Denver Haunts
                  The Brown Palace Hotel

                                                1892 ~ (

Many of the 'sightings' have been by current and former employees of Denver's grand dame. Take the musicians who used to play in
Ellyngton's restaurant. They come back from time-to-time to play a few tunes according to the houseman who heard sounds in the
restaurant and confronted the trio in the wee hours of the morning. After he told them they couldn't play there, they told him not to worry.
"We live here."

Recent sightings by hotel employees have also involved a spirit in uniform. He has been seen outside the Brown Palace Club dressed in
his conductor's uniform. The hotel originally housed the ticket office for the Rock Island Railroad, so it seems plausible that a mortal
conductor might have once walked these halls. When sighted,
this spirit merely disappears through the wall.

Living History Brown Palace Hotel  --- (From the Brown Palace website)

The Brown Palace is so luxurious you'll wish you could spend an eternity here. As it happens, some of our guests have.

When one thinks about all the people who have walked the halls and dined at the tables of The Brown Palace Hotel during the past
century, it seems only natural to assume that a few "spirits" may have lingered behind. Could there be a more sublime place to spend an
eternity than within the beauty of this triangular-shaped, architectural gem?

In truth, The Brown Palace's ghosts are few, and none seem to represent those who played strong roles in its life. None of the apparitions
claim to have met Henry Brown, the founder and builder, or Augusta Tabor who lived in the hotel for a few unhappy years following her
divorce from the Silver King. Although the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown took singing lessons in Room 629 while she was in Denver, there have
been no haunting melodies emerge from within its walls since then.

But there have been ghostly encounters and sightings of spirits that illustrate mortal life in an urban hotel, giving us a glimpse of the
people and events throughout the last 100 years.

•        There are commonly reports of feminine laughter and chatter in the eighth-floor hallway outside present-day Room 804, which was
originally part of the ballroom. One supposes these to be Victorian young ladies, en route to powder their noses, giggling about the
eligible men who'd escorted them to the ball.

•        Once a bellman delivering morning newspapers to upper-floor rooms found some of the papers stolen from his cart. A few minutes
later, he encountered an apparition dressed in an old-fashioned uniform. He was so frightened that he quit the next day.

•        Recent sightings by hotel employees have also involved a spirit in uniform. He has been seen outside The Brown Palace Club
dressed in his "conductor's uniform." The hotel originally housed the ticket office for the Rock Island Railroad, so it seems plausible that a
mortal conductor might have once walked these halls. When sighted, this spirit merely disappears through the wall.

•        A maintenance man was recently called to Room 523, in which the guest complained that the room was too hot. He was met at the
door by a pale, old woman wearing a long, black flowing gown, who responded to his question about the problem. When he'd adjusted the
controls, he turned to tell her that everything should be fine, and she was nowhere to be seen. He called the front desk to report that the
job was complete, and asked if they could let the guest know when she returned. There was a long pause before the desk clerk answered,
"That room is unoccupied."

•        A telephone operator had two encounters with an unseen wraith. Twice, when she took off her coat to hang it in the closet, she
turned from the door and felt something tugging at her skirt. Believing she'd caught it in the door as she closed it, she turned back to free
it. The door was tightly shut and her skirt was not restrained by it. Other operators have reported seeing a woman in an old-fashioned pink
formal walk through their space and disappear into the wall. A man in Victorian evening clothes made the same passage at other times.

•        Prior to the main dining room being renamed Ellyngton's, this restaurant space was known as the San Marco Room, home to big
bands and later, the San Marco Strings. One evening, a houseman went to investigate sounds coming from the dining room. Upon
entering, he discovered a quartet of formally dressed musicians practicing their music. The houseman was not amused, as it was long past
closing time. "You're not supposed to be in here," he said. They replied, "Oh, don't worry about us. We live here."

•        Room 831 has a resident spirit who likes to sit upon the couch and cause doorstops to fly out from beneath the door jam.

•        But the most sophisticated prank was played by the ghost of the woman who lived and died in Room 904. Mrs. Crawford Hill (Louise)
was the undisputed queen of Denver society. Her glamorous life story ended with heartbreak and resulted in her living the last 15 years of
her life in Suite 904. While conducting a "lovers and scandals" tours of the hotel, the historian began with Louise's story. After these new
tours first began, the switchboard was inundated with calls from Room 904. When answered, there was only static on the line. How could
this be happening? An extensive renovation was underway on the 9th floor, and her old apartment had been stripped of furniture,
carpeting, wallpaper, lights, wires — and telephones. When Mrs. Hill's saga was dropped from subsequent tours, the calls ceased.

                                            Ghosts of the Oxford Hotel

                                  Oxford Hotel- 1913 - (

One alleged paranormal sighting comes from a hotel worker who cleans the downstairs ladies bathroom late at night and has found
pennies on the floor. Supposedly, the pennies mysteriously fall from the ceiling in that bathroom.

