Creepy or What?

haunted house

A couple of weeks ago my husband Danny and I drove up to the Mount Grays and Torreys trailhead. My SUV wound up the steep dirt road so slow a granny with a walker could have passed us at times. While struggling over rocks and pot holes in the comfort of my Toyota Highlander, I thought of the hope and courage miners carried in their hearts while traveling up this same treacherous road more than a century ago.

We came upon a miner’s boarding house. Situated along a stream and within view of Mt. Torreys, it appeared ready to tip over. When placing my hand on the weathered boards to take a few photographs, I expected it to lean with me. Cavernous holes spread across the floor revealed the black void of a crawl space or cellar. I didn’t dare enter.

haunted boarding house

If we camped nearby, would we be awakened in the night by the ghost of one of those hopeful souls? We may have stepped on their graves while investigating the dilapidated ruin.

They’re still discovering the remains of pioneers in Breckenridge. They buried the dead where they died until the town built a cemetery. Then they moved many of the bodies and wooden caskets buried throughout the town to their final resting place. Human bones are often found when excavating for a new building. It’s a common occurrence.

When walking around the remains of the two-story building, I was thrown back in time. I imagined the scent of griddle cakes, bacon and coffee lingering in the thin mountain air. I cast a glance upward to the second floor where a few miners slept in their austere rooms after a night filled with tall tales and whiskey shots. A tenant sitting on a three-legged stool played the fiddle, while another played harmonica. Several men sat on the porch and clapped while another read from a well-worn book of poems. Still another sketched. Maybe they employed a few prostitutes who traveled from Breckenridge’s Red Light District to strike out on their own.

Horse-drawn wagons filled with supplies would interrupt the entertainment. Letters would be delivered and sent. After their day of rest some would head back to the stream to pan for gold while others would lead their donkeys to placer mines always with hope in their hearts.

What happened to the people who filled this establishment? Do their descendants know anything about them?

A light breeze tumbled down the mountain and dragged a fingernail up my spine playing my backbone like piano keys. The aspen leaves trembled. The whisper of the stream told stories of miners whose bones had been buried long ago. It was time to go.

It was super creepy.

This is a response to The Weekly Photo Challenge – Creepy

For another real ghost story read Haunted at the Stanley Hotel.

63 thoughts on “Creepy or What?

    • I am! My three book series and the new book I’m writing have paranormal elements, so the writing comes pretty easy for me. I love writing creepy stories! It would be cool to write one based on that area. Hmmm…

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  1. I am fascinated and drawn to places like this, but I also think there is a creep factor or overall eeriness to these places too. There is a reverence to the time, the place and the people that were there. Bodie was interesting to explore until I got to the school. I felt like I was being watched. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Week – Enjoy 🙂

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    • That’s exactly how I felt. I thought for sure I would capture a ghost somewhere on my film, but I haven’t seen anything suspicious. I’ll have to look through them again.
      I wonder what happened at that school…

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      • I’d like to know what happened overall at Bodie. People just up and disappeared. How does that happen??? In being watched at the school there was a lightness to it – nothing really ominous or dark to it.

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  2. Wow, Susie, creepily fascinating, and your photos are terrific! I do a lot of driving on the CDT up steep boulder-strewn wilderness roads and wonder who else has been here, especially in pioneer days.

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  3. Wow! Really great post!! So vivid and definitely creepy. I have a fascination with that era, but I seldom get out to explore. I’d be keeping pace with the granny with the walker, and I think the ghosts would get me long before I reached the boarding house. Great photos, too. I love the top one especially. With your narrative, it makes me want to climb the stairs to see what (or who) is up there. I can smell the bacon!

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    • Thanks Maggie!
      I was tempted to walk inside and climb those steps, but I would hate to be in it when it tipped over. It was easy to let my imagination roam. I’m sure many lost souls haunt that place. Luckily, none came home with me!

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    • I would have loved to poke around inside, but the holes in the floor were a pretty good warning that others had. I didn’t want to break an ankle. I would have loved to walk up those stairs.

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  4. “light breeze tumbled down the mountain and dragged a fingernail up my spine playing my backbone like piano keys.” Really liked this line.
    All those old miner places are spooky. We used to wander around them when I was little and we “lived” in Colorado tents in the summer. No one ever got hurt, but now a lot of those places are closed off by regulations. Creepy mines ( we probably shouldn’t have been in) Going to those places do make that era/history much more solid

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    • Thanks Phil! That creepy place inspired me.
      Placer mines are all open around us. I don’t know how safe they are. I wouldn’t want to test my weight on one of them since they were dug straight down. We found a couple yesterday. It sounds like you had an adventurous childhood!

