Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ghost Stories and General Quirkiness in Downtown Steamboat

Ready for some random goofiness and more ghost stories? My little skeleton frog helped show you around the area of Steamboat Springs where we were staying. Now you're going to see a little of the Main Street area of Steamboat. This part of town was built in the late 1800s to early 1900s, so it's no surprise there are a few ghosts.

Starting in a classic Western store, F.M. Light & Sons, we have the Jackalope! I was excited to see one of these. I'd actually set out to find one before the trip began. They're something I associate with Colorado and I probably find them more funny than I should...

We saw countless signs for F.M Light & Sons on our way through the mountains. There in the vast expanse of land, we saw one sign after another. And not a whole lot else.

So we were ready to see this place by the time we found it. I said it was a classic Western store, because it carried a ton of hats and boots.

There were some beautiful boots.

My favorite pair:

The F.M. Light store has had this horse out front for years. I found Lightning the horse's own account of things here: Lightning's story 😊

Mom wasn't the only one making friends with the animals...

There were a few more creatures on the streets of Steamboat. Behold, the King and Queen!

How cool is this old gas station sign? It looks like a futuristic 1960s design.

These skulls were in a store window. I just noticed that tiny turquoise skull sitting on the big one. How cute!

My favorite of the stores we went into was Rocket Fizz, a candy and soda shop.

This was such a fun place to look around!

Check out these creative soda flavors. These weren't for sale, but that didn't matter because I don't think I'd want to try them!

Ok, I'm open to the Carrot Cake and Cookies 'N Cream. How bad could those be?

This Pickle Soda looks nasty, though! With all this candy and soda, it's good to remember...

Hehe. There were a lot of funny signs in this shop. And other random craziness.

This next display was in another shop. JAWS was my book for the trip, so this is another reminder of that. I'll be blogging about that book/movie later.

Some random, cool bicycle tire art we saw while walking around town:

On to the haunted building section! It was fun looking at my photos and then searching for these places online, because basically everything there is haunted. I mean, pick a building or a house on these streets, and you're going to find a ghost story! I've been reading a lot of ghost stories about other buildings on Lincoln Avenue, and now I'm wishing I'd taken photos of those too!

I don't have any personal ghost stories from our trip to Steamboat's Main Street, although I will say some of the buildings had a stronger presence than others. And some seemed to be saying "Take a picture of me!" You could really feel the history.

We'll start with the Rehder Building. According to a plaque I saw online, this building was the First National Bank in 1902 to 1931. That differs from other sources I saw. According to one story, "From 1919 to 1937, the building was owned by town marshal and auto dealer E.L. Bradburn, whose temper got his badge confiscated in the 1920s." I found that here. That page goes onto say that  this E.L. Bradburn haunts the building. Every business owner that's been in there since has experienced something. Events include, feeling chills, dogs barking at unseen things, and seven mirrors falling off the wall! There's a full story at the bottom of this page:

The Spirit of the Rehder Building

Another story on that page, that seems unrelated to the town marshall, involves ice cream. Someone who worked in this building heard the music of an old-fashioned ice cream truck, even though no one was there. It turns out the building used to be an ice creamery.

If you read further down this page you'll find yet more stories! There's also an "Old Man Shaw" haunting the place. He was a man who died somewhere on the second floor. People give him credit for the loud noises up there and the chills you get. So it's either Old Man Shaw or the town marshal making trouble up there. And according to that page, some people have seen the ghost of a woman in old fashioned dress sitting on the couch.

Chief Plaza - This old theater caught my eye because of the Art Deco facade. There is a poltergeist here that bugs the theater employees after hours. I read stories from people who were cleaning up at night only to have the lights they switched off turn back on or flicker. The projector will also turn itself on. The theory is that the ghost is that of the man who used to own the theater and was very dedicated to it.

If you scan to the middle of this page, you can read a bit more:

Ghosts of Steamboat Springs

Tread of Pioneers Museum is known to have a ghost that appears when someone is trying to change or rearrange something in the rooms. That's a kind of common ghost story - the story of the person who doesn't want their stuff messed with, even after they're gone.

There are several stories on this web site if you scan down the page. But to summarize, it's common to hear footsteps coming up the stairs if you're working on something in the museum. Then after the footsteps stop near you, you'll feel the presence of someone watching you in the room. One person had the vacuum shut off every time they turned it on. A painter had such a scary experience there at night, that he left all his supplies and just got out of there. My guess is this is someone who cared for the house in life and feels the need to take care of it in the afterlife.

The museum caught my eye because I love Victorian houses. Look at these gingerbread details. Someone has kept this place up nicely, so that ghost can chill out. If you're going to haunt a house, this looks like a good choice!

Now, The Old Town Pub is a place I thought might have a few spirits. I didn't see any ghost stories about it online, but I did read that it was built in 1904 and was once The Albany Hotel, and the town's hospital in 1914. Some sources say it was the first hospital in Steamboat.

A Photo of it as a hospital

It was also a general store, post office, movie theater, dance hall, electrical shop, library, and a lodge for the Odd Fellows Masons in 1921. So yeah, it's bound to have something going on. I read that off this plaque.

At the very least, it had a kid dressed as Harry Potter walk by:

Go figure! The one place I think might have a few inhabitants, has no ghost stories attached to it, at least not any I could find online.

I spotted this crow while we waited for the bus. He seemed an appropriate end to a ghost story blog post.

I read that there are some Halloween festivities in the Main Street area of Steamboat. If I was nearby, I would be sure to check out the Halloween Stroll. They have been having a trick-or-treat night for 30 years on Lincoln Avenue, the street where most of my photos were taken.

There are a lot of videos showing what the Halloween Stroll looks like. This one is my favorite:

I thought that chocolate-themed song was a good fit with trick-or-treating. Wouldn't you like to go to this event? It looks so fun! 👻

A link to the video for those who read my blog by email:

Halloween Stroll


  1. Love the gas station sign and Rocket Fizz looks like a ton of fun! I wonder what it is about that town that makes it seem to be more haunted?

    1. Dex ~ Me too! I should look up that gas station and see if the sign is as old as I think it is. Yeah, Rocket Fizz was fun. I'm sure you would have had a good time looking around that shop.

      I was wondering the same thing! I got a much more haunted vibe off of Golden. It could have helped that we were in Golden at night. I didn't feel too much in that direction in Steamboat Springs, so I was surprised to see so many ghost stories online! I ran into more web sites with haunted Steamboat stories than I included here. It actually felt overwhelming!

  2. Holy big frogs batman!! This place looks like a ton of fun!

    1. Bob ~ Hehe! Indeed! Quite the frogs. It was fun looking around! Lots of photo ops as you can see. :)