Littleton Elks Lodge

 

The lodge floor where footsteps are often heard

The lodge floor where footsteps are often heard

The Littleton Elks Lodge is full of paranormal stories. From footsteps, to noises, voices to apparitions, this place has it all.

I recently visited the lodge and a few of its members to collect some stories. The members I spoke with wish to remain anonymous, so I will refer to them as Member 1, Member 2, etc.

Member 1 often comes to the Elks Lodge in the morning to work in the office before it is open for the day. They are usually the first person to show up. On more than one occasion, Member 1 has heard someone walking through the lounge and dining room areas. When they go look to see who’s there, they can’t find anyone and the lodge is still empty. The noise heard is distinctly the sound of footsteps. So much so, that Member 1 thought it was a bartender showing up early.

Member 2 was cleaning up the lounge a couple of months ago when something whistled at her. She says it was like someone was trying to get her attention. There was nobody else in the lounge or dining area at the time. Member 2 has also heard footsteps coming from the lodge floor (where official meetings are held) upstairs when nobody else is there.

The door to the back stairwell

The door to the back stairwell

A door at the far end of the lodge floor is sometimes found open with no explanation. That doorway leads to a seldom used stairwell that leads back to the lounge area. Much of the activity seems to center around the lodge floor. Other member have heard footsteps and voices. Member 2, along with other members have witnessed light coming from the windows of the lodge floor when nobody is supposed to be up there. When someone goes to check, the lights are off and the room is silent.

 

Windows on lodge floor

Windows on lodge floor

View of lodge floor windows from dining area

View of lodge floor windows from dining area

Member 3 works in the bar and has the most intriguing story of all. He was closing up the bar a few weeks ago. The bar has a service window on the back wall that opens to a view of the dining area. The dining area has two levels, and is a fairly large area. As member 3 was returning bottles to their proper place, and cleaning up, he glanced out the service window into the dining area. He saw an apparition on the balcony of the upper level of the dining area. It seemed lit up and was not a shadow. It had its own light coming from within it. This spooked Member 3 so much that he didn’t finish cleaning the bar that night and didn’t want to come back to work again. The other bartenders convinced him to continue working at the lodge, but Member 3 refuses to be the one to close the bar at night.

diningroom2

Balcony in dining area where apparition was seen

The Littleton Elks Lodge is in an old building and full of dusty, unused corners. I did not experience anything myself on the day I visited, but I did come across an opened window in the back stairwell connecting the basement to the lounge. That alone isn’t that strange, but the window opened into another wall. An addition was added at some point in the building’s history, and there was no reason for that window to be open. Ever. The member giving me a tour of the lodge was surprised the window was open, as they had never seen it open before.

Random open window in back stairwell

Random open window in back stairwell

While I wasn’t lucky enough to experience anything, this building lends itself to the feeling of being watched. Personally speaking, it felt something there was holding its breath to see what I might do. Where I might look, what I might find.

I would like to visit this location sometime again in the future to see if it still feels the same way to me.

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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

Early Morning Visitor

bedroom1

Now here is a strange ghost story for you. Why? It involves my parents. They live at the house mentioned in other posts on this site where shadow people and other things have been seen. This event happened about a month ago.

My parents were in bed sleeping. It was a normal night. My Dad had work in the morning, so there were no late night antics, or drinking involved. Right around 4 am, my Mom awoke with a start. She heard a male voice speaking. She couldn’t make out what the voice was saying. It was abruptly cut off like it was a TV someone turned off (it wasn’t.)  The noise woke my Dad up as well. My Mom told my Dad what she heard, and he got out of bed to investigate. He opened the bedroom door and looked down the hallway.

The voice didn’t return, but both my parents heard footsteps moving back and forth in the main part of the house. My Dad didn’t see anyone or anything moving around.

The fact my Dad heard something makes this story creepy. He is one of those firmly based in reality kind of guys. The rest of us have seen things around that house, but my Dad hasn’t experienced anything until this particular event. I’ll be interested to hear what happens next.

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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

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?

 

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Red Rocks Ampitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located in Morrison, CO, is a world-renowned natural amphitheatre. It is one of the most beautiful places for outdoor concerts; the sound is great! Many believe, along with being an entertainment venue, it is haunted.

Red Rocks has a rich history for hauntings. There is the spirit of a man who haunts the amphitheatre itself and is most often seen beyond the rails in the “restricted” areas. He is most often described as wearing prospector garb. That is believable considering Colorado’s long mining history. I have heard he isn’t a friendly ghost. I have not encountered him myself, so I can’t say one way or the other what this spirit’s disposition may be.

What I find the most interesting is the stories of the ghosts at the Trading Post . The location has all the classic elements of a haunt. Footsteps, cold spots, moving objects, and a general feeling of creepiness all happen at the Trading Post. Whatever lurks there isn’t dangerous as far as employees are concerned. I think the spirits that hang around the Trading Post are mischievous at worst and curious at best. Maybe they just want to let others know they are there.

Here is a link to a news story about the Trading Post at Red Rocks:

Is Red Rocks Haunted?

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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