Just about everyone who lives in Denver knows the story of Molly Brown and her haunted house on Pennsylvania Street. Margaret “Molly” Brown was depicted in the blockbuster hit, Titanic. In the film, she tells the story of how her husband, J.J. Brown, was not allowed to smoke in the house. Angry because he kept smoking his cigars in the house, Molly hid thousands of dollars in the stove and he came home one night, drunk as a skunk, lit a cigar, and tossed the match in the stove, lighting all of that money on fire.
The three-story Victorian style Molly Brown house was built in 1894 and became the home of Margaret “Molly” Brown and her husband, J.J. In 1912, Molly became known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” after surviving the horrific sinking of the Titanic. Her house is said to be haunted by J.J., and has been for many years. Visitors and employees of the house, which is now a museum, have said they have witnessed many unexplainable sights, sounds and smells throughout the house. Some people have claimed to smell cigar smoke coming from the attic and basement, while others have said they have seen chairs move by themselves in the dining room. Others, still, have said they have seen the apparition of a woman in Victorian dress wandering about. Molly’s cat is also seen prowling the property. There have been claims of a butler looking at himself in the mirror at the bottom of the stairs. Employees and visitors alike have recalled cold spots in nearly every room of the house, doors opening and closing by themselves, and footsteps in the ballroom. Some have even claimed to witness other apparitions in different places on the property.
The Molly Brown house is a favourite spot for both visitors and locals, particularly near Halloween. For tour information, visit http://www.mollybrown.org/.
Every fan of Stephen King knows the story of Jack Torrance and how he went crazy at the fictional Overlook Hotel in Colorado in The Shining. The story is based on the experiences Stephen King had while staying at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.
Some famous guests of The Stanley hotel have been Molly Brown, ironically, Theodore Roosevelt, an array of Hollywood celebrities, and, of course, Stephen King, whose stay prompted him to write his best seller.
The hotel has a long history of reported hauntings, which as has sparked the interest of paranormal investigators such as the SyFy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” and the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”. Both teams have reported strange goings-on at the hotel via sightings and EVPs (Electron Voice Phenomenon). A number of rooms at the Stanley Hotel are said to be haunted. One in particular is room 407, where guests and hotel staff have claimed to have seen Lord Dunraven, the man who owned the land before F.O. Stanley. Mr. Stanley purchased the property from Dunraven and began construction on the hotel in 1906. Dunraven has been spotted near the bathroom in room 407 on a number of occasions. Witnesses have also said they have watched a light in the corner of the room turn on and off and, while the light was off, they could see Dunraven standing in the corner. Other witnesses have claimed that from outside, they could see a man peering out the window of room 407 when the room wasn’t occupied.
There are reports of children playing in room 418. Past employees recalled hearing odd noises coming from the room while it was empty and seeing what seemed to be an impression of a body on the bed while they were cleaning the room. Several guests who have stayed in room 418 have claimed to have heard children running up and down the hall late at night and in the early hours of the morning. At the time of these reports, there were no children staying in any of the rooms on that floor. Rooms 217 and 401 are also said to have paranormal activity.
Tour guides and other staff members have reported seeing a child in many rooms of the hotel. Stephen King even claimed to have seen this same child and heard him calling for his nanny on the second floor. The apparition of F.O. Stanley has also been seen at the bar and in the hotel ballroom.
Despite the documented hauntings, The Stanley Hotel remains one of the state’s most popular and prestigious hotels. Tours and reservations are available by visiting http://www.stanleyhotel.com/.
These are not the only haunted spots in Denver. In addition to the Molly Brown House and the Stanley Hotel, there are also the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Cheeseman Park, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver International Airport, and Riverdale Road. Denver is a city with a rich history and, even if some of the stories of hauntings aren’t true, it is worth it for any visitor to the Mile High City to explore all that the city has to offer.