Have you ever wanted an inside look at a real haunted house? The Croke-Patterson-Campbell mansion, now the Patterson Inn, offers a glimpse into Denver‘s historic past, as well as the afterlife.
Built in 1893 for Thomas Croke, a successful experimental farmer, the mansion was an elaborate example of the rare Chateauesque style. Using local sandstone, the red castle looms large with parapets, turrets and stained glass windows. The home is a massive 12,000 square feet with four levels and an attached carriage house. Even among the other Victorian monoliths that populate the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Croke-Patterson-Campbell mansion stands apart. Unfortunately, upon his first visit to his newly constructed home, Mr. Croke felt something just wasn’t right about the place and never returned. He sold the mansion in 1892 to the Patterson family.
The Patterson’s were a prominent Denver family, with both the senior Patterson and his son-in-law Richard Campbell serving in the state senate. The family was also longtime overseers of the Rocky Mountain News. Thomas Patterson lived with his daughter and her family until they sold the home in 1916.
The home saw many reincarnations throughout the 20th century. It has been utilized as a dance hall, a boarding house, apartment building, a radio station and an office complex.
The most notable haunting activity was documented during the renovations in the 1970′s while creating the office spaces. Workers would return each day to find the work from the previous day undone. After many such events, the contractor purchased a pair of Doberman Pinschers to act as guard dogs. Sadly, one day the workers came to the mansion to find the two dogs dead on the sidewalk apparently after jumping from a third floor window.
Naturally, the ghostly activity did not halt with the completion of the offices. Office employees would hear equipment being used in empty rooms, feel sudden drafts from the basement, and often complain of loud partying from the top floor. Of course, there was no one residing on the top floor. After holding a seance, it was revealed that the spirit of a young girl haunted the castle. Supposedly, her body was entombed in the cellar. There was an excavation, and while a chamber was found, it was filled with sand.
Other specters are claimed to be present within the walls of the maze like Denver home. Reports of knocks, bangs, footsteps and an infant’s cry are the most commonly reported. There have also been several sightings of a gentleman in period garb walking between the home and the carriage house. This is believed to be the spirit of Thomas Patterson.
Dubbed as one of America’s most haunted mansions, the Croke-Patterson-Campbell mansion is certainly a fabulous visit to the past. Though it has been altered to accommodate each wave of residents, there has been care taken to preserve the unique attributes of the mansion. The fireplaces retain the original tile surrounds and mantles. The stained glass is strikingly beautiful and intact. The stately mahogany trim and paneling is unpainted as are the art niches. While the off-street parking is tight, the large carriage house could be restored allowing plenty of space for vehicles.
This piece of historic Denver real estate was purchased a few years ago by Award-winning Denver Architect, Brian Higgins. His vision was to restore the home and create the now stately and charming Patterson Inn, featuring 9 unique guest rooms, dining room, pub, reading room and courtyard.
This video was created pre-renovation before Mr. Higgins purchased the property. You can the beautiful architectural details and compare to see all the work that went into creating the magnificent Patterson Inn.
For more information on Vintage homes in Denver, or any other Denver real estate, please contact Jesse Sehlmeyer with Vintage Homes of Denver at 303-564-2245.
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