Another comes from a caterer who was setting up for a ballroom banquet. The caterer walked by the ballroom and saw 4 men playing
cards and smoking cigars. He backed up to have another look... and they were gone.

Up on the third floor of the Oxford, there have been sightings of a woman in a white dress and reports of voices arguing in a hotel room.
Years ago, the room was the scene of a murder involving a jealous husband and his wife.

On another occasion, a businessman who was a frequent guest, went to the front desk one night and told the front desk associate, "You
have a ghost."

His story was that he'd just brushed his teeth to climb into bed for the night. Once in bed, he was startled to see the bathroom light snap
on by itself, the bathroom door opened, the sheets on the other side of the bed pulled back and he suddenly felt a presence in the bed
next to him.

Even though he was unnerved, he told whatever "It" was that he was ok with sharing the bed. The sheets pulled back into place, the
bathroom light went off and the door quietly closed back to where it was.


                           Haunts of the Molly Brown House Museum
                                        "The House of Lions"

                                                                                 1930 - (

Unexplained events happen regularly at the Molly Brown House at 1340 Pennsylvania, causing volunteers and guests to wonder if
phantoms haunt the mansion.

A psychic was brought in at one time, and said the spirit of Molly's parents haunted the room that they lived and died in.

A volunteer saw a man on the steps dressed as a butler, but when she turned around, he was gone. Furniture moves from the place it was
left, and people have reported seeing Molly's rocking chair rocking.

One night during the Christmas season, a volunteer placed some toy soldiers on display under the Christmas tree. She was the last to
leave the house, and the first one to arrive the next morning. When she arrived, she found the toy soldiers on the stairs inside the house.

Elizabeth Walker, the curator of the house, said that in the first months she worked there, a picture fell off of the wall whenever she was in
the room. One afternoon, she saw unexplained puffs of smoke near the study, which was where J.J. Brown used to smoke his cigars. Other
people have reported smelling cigar smoke in the vicinity of the study. Residents of the neighborhood have reported seeing lights on in
the house at odd times.

A former occupant of the apartment over the carriage house went into the main house one night to take a picture of the table setting for a
party before the guests arrived. He was the only one in the room, but when the picture was developed, a woman was sitting at the table.
That same man was killed in a car accident, and the next tenant of the carriage house reported that the dead man's glasses appeared
one night on the table beside the bed. Furniture also moved around quite a bit there all the way across the room.

Source: Metropolitan State College of Denver website

                                                                The Croke-Patterson Mansion

1892 - (

428-430 East 11th Avenue

Private residence- please do not disturb

The 1890 sandstone residence with attached carriage house is a rare example of the use of Chateauesque style architecture in Denver.
Thomas B. Croke, who gained fame as a merchant and experimental plant breeder and later served as a state senator, commissioned the
house and lived there until he sold the property to Thomas M. Patterson in 1892. Patterson served as a territorial delegate to Congress in
1874, a U.S. Congressman in 1877-79, U.S. Senator from 1901 to 1907, and edited and published the Rocky Mountain News until 1913.
Patterson's daughter, Margaret, married Richard C. Campbell, and the couple lived with the Senator until 1916. Campbell became a
prominent local financial leader and worked as business manager for his father-in-law at the Rocky Mountain News.


The Croke Patterson Mansion is one of the country's most elegant and frightening haunted houses. Built in 1890, it was modeled after a
French chateau and sits on Denver's prestigious Capitol Hill.

According to legend, the original owner, Thomas B. Croke, stepped into the house only once, and was so shaken by the experience, he
left and never returned.

Over the next century, the house served many purposes--a dance studio, radio station, boarding house and eventually, an office building.
That's when strange things really began to happen. People began seeing floating bats. Office equipment turned on automatically.

The madness reached its apex when two Doberman Pinschers who were guarding the premises were found dead on the sidewalk.
Something in the house had frightened them into jumping out of a third-story window. What evil forces could have frightened the poor
canines? A seance revealed that the body of a young girl was interred within the walls of the mansion.



Those who inhabit Denver's spookiest mansion say they're somewhat accustomed to the creaks in the floorboards, the thumpings from the
walls and the creepy chills that rise from the cellar's twisting and turning paths. But every now and then you can see it on their faces...
they're still scared. There's good reason:

Legend recounts the tales of suicidal guard dogs, lonely mothers, swinging parties that crash the house one moment and fall silent the
next. Secret chambers supposedly entombed the body of a girl, while unexplanable drafts emanate from the mansion's depths.

Vicious Doberman pinschers, a grieving mother and a drifting apparition are among the ghosts that haunt Capitol Hill's Croke-Patterson-
Campell Mansion today. Completed in 1891, the towering sandstone castle has driven many of its occupants from the building's four floors
and 15,000 square feet for mysterious reasons.

