Most of us have visited a haunted house at least once, but we usually only visit the cemetery when absolutely necessary. Halloween, however, provides the perfect time to visit a local cemetery and discover what legends surround those who now reside six feet under.
A cemetery isn’t just the resting place of the dead, it tells the story of a town. Several local communities will be opening the gates to their cemeteries this weekend for tours with the spirits. In Longmont, Colorado the St. Vrain Historical Society will be hosting a Spirit Meet & Greet at Mountain View Cemetery on Sunday, October 31. Walking tours take place from 4 to 7 p.m. with the last tour departing at 6:45 p.m.
Participants on this walk will be treated to the stories of local people who are local legends, even in death. Mountain View Cemetery is located at 620 11th Avenue in Longmont. Tours start from the west side of the cemetery at 11th Ave., and cost $15.50 for a single, two for $30 and 12 and under are $8. A portion of the ticket sales will go to St. Vrain Historical Society.
Golden, Colorado will be giving cemetery tours on Saturday, October 30. Visit www.goldenhistorymuseums.org for times. This 60-minute tour includes a vast array of ghosts and accounts from Golden’s rich past. Like that of Oscar Goetze who worked at the town newspaper and was given the task of pacifying Golden founder Edward Berthoud when he would storm into the newspaper office demanding to know why his long-winded articles weren’t printed.
Visitors will view the grave of Willie Russell and learn of his tragic death at the Golden Paper Mill. Some stories along this tour will delight and others will give visitors’ the chills. Advanced registration for this tour is required. Call (303) 278-3557 to purchase tickets to Golden Cemetery Tours. Ticket prices are $7 to $15.
If you’d like to participate in one of the longest running and most well-known cemetery tours in the State of Colorado, join Judge Neil Reynolds at the Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville this weekend. Tickets are $10/person and reservations are required for this famed walk, so call (719) 486-3900 to reserve your spot. Many other Halloween events take place in Leadville over the holiday weekend, and for a full calendar be sure to check out www.leadville.com.
Cemeteries aren’t the only haunted places, and this year many Colorado towns are offering ghost tours on Halloween weekend. Fort Collins hosts Terror Tours, departing nightly on Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30, from the Fort Collins Museum at 200 Matthew Street.
This is a 60-minute walking tour of downtown, and as I learned from personal experience, by mixing legend with historical fact, your tour guide will introduce you to an entirely new side of Old Town. You will never look at Fort Collins the same way again. This spine-tingling tour is more than worth the cost of admission. Advanced tickets are $4. Tickets purchased the day of the tour are $5. Visit www.fcmdsc.org for all the details.
Breckenridge, Colorado hosts a walking haunted tour of their charming historical downtown, complete with mysterious and unsolved stories of the town’s salacious past. Reservations are required and space is limited. Visit www.breckheritage.com for more information.
In Denver join local author Phil Goodstein as he conducts walking tours of various ghostly sites around the city. On Oct. 29, 30 and 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. meet in front of the statue of the Indian on the east side of the Capital building. The cost of this tour is $15. For all the details call (303) 333-1095.
**Also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor.