Saturday, June 18, 2011

This last Wednesday, Haunted History After Dark, welcomed guests from Fort Collins, and as far away as Berthoud, CO for a ghostly walking adventure.  Even from the first haunted location on our tour, goose bumps were felt by all, as a 131 year-old tale of tragedy unfolded that night on the streets of Old Town. While local ghost whisperer and tour guide, Grace, connected with the spirits at this site who had perished in one of the most terrible incidents in early Fort Collins history, the guests found themselves rubbing the prickly sensation on back of their necks and arms, as one of the specter’s desired to make its presence known within the group. With the many ethereal beings we encounter on our tours, Grace says, "...this is normal".
As the night progressed, the streets of Old Town were not only alive and vibrant with celebrants of the local bars and restaurants, but the spirits who inhabit those places got in on the action as well. At one location on the haunted route, our group encountered an angry past “proprietor” of a long ago brothel on College, which is now a very popular watering spot, who in his ghostly form told us to “…move along…MOVE ALONG!” Which we obliged.  This particular spirit is one of the most active on our tour, and his moods are unpredictable.  Grace says, “He knows full well that I can take him to other side, and he DOESN’T like it!” As the historical guide on tour, I’ve actually had my own encounter with this brown- suited man while Grace and I were researching our route, and he didn’t like me either!
As we ventured north through Old Town Square, we found Mr. William Trimble, an early resident and mercantile proprietor waiting for us and watching our every step, move and word. He’s very protective and particular about his location.  Grace advised us that in a spirit form he was standing within the group and listening to our tales. Again, all of us, except for Grace, were rubbing the goose bumps off the back of our necks. As a Fort Collins historian, I then became nervous, as I wanted to provide for him his well-deserved justice, but Grace reassured me, after her confirmation and communication from him that my accuracy regarding him was “dead” on. However, please be fore-warned that Mr. Trimble is not one to be reckoned with. Even today, in his ghostly presence, he still watches and will reprimand those who loiter or litter near his early establishment.

Amid a full moon, the tour ended at a ghostly and tragic location on north College, which the Fort Collins Courier newspaper headlined on the 17th of May 1905, as a “Distressing Tragedy Almost in the Heart of the City”. But, for Grace and I, the most distressing tragedy, was saying good bye to our wonderful Haunted History After Dark guests! As we bid them adieu, as I always do, I told them, “Get home safe and alive…don’t end up on our tour!”
Grace and I need to say that we were VERY honored to be a part of a reunion between two of our guests. The pair had only met twice since high school, previous to our tour, and we feel extremely privileged to be a part of that. Thank you so much to you! Now that is cool history!
If you would like to experience goose bumps and communicate with the early residents of Fort Collins, or….would like to reunite with a high school buddy like our guests, you need to take the Haunted History After Dark tour. Walk with the spirits who are dying to meet you!
Contact  or call 970-690-7986 to book your ghostly adventure.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