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  5. Super creepy but also very interesting. So much history is woven in this land and because of how young our country is people tend to forget that. I always find it intriguing to go exploring abandoned places like that and feeling the energy that the inhabitants left behind. Of course, if you ask Mathair… she’d tell you that she doesn’t mess with dilapidated buildings, abandoned homes, or anything that could be too scary. lol I try to get her to go on these little adventures with me, but she’s content watching those type of excursions via scary movies.

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    • It’s not for everyone! I love poking and peeking into old buildings just like you. 🙂 I am always anxious to see what I’ve captured on film. The staircase was a surprise. I didn’t edit that photo at all!

      Thanks for the Facebook share! It is most appreciated. *muah*

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  6. “A light breeze tumbled down the mountain and dragged a fingernail up my spine playing my backbone like piano keys. The aspen leaves trembled. The whisper of the stream told stories of miners whose bones had been buried long ago. It was time to go.”

    That is an awesome sentence and – no – I don’t think it’s creepy. I think you experienced something very profound and cool. Thanks for sharing. You do have some amazing adventures.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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  7. Walking the trails of history can become quite fascinating. You can ponder the feel of another time and imagine how people of a time period in the past might have lived and felt. Being in that location in the present can give you a duel appreciation too. In the first place, you are there, in the now. You can fully appreciate the way the sky looks (today, alive and real), the trees (in the moment, the scent in the air and the colors, perhaps a gust of wind), and still visualize how the building must have looked back then (yet, you’re still in the present, the image would not be deluded by the past), it all feels very real. There’s no suggestion of something old, or in black and white. Another words, there’s no difference from then and now, it’s alive and in the moment, not tainted by a grainy black and white photo, old video, or film suggesting the past. Not dated or foreign to us. The second feeling though, can be more ancient, because you are forced to look at it in the past, destroyed by time, withered by the elements.The older images creep in because of what you see… a time gone by, and that’s haunting and creepy. I would be willing to say, if it had been later in the day when you came upon it, the feeling conveyed by that old decayed building, might even have lent itself to an even more creepy feeling. Your first photo suggested that kind of feel. As usual, another nice post, Susie. :O)

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    • Thank you! It was fun to write.
      I agree. The first impression is always in the present. After I’d been there a while and stepped back to get a photo of the whole building, my imagination ran wild. But that’s pretty normal… Ha! Thanks so much for your thoughts! No puns today!

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    • Thanks Linda! Me too. It was so steep driving up there, I could only imagine what it was like with wagons with wooden wheels. Incredible. Going down may have been scarier, especially in the winter.

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  8. Beautifully written! I was right there with you. Great pictures. I read a good book once called Diary of a 49er. A real diary. It’s excellent but I don’t know if it is available. It answers how the author and his mentor ended up, which is why I thought of it. You did a great job turning this into a story.

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  9. That dilapidated building certainly inspired you, Susie. Lucky for it that it’s in Colorado and not New York. Over here, we would have bull dozed it and turned it into luxury loft space.

    Milton and I are seeing a play over the weekend that’s supposed to be rather eerie. It’s set in the present, but the setting is Gettysburg. Have you ever visited the battlefield? That’s a place that is supposed to be very haunted. To you, it might be as delightful as Disneyland is to a seven-year-old.

    Count me out of visiting either of those places.

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    • You know me well, V! Ha! I would love to visit Gettysburg. Sounds like a great play, maybe told through the eyes of the ghosts. I’ll watch for a Lame Adventure review!
      Yep. It would have been bulldozed in just about any town since it’s pretty dangerous. I’m so glad it was still standing when we found it. The wooden stairway has become one of my favorite photos!

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    • Thanks Miss Peg!
      The isolation and skeletal remains of the building were very eerie. I really expected to capture a ghostly sighting on my film. I’ll have to go through my photos again. OoooooOOOoooOOOOoooooo….

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  10. Well written. I live in the west and there are abandoned mines all over. There is even a small ghost town on one of my trail run routes. I love to imagine other times and other places. Well done.

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    • Thanks so much Soul Walker. Welcome to the Wild Ride!
      I agree about the bounty of abandoned mines. We often find the remains of log cabins while hiking. This is the first boarding house. It would be cool to happen upon a ghost town. It sounds like a great route!

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  11. Finding human bones as a regular occurrence would definitely be creepy. It does have a Deadwood kind of vibe mixed in with Children of The Corn. Creepy indeed. Glad you didn’t go exploring 🙂

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  12. This is a great take on the challenge, Susie. Like you, I find myself wondering about those miners and their lives when we encounter the ghost towns here in Colorado while chugging along those mining roads in our Jeep. It must have been and incredibly difficult life. Fabulous shots!

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