Ghosts of Leadville, Colorado

        In the ghostly spirit of Halloween, check out these stories of past Leadville souls. Many still make their presence known in this Colorado mining town. They float and creak in 1880s Victorian buildings and abandoned mines.

        Read these tales with a shiver. Then make plans to visit the sites where spine-chilling events took place.

        Mineral Belt Trail

        Bike, walk, or cross-country ski the Mineral Belt Trail, a 12-mile paved loop around Leadville. You’ll pass the site of the Moyer Mine, reportedly among the most haunted of Leadville lodes. Many accidental deaths gave the mine a reputation. Dim light, dripping water, and unearthly echoes added to its mystery. In 1901, State Senator Joseph Gallagher entered the mine, and a round of powder blew him into the next life. Miners later saw his spirit wandering the mine and going down the shaft in the bucket to warn his friends of danger.

        Where: Stop 6 on the Mineral Belt Trail. You can also drive to the trail’s crossing with Toledo St.

        Herald Democrat Building

        Once a mortuary, the Herald Democrat building has raised hairs on the backs of editors’ necks. Footsteps sound when nobody is walking, and lights turn themselves back on at night. The Cloud City Paranormal Society once captured extreme temperature changes in the basement. Learn about these and other eerie Leadville happenings in their story, “Ghostly tales abound in this old mining town.”

        The newspaper also publishes the Leadville/Lake County Heritage Guide, which includes tours of other sites on this list. Download a copy, or pick up one at the boxes outside their building…if you dare.

        Where: 717 Harrison Avenue, Downtown Leadville

        Evergreen Cemetery

        Mr. James Driver’s arm and Mrs. E.J. Burdett’s foot reside in this 141-year-old cemetery. It is also the final resting place of Flora Packer, wife of “The Colorado Cannibal,” Alferd Packer. Mr. Packer’s party became lost and snowbound in the Rockies in the winter of 1874. While accounts of what happened in the ill-fated camp vary, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison for cannibalism.

        Where: Evergreen Cemetery is located off McWethy Drive, just east of the intersection with County Road 4, on Leadville’s northwest side.

        Woman at the New Discovery Mine

        In 1879, an unearthly female wearing a fluttering shroud first appeared in the New Discovery Mine. She returned so often that her story appeared in a New York newspaper. Many, on seeing her, drew their pay and never returned. Some of the braver men attempted time and time again to capture her. But when they closed in, the woman spat at them and then vanished. Her apparition made the New Discovery the first Leadville mine haunted by a woman.

        Where: The mine site is now a field, but they say she still dwells in the mine’s forbidden chambers. Find the site at stop 9A on the Route of the Silver Kings driving tour, in the Leadville/Lake County Heritage Guide.

        Mrs. Mary Coffey

        The ghost of Mary Coffey is said to keep watch at the Delaware Hotel, where her husband shot her in 1899. She is buried in nearby Evergreen Cemetery. Read one guest’s experience in “The Haunting of HeidiTown, Colorado: The Mayor’s Ghost Stories.”

        Where: Delaware Hotel, 700 Harrison Avenue, reopening after a fall break on Dec. 17, 2020. Its cemetery and ghost tours will resume next spring.

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