Cheesman Park

Mostly good experiences while visiting, but there is something sad lurking
in the place.

My cousin took an apartment near the park and one night in 2002 we were
walking through in the dark to get to his place from King Soopers.  As we
got near the pavilion, the moonlight was full and you could see anything in
the bright light, including the dew on the outline of the graves on the
grassy areas.

We were walking and heard a voice come at us from behind a tree or
something..saying "what are you doing here, please leave me in thy peace!" 
It was audible from about two feet away.  Both stunned, we looked for the
person and didn't see anybody.  We heard the voice again asking us "what are
you doing here, leave me in thy peace!", and followed it to a big tree, but
there was nobody there or up in it.  It was not of language from the 21st
century, as people don't talk like that anymore.   It kind of freaked us
out.  I made a joke saying if it was some dead person, they are probably
pisssed that people are in his space.

I do feel a sense of sadness in the park, especially driving near the South
side, and up near the crest of the hill. There also bad vibes from the
botanical garden which it seems the plants are not that lively there.  It is
like people are sad that they are forgotten about or lost, or something
terrible happened there. I am not keen at picking up spirits, but sense
there is people like you and I who have had their graves desecrated and some
who are just forgotten about. I feel women and children here who are very
sad- perhaps some that have died from diseases.  Mr. Cheeseman and the city
of Denver should have been shot for moving that graveyard and being corrupt
about it.  And, how dastardly it was to have his wife donate the money for
that pavilion to honor his name when he was so corrupt about the removal of
bodies! I feel sorry for those poor souls who are forever forgotten on
hallowed ground. But, it makes you wonder if any of these people ever went
to heaven where they are supposed to be, and why they are hanging on to
earthy ways?


I notice you have a request on your website for people to write you about
strange experiences they've had in Cheesman Park. I hope this is the
correct address to email. I don't really need help but I do need to tell
this story, even though it's not all that dramatic.
This past Memorial Day, 2 days before the full moon, I took a "shortcut"
through the park at about 9:30 at night. At that time I had not yet
learned about the park's history. I'd heard it was haunted, but that
was not on my mind that night. I followed the narrow dirt path that
people have created by cutting across the park at 12th Avenue.
I was heading West, and was about 3/4 of the way across the
main grassy part of the park when I walked through a "cold spot."
I know without a shadow of a doubt that's what it was. It was
much like walking into a freezer, and a chill went up the back
of my neck; I was afraid for an instant that it would keep getting
worse and worse and I'd actually freeze. I've had "chills" from fevers,
but this was profoundly different. A few feet further along the path
it dissipated and the temperature went back to normal.
I've never either believed or not believed in ghosts, and I
tend to be on the intellectual & skeptical side. But I believe
in the experience I had that night. I don't like being in the
park any more, even during the day. There is something
about it that breaks my heart, especially now that I have
learned about what happened there.

A person who works at the Botanic Gardens writes:

I actually work right next to Cheeseman Park at Denver Botanic Gardens.  I
am a security officer there and I have almost two years of tenure.  During
that two years I have worked Day, Swing, and Graveyard shifts.  I have
experienced a multitude of things during that time ranging from:
Seeing "mists" of human figures.
Seeing discernable human figures, color of clothing, skin, and hair were
clearly visible.  And I could not see through them which is what usually
Hearing my name being whispered.
Hearing screaming in my ear.
Women screaming inside the building and out in the gardens.
Hearing doors slam.
Hearing footsteps.
Hearing the crinkle of someone sitting on a leather couch and no one was
My keys fell out of a door and landed several feet away from the door.
Not to mention the countless times of overwhelming feelings of sadness,
anger, and fear.
In all these events I was alone, I have several witnesses to the events that
A chair rolled across the room.
Something grabbed my friends ankle and she literally jumped into my arms.
Something grabbed my friends shoulder and tried to pull him into a boiler
The emergency phone from inside the elevator has rang on more than one
Something grabbed my friends necklace which had a "moon crystal" where the
pendant would normally be.  It looked at it for a second and then dropped it
back on her chest.
We have videotape of what appears to be a boy peeking out from behind a file
cabinet in a secret staircase from the Library to the Master Bedroom (which
have now both been converted to offices)
in the "Waring House" which is an old mansion that was donated to the
We have pictures of "orbs" in some very haunted places in the main building.
A the white figment of a boy allowed us to touch him, put our hands through
him, which sort of changed the color of our hands and we could still feel
something, but their was no temperature change.
That about sums it up as far as the paranormal activity that I've seen but
the other security officers and employees of this facility have given
countless other other stories of paranormal events.
In addition gardeners have found coffin handles, finger bones, and countless
other items while digging and planting their plants.