Most frighteningly of all, Thomas Patterson, the former owner of the Denver Rocky Mountain News, haunts the courtyard between the
castle and the carriage house, bemoaning the undiscovered secrets and scandals that lurk in Denver's seamy underbelly.

Click the below link for ghost stories, pictures and video of the Croke-Patterson!

                                                               Richthofen Castle

                                                                             1948 ~ (

Private residence-- please do not disturb

7020 E. 12th Avenue, Denver  (NW of Lowry between Monaco and Quebec)

Baron Walter von Richthofen came to Denver in 1877 long before the birth of his famous nephew and founded the town of Montclair. He
erected this castle in 1887 as the show home of his suburban real estate scheme. The original structure, patterned after Walter's home in
German/Austrian Silesia and built of volcanic rhyolite quarried near Castle Rock, was remodeled in 1910 by Edwin Hendrie who had
purchased it as his home. The south wing was designed in 1924. The 35-room castle features an oak-paneled entry hall, hand-tooled
leather walls, and a parquet-floored music room that seats 150. The east gatehouse has been converted to a separate residence. For
perspective, Denver s Richthofen Castle was more than 30 years old when Walter's nephew Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, was
killed in the skies over France in 1918 at the age of 25.

````````````````````````````````` `````    `  ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

                                                                  Hauntings of the Richthofen

Yes, the Richthofen Castle is indeed haunted; according to the book, "Denver's Richthofen Castle" by O.J. Seiden (1980, Stonehenge
Books/Enkidu Press).

O.J. Seiden was a previous resident of the castle. In this book, he mentions friendly spirits in the old castle.

He and his family experienced many unexplainable events in that house. They always heard footsteps on the 2nd floor-- when there was
no one there. Their dogs refused to go up on the second floor for a day or two after the sound of footsteps was heard.

Items also vanished and were not where they had put them. Then the object would end up in very unlikely places, sometimes days or
weeks later.

There is also a spirit in the tower. The Seiden family noticed coming home one night that there was a light on up in the tower. But there is
no electricity or lights up there. Then they thought that someone had gone up there. But-- there were absolutely NO footprints in the snow!
They went up there- and no one was there.

The Changeling House

                                                                                Photo from

                                 The Henry Treat Rogers Mansion

 1739 East 13th Avenue  ~  (No longer standing)

                                {Above Photo from the Denver Public Library Western History Photo Collection}


                                   Moviemaker's tale is stuff from which horror flicks sprout

By Frances Melrose, Rocky Mountain News
Published: October 26, 1986

Now comes the time for ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night.

Colorado has had its share of weird tales, from the ghostly glimmers in the old cemetery at Silver Cliff to any number of "haunted" houses.
We told the story of the Hindry House, one of Denver's most celebrated haunted houses, on Sept. 21. But there are many more.

Moviemaker Russell Hunter, who filmed the Changeling, an edge-of-the-seat horror picture, a few years ago, said in an interview in 1980
that the strange events depicted in the movie happened to him while he lived in a mansion that stood on the edge of Cheesman Park. The
house since has been torn down.

Hunter, then a musical arranger for television, moved from New York to Denver in 1968. He said later that he had rented the house for the
"unbelievable price of $200 per month, because no one else wanted to live there."

Slightly more than a week after he moved in, strange things began to happen, he said: Banging and crashing were heard regularly,
apparently coming from a bedroom fireplace. One morning, Hunter yelled "Stop it!" and never heard the noise again, he said later.

Next, doors began to open and close mysteriously by themselves, he said, while walls vibrated and threw paintings to the floor. A woman
he met at a bridge game told Hunter he undoubtedly had a poltergeist in the house.

At another social gathering, he said, Hunter met a man whom no one later could identify. The man told Hunter the house had a third floor
which could be reached through a secret stair concealed in back of a second-floor closet.

With help, Hunter broke open the back closet wall and discovered a narrow stairway, covered with the dust of years.

In the attic, Hunter discovered a child's trunk that obtained the diary of a 9-year-old boy whose family had hidden him in the attic because
they were ashamed that he had been born a cripple. The journal mentioned that the boy's favorite toy was a red rubber ball.

Not long afterward, according to Hunter, the red ball began to appear in the house and was seen by more than 30 people.

Following the suggestion of friends, the moviemaker called in a widely known medium who conducted a seance in the house.

A strange story unfolded as the medium spoke in a trance. The crippled child would have inherited a great fortune from his grandfather,
but the child died before he could inherit. He was buried secretly, and the family acquired a similar-looking boy from an orphanage and
palmed him off as their own in order to collect the inheritance.

