Nothing brings the screams quite like a staged haunted house on Halloween. Claustrophobia-inducing crawl spaces, masked people lurking around corners with chainsaws — it’s good fun! But for anyone who wants a real scare this Halloween… we’re talking the kind that gives you goosebumps and wrecks your sleep for weeks… there are “real” haunted houses you can visit.
We found three homes in Denver that are reportedly haunted, and all within walking distance of each other! If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get into the Halloween spirit, we suggest the following self-guided walking tour through Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
1. Molly Brown House
The Molly Brown House is one of the most well-known haunted houses in Colorado, and is open year round for tours. The home was built in 1889 and Molly and James Joseph (“J.J.”) Brown bought it in 1894 for $30,000. Molly is often referred to as the Unsinkable Molly Brown, a nickname she was given after she rowed a lifeboat for seven and a half hours to reach safety after the sinking of the Titanic. Molly’s husband died in 1898 and she continued to live in the house in her death in 1932.
The Molly Brown House is now a museum, but paranormal experiences have led many to believe that the house is haunted by Molly and J.J. Visitors and staff of the museum have reported seeing their ghosts roaming the house, and one of the most commonly reported experiences is the scent of pipe smoke — one of J.J.’s favorite pastimes.
2. Croke Patterson Mansion
This spooky mansion was built in 1887 and boasts 10,106 square feet, according to the Redfin listing. The building has served many purposes over the years — everything from a radio station to a dance studio. Legend says its builder, Thomas B. Croke, experienced a presence in the building the first time he entered it, and never stepped foot in it again. In the 1970s, construction crews who were renovating the building reported strange occurrences like work being “undone,” equipment turning on and off by itself and even dogs jumping from windows. If you want to learn more about the spooky mansion before you visit, there’s an entire book detailing the creepy events that have taken place there.
3. Grant Humphreys Mansion
The Grant Humphreys Mansion was built in 1902, and spans 11,750 square feet, with a total of twelve bedrooms and nine bathrooms, according to the Redfin listing. It’s nothing short of stunning from the outside, but inside lurks a dark and mysterious history. The home was originally built for the third Governor of Colorado, James Benton Grant. In 1917, six years after his death, Grant’s wife sold the home to a profitable oil driller named Albert E. Humphreys. Ten years later, Humphreys was found dead in an upstairs gun room. The press labeled it an accident, saying he shot himself in the head while cleaning his shotgun, but many speculate otherwise.
In the years before his death, Humphreys became involved in one of the greatest scandals of the century — the Teapot Dome Scandal. He is said to have sold 333,333,333 barrels of oil to Continental Oil of Canada, which was a fake company he set up to launder the sales of oil. Many suspect that he killed himself to avoid testifying against his friends, but no one can be sure.
His ghost is said to haunt the mansion to this day.
So what do you think? Do you have the guts to visit these three Denver haunted houses this Halloween? Tell us in the comments.