Central City’s Creepy Crawl: a chilling good time

Originally Published October 10, 2010

Is this really a ghost? Go on the tour and find out!
Is this really a ghost? Go on the tour and find out!

On October 9th, we had the opportunity to go on Central City’s Creepy Crawl. My sister, a big ghost hunting fan, came down from Wyoming with her husband and we met in Central City just at sunset. So the four of us – myself, my husband, my sister and her husband – headed on down to Century Casino to wait for the tours to start. The tours, conducted by the members of the Gilpin County Historical Society, start in the VIP room of the Century Casino; the entrance is on Gregory Street under a green light. Guests of the tour are greeted with coffee, hot chocolate and cookies as we await our turn to go on the tour.

By the time the tours start, it is full dark outside – perfectly planned. Tours leave every 5 to 10 minutes, taking about 50 people on each tour, and it is indeed a walk about the town, but not a strenuous one. First stop is outside the Teller House Hotel and the opera house, and then to several other buildings along the way, stopping to hear stories from the guides- the ones walking with the tour and those posted along the way – until we end up at the old schoolhouse – now the Gilpin County Museum. Inside, there are two stops on the tour; one on the main floor and one on the second floor, where an historical interpreter named Chuck Rogers truly gets into his role, convincing you he actually is the man he says he is, telling one of the creepier stories on the tour. (What’s the story, you ask? Ahh, but if I tell you, what surprises would there be for you on the tour?) The dim lights and the smell of the old building really enhance his tale.

The tour ends back on Main Street in another building, does take about an hour. Do dress in layers; it’s cold outside, but warm in the buildings, so you’ll want to be able to shed your coat so you don’t overheat.

Overall, the tour was very good; stories for the most part not ones commonly heard, the interpreters know their parts very well. We were a bit disappointed not to be able to go into more buildings, but we understand that in some cases, structural integrity was the issue. We did get an unexpected extra bit to the tour as a local told us about a retaining wall that once held up an impromptu cemetery and how the wall was rebuilt using the original stones, even a piece of headstone. I personally would like to see this bit added to the tour since it is already on the route.

This is a family friendly, fun thing to do and see, as well as learn a bit about the less savory aspects of Central City history. Some nice gentle scares, some good history and a comfortable walk through town. If you can’t make it this year, earmark this tour as a must do for the season next year.

A thank you to the Gilpin County Historical Society folk who presented the tour, especially the interpreters – Janet Maly, Chuck Roberts, Dave Thomas, Jennifer Rogers. Thank you for the time and effort put into this event.

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