Yet another story:

About a year ago, Fall of 2005, my wife and I had just watched a ghost show on television. The paranormal group, which I believe was yours was trying to get two young ladies to spend the night in the park in a tent. It was a very exciting storyline, investigation, with it all on film. The girls were all giggly and excited. It appeared like they were at an amusement park and not the haunted Cheesman park! Well, it didn't take long and things started to change the girls mood. Because of this show on the park I did a little background work to find out more about the park. We were both saddened and abhored at the sloppy and insensitive way that all of the remaining souls last resting place were dealt with. So on that Fall evening we got up the courage to go see for ourselves.Partly out of curiousity and partly would we see a ghost?  Mainly out of saddness and feeling bad for the abandoned grave sites. We parked and started walking. We could definetly feel numerous ruts and indentations everywhere we walked. Some so deep that in the dark, even with flashlights, at least I almost tripped to the ground more than once. Like looking for a needle in a haystack, we had the notion to try and find where the girls in the tent had been. With only the notion of them being by a couple of pine trees ( they are all over the park by the way) we just kept looking. I saw one area that I thought looked like it might be it and we went towards it. I walked into a wall of coldness. It was about 50 degrees that night, but this was at least a 20 to 25 degree drop and we could see our breathe. We became a little freaked out and walked away from that area. A short time later after walking around the old Mausoleum area, my wife said she neaded to go back to the car and get something. I wanted to go with her, but she insisted that she would be o.k. She was in view of me and just a sprint away any how. After about ten minutes she got back to me and we started walking again. All of a sudden she jerked on my arm to stop and looked at me with a look I in ten years have never seen on her face before. "What's wrong" I asked her? " Did you see that" she said. "No" See what" I replied. " Something was walking next to me" and " as I was walking back from the car," Something or someone was walking up behind me," "I could hear the footsteps crinkleing in the freshly fallen leaves." That's it, it's time to go I thought and we did. We have since been back during the day, but have'nt had the will to go back at night. We just really would like to see the city at least put up a memorial for all of those abandoned graves. It's the least they could do! Thanks, MK.

Another visitor adds:
Cheeseman Park Ghosts

The first encounter happened in the depths of a particularly cold winter, in the late evening. A friend and I were walking south in an alley which bordered Gilpin Street, between Colfax and 14th avenue. The warmth of the day had melted some of the ice in the alley only to have it refreeze as thin, crunchy sheets stretching over great hollow pockets of air. We walked noisily over this stuff, about 3/4th of the way towards 14th, when a figure hove around the corner and headed down the alley toward us.

A lot of things weren't right about the figure, but they were subtle things and it took quite a while to put my finger on what was wrong. To begin with, he had a familiar face, one that seemed to belong to someone I had once met in a house whose back yard let out onto this very alley just a few hundred feet behind us. That put me off guard a bit, thinking it likely to be him, but I wasn't sure. His appearance was odd in other ways, too: He was dreadfully under dressed for the weather, walking easily down the alley in cut-off jeans, sandals and a tee-shirt. He was carrying an open can of Coors in his right hand, as if he'd just stepped out of a party at the end of the block looking for someplace to make his bladder flatter due, no doubt, to an overcrowded bathroom... He nodded in friendly recognition and we did the same, just as he passed us on our left.

