Main Street Fort Collins- 1885 Photo from www.photoswest.org
Fort Collins was founded as a military reservation in 1864. Nestled along the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains Front
Range, Fort Collins is situated 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyo. The Cache la Poudre River
flows through Fort Collins while the Great Eastern Plains spread east.
8th Annual Old Town Terror Tours 2008!
Saturday, October 25th, 2008
8th Annual Terror Tours Downtown
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Ft Collins Museum
Downtown Ft Collins
Learn the legends and documented cases of paranormal experiences in Ft Collins. Learn the creepier side of of life in Fort
Collins: ghosts, apparations, wierd noises, etc. Dress in costume for fun. . A $3 donation is suggested. Contact the museum
for more information.
Ghosts, apparitions, and strange noises… learn the creepier side of life in Fort Collins in this 60 minute walking tour of Old
Town! Museum staff members have researched the myths and legends of Fort Collins, talking to residents and business
owners, reading written accounts, and documenting the many cases of paranormal and bizarre incidents in Fort Collins
history. Dress in costume and join us for a hauntingly good time! Recommended for ages 16 and up, due to content.
Tours run every 15 minutes, with the last tour leaving at 10:00 pm Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis on the
evening of the event. Doors open at 7:45 pm a the Fort Collins Museum. Suggested $3.00 donation
Location: Museum, 200 Mathews, Heritage Courtyard
Web address: www.fcgov.com/museum
Call (970) 221-2705 for more information.
The Fort Collins Museum
200 Mathews Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Annual Cemetery Crawl 2008!
Held every September
Location: Grandview Cemetery
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2008
Time: 10:00AM - 3:30PM
Details: The 2008 Cemtery Stroll will honor the 100th anniversary of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution. This annual event will feature live actors portraying DAR members at their grave sites. Well known annual
event to learn about Fort Collins history and the great people who came before us. Performances at 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.
m. Tickets $6 at the door.
Contact Information: Pat Moore
1900 W. Mountain Avenue (Taft Hill & Laporte Ave)
Phone: (970) 221-6810
One of most beautiful, historical cemeteries in the area featuring the graves of Fort Collins founders. Maps are available at
the Visitor Information Center and the City Parks Office. Open dawn to dusk daily.
Article from The Fencepost
A Ghost of a Good Time in Fort Collins
The Fence Post
by Becky Talley
Fort Collins, Colo.
Walking through Fort Collins’ Old Town, you hear the sounds of a lively, bustling area. Laughter and conversation spills out
into the night air from the many pubs and restaurants as revelers socialize into the wee hours of the morning. You take a
shortcut through an alley, named Trimble Court, to meet friends in the square.
As you head down the alley, you hear footsteps from behind you and a steady click, click, click. The noise gets closer, so
you step to the side of the narrow passage to allow the person behind you to pass. After a few steps, you realize that no
one has walked by, so you throw a glance over your shoulder to see how close your walking companion is; but, instead of
seeing a fellow socializer headed out for the evening, you see … nothing ... not a soul is in the alley with you. The footsteps
and clicking, however, continue on past you and fade into the noise of social scene of Fort Collins.
While you were walking down this alley to get to the square, little did you know that you met another traveler along the way
— one that has not actually set foot on the earth for many, many years.
The Trimble Court alley is supposedly home to Ed Trimble, a local man of the past who funded Fort Collins’ Opera Galleria
— an early venue for live entertainment in the town. In historic photos, Ed Trimble had been pictured with a silver tip cane,
which reportedly never left his side. The Opera Galleria happens to sit across the street from the entrance to Trimble Court
alley while the other end of the alley leads to the Old Town Square. Does Ed Trimble still travel down this alley en route to
his place of business, to continue on with his daily duties — duties that he hasn’t performed as a living soul for decades?
The ghost in Trimble Court is just one of the many spirits that call Fort Collins home. While the whole town no doubt has its
share of spectral stories, the Old Town area is one location that is especially “alive” with the dead.
As I am always up for a good ghost haunt … I mean hunt, I joined a tour hosted by the Fort Collins Museum to learn more
about the haunted history of my current hometown. The Terror Tour combined history of the area as well as local legend
and historic facts to explain Old Town’s more supernatural side.
“We tell people, some of this is true and some of this is legend, and you can believe what you want,” said the Museum’s
Curator of Education and terror tour guide Kerry Doyle. What I learned on this tour definitely has made a believer out of me.
