Now most parks are places to be seen in the daytime—where people can enjoy being outside, see gardens, and play—but Cheeseman Park may be an exception if you’re up for a little ghostly company. The park by day is like any other park, perfect for jogging or hanging out. It is a prominent aspect of Capital Hill, a densely populated older neighborhood, providing a more natural escape from the demands of city of life. Tall buildings line the park’s edges, but that urban outline is softened by lofty pines, wide open skies, and rolling grassy areas.
But take Cheeseman Park by night and you could have an entirely different experience. By night, Cheeseman is quiet, with a few passersby here and there. You can actually see some stars there in the middle of the city! The Grecian pavilion and monument that dominates the eastern edge is the primary attraction of the park, and at night it is illuminated and striking to see against a dark backdrop. The pavilion was dedicated by the Cheeseman family, in exchange for the park’s name, and offers a great spot for photo shoots.
What makes Cheeseman Park a unique experience is its haunted history, which dates back to 1858 when the land was originally set aside for a cemetery. The cemetery quickly filled with corpses due to a sweep of typhoid in the young city of Denver. Over the years, the land upon which the cemetry existed transferred hands and finally it was decided to convert the area to a pleasing park, but when the cemetery was converted and the dead were disturbed, dark roumors and scandal broke out over the mistreatment of the interred, whose bodies were being removed and relocated. Stories arose of grave robbing and body disassembly for purposes of financial gain by the mortician in charge of the relocation. Now it is said that bones will still make an occasional appearance and the unlucky night jogger might get a ghostly tap. Sightings are common.
Are you up for a little haunted Denver this October? Maybe something a little out of the norm for a Halloween activity? Then pick up some coffee and go for a moonlit stroll in Cheeseman Park--that is, if you dare!