Spooky Ghost Towns of Colorado

St. Elmo Colorado Ghost Town Adventure Halloween Haunted

In the boom and bust years of Colorado, hundreds of towns cropped up and just as quickly disappeared. A victim of forward progress, depressions, and time, many lack buildings or evidence of their existence. Nevertheless, these three places managed to build a reputation for their residents who never left. Bring your courage and a friend when you visit these spooky ghost towns of Colorado.

Tin Cup

An hour’s drive up into the mountains west of Buena Vista, located at 10,157 feet, is Tin Cup. A gold mine town from the late 1800’s, this once prominent place had a history of being violent and run by those with a pension for crime and murder. Good people, including at least two sheriffs, currently reside in Boothill Cemetery south of town. Resisting the demands of the evil men in charge resulted in an untimely and gruesome death. Town marshal Harry Rivers died in a gunfight in 1882, and marshal Andy Jameson was shot to death in 1883. You may even be able to find their tombstones. Stick around long enough and maybe you’ll experience the spirits who are still angry for their wrongful death.

 Factoid: 

Have you ever tried TinCup Whiskey? This Colorado distillery named their whiskey after the old mining town with the same name. Bring a flask of this whiskey with you to warm up after the chill of ghost hunting. Perhaps splash some on the graves of the sheriffs to honor their poor trapped souls.

Tin cup tincup ghost town haunted colorado adventure

 Tin cup, Colorado

St. Elmo

Only 13 miles from Tin Cup is the next spooky ghost town, St. Elmo. Perhaps the state's best-preserved ghost town, St. Elmo sits at 10,000 feet in the Collegiate Peaks west of Buena Vista. In 1881, Anton Stark moved his family to St. Elmo and quickly became part of the towns elite. His children tried to hold on to the town long after the miners and post office left. The last of the Stark clan, rumors swirled of Tony and Annabelle living in filth and troubled by madness. The brother and sister where even sent to a mental institution for a short time. Annabelle earned the nickname "Dirty Annie" because of her filthy clothing and tangled hair. She was also known to have roamed the old town, with rifle in hand, to protect her property. The ghost of Annabelle is said to watch over her family’s town to this day. She’s famous for looming in upstairs windows, slamming doors, and putting a chill on the rooms of her family’s old hotel.

 Factoid: 

The town of St Elmo still has part-time residents and along with the Buena Vista Heritage Museum they are trying to rebuild the old Town Hall. The original burned down in 2002 along with the Jail and the Stark family dwellings.

st elmo ghost town hunted colorado halloween

St. Elmo, Colorado


Poncha Pass

Outside of Poncha Spring, up near the top of Poncha Pass, is a dugout cabin, an old mine, and a horse corral. While not a ghost town, this old homestead and stretch of Highway 285 may be the most haunted of the lot. Many visitors to this location have reported hearing moaning and hushed eerie murmurs coming from the dugout. The reports of haunting started long ago. The story is that gold was buried in the dugout in the 1600’s and sometime later an old miner found that gold. Soon after, he started telling the people of Poncha Springs that he was seeing lights and hearing voices telling him to leave the gold and hit the road or die. Failing to heed the warnings, the miner was found scared to death locked in the dugout without a mark on his body.

 Factoid: 

A Confederate soldier is said to roam the area near the highway. Many motorists have reported seeing and old man in grey tattered clothing standing at attention and saluting on the side of the road. The sheriff has been asked to investigate on many occasions when people feared an elderly person needed help. Search as they may, no one is ever found.


While there are 640 remaining ghost towns in Colorado, these three are your best chance to experience some truly spooky stuff. After all, what’s a ghost town without some specters to bring a chill to your skin and a little fear in your heart. Pack a day bag, fill up your gas tank, drag a horror loving friend with you, and visit these spooky ghost towns of Colorado.

Resources

Wikipedia List of ghost towns in Colorado

11 Colorado ghost towns you must visit

Haunted Places

Legends of America