Ghost Walk

Breck haunted tourI love the spooky month of October. Shadows creep across the path as days grow short. The groan of wind through desiccating leaves sends a death rattle from above. It swoops down and slides its skeletal fingers along my backbone. I pull my sweater tight.

By signing up for a Haunted Tour of Breckenridge, I experienced all of this and more…

We met on Main Street and our group sauntered over to The Dredge. This mammoth piece of equipment dug muck and silt from the Blue River in hopes of discovering gold until 1942. Part of it was dismantled and melted down for WWII. What remained, sunk into the murky depths. A reproduction was built in its place and a restaurant has operated from its floating hull since 1995. It appears to be haunted by the men who died at this site.

Dredge

With my digital SLR, I recorded our guide, Gail, as she recounted stories of the discovery of gold. In 1859, they could walk through the river and pick up the sparkling nuggets with their bare hands. Breckenridge boomed. She explained that most miners lost 98% of their money to beer, women and gambling. There were two red light districts in this mountain community.

I noticed the memory card was full on my camera, so I deleted some unwanted images. I took a few photos of the tour. When I viewed them, only four photos appeared. I freaked. There must have been over 2000 photos on this card including the shots I took in Europe and our recent trip to Wisconsin. How could I have deleted all of them? The four photos were so random. One had been taken in Hidcote Gardens in the Cotswolds, two from the Boulder floods and the fourth was a sunset. I clicked through them over and over in disbelief. I had backed them up on my computer, so I calmed myself. I missed most of the story about the unfortunate men who fell into the dredge’s sharp machinery.

We left The Dredge and walked back down Main Street. I took a few more pictures and then viewed them. All of my photos reappeared. What? I felt those skeletal fingers playing my spine like piano keys.

I figured there had to be a logical explanation. My old camera had a tiny built-in memory. I was sure that the SD card hadn’t been slipped in tight enough.

We traveled down the street and heard a few more ghostly tales. One really struck me since I remembered the event.

The pioneers struggled to live in those early years and were often buried in the ground right where they died. As the town grew, the Valley Brook Cemetery was built on the north end of town. Many bodies were relocated to their new resting place.

Valley Brook Cemetery

It isn’t unusual to find bones when excavating for a new building in Breckenridge. In 1997, the bones of baby Eberlein were unearthed. Knowing her brother and mother had been buried in the cemetery more than a century earlier, a group of women decided to have a proper funeral for the baby. Townspeople came out in Victorian dress and had a procession to the graveyard. The baby was reunited with her family. Five days later was Halloween. A huge microburst struck the graveyard and tossed the granite gravestones like kindling. It destroyed a Victorian iron fence and an above ground crypt as it traveled south. It paused at the new Eberlein grave and then turned east. Although it missed the town, it blew down hundreds of lodgepole pines. We lost a few trees on our own property. That story gave me chills.

We toured the Brown Hotel as our last stop. Its red wallpaper, dim lighting and dilapidated décor was right out of the set of Twin Peaks. It had that deteriorating smell of rotting wool carpet and old cleaning fluid. We met the owner, Michael Cavanaugh, who now lives upstairs previously occupied by guests.

The Brown Hotel

The hotel is haunted by the ghost of Miss Whitney. In the late 1800’s, she wooed Captain Ryan with the intention of using the house for prostitution. He shot her while in bed.

dead phone

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Hotel California – Eagles

Cavanaugh tells a story about how his ex-wife fell asleep in an upstairs bedroom after touring the new purchase. She woke up to the door opening and slamming shut three times. After running down the steps through a gray mass, she ran through the snow with bare feet all the way to the police station where she demanded a ride home. He doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Brown Hotel 3

Creepiest shower ever.

Bartenders, who work from 8:00 PM until the wee hours every night, tell all kinds of stories. Doors open and shut. Faucets turn on by themselves. A woman in red has been spotted. These were very similar to the antics played by other ghosts in the area.