This day in Fort Collins history, June 9th,  1864. What disatrous event in this day in Fort Collins history caused the structure of the new Fort and later deaths and hauntings in this Cavalry town...
Haunted History After Dark tour guide and local Ghost Whisperer, Grace, takes you through the streets of Old Town communicating directly and live with the spirits that still inhabit this special place. Have you ever wondered if a location in Fort Collins or Old Town is haunted? Grace can tell you. She has a true gift, and can tell you first-hand, the emotions and stories of those who still relive their lives in this Cavalry town. According to Grace, Old Town Fort Collins has an endless abundance of spectral beings that walk among us in Fort Collins. Have you ever experienced an encounter? Feel free to share with us. Make sure you read all of her blogs regarding her work as a psychic and ghost whisperer on our page at
Along with Grace’s talent, as a Fort Collins historian, I can provide for you the history, stories, development, booms and busts, as well as the scandals of the town. Fort Collins is quite extraordinary and I like to call it the “Jewel of the Frontier”. Boulder may have its mining history, but it was the Cavalry who was sent here in 1862, in the height of the Civil War, by President Lincoln himself, to protect all those miners and settlers moving into the area. WE have the Cavalry! WE have Chivington, and “The Captain” Allen (who suffered a grizzly death and may still haunt Old Town).(His photo is below)
We have Lt. Colonel William Oliver Collins and the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and early Native American's, Arapaho Chief’s Friday (at right) and Roman Nose who inhabited the plains we now call home as well. We walk, dine and shop on the same streets that the Blue Coats would have while they were stationed here, only 147 years later.  The military reservation in what we know as Old Town, was commissioned in August of 1864. It is why we celebrate New West Fest in the first place. That is when Lt. William Oliver Collins of the 11th Ohio Cavalry, who was originally supposed to be fighting the Civil War, came with two companies from Fort Larimie, to give his okay on the 6000 acres for a reservation, with a “fort” and parade ground located just north of Jefferson St.  The Fort was stationed there to protect all the miners, settlers, and the stage line’s coming through the area. Okay, so why is June 9th, 1864 so special in Fort Collins history? A flood! Just as our Poudre is rising today, on June 9th in 1864, an enormous rush of water coming down the Cache La Poudre washed out the original “camp” Collins, which was located in La Porte, just south of Vern’s. No deaths occurred, but the government saw an immediate need to place a more permanent “fort” in a better area. With the help of a new settler, Joe Mason (who Mason Street is named after) and a Lt. Hanna, a new site was located. Today it encompasses Jefferson Street north to the river, and to the east where Ranchway Feeds is now.
The government decided to abandon the Fort in 1867. Just two years after President Lincoln’s death. Absolutely no buildings remain of the original Fort. One structure, Auntie’s Stone’s cabin, which was located off the original fort location and was used as an Officers mess, was saved. It has a phenomenal history in Old Town, and can be toured at the Fort Collins Museum.
However, there is one structure that was located on the original Fort grounds that continues to cause a ghostly problem, even today. From 1865 to 1867, 16 deaths occurred at the Fort hospital. 16 young soldiers and cavalrymen lost their lives at that Fort hospital. They, and at least one civilian, famous in early Fort Collins history, were buried at a location south of Old Town, which at the time was desolate. Today, it is in the heart of the city where many celebrations take place. Even after some of the bodies were removed in the 1870’s to make way for residences, many still remain. And the spirits of those young soldiers and  cavalrymen refuse to leave. Learn where that location is on a walking tour with Haunted History After Dark. Come walk with the spirits who are dying to meet you! Email to reserve your spot. YOUR HAUNTED JOURNEY STARTS AT DUSK!
Historical photos are courtesy of the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Center and the Poudre Library.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Historic Old Town, Fort Collins, CO – Does Having Ghosts Help or Hurt Business?

(***Please note that photos for this post are random Old Town photos taken for their aesthetic qualities and do not necessarily represent those businesses to which we have talked.***)

In the months that Suzy and I have been researching and conducting our Historic Haunted tours, we (mostly Suzy!) have talked to many business-owners downtown in Old Town, Fort Collins, CO. When asked, most of them tell us about their experiences in dealing with unexplained happenings in their store/office. They tell us about what their employees have seen and reported to them too.

 They talk about items in their business being moved overnight while the store is closed and supposedly empty. Items have disappeared, only to reappear again in a few days. They tell us about noises heard by them, employees, customers and guests. Often, they are repeating stories that have been told for years and years in their space. It is common, too, for them to talk of what the previous tenant reported when they took over the space as the new tenant. Many report sightings of ghosts - dressed in the garb of the ghosts’ time.

One establishment, for some time, was unable to be open, according to the stories - during the day - because things unexpectedly and without explanation would fly off the shelves. They were afraid customers would get hit by flying objects. When we started our research for our tours, we talked to the ghosts in that establishment and found the one responsible - and found out why he was throwing things.

It is VERY common to hear these stories in Old Town.

What is even MORE common is the fear that public knowledge of possible hauntings will drive away customers – or that someone will think they are crazy or making it up. Suzy and I are always very respectful of the wishes of business owners. Suzy has asked many owners/managers if we can bring our tours INTO their business to talk about the hauntings. No one has ever agreed to this. Some get downright angry.

I see their point. As a Ghost-Whisperer, I was dealing with ghosts when ghosts weren’t cool. :)

So I know that, these days, ghosts ARE cool – they’re trendy and much sought-after. Many people tour the country (and world) specifically in search of ghost/haunted tours. We have entertained those on our tours who have been on haunted tours all over the planet.  And look at the MANY! ghost-hunter reality series on TV right now – people are hungry for this type of information!

