The Brown Palace Hotel in Downtown Denver, Colorado is not only famous for being ranked in Travel+Leisure Magazine’s “Top 500 World’s Best Hotels 2010” but also for being a haunted Denver travel destination.
A very rich businessman named Henry Cordes built and opened The Brown Palace hotel in Denver on Aug. 12, 1892 in retaliation to the Windsor Hotel for not allowing him entrance because of his cowboy attire. The hotel inspired by the style of the Italian Renaissance cost a hefty $1.6 million. Twelve thousand four hundred feet of onyx is splashed throughout The Brown Palace. Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone dresses the outside with 26 hand-carved stone medallions of native Rocky Mountain animals.
The ghost stories began shortly after the hotel opened up 20 apartments for permanent guests on the top two floors between 1937 and 1985. One of the old residents who lived in room 904 between 1940-1955 was a Denver socialite by the name of Louise Crawford Hill. Mrs. Louise’s tale of heartbreak over a lost love was told to visitors and thus the rumors of her life were the catalyst for the spooky events that began to occur in The Brown Palace in Denver.
Room 904 was undergoing renovations at the time so there were no lights or telephone lines yet the switchboard suddenly began to receive calls from her old room. As soon as the tour guides stopped telling visitors of Mrs. Louise’s heartache the mysterious phone calls ceased to exist.
Ellyngton’s, the main hotel’s dining room, used to be called the San Marco Room where the San Marco Strings played big band music for the hotel’s guests. Many years later one night an employee heard music coming from inside the room. He walked in and found a string quartet practicing music in formal attire. The stunned employee said to them, “You’re not supposed to be in here,” to which they replied nonchalantly, “Oh, don’t worry about us. We live here.”
In another instance an employee came across the ghost of a train conductor that disappeared through the wall where the railroad ticket office used to be. Other people claim to have seen the spirit of a uniformed waiter in the elevator, children laughing and galloping through the hallways and babies crying from within the boiler room.
Ghost stories aside, the magnificent Brown Palace has so much history that it has its own historian and archivist. Since construction of such an exquisite building, every U.S. president, except Calvin Coolidge, from Teddy Roosevelt to our current president has visited The Brown Palace in Denver.
Hear the rich history and stories yourself on one of the historical tours that are given every Wednesday and Saturday at 3 p.m in downtown Denver. The Brown Palace Hotel. For more real haunted houses in Denver, click over to the Denver Haunted House Guide.