Gail finished up our tour and I pulled out the memory card expecting to see those four photos. The error message, no memory card inserted, appeared. I told my husband Danny about the thousands of photos disappearing, my viewfinder only showing four, and then all of them reappearing after leaving the Dredge. “It wasn’t a loose memory card,” I said.

Gail overheard me and said, “Ghosts are known to mess with people’s cameras.” I pulled my sweater a little tighter.

I just checked to see if my camera has a favorites button, but the four photos are not marked any differently than the rest. Creepy or what?

Dare I return to The Dredge to take more pictures?

~~~

If you thought this was a Wild Ride, you may like -

Unnerved at the Winchester House

Related posts:

Haunted Tours of Breckenridge

To read more about creepy events surrounding the microburst at the Valley Brook Cemetery click HERE.

More about the Brown Hotel and its ghost.

History of Breckenridge

The Eberlein House

Edited photo of Valley Brook Cemetery from Town of Breckenridge site

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71 Comments

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71 responses to “Ghost Walk

  1. Kinda glad I stumbled onto your blog during this time of year…. you’ve sent shivers up my spine. Great story! ~SueBee

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  2. I grew up in a house with ghosts. They didn’t mess around too much, mostly we smelled perfume, cigar smoke and my mother could hear a child coughing when no one else was home. She had even seen the spirits upon occasion. Savannah, Georgia is well-known for its haunted places. If you ever get a chance to visit, definitely take the tours! Camera: optional. ;)

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  3. filbio

    Love doing these haunted tours! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Spooky and creepy stuff going on with your camera. Also, I used to be a bartender and I don’t think I would have lasted long working there!

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  4. Wooooo spoooky. Haunted tours may be offered year round, but always better near Halloween. Galveston was destroyed during the 1900 Hurricane – several of the old structures like the Galvez Hotel and the Bishop’s Palace have ghosts from different era.
    Very strange about the pix – any odd shadows are shapes in the returned pictures?

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  5. it’s been a while since I did a haunted house tour… you make me want to get out and experience one… almost. Halloween and All Saint’s day is coming. take care!

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    • It’s countdown time… I love this time of year. The cool thing about haunted tours is they give such great historical overviews of the town. They end up being very educational!
      Thanks for reading Clay!

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  6. Shoot. Now you have me wishing I’d taken the haunted ghost tour in Savannah instead of the Historic District one. Very cool!

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  7. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Wine for Cats « Bayard & Holmes

  8. oh my goodness, i love a ghost story. living in the UK I am fairly lucky as the buildings are a lot older, but we went on one in Canterbury. There was an estate agents that reported a girl walking down the stairs and into the basement every night. When they finally excavated the property they found bones of a 14 year old girl buried there. Creepy!

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  9. Okay…creepy….good thing the photos weren’t gone…that would have sucked.

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  10. I love a good ghost story. Once, when I was a teenager, I was up late in my bedroom reading a spooky story. Just as I got to the good part, where the person was going down into the basement to look for a grave they thought might be there, my bedroom light when off. Like someone had reached over and flipped the switch. Scared the bejeezus out of me.

    I want to know what happened to those photos. I think you should definitely go on that tour again!

    Happy Halloween to you!

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    • Whoa! I wouldn’t have slept for days….
      I have been trying to figure out what happened to them too. It doesn’t make sense. Three of the four were taken at different times! I have a new memory card and will definitely take some photos the next time I go up to the mountains!
      Thanks Mary and Happy Halloween to you too!

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  11. Ay Ay Ay *creepy*

    I work in a psych hospital and my office is totally haunted. Future blog post, most def.

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    • Oh. My. God. That would definitely be haunted and because I am super sensitive, would probably bring a few unwanted guests home with me… Yikes!
      Thanks for following! I’ll look forward to your post.

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  12. You spin a wicked ghost story, Colorado. These haunts are spectacular pieces of history eleven months out of the year, and creepy as all get out for one of them. And I love that one month so much. As you well know.

