Explore Denver’s Dark Side as a Couple, on a Haunted History Tour
Let’s face it: long-term relationships can be downright frightening sometimes. My husband and I embraced this spine-chilling reality with a date keyed to the season.
October is the perfect month to get spooked and hold your significant other close for a date night adventure without the kids.
“Are we going to see any ghosts tonight?” asks a woman up front who is dressed like a cat.
Midway between Denver Union Station and the Amtrak platform, a black canvas bag slung over his shoulder, Brook Lee admits that, no, we aren’t likely to spot any apparitions on his two-hour haunted history tour.
“But there’s a good chance you’ll feel something,” says Lee, owner and operator of Dark Side of Denver Ghost Tours. My husband Ben and I were having an off day, so I was skeptical about my feelings—but eager to be spooked because I love haunted stuff.
On our first date, Ben took me to a scary movie—Rob Zombie’s Halloween—at UA Denver Pavilions Stadium 15 (the theater on the 16th Street Mall). We’ve seen dozens of horror flicks since, and we’ve also participated in several ghost tours.
Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, ghost tours are a festive way to brush up on local lore. While some purveyors rely on costumes, or well-timed screams, Lee’s guided walk is a legit storytelling experience.
What to Expect
Tours depart from the giant flagpole in front of Denver Union Station at 8 p.m., on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Lee adds tours to his lineup in October, so visit his website for information on expanded hours, and to book a tour.
If time allows, start with dinner in Union Station, at Stoic & Genuine or Mercantile. Quick bites are available at Terminal Bar, where Ben and I got in the spirit with delicious drinks.
After a quick debriefing at the flagpole, I was surprised to see what’s under the vent shaft grates inside Denver Union Station. The night got progressively spookier from there. Walking 2,200 steps, we stepped into five of the city’s most haunted, most historic buildings, learning, along the way, about secret tunnels and the elevated roadways that once clogged downtown Denver with viaducts. Lee had plenty of true crime stories to explain various reports of paranormal activity.
“Most haunted history tours tell stories from outside buildings, but we go in,” Lee says. Hunkering in the keg room at Wynkoop Brewery on a pitch-black night is more than a little creepy. And that’s a good thing for partners who are looking to connect.
“I’ll see couples holding hands, pulling each other close during certain stops,” Lee says.
If love doesn’t always bring Ben and me together, I’m totally fine being united by fear.
Spoiler alert: Ben and I didn’t see any ghosts or ghouls. No big deal. “The only thing I really ask,” Lee says, “is for participants to keep an open mind and have fun”—good advice for a ghost tour and also a marriage.
3 More Ghostly Experiences
Downtown Denver isn’t the only place where things go bump in the night. Check out these other spooky tours around the metro area.
- Joel Chirhart, owner of Colorado Haunted History, offers guided ghost tours year-round, in the towns of Morrison and Golden.
- Back in the city, Denver Botanic Gardens is connected to some of the very first deaths in Denver, and you’ll get the scoop during Ghosts in the Gardens, a historical walking tour offered select nights in October.
- At Molly Brown House, some of America’s best Gothic writers are being resurrected for Victorian Horrors, an immersive theater experience also offered on select nights in October.