In case you haven’t noticed, we here at Only in Your State are SUPER stoked that it is October and can’t help but gush about all the epic and downright spooky things you can do right here in the Centennial State! If you are looking to make this October the most memorable ever, make plans to do these 13 horribly creepy things you didn’t know you could do in Colorado:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Elitch Gardens Fright Fest (Denver)
After riding the coasters, get your pants scared off at Zombie Apocalypse! Admission to the haunted houses varies; see Elitches website for details.
Emma Crawford Coffin Races (Manitou Springs)
Taking place on October 28th is that of the 23rd Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race & Parade; a unique festival that pays homage to the late Crawford (whose coffin really did slide down the side of Red Mountain after years of rain and other harsh weather conditions) through fun — albeit slightly morbid — coffin races, costume contests, a parade, and drinking lots of beer and eating lots of delicious food truck fare.
Riverdale Road (Thornton)
Amidst the Cottonwood Tree lined, windy roads of rural Thornton lies the seemingly innocent Riverdale Road; the alleged site of several manic instances ranging from an insane man murdering his wife and children by setting their mansion on fire, to the grizzly lynchings of former slaves, to the mysterious underground chicken coop that was once home to conjured demons and spirits. Have a nice drive!
Officially incorporated in 1875 (after years of negotiations with the native Ute Tribe who had rights to the land), Eureka was once a flourishing mining and railroad town that met its demise in the early 1940s when the Sunnyside Mill permanently closed. Today, the only remains of the eerie and abandoned town are the Mill's foundation (pictured) and old jail.
Molly Brown House (Denver)
Quite possibly the most haunted home in all of Colorado is that of Titanic survivor Molly Brown. According to tour guides, museum workers, and tourists alike, the home will inexplicably smell like J.J.’s pipe smoke at random times, have light bulbs mysteriously undone, and even have furniture rearranged by what appears to be a spirit wearing a Victorian dress.
Full Circle Cafe (Georgetown)
The former Full Circle Cafe (which has since closed and reopened as a number of different restaurants) was such a well-known spot for hauntings that the TV show "Sightings" came in to investigate back in 1995. (The show's psychic confirmed that there was indeed the ghost of a disgruntled customer in the restaurant---who liked to cause trouble by knocking pictures off the wall and throwing utensils across the room---and summoned him to move on.)
Gold Camp Road (Colorado Springs)
Quite possibly the creepiest tunnels in Colorado are located along Gold Camp Road near Colorado Springs... but what about them is so morbid? According to legend, one of the tunnels completely collapsed while a school bus full of orphans was driving through, instantly killing the driver and children upon impact. Since the children's (alleged) untimely deaths, those traveling to the area have reported several paranormal experiences, including the sound of children's screams, small and dusty handprints found on cars, and even the feeling of being pushed or scratched when no one is around.
13th Floor Haunted House Blackout Room (Denver)
To sum up the iconic 13th Floor's Blackout, you are essentially signing a waiver that says "Sure; I’m totally down with wetting my pants and/or dying of cardiac arrest in exchange for this one measly glow stick… Let’s do this!" For me, the 13th Floor (which, by the way, was named one of the "13 Best Haunted Houses in America" by USA Today) is a big no go… could you do it?
Telluride Horror Show (Telluride)
Here is an event that you will want to stay all weekend for: the 8th Annual Telluride Horror Show, which features "an eclectic mix of horror, suspense, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi and dark comedy in Telluride's historic Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theatre."
Located 30 miles east of Greeley, Dearfield was established in 1910 by Oliver T. Jackson, a Boulder businessman who dreamed of creating a colony for African Americans. Despite poor agricultural conditions, the town boomed, housing more than 700 residents by 1921. Unfortunately, like much of the country, Dearfield suffered during the Great Depression, resulting in a population of only 12 by 1940. Today, only a few dilapidated buildings remain, making it all the more eerie.
Museum of Colorado Prisons
For a fascinating, albeit morbid look at the history of Colorado prisons, check out the Museum of Colorado Prisons, which houses not only one-of-a-kind exhibits, but also the (alleged) spirits of inmates past.
Hotel Colorado (Glenwood Springs)
♫ Welcome to the Hotel Colorado, such a creepy place… with a disturbing history. ♫ (Or something like that.) Located in Glenwood Springs, the Hotel Colorado is home to both the spirit of of a former chambermaid murdered by her lover in one of the guest rooms AND a little Victorian girl who likes to run around the hotel with her ball.
Colorado's deepest and largest natural lake is also Colorado's most haunted. According to legend, Ute women and children were placed on rafts and sent to the middle of the lake during a battle, resulting in their death during a violent storm. If you listen carefully on rainy days, it is said that you can hear their cries and see an eerie mist rise from the water.