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Investigation of reported paranormal activity at:
Matties House of Mirrors

Matties House of Mirrors
1946A Market St
Denver, CO

History of the location:

The original “House of mirrors” was built in 1889.

The house was built by a Madam by the name of Jennie Rogers.
 (b. Pittsburgh, July 4, 1843- d. Denver 1909) she is buried in the Fairmount cemetery under the name "Leah Wood"

Jennie Rogers
Jennie Rogers built the location to compete with her competition, Mattie Silks. She ran the establishment until  about 1910 until Mattie took over the operation.

The House was built on what was then called Holladay St.

Matties House of Mirrors old design
An  early painting of Matties by artist Herndon Davis

During the early years of the house it was run by Jennie, until 1910 when Mattie Silks
took it over. ( It was run and owned by both of them for a while)
Mattie ran the house until about 1915.

Mattie Silks
Mattie was born either in Kansas or Terre Haunte IA in 1846. At the age of 18 she was working as a Madam in Springfield IL.
She moved to Colorado in 1875 and settled in Georgetown but soon moved to Denver and started an operation on Holiday Street. Her new location was at 1916-22 Market street.
In 1877 she met the man who would become her husband, Cortez Thompson. Thompson was a famous foot-racer and was already married with a daughter. Thompsons wife died in 1884. Mattie and Cortez were engaged and held an engagement party at the Olympic gardens on Colfax Ave near the Platte river.
It has been said that Mattie  had a “Duel”  over Thompson with either Kate Fulton or Jennie Rogers ( her main competition in denver) , and depending on the source it can range from a gunfight to a topless sword duel.  Some even say that Jennie shot her lover “Jack” either during or around the time of the “Duel”.  None of this has been verified, but it has become our idea that by what the public records and reports of the time stated, that this was little more than a minor fistfight.
Thompsons daughter died and left a small child, this child was adopted by Mattie and was placed in a local boarding home.
Mr. Thompson died when Mattie was only 54 years old. She is buried next to him at the Fairmount cemetery.

Mattie hired Jack Ready as a financial advisor and married him when she was 77 years old. They both lived in a house on Lawrence street until Matties death in either 1923 or 1929. ( there are many conflicting dates of her death)

While Mattie was operating the house, it gained a great reputation for being one of the best “gentleman’s” places and was even said to have one of the finest eating establishments.  Mattie even offered the girls benefits for working for her, such as higher pay and medical attention.
While the Brothel was in operation, the first floor was dedicated to the restaurant and “viewing” area. The 1st floor was a very well respected eatery, that was a common place for men to dine. 

The 2nd floor was where the girls had their rooms, the layout was very unique. The building was divided into small 9x7 rooms and some larger rooms ( To make space for a wood burning fireplace)
The Design of the room was so the “guest” of the girl would come into her room and then a bed would drop from the wall and block the door.  This was a way for the men to feel more secure in the girls room.
The prices for “services” at the brothel ranged anywhere from .75 to $2.00
The latter being for a room with heat.

Mattie Silks
                  and her horse
Mattie and her horse

The only recorded death at the house was the suicide of Ms. Ella Wellington.
It was recorded that she committed suicide with a 32 revolver to the right side of her head.  Another one of the girls found her in her room already dead.
In a different censuses of the time. Ella Wellington was listed as an owner and a "Resident" of the House of Mirrors.

Matties was a very upscale and popular place until around 1915, when a national moral reform movement came to town and closed the brothels in the area.
When Mattie died, she left her estate (Less than $4000.00) to her adopted daughter and Jack Ready. Jack died just a few years later.
Mattie Silks Grave

After Mattie closed the House it went through several different owners.
Shortly after the brothel closed, it was purchased and converted into a Buddhist temple. The temple had many problems with the acceptance of the general public, and was more or less forced to close by the city.

There has also been a reported suicide at the location near the rest rooms on the 2nd floor. This has never been verified.

Old stairs at Matties House o Mirrors

After the Temple the building was empty for many years, then used as a warehouse, a barbershop, a bicycle repair shop and eventually purchased and restored to the restaurant that it is today.  The current owners have built a restaurant and bar with a kind of museum to honor the history of the building and the girls that worked there.

Reported activity:

Throughout the years, there have been many reports of paranormal activity. Most of the activity seems to be on the second floor of the location.

