by Nina Auslander
Sick of being haunted by the memory of 5 dollar coffee purchases, I decided to pursue a different variety of ghosts, which is how I found myself on this past Friday evening in front of Banjo Billy’s bus tour, my body shivering from the cold.
“Just you?” the bus driver inquired as he opened to door to the bus.
“Yep! Just me!” I say with a bit of forced cheer.
Inside, the bus is decorated with string lights and comfy chairs, Halloween tunes blasting from the stereo. I choose a seat and immediately wrapped my jacket tighter around me. Be forewarned: the bus is not heated.
A couple minutes later, the theme from Ghostbusters ends, and our bus driver, Glenn, a Banjo Billy veteran of 11 years, turns slowly around to tell us about Boulder’s haunting history.
Glenn begins his tour by revealing the spine-tingling tale of Hotel Boulderado, where three mysterious suicides all occur on the third floor—and all without a suicide note.
Along the tour, I heard stories about a Home for Nuns with Tuberculosis with a School for Girls attached to it, which is frankly an institution that calls for haunting. I learned about Harback House, home of the night’s most entertaining ghost: a haunted Boy Scout merit badge. This was followed by mysterious occurrences at the Castle House, a terrifying murder at Macky Auditorium, and countless other hauntings.
To be clear, you do not have to believe in ghosts to enjoy this tour. As a skeptic myself, I found it hard to believe that anything other than electrical problems caused some “flickering lights.” However, the storytelling is excellent. The way our busdriver, Glenn, described some of the mysterious events is simultaneously hilarious and bone-chilling. In all honesty, the tour is not about ghosts: it is about having a good time and experiencing some classic Halloween chills.
If you go, expect gasps from the outside of the bus as the unique vehicle goes by, disparaging remarks about Boulderites, and plenty of entertainment.
Prices range from 20-27 dollars, so get your tickets on the earlier side to avoid paying more. There are also tours in Denver. Information about tours and prices can be found at http://banjobilly.com.
by Sam Andrews
In the spooky spirit of Halloween, we have asked Watershed students to share their most irrational fears.
by Lola Hemmat
Most are skeptical, many think it’s nonsense, but I truly believe in ghosts, because I was haunted by one…
It was the year of 2015, the hot summer months of Montana growing long, my family was moving from our original house into a new one. The new house didn’t look like much from the outside and frankly, it wasn’t the best looking from the inside either. It was very small; the house had only three bedrooms and one of them was a converted attic. It had included a small kitchen that two people could barely fit in, a tiny dusty family room, and a basement that was constantly dark, dank, where you constantly felt watched.
We weren’t able to go anywhere, or explore, because immediately after moving in, my dad was offered a job in Boulder, Colorado. My mom was busy with packing , so my days were filled with silences, and Netflix became a best friend to us.
But boring doesn’t last for long in a house like that. After a while, our family started to notice some odd occurrences. One night, after my parents told me to go to bed, I lay awake staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep. I started to pull my pillow over my head when I heard it—the sound was traveling, circling me, coming from the walls, cornering me in my bed. It was piano music, light, happy, and well- practiced, but loud. I was scared to get out of my bed, still holding onto the childish belief that if I stayed in bed, under my covers, I would be safe. But the music moving in the walls only seemed to get louder and faster, and I could hear a girl singing. She had a sweet voice that was like a songbird, but it was muffled so I couldn’t make out the words. I finally leaped from bed with a sheet wrapped around me like a cloak, not being able to take it anymore. I got out of my room as fast as I could, sprinting and throwing the door open. All I had to do was turn left and go a few steps to reach my parents. “What’s wrong?” asked my mother concernedly. I hadn’t noticed, but there were tears spilling down my face.
“I h-hear music coming from the w-walls,” I stuttered through the tears.
“We weren’t watching anything with music,” my mother responded.
“No. The music w-was surrounding me!”
My mother tilted her head in confusion; “It was probably just a dream,” she said.
My parents took me back into my room and checked for a source of the music and found nothing. While they were putting me back in bed, I tried to describe to them that I heard piano music traveling around the walls and a girl's voice singing, and at that my mother looked more scared and concerned than before. But when I asked she just told me to go to sleep and get some rest.
About two days later, my mom told me something that confirmed that my mind was not playing tricks on me. She sat me down and said in a worried voice, “You know how the other night you heard piano and a girl singing?” I nodded. She sighed, “I had a dream, about a young girl. She was playing piano in the basement and singing.”
I was glad she believed me, but why would she be convinced by a dream? “So…” I said, waiting for something more.
My mom said, trying to keep a steady voice, “So, I had that very intense super realistic dream about a young girl singing and playing the piano in our basement the night before you heard music coming from the walls.” Now, that was freaky! I thought that perhaps my mother and I had some kind of psychic connection or we were being haunted.
Certainly, some of the things that occurred next weren’t evil, but it sure did scare the hell out of me and my family. For instance, at our house we had three dogs and two rats. All three dogs were well-trained, rarely barked, and they knew not to bother the rats. But almost every time I was alone in a room all three dogs would stare into a certain area in the room and bark and growl like crazy. It was disconcerting to be alone in a room except for dogs who were growling at nothing and the feeling of being watched. It made for lots of forced conversations with my brother, because I would go up to his room out of fear of being alone. After about two weeks of these strange occurrences, I decided to name the ghost to make myself feel safer. I named her Lucy. I thought it fit nicely. At night, it was hard to sleep. All I would hear was scratching, even though there wasn’t a bush or tree even close to my window. After not getting enough sleep for a week or two, I began to ask Lucy to stop every time she started to claw at my window, and surprisingly, it worked! I knew Lucy was not a bad spirit but there was a different type of energy every time I would go into the basement. It was off, and not kind, so every time I had to go down for something, I ran as fast as I could back up the stairs.
After three months of living in the Poly house, we moved. But when we left, I made sure to say goodbye to our pianist ghost, Lucy.
by Lola Hemmat
If you are looking for proof of the supernatural, The Central Masonic Cemetery in Central City, Colorado is the place to go. Even though the cemetery is a well-established hotspot these days, people have been reporting sightings of the supernatural since 1887.
Like at almost every popular haunted sight, people claim to have seen orbs of light in pictures that they took at night time at the Central Masonic Cemetery. Another phenomenon that occurs is The Lady in Black: she appears twice a year to place flowers on John Edward Cameron’s grave. It was later discovered that John Edward Cameron had moved to Central City in 1872 with his family, he died fifteen years later of an illness at age twenty-eight. John was never married, but the town gossip was that he had been seeing an unknown woman.
The Central City Masonic Cemetery was established in the early 1860’s.
The third and possibly the most chilling abnormality that happens is the little boy who haunts the cemetery. There have been many sightings of this young boy, who is said to trail behind the visitors, following them wherever they go; and when they try to reach out and communicate with the boy, he runs and hides, sometimes just disappearing into thin air.
So, if you are in the mood to see abnormal orbs of light, a sad spirit lady in black laying flowers on her possible past lovers grave, or just to be stalked by the ghost of a little boy, The Central Masonic Cemetery in Central City Colorado is the place for you.