The second boy graduated from a leading university and became a successful industrialist, said the medium.

The spirit of the crippled boy would not rest, according to Hunter. The medium, speaking as the child, said his body had been buried
seven feet under the closet sill of a bedroom in a designated house in South Denver.

They would know it was he, the medium said, because they would find a gold medal with his name and birthdate on it. What's more, the
medium said the spirit threatened harm to the children of the house where he was buried if the owners of the house would not give
permission for the search.

After a couple of warning incidents affecting their children, the owners of the house gave permission for the excavation under the
bedroom. The gold medal was found.

But Hunter still had no peace. Back in his own house, some glass doors blew up as he approached them and shards of glass cut an
artery, he said. Bedroom wall shook.

Not long afterward, the house was demolished on order and, during the work, walls of a bedroom exploded and crushed a man operating
the bulldozer, said Hunter.

Hunter moved to a house on Kearney Street, but the poltergeist moved with him, he said, continuing its mischievous pranks.

Again, urged by friends, the moviemaker called in a priest from Denver's Epiphany Episcopal Church to perform the rites of exorcism.

The priest, who asked that his named not be used, said of Hunter:

"He did seem to have a problem. We performed the rites of exorcism in his second house, on Kearney Street."

The rites apparently worked, the priest said. At least, the priest heard no more from Hunter.

                                                                        The haunted Denver Press Club

                       1910   ~  (

The Denver Press Club is the oldest press club in America, and might be the only one that is haunted. Founded in 1877, the DPC moved
to its present home in 1925. Originally a place for journalists to play poker, the club grew to include lawyers, judges, and other
professionals and now has more than 560 members -- including one regular who is rarely seen but always present.

Experts in paranormal activities have taken infrared photos of supernatural activity inside the club. From the beautifully decorated dining
room, to the gaming tables upstairs, to the eerily welcoming basement, psychics have visited the DPC and reported "a presence."

But for real stories, ask a member.

Alan Kania, a journalist for forty years and long time member, has seen plenty. Like the night Alan and an employee were sitting
downstairs, after hours, to enjoy their first drink of the evening after locking up. From upstairs, unmistakably loud, clattering footsteps
interrupted their conversation. They ran up the two sets of stairs to cover both exits.

No one was there.

On one occasion a psychic was feeling "a strong presence" in an upstairs corner of the club, where at other times, dozens of members sat
slouched around the poker tables. As she investigated, Alan and other members remained downstairs in the anteroom, which is usually
noted for the hundreds of hand-drawn portraits and caricatures of current members adorning the walls.

But not on this evening.

The assembled members saw a transparent figure wearing a cloak, completely oblivious to the mortals around him. "He was just waiting on
something," Alan said. Not believing his own eyes he quickly grabbed a napkin to record in detail everything he was seeing. The psychic
returned and asked, "What did you see?"

"No, no. Tell me what you saw, " Alan replied.

She described a man wearing a nineteenth-century policeman's cloak. Her every detail matched precisely what Alan had written.

There are countless tales of silverware rearranged, or pots and pans moved, with no one present, but in all the history of the DPC, the
encounters have been "nothing but pleasant" – a series of practical jokes being played by the permanent resident.

For membership info please see or visit the Denver Press Club at 1330 Glenarm Place. Caricatures are hand
drawn by Jean Tool.

                                   The historic and Haunted......Grosvenor Arms Apartments

                                                                      Photo from the website

                    Since 1931, Denver Residents From All Walks of Life Have Called the Historic
                                                     Grosvenor Arms Apartments Home

The Denver Post
Author: Laura Watt
Denver Post Staff Writer
January 30th, 2005

It anchors the corner of East 16th Avenue and Logan Street like a great battleship, its bricks and stones built for heavy service, still
seaworthy after nearly 75 years. Boilers churning, brass-gated elevators rising and falling, the building harbors its secrets and gathers
fresh ones each time a new tenant moves in.

When they say they don't build them like they used to, this is what they mean.

Harry Potterish. Dakota-like. Even haunted.

The Grosvenor Arms Apartments opened for business in the fall of 1931. With its deep flagstone courtyard, medieval gray stone walls and
winged serpents guarding the Gothic front door, coming here is like stepping into the past.

But it is very much in the present. Unlike many buildings of this vintage, the Grosvenor has survived and thrived virtually intact, without
falling into seediness or disrepute, its 106 units still spiffy, full of character and sought-after.

In a rental market where the vacancy rate runs upward of 13 percent, the Grosvenor's is less than 5 percent, and its lobby and hallways
teem with residents, many under 30.

"It's an extremely nice place to come home to," says 22-year-old Jesse Marks, a dancer with the Colorado Ballet. "It's beautiful, it's old. It's
