The Patterson Inn is located in Denver, Colorado and was at one point in time the home of some of Denver’s most wealthiest and notable people. Today, the mansion serves as an inn for those who are visiting Denver from all over America and even the world. This historic mansion sits in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the city and is close to the Colorado State House. But what you may not realize is that the neighborhood itself is known for being haunted. And the Patterson Inn itself is said to be right in the middle of it all. This neighborhood is attractive to many, but at night it reveals a completely dark side to it. We will discuss the Patterson Inn and its early beginnings. We will also dive into why the place may be haunted (and perhaps why the Capitol Hill neighborhood itself has a spiritual presence like nothing else).
The Patterson Inn was first known as the Croke-Patterson or the Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion (depending on which local you talk to). It was built in 1890 out of sandstone. The home contained a total of ten bedrooms and nine bathrooms at completion. At the time, the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver was dubbed “Millionaire’s Row” since the desired land was attractive to many wealthy people who wanted to live on a piece of prime land near the Colorado State House. Soon, many homes would soon be constructed throughout the last decades of the 19th century. The home was originally built for Thomas Croke, a son of Irish immigrants who later built a department store business from the ground up. After making enough money, he decided to purchase land in the Capitol Hill area to build a home for himself and his family. Croke decided to build the home based on a 16th-century French castle.
Croke had commissioned architect Issac Hodgdon and contractor J.M. Cochran to build the home. Both Hodgdon and Cochran were responsible for the design and construction of a handful of houses that were located in the immediate vicinity of what would become the new home for the Croke family. However, in a bizarre turn of events, Croke decided to sell the home six months after living in it. He had moved in shortly after his wife’s passing, but the death of his mother made Croke assume that the home that he wanted to live in was somehow cursed.
Eventually, he sold the home to Thomas Patterson, who was a known journalist who later became a prominent attorney and politician. Patterson wanted a home that symbolized his success. The newly constructed mansion became that home for him. Once Croke handed ownership over to Patterson, the latter began making it home for the family that he was devoted to. Patterson’s daughter would later assume ownership of the home after her father’s passing (she was married to Richard Campbell, hence the inclusion of the Campbell name). The mansion was sold and later converted into a radio station for a short time before it was changed to an apartment building sometime later. Despite the many changes and renovations that have occurred throughout the early 20th century, the story of hauntings have arisen (and probably still do to this day). Is the mansion still haunted or cursed? If so, what sort of events have occurred at the house that could have written perhaps a sordid past for one of Denver’s most beautiful and oldest houses? There are so many stories that can be told about the hauntings of the Patterson Inn.
The stories and apparent hauntings of the home can be dated back to the time when Thomas Croke sold the home. It was said that Croke may have sold the home quickly after living in it briefly due to the death of his wife and mother in a span of a couple of years. Some say that Croke had consistently felt feelings of unease while being inside the home. Those who have visited the home in the past have witnessed seeing the movement of mysterious figures and even the spirit of a woman who was apparently helping a pregnant woman. Some have seen the same woman (who may have been Thomas Patterson’s wife).
There also had been some who had heard the phantom sound of dogs barking upstairs. However, no dogs were said to be found. The story behind this was two Doberman dogs were trapped in a room inside the house. There had been no apparent reason behind why they were confined. However, the dogs were said to have met their demise after they had both jumped outside an upstairs window and fell to their deaths. Some may have even sighted what may have been the ghost of Thomas Patterson himself (who had died in the home in the 1920s).
Over time, there had been rumors of phantom sounds and other spirits that may have taken residence inside the home. One paranormal expert said that there had been a story about a baby that could be heard crying in a downstairs basement. Some have said that there had been phantom noises of hysterical crying coming from the same room. Word has it that a child may have died in the home. The mother was so visibly distraught that she buried the child somewhere inside the basement without ever having anyone know what might have happened. How the child died is unclear.
Whether the stories that lead to these apparent hauntings are true or not, one thing is for certain: this is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Denver. Since it happens to be in one of the potentially haunted neighborhoods in the city, could it be that the ghosts from down the road moved into the Patterson Inn and overstayed their welcome? Let us take a look at the neighborhood itself.
The Capitol Hill Neighborhood
Not to be confused with the real Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the neighborhood is located in the immediate vicinity of the Colorado State House. By the time Colorado entered the union in 1876, the land owned by Henry Brown for more than a couple decades had yet to be occupied. Brown was discouraged that many of the homes were being built in the eastern half of the city. It would be another ten years until the Colorado State Capitol building was soon built. In 1886, Brown’s fortunes would change after the land near the capitol would increase exponentially in value. Soon enough, some of the wealthier citizens of Denver were looking to places near the state capitol to build a home there. However, then-Governor John Evans had built a home in the present-day Capitol Hill neighborhood (and was likely the only occupant of the area).
Over the years, many homes would be built and the neighborhood would soon be known as “Millionaire’s Row”. However, the souls of those who make their presence known may not just be those who were the well-to-do. In the Capitol Hill neighborhood was a park that is currently named Cheesman Park. It is said that the park was built on a burial ground (presumably a Potter’s Field). The spirits may have belonged to those who may have died poor or have had diseases like yellow fever and had to be buried far away from the city to prevent an epidemic. In what seems to be a strange turn in spiritual events, the less fortunate of Denver seems to rule what may have been considered to be the richest neighborhood (but only in spirit).
The Patterson Inn might be a place worth staying while you are in the Denver area. Who knows? You might be able to encounter a spirit outside of your room or before you even walk out of the house to explore the Mile High City. While there really isn’t a guarantee you’ll see or encounter something of the paranormal kind, it shouldn’t discourage you to go on an adventure of a lifetime.