While there are creepy urban legends all over the world, Colorado's ghost stories and myths hold a legendary status, thanks to Stephen King. The Centennial State is home to the Stanley Hotel, where King found inspiration for his novel, The Shining. Colorado also harbors legends about skinwalkers, phantom automobiles, and even a gateway to hell just outside of the crumbled ruins of a haunted mansion.
Many spine-chilling ghost stories emerged from the haunting of the Lee property, which is one of the most famous hauntings in America. There is also an abundance of local lore surrounding the infamous Highway 666. This list is a collection of some of the most famous urban legends and ghost stories circulating throughout creepy Colorado.
In the early 1990s, Steve Lee moved his family into a log cabin home in the Black Forest region of northern Colorado. They rented it for a year before purchasing it, but once the land was theirs, things started getting weird. Initially, lights and electronic devices kept turning off and on, and eerie noises sometimes filled the air. This was followed by a strange odor that wafted through cabin that burned the family's throats and eyes.
Thinking these happenings were the work of pranksters, the Lee family installed motion detectors and cameras. However, the motion detectors would go off when nothing seemed to be happening on the cameras. Steve Lee added more cameras, capturing more unexplainable phenomena like orbs, beams of light, and sometimes ghostly forms with faces.
The Lees could no longer pretend the cameras were the problem and they contacted the television show Sightings to document what became one of the most famous haunting's in America. The Sightings crew experienced and captured quite a bit of phenomena themselves. Cameras were knocked off tripods, one of their producers experienced an attempted possession, and a medium working with them determined there were multiple spirits in the house and a “rift in space-time” on the property.
The psychic also identified one of the spirits as someone the Lees knew, the son of a friend who everyone believed did not survive an overdose. His spirit allegedly told the medium that he was actually murdered.
One of the most famous haunts of Colorado is the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley, which served as the basis for Stephen King's The Shining, is more than a century old and is home to countless ghost sightings and unexplainable events. One of those ghosts is a former owner of the land on which the hotel stands, Lord Dunraven.
Multiple witnesses have seen a face peering out of the window of room 407 when it wasn’t occupied. One witness staying in the room reported that a light kept turning off and on. Allegedly, the guests acknowledged the ghost, assured him that they’d only be staying two days, and asked him to keep the light on. The spirit left the light alone after that, but proceeded to spend the rest of the night noisily playing around with the elevator just outside the door.
Rooms 217, 401, and 418 have unusually high reports of paranormal activity. Cleaning crews tell of strange noises and seeing impressions on the bed when the rooms are empty. Guests in room 418 report the sounds of children playing in the hall, but when those reports come in, there were no children checked into the hotel.
Riverdale Road runs through Thornton, CO, and is lined with creepy Cottonwood trees where you can allegedly see hanging bodies by the light of the full moon. A Camaro with no driver can also be spotted winding down this stretch of road.
Riverdale Road also has its own Lady in White legend. Reportedly, visitors have seen this strange woman in their rearview mirror. Locals believe that she is a ghost who is looking for the spirits of her slain children.
Further down Riverdale Road, you’ll come to a dirt path at the crest of a hill known as “Jogger’s Hill.” The legend states that a jogger suffered a hit-and-run where the driver raced off in a panic, leaving the victim to perish with no one around. Now the jogger lurks as a shadowy menace in the area, terrorizing any drivers who stop atop the hill.