So not only do ghosts NOT run off customers, they currently BRING IN customers! Our tour members want to go to the buildings we include on our tour and go inside them to see if, perhaps, they can see the ghosts! They are going to frequent those establishments more frequently than those NOT on the tour, just because they are curious. They, therefore, are probably going to spend some of their money in those establishments, because they will want to spend as much time in there as possible.
 So while I understand the old stigma of not wanting anyone to know that YOU know that your building is haunted, I would encourage business owners to not only embrace the new understanding and interest in ghosts and hauntings, I would encourage them to USE this knowledge to increase their sales and customer flow.

For example:  Does the Stanley Hotel in nearby tourist attraction Estes Park, CO profit from its reportedly haunted status?  You BET it does! It advertises ghost tours right on its main website! It was made even more popular, because it was used as the setting for Stephen King's book made into a movie, The Shining

I say Fort Collins Old Town businesses should jump on the proverbial haunted/ghost bandwagon and milk it for all it is worth! :) It can only HELP business!

To all of the business in Old Town, I extend my gratitude for all your patience and kindness extended to Suzy and myself. :)

Psychic, Ghost-Whisperer, Medium Readings in OLD TOWN, Fort Collins, CO

 As the Ghost-Whisperer half of our Haunted History After Dark team, it is with great pleasure that I announce the move of my office to an OLD TOWN location! I am happy to be across the way from the Old Post Office Building which is in Oak St Plaza. This historic building is on our haunted historic tour because of the many ghosts which still populate its halls – especially upstairs. On our tour, we usually talk to at least two of the resident ghosts in this building – sometimes more come forth.  

In the summer, this plaza is the location of free concerts where people hang out and listen and visit and enjoy the beauty of downtown and the summer weather. It is a wonderful summer venue.

Our office is now located at 140 Oak St, just off the Oak St Plaza. We are in the Oak St Mall, which is across the street from Jay’s Bistro

Jay’s is the scene of an excellent atmosphere, some tasty grub and some even tastier tunes provided by Mark Sloniker and guests . Check out his schedule for more info on days and times and specific guests! 

Just a couple of doors down from us is the also tasty Taj Mahal . Definitely worth your attention! Yum!

Downstairs we have the Oak Street Café,
Body and Spa Rituals 

Hair Designers
Namaste and much more! Come by and check out all the possibilities for fun! 

As you walk in the front door, you are treated to a beautiful pathway through the middle of the shops. 

I do readings here (upstairs in Suite 270) on Saturdays between noon and 5pm, and also by appointment. Other times and days are available too – just contact me to set up an appointment, or set one up through our website at:

Suzy and I also offer personalized historic, haunted services if you are a downtown business and want to know the history of your building/space, to know if you have ghosts (most of the old buildings downtown DO), and perhaps want those ghosts cleared out and taken to their real home. Contact us to make an appointment or just to discuss your situation:

As always, it is a pleasure to share info with you. I look forward to seeing you on a tour! Stay in touch and hope you are enjoying all Fort Collins has to offer for summer fun!

Friday, June 3, 2011

"FOUND DEAD" This day in Fort Collins history.

This day in Fort Collins. The article at left was published on the morning of June 3rd, 1874 in the Fort Collins Standard. Who was this young man found "dead in the street of the city at night."?

This day in Fort Collins June 3rd, 1874. By this year, the town had moved west and south from the location of the Fort north of Jefferson Street, to accommodate new settlers moving into the area. These adventurous folks were mercantile and drug store owners, educators, physicians, and those looking to start a new life far from their home in the east or Midwest.  The railroad had not yet come through yet, and the population would have been roughly around 800 occupants. The livestock and cattle industry was one of the biggest producers of revenue in this small but increasingly thriving town. Manhattan Creek west of Red Feather held promises of fortune for prospective silver miners as well. So, who was this young man with “smooth rounded cheek”? Who was the girl in the photo in the pearl case? And what was the bloody event that left him “…dead in the street of the city at night.”? Was he a cowhand for one of the big ranchers of the day? Was he a hopeful miner wishing to take a dowry back home to a prospective bride, only to be met with despair? Or just a drifter traveling through? Does he still walk the streets of Old Town in search of his past and the future that was brutally taken away from him? Is this young man one of the spirits "...who is dying to meet you..."  on the Haunted History After Dark tour?  Possibly, he has a story he’d like to tell YOU.
Join our ghostly walking tour of Old Town and find out.  Tours run Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8:30 P.m. Email for more information. YOUR HAUNTED JOURNEY STARTS AT DUSK!