The area is fraught with other-worldly residents. Spirits haunt the historic brick buildings high above the streets, and they
may even wander the area below the streets as well!
Fort Collins has a rich and varied history. According to information provided by the Fort Collins Museum, Camp Collins was
first established in 1862 to protect those who traveled and resided along the Overland Trail. After the Camp was destroyed
by a flood, a permanent fort, Fort Collins, was established in 1864 — it is believed to have been located just north of the
Old Town area in the present-day town. The Fort was deemed unnecessary after just a few years and was abandoned.
Eventually, due to the construction of irrigation canals, the town had an agricultural boom and became known for its
agriculture production, especially sheep and sugar beets.
While Fort Collins has seen its fair share of prosperous times, it has also had its share of disappointments and depressions.
It could be because of both the good and the bad times that some spirits have become permanent residents in the “Choice
Some of the oldest ghosts on the tour, which result from perhaps the most traveled dead bodies on the tour, may reside at
the Museum of Contemporary Art. The building, formerly a post office, has a unique foundation. It was actually built on the
site of the burial grounds of Camp Collins, a cemetery that held the bodies of soldiers who died of disease or injury. When it
was decided to construct the building, the bodies of the soldiers were disinterred and moved to an area a few miles away.
Unfortunately for these poor souls, their bodies were exhumed once again to make room for the living who were building a
neighborhood. However, the tour guide related that not all the soldiers (or not all of their bodies) may have made it in the
move, as construction workers found many bones while building the neighborhood homes. This well-traveled group actually
reached their final resting place when they were buried in a permanent city cemetery.
But are their spirits actually at rest? The employees of the Museum of Contemporary Art have reported a few spooky
happenings. One employee reported hearing feet dancing across the floor. An employee staying overnight reported many
unexplained noises, but figured at the time that it was just the creaking of the old building. However, these are two of the
relatively few reports of haunting at this location — the tour guide reported that the employees of the building believe that
the soldiers aren’t interested in haunting them, but are protecting them instead.
Or could it be that this travel-worn regimen is haunting the neighborhood in which they were deemed unsuitable to rest in
peace for a second time?
As the tour progressed, the weather turned dark and cloudy, setting the perfect setting for the tales of the strange goings-
on in a building that loomed over the group as we stood on the sidewalk. The building seemed to exude history from every
The Northern Hotel has served as a place for travelers to rest their weary bones on and off since 1873. It had been
remodeled and built on for decades, but, according to the tour guide, it was destroyed by a fire in 1975 and wasn’t
renovated and reopened until 2000. It now houses shops on the ground floor and permanent residents on the upper floors,
both alive and dead!
Reports claim that a woman and her child were staying at the hotel when the child passed away. It is believed that the
mother has chosen to haunt this hotel — the place where she last spent time with her child. Employees of the shops in the
hotel have reported seeing a solemn, silent woman come into the store. Thinking that she was a paying customer, an
employee greeted her only to be responded to with complete silence. She then disappeared.
She has also appeared in the store next door, and this shop has also claimed to hear the faint crying of a child.
In another shop, tour guide Kerry Doyle said she went in herself to speak with the employees about their supernatural
experiences. The shop employee told her that a set of wicker statues has been seen shaking, doors have slammed on their
own, voices linger and a cross that was nailed to a wall was found one day hanging upside down. Also, the shop has a maze
of small, strangely-shaped rooms in the basement, and no one knows where they lead.
These rooms may have been part of a intricate set of tunnels that run underneath the Old Town area. The tour guide
mentioned that these tunnels may have been used to run liquor (Fort Collins was a dry town for many decades starting in
1896) and customers to local brothels.
The tunnels were also reported to be used to transport prisoners from a jail in the back of a firehouse to a local eating
establishment, so as to keep them away from the public. A story told on the tour related that on one occasion six prisoners
were taken by tunnel to the restaurant for their meal — however, only five prisoners returned.
Did the prisoner escape? Did he get lost in the tunnels? Did he die trying to get out?
“No one ever found out what happened to that sixth person, but employees (at the restaurant which still exists) think he
might still come in for a little food every now and then,” the tour guide related.
So, whether it is haunting from high up in the Northern Hotel or from way below in the underground tunnels, Fort Collins’ Old
Town is shrouded in spectral spirits. Whether they are relieving their heydays or standing guard over their final resting
place, these ghosts have clearly chosen to reside in Fort Collins for eternity.
So, if you have a chance to visit Fort Collins’ Old Town, be on guard. Not everyone you pass on the street may actually be a
resident of the living world!
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