Staff members have reported hearing parties when there was nobody else in the building.
Piano on the second floor of Matties
The Piano on the 2nd floor is reported to play by itself.

Many staff members refuse to go to the second floor alone.

On one occasion, a small child went to the women's room on the second floor and upon returning asked the wait staff "who has been smoking in the bathroom?"
The concerned staff member went to the rest room to make sure that nobody was in there smoking, just to discover lots of smoke and an old box of matched on the tank of the toilet, but there was nobody in the room.

The elevator is reported to move between floors when nobody has called it.
Chris standing at the bar of Matties House of
                MirrorsChirs near the locaton of the
                working girls rooms at Matties House of Mirrors
Reports of reflections of faces in the mirrors in the mirror bar have been reported by staff and guests.

Footsteps have been reported throughout the building by staff members who were in the building alone.


The investigation was on 12/11/00 from 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.

Upon starting the investigation, we turned off the main heat for the building, to avoid noise and air movement throughout the building.

E.M.F., Air Temperature, & Surface Temperature were taken throughout the building and repeated on an hourly basis.

Throughout the night there were no noticeable changes in E.M.F. or Temperature readings (The whole building did drop several degrees due to the heater not being on)

At 2:00, 2:14, 2:25 The service elevator went to all 3 floors of the building without human intervention.

Throughout the evening we had problems with multiple pieces of equipment, the audio pre-amplifier burnt out for no apparent reason. The video camera that was placed in the corner where the death reportedly took place repeatedly turned off ( a physical switch). The hanging lights on the second floor were seen to slightly swing (the air was turned off)  A voice was recorded in the same area that the video camera was having problems.

Brett and Chris at the base station

April 1, 2007
The return to Matte's House of Mirrors
Base station near stairs

We returned to the location to continue our ongoing investigation into the reported paranormal activity at Matte's.

The Team present was:
Bryan Bonner
Carol Olivacz
William Fontenot
Viki Heikka
& Special guest - Jeff Danelek (a local paranormal author)

The bar at Matties
This was a quick check back to the location to see what has happened since our last investigation.
There have been ongoing reports of paranormal activity by employees as well as guests.

The location has been remodeled since our las visit:
The building is not open as a bar and restaurant any more, it is now a rental banquet hall.
The floor and some of the divider wall has been removed on the main floor.
The ceiling fixtures on the second floor have been rearranged.
The Piano is no longer at the location.
The lounge area across from the bar on the second floor is now an empty area for presentations.
The upstairs kitchen area is now storage.
The seating and booths on the first floor were removed.

Carol & Jeff working on the investigation

We placed cameras in the following locations:
Color I/R viewing into the dining area on the first floor
Color I/R viewing up the main staircase
Color I/R viewing towards the back hallway leading to the bathrooms on the second floor
2 - Color I/R covering the upper dining area from both directions
Color I/R in the Men's rest room on the second floor

We placed Microphones in the following locations:
At the back of the first floor dining room near the kitchen
At the bar on the second floor
At the stairs in the back on the second floor
At the middle of the dining room on the second floor
At the front (west) end of the dining room on the second floor
Old ad for Matties House of Mirrors
Temperature sensors were placed:
At the monitoring area
At the top of the stairs
In the south west corner of the second floor dining room

E.M.F. readings were talked at 45 min intervals at:
3 points in the Kitchen
Hall by the downstairs rest room
In front of the Elevator on the main floor
At the base of the back stairs
In the Main dining room
At the front (west) wall of the second floor dining room
In the middle of the second floor dining room
At the bar in the second floor dining room
At the top of the back stairs
At the men's room on the second floor

We arrived at the location at 8:00 and had the equipment in place by 8:45
E.M.F. readings were started at 8:00 and continued until the investigation was concluded.

Due to the business at the bar next door the audio at the location was hard to determine what might be unknown in nature.

The E.M.F. readings at the location were unremarkable. The areas recorded had no significant changes during the evening.

The video and Still images recorded no abnormal activity.

Inside Matties
Temperature readings were consistent throughout the investigation, 72 degrees on the second floor and 71 degrees on the first floor.

Even though the night had no significant results due to the activity in the neighboring buildings, we feel that due to the results of previous investigations we still need to look into the activity at the location.

Area where the employee was killed at
                    Matties House of Mirrors

                Radio... it's just not right