Get Spooked at Riverside Cemetery

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“I’m something of a cemetery buff,” says Annette Student, author of Riverside Cemetery: Where History Lies and co-host of today’s History Colorado’s Riverside Cemetery Tour. “There are a lot of ghosts out at Riverside, fascinating historic figures who helped make Denver what it is but have mostly been forgotten. You’ll get to meet some of them.”

Co-host Tom Noel, aka Dr. Colorado, calls Riverside “Denver’s oldest and creepiest boneyard.” Together, Student and Noel will make introductions to some of its most spirited spirits, including abolitionist Silas Soule (best known for his refusal to have his soldiers participate in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre) and Japanese prostitute Kiku Oyama (one of three victims of the Jack the Strangler murders on Market Street).

Riverside has become something of a ghost itself: The cemetery stopped selling new burial plots five years ago, and the grass and trees are dying since they turned the water off, making for a harrowing Halloween haunt.

“There are over 67,000 people buried at Riverside, so you can imagine there are some stories,” Student says. Here’s one of her favorites: “In 1901, a woman was visiting her husband’s grave when her horse suddenly took off running. She was hurled from the seat of her buggy and died within a few yards of him. Those are the things that make for good ghost tales.”

The tour runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the cemetery, 5201 Brighton Boulevard; tickets are $25 for History Colorado members and $30 for non-members. Call 303-866-4686 to register, or visit www.ColoradoHistory.org for more information.
Sat., Oct. 30, 1-4 p.m., 2010

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