a nice mix of downtown residents."

Laura Paisley, a 25-year-old occupational therapist who has decorated her apartment in a spare, modern style, says the building felt like
home to her when she moved in.

"I could tell that people were proud of this building," she says.

They were and are.

The reason The Grosvenor feels like home is because Louis Mack, the mogul who built it, wanted it that way, and because his daughter,
90-year-old Barbara Mack McKay, has insisted it stay that way. Although she has not lived in the building for years, she maintains her
apartment on the seventh floor and comes often to see
"her building."

"This is a family affair. It's my heritage," says McKay, who visited the site with her father every day when the building was going up. "My
father felt people wanted privacy. That's why he used the best materials. It was built to be their home."

When it opened, the "absolutely fireproof" building was touted as having "the very latest" in modern conveniences: "The women folk will
love the Eureka gas ranges" an article in The Denver Post said at the time.

The Eureka ranges are long gone, but original tile remains in most bathrooms, and the apartments retain the arched doorways, original
woodwork, hardwood floors, telephone nooks and glass doorknobs popular in the '30s.

Thick, solid walls keep the noise to a muffle. All of the apartments are either one-bedroom or studios, so the Grosvenor was never for
families with children. In fact, children were banned at the beginning, though not now. Today, one teenager lives in the building.

"In the early days, you had to have references to get in," said Andrew Caron, who has lived here with his wife for 30 years. "People were
lawyers, doctors, professionals."

Current residents may skew toward high-tech office workers, but at least two denizens of The Grosvenor seem to come from the mists of

                          Ghosts - The Man in the Mirror and The Woman Upstairs

"Who knows what secrets these old buildings have?" says Marshall Gregory, who has lived at the Grosvenor for 10 years. "I do believe in
ghosts. I don't discount (the stories) at all."

Gregory hasn't seen one, but others have. Janice Eldridge, who was resident manager at The Grosvenor for several years, twice saw a
tall, broad-shouldered man dressed in a dark suit and fedora in one of the large mirrors that flank the lobby. He was looking at her.

"I said 'hello,"' she says.

Eldridge also felt the presence of an unseen young woman in the hallway outside the eighth-floor laundry. "She had a very long skirt that
would swish. Very elegant. I was never scared. I never felt a menacing feeling. I always felt like they were protecting us."

Teresa Montano, a weekend manager, also saw the man in the mirror, heard silverware banging in her kitchen sink in the middle of the
night and once a very bright light flashed between her and a friend in the elevator after the friend accidentally flicked off the overhead
light. And The Woman Upstairs?

"When your arms are full of laundry, she'll push the elevator button for you," Montano says.

The ancient Otis elevators, with their brass accordion doors, are notoriously fickle, often skipping floors or stopping between them. Lots of
residents have some tale about something a little odd at The Grosvenor.

"I had a friend here leave for the weekend and when she came home her TV was on, on a sports channel. And she never watches sports,"
says Neil Sarno, a 32-year-old engineer for Douglas County. "And the storage units creep a lot of people out. There is definitely a certain
presence and a spirit here."

Ah, the storage units. Crypt-like, dimly lit, on the top floor, nobody likes going there, especially alone. They're chilly even when it's hot.

Eight floors down, in the office where it's not spooky at all, property manager Dick Pfeifer smiles gently when ghosts are mentioned. He's
never seen anything supernatural, he says, and he's been running things at The Grosvenor for 25 years.

"I take care of business," he says. "What's special about this place? See that door? It's original. See that carpet there? It's in great shape."

It does seem a little strange, though, that when a visitor takes the elevator alone for the first time, she pushes Five and it takes her up to
Eight - the haunt of The Woman Upstairs. The elevator pauses as if deciding, then eases back down and stops dead between Three and

Another firm push on the Five button, and the old Otis rises slowly, reluctantly, to its intended destination.

Staff writer Laura Watt can be reached at 303-820-1483 or

333 E. 16th Ave.
Built 1928-1931, opened late 1931
106 apartments, all one-bedroom or studios
Eight floors
One-bedroom rents for $575 a month; studios from $400. Cable, HBO, heat and water paid.
Modeled on: The Grosvenor House Hotel, London
Owner: primarily the Mack family
Original owner: Louis Mack
Architect: Walter Simon
Builders: Dutton & Kendall
Construction: Cement, brick and stone

SOURCE:  The Denver Post  ~ January 30, 2005

                                                                Spirits of the Lumber Baron Inn

                                                                        Photo from the Lumber Baron Inn website

                                                 Invisible roomers never complain

                             Ghosts make themselves at home, say Lumber Baron Inn owners

The Denver Post
Written by Elana Jefferson
October 19, 2003

Owner Walter Keller and his 6-year-old son, John, give a tour of the Lumber Baron Inn at 2555 W. 37th Ave.
The Valentine Room was where the bodies of Cara Knoche and Marianne Weaver were found in 1970.The house was built by lumber
baron John Mouat in 1890, thus the name of the bed and breakfast.

