Greetings, and happy October. In keeping with my paranormal theme throughout the month, I would like to share with you a finding from my search today. Apparently, Yelp lists my city of Fort Collins, Colorado, the third most haunted city in the U.S. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we had beaten out other renowned cities, such as Salem, Massachusetts! Number 1 is Savannah, Georgia, and number 2 is New Orleans, Lousiana.
As a resident of this town for almost 20 years, I have done my fair share of ghost hunting. More than a couple of times, I have gone on the “Haunted Fort Collins” tour, which takes people into some of the more well-known downtown buildings with spirits still residing inside.
I think the creepiest place has now been bulldozed, and has a new hotel on site. It was the Armadillo Restaurant near Walnut and Mountain streets. Most notably, the garage on the left side of the property had a very colorful history. The property originally was the home of James and Eva Howe, who’s story prompted years of hauntings.
James was a nasty drunk who came home to his wife about to leave him with her small daughter. They began to argue, and James killed his wife in broad daylight in front of their home. People witnessed this, and eventually lynched James. They took him from the town jail and hung him. That jail is also one of the buildings included in the haunted tour.
The garage building next to the home served as a car dealership in later days, and also was a makeshift morgue after the crash of a small plane in the foothills back in 1951. Pretty creepy stuff, although there were also 2 suicides at that location to round out the dark history of the building. You can see more here:
I am sad to say that the garage is now gone; the site a new hotel called The Elizabeth. Not only that, but the haunting tour is suspended due to Covid, and hopefully will be revived after this is all over.
The question is, will The Elizabeth contain the spirits inherited from this site? Well, The Armadillo restaurant that was once on that site sure did. Sitting at the bar one night, I enquired the bartender regarding the hauntings. She assured me NO ONE went into the back end of the building after patrons left for the evening. Noises, whisperings, movement were all experienced there. The women’s restroom was particularly bad, with apparitions of the small Howe daughter, and even Eva herself. Perhaps she was showing herself to women, with the hope they would have some sympathy for her. Mr. Howe’s apparition was also seen near the end of the bar (probably needed a drink), and elevated slightly above the level of the floor. It is thought the original home sat on higher ground.
It’s all food for thought. My plan is to spend more time inside The Elizabeth, and question some of the workers to see if anything has been carried through.
Happy ghost hunting. I’ll bring you more paranormal musing as the month goes on. Cheers, Deb