Browsing the archives for the haunted house tag.
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The Asylum Haunted House

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The Asylum Haunted House is located in the Boondocks Fun Center at 11425 Community Center Drive in Northglenn, Colorado and is among the top haunted houses in the area.  The staff at The Asylum Haunted House can be contacted by phone at 303-355-FEAR, or by e-mail at info@getscared.com.  You can also visit The Asylum Haunted House online at www.getscared.com.  First-time visitors should review the frequently asked questions section of the website, in order to familiarize themselves with all pertinent rules, safety information, etc.

Parking is provided free of charge in the Boondocks Fun Center parking lot.  Forms of payment accepted are cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Admission to the Boondocks Fun Center is free, as always, however, you do have to pay for attractions if you decide to play.  Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 7:00 PM to Midnight.  While there is no age limit to enter The Asylum Haunted House, due to the graphic nature of the layout, it is not recommended for small children.  The house is handicap accessible. Photography and video recording are not permitted in The Asylum Haunted House.  The layout and features of the house are different every year.

There are live animals, reptiles and insects incorporated into the layout.  Visitors should not attempt to touch or otherwise handle them.  There are other hazards incorporated into the layout.  However, if you walk where directed you will make it through without incident.

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The History of Trick-or-Treating

denver halloween, halloween prank, halloween pranks, things to do on Halloween

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door at Denver Haunted Houses for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door at Denver Haunted Houses on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

However, there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in North America, where trick-or-treating may have developed independent of any Irish or British antecedent. The custom of wearing costumes and masks at Halloween goes back to Celtic traditions of attempting to copy the evil spirits or placate them, In Scotland for instance where the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white. Ruth Edna Kelley, in her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe’en, makes no mention of ritual begging in the chapter “Hallowe’en in America.” Kelley lived in Lynn, Massachusetts, a town with about 4,500 Irish immigrants, 1,900 English immigrants, and 700 Scottish immigrants in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes,

There are cards that mention the custom or show children in costumes at the doors of Denver Haunted Houses, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them.

Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought more than a million immigrants to North America in 1845–1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.

The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.

The earliest known use in print of the term “trick or treat” appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:

Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front of Denver Haunted Houses demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.

(Source: wikipedia.org)

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The Haunted Chair at Ash Lawn

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Even furniture can be the recipient of ghostly attention in haunted houses.  Not very far from Castle Hill, Virginia, is one of America’s important historical buildings: the country home once owned by former president James Monroe, where he and Thomas Jefferson often conversed and may have made major political decisions.  This haunted houses, small and cozy, was James Monroe’s favorite even after he moved to the bigger place that became his stately home later in his career.  At Ash Lawn he could get away from affairs of state and public attention to discuss matters of great concern with his friend Jefferson, who lived only two miles away at Monticello.

The ghostly occurrences center around a wooden rocking chair in the main room, which has been seen to rock without the benefit of human hands.  It is unknown how many people have seen the chair rock, but Mrs. J. Massey, who lived in the area for many years, is on record as saying, “I will tell anyone and I have no objection to its being known, that I’ve seen not once but time and time again the rocking chair rocking exactly as though someone were in it.  My brother, John, has seen it too.  Whenever we touched it, it would stop rocking.”

Although there has been considerable speculation regarding the nature of this haunted houses, there has thus far been no consensus.  A haunted houses of this vintage has likely been marred by tragedy more than once.  The truth behind the haunted chair at Ash Lawn may never be known.

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Castle Eyrie

colorado haunted house, haunted house history, haunted house information, haunted houses, real haunted house

One article dated May 28, 1881, gave an explanation of a lawsuit against Idaho Springs Mayor Thomas B. Bryan.  “Mayor Bryan has laid the foundation of the large bath house, and is tunneling and sinking for the water that is to supply the bath.”  This bathhouse was designed to service his Colorado haunted house.

This area of Idaho Springs is located on a hot springs, which had been run for years by a popular citizen of the town, and purportedly used by such luminaries as Frank and Jesse James, Walt Whitman, Horace Tabor, and Sarah Bernhardt.  By claiming to mine for gold while actually tapping into the sulfur springs, Bryan was essentially stealing another man’s livelihood.  There followed a lawsuit in which Bryan was the loser.

