American spirits? What about the ghost rider? If the bridge is indeed haunted, it is doing a good job keeping its’ secrets.

 

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Heritage Square

Heritage Square, located in Golden, is a neat shopping village/amusement park designed for families. It’s the home of the Alpine Slide and the Heritage Square Music Hall. It may also be home to a ghost or two. There doesn’t seem to be much solid evidence to suggest a haunting, but there are many stories.

Star Crossed Lovers

The most popular story is of a young man falling in love with a Native American girl. Her tribe passed through the area and the man fell instantly in love. Tribe elders forbid the girl from seeing the young man. The story comes to its tragic end when the young man chases after the tribe in a horse-drawn wagon, and ends up dying. It is unknown whether his death was an accident, or if the story has a more sinister ending. People report hearing the sound of galloping hoofbeats and hearing a male’s voice yelling for someone to wait.

Orbs and EVPs

One of my favorite local paranormal groups investigated Heritage Square years ago (early 2000s maybe?) and used to have their findings of their investigations posted on their website. Unfortunately, they have overhauled their site and all the evidence of their old investigations was removed. I remember them having a few cool orb pictures and one disturbing EVP. It sounded like a little boy. Just thinking about it gives me chills.

Spider Mansion

While you may not be able to catch a real ghost out at Heritage Square, you can definitely get scared. Spider Mansion is the haunted house open every October on the property. It’s not the most chilling haunted house out there, but it’s not shabby.

Final Thoughts

I believe there may be some sort of paranormal activity at Heritage Square, but I don’t necessarily believe the Native American/pioneer love story. It stinks of an urban legend to me. What do you think?

A Ghost Story to Wrap Up the Week

It’s Friday, so I’ll share a personal ghost story of mine to wrap up the week.

A few years ago, some really strange things started happening in my house. It started with my husband seeing “shadow people” early in the morning while he was getting ready for work. Sometimes he would see them out of the corner of his eye, but he saw one most often straight on in our dining room as he came up the stairs every morning.

It wasn’t long before I started seeing them too. The shadow people aren’t threatening or anything, but they are quite surprising when you aren’t expecting to see them! I saw one all the time by the front door. It wasn’t very tall, was pitch black, and only seemed to have a head and shoulders; the rest of the body was blob like without any real form.

Now, if the shadow people were the only thing that happened, I wouldn’t be writing this now. There are people who argue that “shadow people” aren’t ghosts or even paranormal. Soon enough, other things started happening.

It was summer time and my husband and I were in the kitchen making dinner while our children were playing in the backyard. A scuffling noise came from the bathroom. I went to check it out. I thought maybe one of the kids managed to sneak by us and were messing around in the bathroom. I walked down the hallways prepared to chase one of our munchkins back down the hall, but when I got to the bathroom, the light was on and the cabinet doors above the toilet were wide open.

I know the light was off and the doors were shut just minutes before, because I had just helped one of the kids go to the bathroom (we were in the midst of potty training at the time.) I was the one who turned of the light, and nobody messes with the cabinet until I open it to get tooth brushes and tooth paste at the end of the day when I help the kids through their bedtime routine.

I made my husband double-check all the kids were still outside and then I showed him the bathroom. He thought it was strange, but not scary or anything. We went back to the kitchen to get back to dinner. As we walked into the kitchen, the door to our dishwasher opened. Again, I know it was latched shut, because I was leaning against it before I went to see what was going on in the bathroom. That was the end of the activity for the day.

Over the next few days, there was more shadow people seen by my husband and myself, but nothing really noteworthy happened.

The next week, I had enough. My middle son started crying about monster who shook his bed every night. He has never been a monster-under-the-bed kid before. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he is afraid of anything. I’m OK with ghosts who want to play around with adults, but scare my kids and we can’t be friends anymore.

I don’t think we were dealing with a malevolent presence. I think it was just someone or something that was curious about us. I ended up getting mad the third night my son cried over the “monster” and told whatever it was it was no longer welcome in my house and to go away.

The activity stopped. My ghostly guest must have realized it over stayed its’ welcome.

As of this post, the activity has started up again. I am seeing things late at night again. Do you think my ghostly friends are back, or is it just my imagination?