Johnny Keller walks down the creaky staircase. His mother once heard the stairs make noise and saw the steps move, but no one was
there. Johnny also shares his bedroom with a spirit he calls Nicey Nice Ghost because, 'Every morning he says hello.'

Walter Keller was barely of legal drinking age on April Fool's Day 1991 when the newlywed sunk his heart and all his money into a
dilapidated north Denver mansion. Where neighbors saw a fright house with boarded-up windows, drooping eaves, cracked paint, rotted
wood and overgrown weeds, Keller envisioned a romantic bed and breakfast filled with turn-of-the-century antiques.

Before opening the Lumber Baron Inn, the former teacher says he knew nothing about neighborhood lore that dubbed his Victorian home
haunted. "I knew there had been two murders here," says Keller, "but that's all."

Then, not long after move-in day, he watched from the porch as a group of preteens planted themselves on the sidewalk and eyeballed
him and his 10,000-square-foot house. "All of the sudden one of them ran up to the side of the house, tapped the wall, then they all ran
down the block screaming,"recalls the 34-year-old Keller, while seated in the bed and breakfast on a claw-foot Empire love seat with
angels carved into the mahogany.He named his inn after Scottish timber mogul John Mouat, who built the house in 1890. Keller says the
restoration has attracted historic-preservation awards along with a parade of couples wishing to wed in the Lumber Baron's Victorian
garden and sleep in its neoclassical Honeymoon Suite.

Since snapping up the fixer-upper for $80,000 in 1991, Keller has invested more than a dozen times that amount restoring the house to its
original charm. That's why the homeowner was up late one night in 1993 cutting shower tiles when he had an eerie encounter. Keller
crouched just between the Honeymoon Suite and the Valentine Suite, where crushed velvet adorned a king-size Indonesian wedding bed.
The house was quiet, but something bothered him. "I just felt something,"Keller says. "It was like someone was standing over me, watching.
Then I'd look over my shoulder, and no one was there."

The presence vanished in a frozen gust, and the hairs rose on his neck. Keller says it's no coincidence that the encounter happened just
outside the Valentine Suite. Thirty-three years ago, the room was the scene of a gruesome double homicide.

  A violent past

In 1970, Keller's dream home was a run-down apartment house. Cara Lee Knoche, a free-spirited 17-year-old with flaxen hair and a
bumpy nose like her dad's, had abandoned her suburban upbringing to live in a $48-a-month studio there."I remember going up that
stairwell,"says Jack Isenhart, head of security at Regis University and a former Denver police detective. "It was dank and mysterious, and
there was this pungent odor of marijuana."

Marianne Weaver, 18, often dropped by Knoche's apartment. The night of Monday, Oct. 12, 1970, the Arapahoe Community College
student left her Lakewood home intent on another visit. According to newspaper reports the following day, a friend drove past Knoche's
hangout pad in the middle of the night. He spotted Weaver's car and found it odd that Knoche's apartment was dark.The man later told
police that he parked his car and walked inside. He found Knoche's door ajar. When the friend flicked on the light, he discovered Weaver
with a bullet hole in the middle of her forehead.

Her killer had positioned her body on Knoche's bed with arms crossed over her chest, vampire-style. Looking closer, the witness spotted
another arm sticking out from under the bed. Knoche had been stripped, strangled and packed away like an empty suitcase.The witness
fled the house and called police from an all-night diner on Federal Boulevard. "There's something awful.There's two dead girls there,"he
said. Police spent months interviewing neighbors and friends of the victims."There were a lot of people in and out of there," says Isenhart,
one of the first investigators on the scene 33 years ago. "Remember, this was a time when people traveled the streets and were often
taken in by friends. We had some good suspects, but they never panned out. I think we even had one guy try to confess to the crime, but
his story didn't fit." Police never uncovered a murder weapon or a motive - something that haunts Isenhart to this today. "You just don't
forget something like that, the way those girls were murdered,"he says. "There's always been a mystique surrounding that house."

Now the unsolved murders are part of the Denver Police DNA Cold Case Project. Mitch Morrissey, chief deputy district attorney in charge
of the project and someone who's familiar with the Lumber Baron Inn killings, says Denver police are reviewing cold cases using updated
technology and FBI grant money. "I can't tell you any specifics because this is still an open case," Morrissey says. "But generally what we
look for in old homicides is hair, body fluids, fingernail clippings or old clothing that might have blood on it."

The fact that the murders were never solved may be why the spirits of Cara Lee Knoche and Marianne Weaver are restless, according to
Dee Chandler, a certified paranormal investigator. Chandler co-founded the Mile High Paranormal Society. She also has conducted
haunted tours of Lower Downtown and is negotiating the rights to a story about communicating with another Denver murder victim.The
former attorney says Marianne Weaver is the ghost who most often appears to people at the Lumber Baron Inn. "The other girl (Knoche)
was a runaway who had a lot of guests in and out of her apartment," Chandler says. "But Marianne's death was unexpected. She was in
