Ten spooky stories from Denver's own Croke-Patterson mansion
"Anyone can write a ghost book and make it up, but when you've got something in your neighborhood that has a rich history and you can tie the spirits to who lived in that house, that makes your hair stand up," says Ann Alexander Leggett, who co-authored A Haunted History of Denver's Croke-Patterson Mansion with her daughter, Jordan. The pair researched the famously ghost-ridden mansion's history, and will be signing copies of the book tonight. The $25 tickets (which must be purchased ahead of time online) supports Historic Denver and also grants access to the mansion from 6 to 9 p.m.; closed for years to the public, the house has been undergoing renovations to become a bed and breakfast. Here are the spookiest mansion ghost sightings.
10. The caretaker in the carriage house
photo by Ann Alexander Leggett
Ann Alexander Leggett: The carriage house has a whole different energy than the main house and it's interesting because here's Krista [a psychic] having a conversation with people that I can't hear. There's a spirit in the carriage house of an Irish caretaker, and both the Pattersons and the Crokes were of Irish descent. And she [the ghost] was in the carriage house and she was immediately put off by us being there and just said, "What are you doing here?" and Krista explained that I was writing this book and everything and immediately the woman said "Okay, if she's ever afraid in the main house, just tell her she can come here and she'll be safe" and then the next thing she says when we're getting ready to leave, she says, "Tell her we want her to write the whole story. She has to tell the whole story." That's a little bit of pressure.
9. The ghost of Kate Patterson helping a pregnant woman
AAL: There was a woman who lived there with her family and she was pregnant with triplets at the time.
Jordan Alexander Leggett: They were the last single family to live there in the late 90s, early 2000s.
AAL: In the late stages of her pregnancy, she was obviously pretty uncomfortable. One morning she was just in bed and not feeling well and just couldn't roll over and an apparition appeared to her and offered her hand and actually helped her roll over in bed. The apparition said "My name is Kate." And, of course, Thomas Patterson's wife was named Kate, or Katherine, so that's one of the stories that people don't know so much about.
8. The opening and closing drawers
AAL: The same woman's husband had an office up on the third floor and he had a desk in between these two little closets, and they had a couch on the right-hand side, and he always had his drawers locked. And she said you could sit on the couch and watch the drawers open and close and open and close. And then you'd get up and they're all locked.
7. The attempted exorcism
AAL: When the woman who lived there had the triplets, she had a friend who brought in a priest who was gonna bless the house, kind of exorcise it. So they brought in this priest. He walked in and immediately went in to the front parlor to start his blessing and all of a sudden all the plaster starts to peel off where this fireplace was and this dark vortex of wind comes out of this fireplace. The priest just left.
6. The phantom voices
AAL: The psychics that we brought in and the paranormal groups picked up you can't believe how many voices.
JAL: Mom took a psychic in and this woman just had a tape recorder in her hands and two days ago I finally got the tape and from what I can hear it's some of the craziest stuff ever. Like, Krista will pick something up and say "Oh, I'm getting a woman named Rosemary, Rosemarie, something Marie, Mary? You know, I don't know" and you hear a pause and there's this whisper that's like, "Rose."