We had not taken a second step after his passage when we both got the urgent desire to turn suddenly around. There was just too much that didn't add up about this whole scene. I think the thing that really tripped it was the fact that this dude was making NO NOISE.... We spun about to face an empty alley, a 12' chainlink fence on the right, and a series of locked gates and garages on the left. We instantly concluded that there is no possible way he could have left our sight under normal means and without a sound in that space of time. We walked back and looked for places into which he might have turned and came up empty and awed. No tracks in the ice on his side of the alley, as well....

We queried each other in such a manner as to not lead each other into embroidery and fabrication, and I feel we saw much the same thing, down to the details of his dress and of his pale red hair and youthful beard. He did not look like someone my companion knew, and that may be significant. Her description only varied from mine in the detail that his appearance seemed washed out or unstable, almost as if one could see through him. This was not my observation at all, but I could see how my mind might inform me as it did: It was night, lit mostly by a pallid blue-grey street light, and at a temperature that would render any healthy man dressed like that to appear less than a healthy pink. He looked grey--but then so did everything else, really. The soundlessness unnerved my companion so early on, that she became unnerved at a moment when I was merely smiling and nodding to some odd-seeming stranger--but sometimes I am late to catch on...

Church Warden:

Not one block from there and at a time about 4-5 months later, I think, I was walking down Gilpin Street between 13th and 14th, several hours after sunset. I had the dubious fortune of possessing a cigarette and the desire to smoke it, but was bereft of matches or lighter. Spotting a man standing on the corner of 14th and Gilpin, I walked over to him, 'round into his view and asked him politely if he had a light?

He pretty much just glared at me, and turned away, walking west down 14th. I let him go, watching his long, black coat flap slowly to his measured step. I turned my attention elsewhere, hearing a sound that turned out to be the footsteps of a friend who did, as it turns out, have a match--but no cigarette. I didn't mention it to him at the time, because it didn't seem important yet. In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, it would not be uncommon to see someone in an odd manner of dress or appearance, so diversified is its populace. This particular fellow's long black coat, strange hat, and square-cut beard of the McConnagal style didn't seem that far out of place.

This all happened right on the grounds of the United Methodist Church that sits there and a few days later, I had occasion to be inside that building for a church feed held in the basement. As I waited in line to have at the grub, I came abreast of a large photograph of the exact man I saw the night before, even down to the odd hat. I've not the best recollection for faces, but this was unmistakable. I asked the pastor who that man was and was informed that he was the founder of the church, the photo being taken in the early 1900's.

"You didn't see him around here, did you?" The pastor enquired.

"Well, yeah, I did. I think. I mean, it looked just like him..."

"I've heard this story a few times before

Another resident submits:

I have lived on the East side of the Park for more than five years and frequent the park often--always with my beloved female dog.  I'm part of the resident dog lover group that has for years frequented the park, despite the harrassment from overly aggressive animal control officers, always enjoying the company of fellow dog owners and the socialiazation opportunities for the "pets."   I have often walked across the park at dusk and in fact been in the park with others after dark during the winter months.  While I can attest to never seeing or hearing anything unusual,  the cold spot near the trodden path that runs near 12 th Avenue East-West-- in the central part of the park-- is well known to me.  It is though there is an area of thermal inversion in that spot and on cold days it becomes even more difficult to stay warm.  I have to think the area is well circumscribed and not extensive across the park, but it has always been a strange (and predictable) phenomenon.  That said, I have never had any unusual encounters, despite being quite aware and cautious at dark for muggers who might be frequenting the area.  Perhaps the spirits share my love for dogs (and dog lovers)?
I enjoyed your historical summary which is the most extensive discussion I had heard of what transpired with the park's creation.  May the souls of those who may have been left rest in peace

Back to Stories