Saloon in Morrison, 1885  -  (from


Morrison, 1880    (from

                                                  Population 438
                                                 Established 1874
                                                Incorporated 1906
                         National Register Historic District (recognized 1976)
                                                  Elevation 5800 ft

The town of Mt. Morrison, as it was then called, got its start in 1872 when a group of Denver
businessmen headed by Colorado Governor John Evans incorporated the Denver and South Park
Railway. A narrow gauge railroad was built west from the Platte River to Mt. Morrison. The plan was to
extend the line to South Park and the mining country. This spur brought work and wealth to the little
community. The panic of 1873, crop losses in 1874-76, and a more practical route up the Platte Canyon
ended the plans for extension, and the railroad stopped forever at Morrison. It was completed in 1874,
and made scheduled runs until 1925, but was abandoned after the floods of 1933.

During its life, however, the railroad was Morrison's lifeblood. It carried building stone and other products
of Morrison's quarries into Denver, brought tourists to the town and to nearby Red Rocks Park, and
made Morrison a supply center for growing communities in the canyons and mountains to the west, as
well as to the ranches east along the Bear Creek Valley.  

Today, Morrison is a small but thriving town whose major industries are tourism and margaritas --
especially in the summer. Visitors come for our restaurants, rocks, and/or rock concerts. They may be
passing through on their way to and from the spectacular high peaks to the west, or they may come to
Morrison for the day or a whole weekend away from the city, just as they did in Morrison's earliest days.

Morrison Ghost Walk Tours


The tours are $15 for adults and $10 for children 4 to 12. Special tours can also be given by

Reservations are required to schedule a tour. Tours will be led starting at 7:00 pm primarily on
Saturdays. You may request other times and days and we will consider them.

Scheduled dates (More dates are possible by request. Call 888-649-3849 or e-mail us!)

We also will offer tours beyond October by request and weather permitting!

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Featured on the Peter Boyles radio show and the Jefferson County Sentinel and Transcript Newspapers,
this is not the "This Building Was" tour.  Join your hosts for a one hour plus walk through historic
Morrison, Colorado. Who has passed through these buildings and whose spirits still remain?

Hear chilling stories about haunted buildings and their inhabitants, the Lecherous Indian Chief, the
haunted Cliff House, the Hatchet Lady of Red Rocks, Sissy the bear and more!!! Join us in the nearest
far away place. Only minutes away from downtown Denver, and a stones throw from Red Rocks Park,
Morrison is a step back in time for visitors and locals alike.

Frightening fun for the entire family!
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Please call us at 1-888-649-3849 or contact us by e-mail with your contact information, requested date
(s), and number in your party and we'll confirm your reservation as soon as possible.

Reservations are required to schedule a tour. Throughout October, tours will be led starting at 7:00 pm
Monday through Saturday, 7:30 or 8:00 pm on Sundays. Other times may be considered on the

Adults - $15.00
Children 12 and under - $10.00
Discounts are available groups over 10.
Sorry, no checks or credit cards.