Cheesman Park

Cheesman Park is an 80 acre slice of greenery in the heart of Denver. It is perfect for jogging, leisurely walks, picnics, or even just a nice place to spread a blanket under a tree and enjoy a good book. Now, what could any of this possibly have to do with ghosts? Well, Cheesman Park used to be known as Mount Prospect Cemetery.

The cemetery opened in 1858. Bodies rapidly piled in due to typhoid and other diseases common at the time. By 1893 the cemetery was closed and officials determined the land should be used as a park. Here’s where it gets dicey. Workers were paid by the body to dig up the graves and move them to other local cemeteries. Wokers were accused of making one body look like several, so they could get paid more. Remains left unclaimed by loved ones were left on the side of what is now 8th Ave.  The stories of how the dead were treated are ghastly. It is one of the more gruesome tales of Denver’s history.

Today, the park is supposedly a ghostly hot spot. I can understand why with the grotesque past. People report a sense of being watched or followed while walking in the park at night. Others have reported seeing mist like figures and hearing crying or footsteps.

Do you think disturbed grave sites could lead to a haunting?

The local news ran a story regarding Cheesman back in March 2011. Check it out!

Cheesman Park Video

Riverdale Road

While doing a little research on some of my favorite haunts this morning, I ran across stories about Riverdale Road. I thought it would be fun to share some of the claims about this stretch of pavement. I personally think the stories are all Urban Legends. I have driven the road late at night many times myself and never heard or saw anything.

Riverdale Road is located in Thornton, Colorado and is easily accessed from 104th. It runs along the edge of a couple of subdivisions, but is mostly in a rural area. Twisted Cottonwood trees stand along the edges of Riverdale like deformed sentries.  The road has several blind curves that are unsafe in bad weather. Riverdale Road is allegedly the home to one of Hell’s Gates, a phantom Camaro with one headlight out, ghosts of slaves, remnants of black magic and witchcraft, a ghost lady, phantom black dogs, ghost children, and the jogger of Jogger’s Hill.

Jogger’s Hill – Dirt Road just off Riverdale Road, although I think it has been developed.

The story says a car hit a jogger on a dirt road at the crest of the hill. The driver panicked and sped off and left the jogger to die. The jogger’s ghost haunts the area and tries to attack any motorist who parks at the crest of the hill to admire the view. If you want to see the jogger, you are supposed to park at the top of the hill late at night and turn off your headlights and engine. If you listen carefully,  you will hear the sound of someone running on the road somewhere behind your car. They will continue to come closer and closer. People have reported handprints on their windows, and banging noises on the sides and back of the car like someone is hitting or kicking it. You aren’t supposed to let the jogger come up to the driver side window or he will try to kill you, at least that’s how the legend goes.

Hell’s Gates – I’m still not entirely sure where this is located exactly since the story varies from person to person.

The Gates of Hell are supposedly along Riverdale Road. It is said unspeakable things happen there. I’m not so sure about this story, especially since some people say the Gates of Hell is actually a chicken coop. I’m not so sure chicken wire and eggs are the work of the Devil.

Phantom Camaro

The story says a black 70s Camaro wrecked along Riverdale Road back in the 70s. The driver perished in the wreckage, but his ghost remains. If you are driving late at night and come across a black Camaro with a headlight out, don’t, under any circumstances, race it! You will race to your death! This one sounds more like a cautionary tale about street racing if you ask me.

Ghost Lady

The ghost lady is supposed to appear alongside Riverdale Road dressed in white. If you stop to offer her a ride, she will accept, but disappear before she ever gets in the car.

Ghosts of Slaves

Allegedly, slaves in the area were tortured, abused and hanged on the farms surrounding Riverdale Road in the 1800s. If you look closely, you can see the bodies of the hanged slaves in the trees as you drive down the road. There are no records of slavery or abuse of slaves in the area that I have found.

As you can see, Riverdale Road is rich with local legends, and it can be a fun and spooky ride. I think the legends are just that; legends. I don’t think there is any real truth to any of the stories, but I will let you be the judge. Do you think Riverdale Road is really haunted?