Cheesman Park: Beautiful Views, Bone-Chilling Past

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Okay, ready to get a little spooked? Here’s a look at Cheesman Park’s unsettling history and why it’s got a reputation as one of Denver’s most haunted spots:

Picture this: you’re enjoying a sunny day in Denver’s Cheesman Park – picnics, frisbee, maybe a jog around the loop. Seems pretty normal, right? But beneath that sprawling green lawn lies a seriously creepy past. Turns out, this popular park used to be the city cemetery.

Back in the 1800s, way before Cheesman was a park, it was known as Mount Prospect Cemetery. Thousands of people were buried there, from Civil War soldiers to ordinary folks. But by the late 1800s, the cemetery was overcrowded and falling apart. The city made a controversial decision: move the bodies and turn it into a park.

Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. The thing is, they didn’t get ALL the bodies. Turns out, moving thousands of graves is a messy business. Records were poor, graves were unmarked, and let’s just say the whole relocation process was less than respectful. It’s estimated that thousands of bodies, or let’s be blunt, body parts, were left behind.

Cue the Ghost Stories…

Ever since Cheesman became a park, people have reported some seriously strange occurrences:

  • Mysterious Figures: Shadowy figures spotted flitting between trees, particularly at dusk and dawn. Are they restless spirits who didn’t get a proper relocation?
  • Unexplained Sounds: Whispers, footsteps, the sound of children playing when no one is around… enough to send shivers down your spine.
  • Phantom Smells: Some claim to catch whiffs of decaying flowers, or even the unsettling metallic scent some associate with…well, not the living.
  • Pets Behaving Oddly: Dogs whimpering, barking at seemingly nothing, or refusing to enter certain areas of the park. Makes you wonder if animals are more sensitive to the unseen.

The Pavilion: Cheesman’s Haunted Hotspot

One particular area of Cheesman Park has an extra dose of spooky. The marble pavilion at the park’s east end is a beautiful landmark. But legend has it, it was built as a kind of apology for the botched cemetery situation. Many of the most intense paranormal reports are centered around this elegant structure.

Now, whether you believe in ghosts or not is up to you. Skeptics say the spooky stories are just urban legends, the mind playing tricks in a place where you know there’s a creepy history. But then again, with so many firsthand accounts of unexplained happenings, maybe there’s something more going on in Cheesman Park.

Honestly, Cheesman Park is a beautiful and enjoyable place 99% of the time. Most people go there to relax, exercise, and spend time with friends, not ghost hunt. But, if you go at night, especially near the pavilion…well, maybe that unexplained chill in the air isn’t just a breeze.

Want to Dive Deeper?

If you’re the kind who loves a good scare, there’s more to discover:

  • Ghost Tours: Denver has ghost tours that specifically feature Cheesman Park, dishing out the history and some extra spooky tales.
  • Online Resources: Websites and blogs dedicated to the paranormal have collected firsthand accounts and supposed “evidence” of hauntings at Cheesman.
  • Visit Yourself: Take an evening stroll through Cheesman, but maybe bring a buddy. Be observant, and see if you pick up any unusual vibes.

So, next time you’re chilling in Cheesman Park, remember – you might not be the only one enjoying the view.

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