Booklet: "The Ghosts of Morrison, Colorado"- by Dee Chandler & Beaux

You can E-mail Dee at:  to see if she has any more of these booklets left.

~~~~Or- give Lacey Gate Antiques a call at  (303) 697-4407
(116 Stone St, Morrison, CO 80465)  

They may carry the booklets there. They are in this booklet-
{and yes, Lacey Gate is haunted!}


Article from the Canyon Courier

                               Morrison ghost tour a frightful delight

By Stephen Knapp

Like many a small, Western town, Morrison wears much of its pioneering history on its face. Basking in
the golden light of late afternoon, picturesque brick storefronts, rusty, weed-bound rail beds and
moldering sheds, shacks and shanties bespeak the town’s busy, sometimes boisterous past. But night
falls swiftly over that comfortable wedge of clapboard and sandstone bounded by high, rugged hills and,
with the dark, a less casual, more secretive aspect is revealed. And revealing Morrison’s dark secrets is
the not-too-serious purpose of the Morrison Haunted History Tour.

Forays into the town’s spectral dimension, hosted almost nightly during the witching season, are the
province of Colorado Haunted History, a semi-formal partnership of three young ghost-hunters with a
shared fancy for phantoms. Complete strangers at the time, Monica Ferrel, Renee Nellis and Joel
Chirhart took the Morrison tour several years ago with spirit guides Dee Chandler and Beaux Blakemore.
They soon became fast friends and, when Chandler and Blakemore decided to lay down their spectral
chains two years ago, took on the frightful, delightful burden themselves. Of course, all three have day
jobs since leading ghost tours is a precarious vocation, at best.

"It’s a hobby, really," Ferrel says. "We all love ghosts. You know, ‘Are they real?’ This is as much fun for
us as it is for them." During the past couple years, Colorado Haunted History has hunted apparitions from
Wyoming to New Mexico but, supernaturally speaking, they found pay dirt in Colorado.

"We like to say that Morrison is the most haunted town in America, per capita," Chirhart said, a plausible
statement about a town of 450 (breathing) souls living amid the residue of 150 years of psychic turmoil.
Still, Chirhart and his associates try to edify while they terrify. "It’s not just ghosts," he says. "We try to
give a lot of other interesting history about Morrison." The town’s ghostly character, he admits, is based
largely on anecdotal evidence and, while the partners’ researches have yielded little hard evidence of
howling wraiths, they’ve uncovered plenty of salty morsels about Morrison’s unruly founders.

With reservations (the formal-arrangement kind, not the sensible, I-don’-wanna-see-no-ghost kind), the
ghoulish trio will lead a tour in any season, but October is boom-time in the spook trade and nearly two
dozen fearless metro-area citizens gathered at Morrison’s war memorial Thursday night, keen to sample
the town’s spooky fare. It was a hardy crowd – sadistic parents escorting youngsters who just knew they
were about to shake hands with a dancing skeleton, blissful lovers for whom the clubs on the 16th Street
Mall are just too scary, and older couples who were going for a walk anyway and figured downtown
Morrison was as good a place as any. Oh, and there were some gals wearing red hats.

"These are the ladies of Chapeau Rouge," said a moderately dignified woman wearing a bright red cape
and crown, "and I am their queen." You know your tour is going places when royalty shows up. Alhough
her majesty did not deign to explain how she came to lead her chapter of the Red Hat Society, she
graciously disclosed her imperial moniker. "I’m Queen Cleora," she said, proudly. Then, winking, "that’s
Cleopatra without the ‘pat,’ if you know what I mean."

Shortly after 7 o’clock, following a brief recounting of Morrison’s 150-year-old origins, the three escorts
led the group away from the relative security of the lighted street, across a narrow bridge and into the
sinister, woody darkness beyond. Ancient cottonwoods loomed menacingly overhead, fallen leaves
slushed mutely underfoot, and Bear Creek whispered like the furtive conversations of restless shades. It
would have been absolutely terrifying if it weren’t so delicious.

After a short walk on a gravel drive, the party collected at the Horton House Bed & Breakfast, a charming,
sprawling, pink clapboard manor and one of Morrison’s oldest structures. The inn’s densely-wooded yard
teems with sculpted figures and artful trellises that, in daylight, give the property a friendly, occupied
appearance. On a moonless night, by wavering lantern-light, they produce an eerie confusion of stealthy,
three-dimensional shadows.

In the late 19th century, Nellis explained, the lodge was home to a young woman named Amy whose
passions included demon rum and crippling depression. Amy hung herself in the carriage house behind
the lodge and, according to local lore, now drifts aimlessly through the rooms and corridors of Horton
House, a benign, though sometimes mischievous, presence and a regular topic of conversation over

Ambling through downtown, it seems every one of Morrison’s celebrated restaurants and bars carries its
own spectral freight, a convenience that allowed Chirhart, Ferrel and Nellis to provide a lot of town history
without wandering off topic. Red Rocks Grill, Morrison Inn and the Morrison Holiday Bar are all said to be
infested with unquiet dead, though patrons are rarely the target of ghostly pranks. In nearly every case,
the bartenders – hard working professionals who diligently perform an honorable office and merit only
the highest praise and gratitude – bear the brunt of phantom displeasure.

One extreme example deals with the angry spirit of a young girl purportedly murdered long ago in the
building that currently houses Tony Rigatoni’s. Animated by hatred for all manly people, she is said to
ambush passing Mars-type barkeeps with a small, swinging gate, vindictively focusing her attacks on
their poorly armored nether regions. Now, that’s scary.

To hear the guides tell it, Morrison’s north side is replete with haunted localities. Custodians flatly refuse
to enter the old Town Hall after dark, they say, and two phantoms of indeterminate identity and motivation
play havoc with the inventory and wiring at Lacy Gate’s Antiques.

Of course, in a town as haunted as Morrison, some ghosts are forced to visit terror in less comfortable
surroundings. Witness the haunted stump, a twisted, gray remnant of the town’s "hangin’ tree" slowly
rotting into oblivion in a dark corner of a dirt parking lot. There are some, Renee assured Queen Cleora,
who will not traverse the lot after sundown, lest they attract the stump’s malicious attentions. A hundred
yards away, historic Cliff House is said to be the eternal abode of a young man who, like poor Amy, hung
himself in the barn. Why he would hang himself in a smelly old barn when a perfectly good tree was
available for that specific purpose is an enduring mystery.

The summit of the high ridge defining Morrison’s northern edge features a long row of sharp, uneven
stones, like witches teeth. Atop that menacing crest, legend says, the troublesome Ute chief named
Colorow can sometimes be seen on moonlit nights, silhouetted against the sky. Also, up there
somewhere, the Hatchet Lady of Red Rocks bides her wicked time, waiting to take an ax to disobedient
children who meander near her foul cave. According to local myth, she is naked when she dismembers
her misbehaving prey, proving that folklore can satisfy every taste.

The Morrison Haunted History Tour, an enjoyable combination of history, humor and horror, wound up at
8:30, but could have easily gone longer. Despite the spine-tingling October chill, nobody was in a hurry
to leave, not even when an eerie wail arose from the dense, dark hollow along Bear Creek. "It’s probably
just a raccoon," Queen Cleora said, valiantly maintaining her royal composure while the blood drained
from her face. That’s right, a harmless raccoon, nothing more.

It was surely no accident that the party broke up next to Red Rocks Grill. After the last tourist had
disappeared into the night, Chirhart, Ferrel and Nellis went inside for a richly-deserved nightcap.
Hopefully, they remembered to tip the bartender.

Morrison Haunted History Tours are scheduled nightly through Halloween and can be arranged by
appointment year round. Prices are $15 for adults, $10 for kids 4 to 12. Group rates are also available.
To learn more about Colorado Haunted History or reserve space on a tour, call 888-649-3849 or visit

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