Hit the road and scare up some socially-distanced fun this Halloween.
Colorado is gorgeous in October—and it's the perfect time to take a road trip. We're not talking about any old road trip, though. Follow our itinerary, and you'll be stopping at some of the state's most famous haunted attractions along the way. It's spooky season, after all! So shake off some of that stir-craziness, and enjoy a couple of safe, yet fright-filled days checking out these notorious locations. This 11-hour, 500-mile round trip starts and ends in Denver, but you can hop on anywhere along the route. Let's get cruising!
Molly Brown House (Denver)
Courtesy of the Molly Brown House Museum (Facebook)
Our haunted road trip begins at the Molly Brown House. One of the most famous Titanic survivors, the unsinkable Molly Brown (whose name was actually Margaret) lived right in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood in the early 1900s. Rumors of paranormal activity have surrounded the house since it was first built in 1887, with Molly's own mother seeing the apparition of a deceased servant. The Molly Brown House Museum is currently hosting Victorian Horrors, a chilling nighttime tour of the house accompanied with ghost stories from the Victorian era.
We wrote an entire piece on the incredible life and legend of Molly Brown—check it out!
Museum of Colorado Prisons (Cañon City)
Courtesy of the Museum of Colorado Prisons (Facebook)
Next up, we're headed to Cañon City to visit the Museum of Colorado Prisons, a notorious ghost hunting site. Take a self-guided tour around the prison's hallowed halls, and you'll learn a lot from the exhibits—but watch out for cold spots! The former women's correctional facility has a ton of ghost stories associated with it, like the woman who haunts cell 19 and the scent of tobacco that lingers in the laundry room. Experienced ghost hunters can even enjoy six to 12 hours overnight to conduct their very own paranormal investigation!
Colorado Grande Casino & Hotel (Cripple Creek)
Courtesy of Colorado Grande Casino (Facebook)
Some say that Cripple Creek is one of the most haunted towns in the country, and you can see why when you dig into its violent history. This old mining town has seen its share of misfortune, but the people of Cripple Creek rebuilt their community from the ashes. However, it's believed that many restless spirits still linger in the area. You can find the Colorado Grande Casino and Maggie's Restaurant in the same historic building—and you may just happen to meet Maggie, who has been haunting the place for decades. Over the years, people have regularly heard her singing, smelled her perfume, and have even seen apparitions of her and a young gentleman playing the slots late at night. Stop by or book a room and see if Maggie pays you a visit!
Ghost Town of St. Elmo
Courtesy of St. Elmo General Store (Facebook)
Next on our trip is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the United States. Home to several historical structures, including a general store that still operates May through October, St. Elmo is rumored to be haunted by one of its most prominent residents—Annabelle Starke. Nicknamed "Dirty Annie," she would patrol the town with her rifle to protect her property when she lived there in the 1950s. As the legend goes, her protective spirit still roams the town to this day.
Psst: Before you head to St. Elmo, read our article about the ghost town's rich history!
The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
It's basically blasphemous to talk about haunted attractions in Colorado and not mention the Stanley Hotel. If you're into all things paranormal, you could make this a trip of its own—and our haunted road trip certainly wouldn't be complete without it. This is the hotel that inspired The Shining, after all! Take the haunted tour to learn about the many ghost stories, and book a room to get the full experience. Our team even got the chance to tour the grounds on a trip to Estes Park. Read about our experiences and see some of the other articles we've written about the Stanley Hotel (did we mention it's a Colorado icon?).
Cheesman Park (Denver)
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
We finish our road trip back in Denver at Cheesman Park. If you go during the day, you'll see plenty of people enjoying the 80 acres of greenery—it's a beautiful park, after all. The only issue is that it's technically built on top of a graveyard, with up to 2,000 bodies still buried underneath the lush grass. Strange sightings and eerie experiences have popped up over the years, and rumor has it if you take a nighttime stroll through the park, you can see and hear children playing—only to suddenly disappear. Read more about the chilling origins of the park before you go exploring to achieve the maximum spook factor.
Good luck sleeping after you wrap up this spooky road trip! If you're looking for something to lighten things up afterward, check out the Glow at the Garden event going on at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It's Halloween-themed, but family-friendly! Read our article to get more information about dates and tickets.
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What do you say—are you up for this haunted road trip? Let us know what you think in the comments!