Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Ghosts of Golden

Hey Everyone! We're back from our trip to Colorado and I think you'll be seeing about four blog posts from it! It was an action-packed, emotional trip and I'm really glad we made it.

The first night my mom and I were in Colorado, we stayed in a town called Golden. Golden is really old, and at one point (1861-1867) it was the capital of Colorado Territory! Golden was founded during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1859. When I imagine downtown Golden in its prime mining town days, I imagine it being much busier than it is today. At least on the night we went it was quiet. I liked the vibe in the old section of town. We were clearly looking at buildings from the 1800s and it was night, but it didn't feel at all creepy there.

That's not to say that there aren't some ghosts. I did some research on Golden before going on this trip, because I figured with a place this old, there ought to be some ghost hanging around. The main haunted place I found people talking about was "The Buffalo Rose" which is a saloon and restaurant. I watched a video from a local Colorado news station about the place before going and it looked promising.

So, with the Buffalo Rose in mind, we headed out. Driving through the mountains in the dark was spooky in its way. It was definitely a different kind of view of nature at night for me.

We passed the Coors Brewery, which is interesting to me as a Milwaukeean. (Since Miller has merged with Coors). For my Mom who came from Colorado, it must seem like the perfect business partnership.

I took a number of blurry shots of the Coors Brewery. It was that twilight time when it's so hard to get a photo to turn out. Plus, I was in a moving car. But a few came out well enough.

Into town, I kept taking photos, in part because I wanted to get that 'M' on the mountain for the Colorado School of Mines. Also because I just take a lot of photos of random stuff. This turned out to be very helpful later on!

So, once in town we set out to find the Buffalo Rose. This is one of the first buildings we passed. It's like a cartoon building with eyes, hey?

Then we walked up to this one and BAM! It hit me with a ton of energy.

It's one of those buildings with a presence. It was a hotel, later a boarding and rooming house, and now serves as the town's Astor House Museum. It dates from 1867! Can you believe some dingbat wanted to tear this down to put up a parking lot? Come on. Luckily, the town rallied around it and then other buildings to make sure they were registered as historic places.

Do you feel like the building is looking back at you? If you do, I'd be curious to hear which window you feel that coming from.

Onto the Buffalo Rose...

Pretty cool building, hey? And there's something fitting about that red light. 😉 I'm pretty sure those ladies pictured in the windows up there symbolize what I think they're supposed to symbolize. This was a mining town after all.

So we walked out front and saw a big statue of a buffalo. This kid kept hopping around it as I took a pic. He'd jump behind it and make coughing (buffalo?) noises and then leap out after I took my photo. Turns out I wanted to keep the one he was in!

I took a few photos through the windows. I don't know if that kid playing around was what took down the spook factor, but I didn't feel much here. However, mom said she thought this room wasn't as empty as it looked.

We have a disagreement going, but I think that dark form in the back looks like a person sitting. He'd be sitting with one leg down and one crossed over it. Mom thinks it's a reflection of something. I did look up a picture of the pool room online and saw that there is seating in that area. So...

A little closer with the contrast bumped up:

Now, here's a building I felt something from! It's a theater now, but I'm not sure what it's original purpose was.

It's called the Miner's Alley Theater. There was something about this entire street.

I felt a strong presence walking down to that red neon sign and then around the corner to this place, The Ace-Hi Tavern.

This place has something shaking. I felt like someone was lounging against the wall of the doorway. I bumped up the contrast big time to see if I could find anything unusual. What do you think?

A little orby-orb up there?

I wrote an email to the owner of the Ace-Hi last night asking if he had any ghosts. I've never written an email like that before! I told him basically what I just told you, about what I felt walking by. To my pleasant surprise, he wrote me back later that evening! And what's more, he has ghost stories.