college. She was a noted horsewoman. Now she's yelling out for her crime to be solved."During the initial investigation, police suspected
Weaver's murder was unplanned. Chandler agrees."When you pose somebody the way she was laid out, it means 'I didn't mean to kill you,
you just happened to witness this and I can't have a witness," she says.

So perhaps it was Weaver who brushed past Walter Keller in 1993, and who also appeared to Keller's ex-wife, Maureen Welch, a couple
of years later. Welch stayed up late waiting for guests to arrive. The woman sat alone in her foyer, reading, just below a creaky stairwell.
"Suddenly she heard someone coming downstairs," Keller says as he guides a visitor through the house. He steps heavily to show the
loose, whiny planks in his staircase. "When she stood up and turned around, she could actually see the wood move, but no one was

On another occasion, the mother of a bride planning to wed at the Lumber Baron was arranging floral centerpieces in the inn's fourth-
story banquet hall. "Out of the corner of her eye she saw a young woman in a blue flapper dress sitting on the window bench with a glass
of champagne in her hand," Keller says while glancing around a turreted sunroom just off the banquet hall. "When she walked back to say
hello, she felt a cool blast of air, and there was no one there. She literally ran down the stairs, screaming for me. "Ghost hunt launches
Tales like these prompted Chandler to conduct a ghost hunt at the Lumber Baron Inn three years ago. The event, which she chronicles in
"Ghosthunt: A Guide to Ghost Photography and Field Investigations"(Great Unpublished, $15), happened on the 30th anniversary of the
double homicide.That night, dozens of people poked around the house attempting to capture spirits on film. Even the overnight guests
were in the mood to be spooked. "I encourage cynicism," Chandler says. "But everybody experienced something that night, and they all
reported it individually."

Chandler could relate to their experiences. That night, she stood alone in the banquet hall when an invisible someone whispered in her
ear. She was also with a group of people in the kitchen when the refrigerator suddenly shifted back and forth. While sensing a presence in
one the guest bathrooms, Chandler snapped what she says is a photo of Weaver's reflection in a mirror hung 8 feet off the floor.The
ghost hunt convinced Chandler that the two murdered girls are not the only spirits at the Lumber Baron Inn. "There's a black woman who
was apparently a maid who died in the house," she says. "The General stands on the second-story guarding the entrance, and the
mischievous 1930s flapper girl is usually upstairs." Both Chandler and Keller discovered the General after smelling pipe smoke throughout
the house, which is a nonsmoking facility. Other people reported smelling women's powder. Children are most in tune with ghosts,
Chandler says. Perhaps that's why Keller's 6-year-old son, Johnny, shares his bedroom with one. "Yes, yes. I see him every day,"says the

"I think he's a boy ... a teenager. He looks kind of gray. He has orange eyes and a yellow nose." Johnny calls this spirit Nicey Nice Ghost
because "Every morning he says hello."When the boy gets older, he may learn from his dad that a police psychic also once walked
through the basement where Johnny's room is now and insisted she felt a presence there. Right now, Dad doesn't worry much about
scaring his son. "What's fun is that even when we're alone," Keller says, "we never feel alone."

SOURCE: The Denver Post---  Elana Jefferson
Invisible roomers never complain  
Ghosts make themselves at home, say Lumber Baron Inn owners
October 19, 2003

                                            The haunted old Hindry House

                                                                                    5500 Washington Street

                  No longer standing


                Denver's Most Famous  Booby-Trap Killed 3 and Wounded its Creator

Rocky Mountain News
Frances Melrose
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
April 29, 1990

A young Denver man died recently from a shotgun blast after setting off the gun in a warehouse on Inca Street. But that's not the first time
a booby-trap killing has occurred in the area.The most famous incident took place around the turn of the century in a mansion on North
Washington Road, just across the Adams County line. Not one, but three intruders were killed by the deadly trap.

Finally, the homeowner and rigger of the device was wounded, but not killed, when he tripped his own trap.
Is it any wonder the home gained a wide reputation as "the haunted house?"

Even its appearance, with tall cupola and long narrow windows, gave it a Charles Addams look.
John B. Hindry, who set up the lethal shotgun trap for burglars, came west from New York a short time after gold was discovered in
Colorado. He intended to make a fortune in Denver, but not from mining. He was a contractor who saw success in this boomtown. Hindry
started a sawmill up Bear Creek Canyon that furnished much of the lumber that went into Denver buildings. Next he acquired a ranch at
Masters (named for his foreman, Henry Masters), and went into cattle ranching.

Hindry was a man of strong prejudices and actions to back them. When Englishmen brought in several hundred sheep and let them
infringe on Hindry's range, he assembled a crew of gunmen and slaughtered 500 of the four-legged intruders. Naturally, the English
owners complained. In answer, Hindry sent Masters over, six-shooter in hand, to present the Englishmen with a check to cover the dead
sheep. Hindry had no more sheep trouble. A band of marauding Indians came riding in one day while Hindry was operating a threshing