The present owner on this Colorado haunted house has not run across “her,” but a guest at dinner, a prominent and quite well-known painter, did see and hear a figure in the dining room one evening, who told him her name was Mary.  Adjourning to the solarium for coffee, the guest saw her there as well.  Other guests have felt cool breezes in the music room, with no open doors or windows.  Mary is possibly the daughter of Bryan, but that remains an unverified fact, as she was always referred to as Miss Bryan during her life.  Other occurrences in this Colorado haunted house include the sound of “Mary” crying, footsteps during the night, lights turning on and off, and objects being moved without explanation.

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Hovenweep Castle

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Although there is evidence of human habitation in this area for thousands of years, it was in the mid-1800s that the first Europeans came upon the desert ruins.  The name “Hovenweep,” Paiute/Ute for “deserted valley,” was adapted by pioneer photographer William Henry Jackson in 1874, and quite accurately describes the desolation of these canyons and mesas wherein the ancient farmers cultivated and irrigated their crops.  Though we know the natives in this Four Corners area as Anasazi, they are more accurately called Ancestral Puebloans, and the fascinating thing about them, besides their mysterious exodus, is the variation in the composition of their living areas.  While the better known Mesa Verde tribe built into the cliffs, the Hovenweep people, also members of the Mesa Verde tribe, had a penchant for building towers and massive castle-like buildings with shapes that varied, including square rectangle, round, D-shaped and horseshoe.  The remains of these structures are now Colorado haunted houses.

The Hovenweep area began with small, scattered units, pueblos built on the mesa around 1100, and evolved after 1200 into sophisticated masonry-walled pueblos, with large structures interspersed, often at the head of the canyons.  Water was the life-blood of the Ancestral Puebloans, which, in this dry, arid climate, they diverted into the fields to grow food, using innovative farming methods like terrace farming and irrigation.  Modern scientists examined tree rings from the logs used for construction in the area and found that from 1250 to 1300 there was a severe drought, which likely caused a large migration of the Puebloan people.  Additionally, there now are no trees here, although logs were a corporate part of the construction.  This indicates a depletion of a vital building material and fuel.  Not everyone left however, as they are believed to be the ancestors of the modern tribes of the Hopi, Zuni and Pueblo.

It is widely believed that the Hovenweep Castle is an ancient haunted houses, cursed by the spirits of the Ancestral Puebloans who were forced to migrate during the drought of 1250 – 1300.  Modern-day visitors have reported hearing Native American drumming in the distance.  Others have reported smelling the odor of sage smoke, often used in Puebloan ceremonies.  In a sense, the Hovenweep Castle is one of the most interesting and unusual Colorado Haunted Houses.

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Ghost Crying

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Here is a video we found on You Tube that shows a real ghost crying.  For more haunted videos, see ghost activity in a haunted house and the asylum in Denver.

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Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

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There are several things that should be taken into consideration when young children go trick-or-treating.  The primary concern is safety, but comfort should also be kept in mind.  To begin with, an adult should accompany young children.  If a large group of young children is trick-or-treating together, be sure to bring several adults along.

Children choose their costumes based upon any number of criteria, such as how popular it is, how scary it is, etc.  There are other factors that should be considered by the child’s parents.  It is often cold on Halloween night, so be sure that a costume is either warm enough by itself, or that it is loose-fitting enough to accommodate a warm layer of clothing underneath it. 

Also, be sure that the costume does not obstruct the child’s view.  This is one of several safety considerations.  Inspect the costume to make sure that there are no parts that could act as a tripping hazard.  Likewise, see to it that any accessory items do not have sharp edges or points.

Visibility is important, as well.  Give each child a flashlight or glow stick so that motorists and other pedestrians can see them.  Each adult should also have a flashlight to help children find their way around large bushes, shrubs, etc.  It is also important to monitor the children when approaching darkened porches and doorways.  A good flashlight is invaluable in this application.