I'll just paste what he wrote here, because it's cool the way he said it:

Thank you for sharing your experience with me.
Yes, we have had ghosts for many years. Never anything scary but have had customers and staff witness bottles, glasses a pitchers fly off the bar or shelves. I myself have been putting liquor bottles away in my back room and then turn to get more bottles to add and look on the shelf and see that the bottles have moved about 6 inches just in the time I turned my head. This happens on a regular basis. I hear them sliding against the shelf and have always been a little freaked out but never scared. It's a building that had been around since the late 1800s and has quite a colorful history. If your ever back in town you'll have to stop by!

As I responded to him, I love how we're living at a time when I can reach out and openly ask about the ghost I sensed and get a nice, honest answer like this! I hope to be in Golden again and if I am, I'll go in the Ace-Hi and say hello.

The street the Ace-Hi is on, just had a vibe in general.

It wasn't at all scary around here. When I say "vibe" I mean it felt inhabited, but not in any kind of bad way. You could just feel the history and a few old inhabitants. But you know how you get a sense of how dangerous a place is at night? This old downtown area felt totally safe.

I love this little building. It looks like it should be an ice cream parlor or a barber shop, but it appears to be a law office. I don't have any ghost stories to offer here, it's just a building I wanted to share. I like those glazed bricks a lot. There's a building around here made of those too and they give a neat reflection. I found a masonry web site that will tell you everything you'd want to know about the bricks: Masonry of Denver - Brick at the Quaintance Block

So, about what I said earlier about it being helpful to take lots of random photos... We got lost on the way back and had to trace my photos in reverse order like Hansel and Gretel to find our way around! This one with the neon liquor store sign saved the day because it had both a landmark and a street sign in it.

Yeah, this obviously took some detective work. Luckily, I can really close in on the pictures I've taken.

So I had to get a photo of the lifesaving neon sign on the way back. Plus, I like colorful neon. And it has the added bonus of including the words "Golden" and "Coors". I wonder how old that Coors sign is?

Have any of your traveled through Golden? If so, I'd love to compare notes! 👻


  1. I found this especially interesting since the ghostly book "The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol" was written not far from Golden, CO.

    1. Trailsnet ~ Thank you for dropping by and welcome to my blog! :) Did you run across this blog post while looking for haunted Colorado stuff? I'm not familiar with that book, but now I want to find it! I'm reading a review of it right now. There certainly seems to be a lot of ghostly inspiration in that area! We were barely even in Golden and it felt active!

  2. Looks interesting, very rustic. Glad you had a good time. My sister and my grown niece and nephew moved to CO from CA. They keep wanting me to move there.

    1. Matt ~ It was! I'd like to see Golden in the daylight some time. I'd probably see more details on the buildings then. But I had really wanted to go at night. Where in Colorado is your sister/niece/nephew? Maybe you should consider it? There's lots of beautiful nature to see in Colorado and I know you like nature.

  3. I've been to Colorado a number of times, but only to camp. If we stop, it's at a motel. I can't remember staying in Golden.
    Your photos at night were fabulous. Interesting how that person got back to you about the ghost. Poltergiest, is what it must be. We've had one in our house (previous owner who died here, I think), but we've been here so long, and she quit acting up when her relatives came to visit the house. I should actually write a blog about it, since it was sort of a weird experience for us.
    HOpe you get to go back and revisit those places, Justine.

    1. Lorelei ~ Where were you camping in Colorado? I'm interested to hear about your trips there.

      Thank you! :) I was pretty happy with how these photos turned out, especially considering the lighting.

      Yeah! I was excited to hear back from the bar owner and so quickly! I'm thinking it's a Poltergeist too. I expected to hear that he had a ghost in the bar, but I didn't expect to hear about that much action! I would like to read a blog post about your Poltergeist experience! That sounds like a pretty interesting series of happenings. I'm especially interested in the part where the previous owner's relatives came to visit the house.

      I hope to go back too! If I do, it would be good to actually go in these places. We were short on time that night, so I only took pics from the outside. I have a feeling that I would have a lot more to say if I went in!