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  13. I am so glad to see you had an interesting experience. I’d actually looked into this tour at one time, and wondered if it would be worth it. I think for history alone it would be fascinating, but when you actually describe losing your photos I begin to wonder if I’m up to it! Yikes! And that shower? Oh my goodness. I may be satisfied just seeing your photos and hearing of your experience. Great tour for the month of October! :-)

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  14. Intriguing post Susie. I think you should visit for a sequel post with a brand new empty memory card. Maybe that time around you’ll discover when you download the images to your computer you’ll have a few thousand more than you shot.

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  15. Wow, that’s so creepy! I’ve only ever taken a ghost tour once – in The Rocks, Sydney (a place where lots of terrible things happened back in settlement days). Sad to say, I didn’t see any spooks…though it did tickle my imagination. Next time I’ll try taking photos, and see what happens! :)

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  16. Great column, SusieQ. I will have to check it out. Have you gone on the October Boulder Ghost Tour? It’s lots of fun with psychics at the different houses telling you if there is a “presence present.”

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  17. Susie, I’ve been following your posts for a while. What went down over the past year and have seen you kick some a**. Go back, bring a friend with another camera and take your pictures and have your companion back them up. Are you gonna be a wuss or are you gonna be the Wild Rider we all know and love?

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  18. Love it! I want to go. I think I saw a special on the Brown Hotel on one of those ghost hunter shows once. So cool that you got to go. Sorry I’ve missed so many posts lately. Life happens. I hope you’re well.

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  19. That shower gave me the creeps!

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  20. I’ll admit that there are more things under heavan and earth… But I’m skeptical that maybe Gail had something to trigger the weird camera effects.
    Maybe you should go back to check it out…alone!!!
    MWAHAHAHA!!!!

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  21. Laura Hilger

    That’s so creepy, but great story! I go to Charleston regularly for work, and have wanted to check out some of their ghost walk tours.

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  22. Susie, were those minors miners? Or were those miners minors??? Great story and I’ll have to do this tour sometime when we hit that part of the country. I remember seeing the part about the hotel on tv a couple of years ago. Neat stuff. Be sure to use a different SD card when you go back, :)

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  23. That is so creepy! Glad you backed up the photos, many never do this. Glad you are feeling well Suzie. :)

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  24. You have inspired me to check out some of the Ghost Walks in my areas. They have them at the old forts in Niagara-On-The-Lake and Fort Erie left over from the war of 1812. The Niagara-On-The-Lake one includes a lot of the old historical places as well. The stories we were told as children. Scary stuff.

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  25. Great post, Susie. We’ll have to go on the tour sometime. I didn’t know that Breckenridge had a ghost tour!

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    • You would love it. They offer it year round. It’s a great overview of the characters that shaped the town. There were so many stories I knew nothing about. I guess they discover bones all the time. I will save some of the stories for next year! Thanks Cathy!

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  26. Spooky! Download your photos before a spooky trip then wow. They were fun stories.

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  27. I’ll say this, Susie, you have more courage and moxie than The Hook!
    Great, spooooky post….

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  28. great stories… and so weird about your photos..
    ” 98% of their money to beer, women and gambling.”

    Things have not changed..I see..:)

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    • Hahaha! The red light districts are gone, at least I think they are..
      The weirdest thing about the photos is how only 4 showed up and they were from such different dates.
      Thanks for reading Linda!

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  29. I’ve got family in the Centennial area of Denver. A real haunted house, that I’d love to visit. I’ve “loved” ghosts, especially watching Casper – The Friendly Ghost as a child of the 1950’s.
    Perhaps that’s the reason I had [in the back of my head :-) ] in writing my first romance novel as a YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss.

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  30. Ingrid D.

    I visited a haunted house last year in November, and I had a couple of surprises as well with my camera. On a couple of pictures there is indeed something spooky, but apart from the 100 pictures I had taken, there were 20.000 empty pictures on my memory card as well :-)

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