Finally, when you get home all items received must be inspected for tears in wrappers, pinholes and the like.  Instruct the children not to consume any of their candy or other treats until they have been looked through at home.  If you are at all uncertain about the safety of a given item, discard it.  It is better to be safe than sorry, especially if the children were trick-or-treating in a somewhat unfamiliar area. 

Halloween should be a fun and carefree holiday for children.  A small group of responsible adults can ensure the safety of the children and allow them to have a fun time.  Harmful incidents on or around Halloween are rare, and are often the stuff of urban legends.  Taking a few precautions will provide a comfortable level of safety for all those involved.

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Dunafon Castle

13th Floor denver, colorad haunted house reviews, colorado haunted house, denver haunted house, denver haunted houses, haunted house history, haunted house information, haunted houses, haunted houses in denver, real haunted house, top denver haunted houses

There are two issues here: the first is that sometime between Marcus C. Wright’s death and Bill Barnes’ acquisition, the castle was at one time a brothel and gambling casino.  The second issue is more serious.  The plane crash that killed three of the Barnes family has never been properly explained, and the investigation of the crash is still open.

With its history, it would be surprising if the castle did not have spirits.  Lisa Barnes, who lived there as a child, believes the castle is truly an entity, with its energy deriving from the structure being made of solid rock, with materials all from the surrounding area.  Wright, the man who actually created the castle, was building his own dream.  And the rock is granite, Lisa adds, which vibrates at a very low frequency and has accumulated its history over time, both positive and negative.

Lisa is a Sensitive, or Medium, and has been aware of a multitude of spirits around the castle.  As a child, she often heard footsteps along the long hallway from the garage into the house, though no one visible was there.  In fact, guests staying in the lower bedrooms adjacent to the hall, complained to her parents about the noise that disturbed their sleeping.  Another annoyance was a spirit dog whose nails clicked on the terrazzo floor and whose panting would awaken Lisa.

Following the airplane crash, the castle was on the market for four years, with several interested buyers.  But Lisa found it disturbing that these potential owners were interested in the land only, and planned to scrap the castle and rebuild.  Then Mike Dunafon and Debbie Matthews found the estate, and it was the castle that they wanted, and wished to restore.  Soon after, Lisa encountered the spirit of her mother who assured her that they were the right people to own it.  With its many unsolved mysteries, the Dunafon Castle is among the greatest Denver haunted houses.

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The 13th Floor Haunted House

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Where is the 13th Floor, and why is it absent in so many buildings? Come with us, as we attempt to explain the legend of the 13th floor, and introduce you to Denver’s most horrifying haunted experience, the 13th Floor Haunted House.

The levels of a multi story building are frequently numbered sequentially, from “basement”, “lobby”, “ground”, “one”, “two” etc. In some countries, as it is here in the United States, the number 13 is considered unlucky and building owners will sometimes purposefully omit a floor numbered 13. Hence, the 13th floor is sometimes given the number 14. Even building owners who are not superstitious realize that the desirability of units on a floor numbered 13 might be compromised because of superstitious tenants, or commercial tenants who worry about losing superstitious customers.

Based on an internal review of records, the Otis Elevator Company estimates that 85% of the buildings with their elevators do not have a named 13th floor. So why does this happen? Why are even skeptics so easily convinced that the majority would just rather avoid this floor? What has happened in history to create such a stigma about a 13th floor? For whatever reasons there may be, there seems to be a multitude of stories about what happens on the 13th floor of numerous buildings, some documented, some not. It seems that it has become largely accepted to just leave it alone, brush it under the rug, and don’t talk about it.

A good example is that some have suggested the 13th floor in government buildings is not really missing, but actually contains top-secret governmental departments, or more generally that it is proof of something sinister or clandestine going on.

It should be noted that to place a floor between those accessible from an elevator, it is necessary to either take longer to travel between the neighboring floors, or accelerate, both of which would be noticed by the riders. It would also be noticeable from the exterior, requiring either an extra row of windows or a conspicuous gap between rows.

Thus, it would make much more sense to build a secret floor, such as the 13th floor as a basement, making it much easier to hide 13th floor locations, in what appear to be single story buildings, underground.