machine. Scarcely blinking, he vanquished them by letting off several loud shrieks of the whistle on the threshing machine. The intruders
fled in all directions, eager to escape the "devil machine." Hindry had many projects, among them a contract to supply ties for most of the
railroads built in Colorado and Wyoming. But one project was dearest to his heart.

In 1870 he purchased 110 acres of land on the Platte River, where he dreamed of creating an exclusive subdivision, with his home built on
the highest point of land.The Hindry home was completed in 1873. A masterpiece of Victorian style, it was 2 1/2 stories topped by a
handsome cupola. Two iron lions adorned the entrance. The 10-room interior was paneled in black walnut. Italian marble was used in
abundance and windows were of French plate glass 1/2-inch thick.Behind the house stood a 2-story brick stable where Hindry kept fine
trotting horses. Nearby was a miniature building, a playhouse built for the Hindry children: Willis, Nettie and Horace.

Down the hill was a small schoolhouse built exclusively for the young Hindrys. Hindry built a greenhouse and landscaped the grounds with
many varieties of shrubs and flowers. Shade trees were set out around the house, and an orchard occupied one section of the grounds.
Hindry's dream home had cost $75,000, a fortune in that day. But he considered the money well spent. But by the turn of the century,
Hindry's development dream had become a nightmare. His wife, never well, had died a few years before and his children had married and
established homes of their own. The old man was alone in his dream house. Even the house had problems.

Making one of the few mistakes of his lifetime, Hindry had overlooked the old rule of city growth - to build up river. Several years after
Hindry built his home, the famous Globe Smelter, property of the American Smelting and Refining Co., was constructed up river from the
house.The smelter's black smoke and stinking fumes swirled around Hindry's house and grounds, killing plant life and making it impossible
to keep the horses because their pasture had died. The smelter also killed his hopes for a subdivision.Hindry filed suit against the
Guggenheims, who owned the smelter, for destruction of his property.

Then rumors began to circulate that the lonely old man in the big house was a miser with a great treasure in gold hoarded there. Low-paid
workers from the smelter began to prowl the property, lured by the tales of treasure.Rugged individual that he was, Hindry didn't ask the
police for help. Rather, he rigged a booby-trap covering the one window easily accessible from outside. Across the room on a table he set
up a shotgun, bracing it in a hole bored in a plank. He attached a sturdy cord to the gun triggers, then tied the cord to the window latch.
When the window was raised, the gun would go off. Hindry's trap got its first victim on Sept. 18, 1901. The old man returned home that day
at 6 p.m. and found a dead man in his front yard, shot in the chest.

Two more would-be intruders were caught and killed in Hindry's trap. Either they hadn't read newspaper accounts of the first killing, or they
didn't think the old man would set the trap again. With each killing, Hindry was questioned by authorities and released. In a country where
frontier justice still prevailed, his act was considered reasonable.Hindry got a taste of his own medicine one night while sleeping upstairs.
He thought he heard prowlers and stumbled sleepily downstairs. Entering the room containing the trap, he tripped over the trigger cord
and got a shotgun blast in his right side. He lay for three days, unattended, until he mustered the strength to saddle one of his horses and
ride to a doctor. Hindry was no match for the wealthy Guggenheim interests and lost his suit against the smelter. He recovered from the
shooting, but his health was never the same. He was old, discouraged and disheartened.

Deciding to get away from it all, he moved to California, where he died in 1906. With the old man's departure, the house stood vacant. The
children didn't want it, and no one else wanted to live in it because of the nearby smelter. As the grass died and windows were broken out,
the"haunted house" stories began to flourish. Some said they saw Hindry's ghost in the house, and others said it was the ghosts of men
who had been shot there. After standing empty for years, Leo Bomareto purchased the house on a tax title for $6,000. For a time during
Prohibition the house gained fame as a spaghetti restaurant. The place took an entirely different turn in 1923 when the city took a five-
year lease on it as a "pest house," an isolation hospital.

Later, the Bomaretos resumed life in the house. The stable was converted into a packing plant and, in 1947, they erected a modern
market of white brick on the land. The iron lions disappeared, sold during the Depression, and the cupola was removed when it became
unsafe. Many of the fine furnishings years before had gone to the home of Mrs. Horace H. Hindry, widow of Hindry's son. In 1968, a
shadow of its former beauty, the Hindry house went up in flames and subsequently was torn down. Although the property is now an
industrial park, the "spirit" of the Hindrys and Bomaretos will live on for years to come.

Interesting note: The late Herndon Davis painted a portrait of the old house. The painting is now owned by the Denver Public Library.He
is the same artist who painted the faces of the lovely, mysterious woman on various bar-room floors: (The Teller House in Central City as
well as The Historic Western Hotel in Ouray.)

                                                                                Back to home page