The creators of the 13th Floor Haunted House have discovered locations, right here in Denver, Colorado, constructed in the manor described above. Not completely sure of what all of their past uses may have been, it seems that the majority of these locations are currently inhabited by unfortunate souls, living and dead. They have discovered their secret locations when seeking shelter from the environment, or society. Various species of rats, snakes and spiders have also taken up residence here, living in secret, and by their own rules.

(Source: 13th Floor Haunted House)

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The Original Most Haunted House in America

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Formerly known as the Most Haunted House in America, the home of carpetbagger Charles Wright Congelier, his Mexican wife Lyda, and a young servant girl, Essie, was located at 1129 Ridge Avenue, in the Manchester, North Side neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The story of its life as a haunted house begins in the winter of 1871, with Lyda’s discovery of Charles having an affair with the maid. Lyda was so enraged, that she fatally stabbed Charles and chopped off Essie’s head. For the next 20 years the house remained vacant. It was remodeled to accommodate railroad workers in 1892, but they soon moved out, claiming to hear the sobbing and screaming of a woman. The Most Haunted House in America once again stood vacant.

Around 1900, Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter bought the home. “Keeping to himself, the doctor was rarely seen by his neighbors. Then on August 12, 1901, the family next door heard a terrifying scream from the Brunrichter residence,” wrote Richard Winer and Nancy Osborn in their book, Haunted Houses. “When they ran outside to investigate, the neighbors saw a red explosion-like flash shooting through the house. The earth under them trembled, and the sidewalls cracked. Every window in the doctor’s home was shattered.”

When officials entered the house to investigate, they found a decomposed female body strapped to the bed and five headless young women in basement graves. “Dr. Brunrichter had been experimenting with severed heads,” wrote Winer and Osborn. “Apparently he had been able to keep some alive for short periods after decapitation.” Dr. Brunrichter, meanwhile, had disappeared, and the house once again stood vacant.

As a result of its reputation for being haunted, the house stood empty for several years before undergoing its second remodeling to ready it for housing emigrant Equitable Gas Company workers. These workers experienced many strange occurrences but wrote them off as pranks by the American workers they had replaced (for lower wages). One night things took a tragic turn, however, and two of the workers were found dead in the basement. One had a board driven like a stake through his chest, and the other was hanging from a rafter. These men had both been seen alive just minutes earlier.

In 1920, the famous scientist and inventor, Thomas Edison, came to study the house. Edison spoke of a machine that he was building to allow communication with the dead. Edison died before the mechanism was perfected. Winer and Osborn wrote that Thomas Edison’s visit to the house at 1129 Ridge Avenue apparently influenced his strong belief in the afterlife.

In September of 1927, a drunk was arrested who claimed to be Dr. Adolph Brunrichter. He told police gruesome stories of sex orgies, demonic possession, torture and murder that had occurred in the house. The authorities could not determine if the man they had in custody was indeed Dr. Brunrichter. The man was released after a month and was never seen again.

Days were numbered for the haunted house that everyone was convinced was evil. Nearby, on the site that is now the Carnegie Science Center, stood the largest natural gas storage facility in the world. On the morning of November 15, 1927, the giant gas storage tank owned by the Equitable Gas Company exploded with an awesome force that was felt across the county. The Story of Old Allegheny City, compiled by workers of the Writers’ Program of the Works Projects Administration, describes the destruction. “As houses collapsed and chimneys toppled, brick, broken glass, twisted pieces of steel and other debris rained on the heads of the dazed and shaken residents who had rushed into the streets from their wrecked homes, believing that an earthquake had visited the city.” The force was so strong it reportedly blew out windows throughout downtown, Mt. Washington, and as far away as East Liberty. Dozens of manufacturing plants and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed within a 20-mile radius.

The Most Haunted House in America, which once stood at the present day site of the Route 65/I279 interchange, was obliterated in the explosion. According to Winer and Osborn, it was the only structure destroyed in the blast for which no trace was ever found.

(Source: Albrecht Powell, About.com)

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