A ghost named Sylvia has hung around the town of Breckenridge for over 100 years. She came to the town in its early gold rush days with her husband, who soon died in a mining accident.
Before the Prospector was a bar, there was a family that lived there. They told stories of leaving clean clothes on their bed and returning later to mysteriously find them folded and moving from one location to another.
Gail Westwood, a Breckenridge local, runs the Ghostly Tales tour of the Prospector bar. Having worked for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, she has done her fair share of ghost research, ranging from interviewing locals, studying books, and websites. Since 2010, she’s run the Ghostly Tales Tour with growing popularity.
The tour begins at the Dredge Boat, where she narrates some of the gory details about an 18-year-old man who got sucked into a bucket ladder in 1914. This is just one of the tales she shares, not entirely related to ghosts, but interesting nonetheless. Westwood also shares other tales of transporting bodies buried in back alleys to Valley Brook Cemetery, as well as a deadly dispute between a doctor and a bartender, which divided the town of Breckenridge for a little over a decade.
But let’s not forget about the story of the most famous robbery in Breckenridge, pulled off by Pug Ryan. Westwood tells the tale of how Pug Ryan made off with the Brown Hotel owner’s diamond stickpin and gold watch, which was later discovered in Kokomo, just near Copper Mountain. The entire story is completely captivating and adds to the tour’s enthralling experience.
What is perhaps the most interesting story Westwood shares on her tour is about the famous ghost in town, known to allegedly reside at the Brown Hotel. The ghost, Ms. Whitney, was shot in a lover’s triangle. At the time she was shot, she had a boyfriend, but was also carrying on an affair with the Brown Hotel’s owner. The affair was an attempt to move up the “ladder” and become a more “respectable” prostitute by earning a room in the hotel so that she could run her own business. But when the boyfriend caught her in bed with the hotel owner, he shot her.
It’s said that she now haunts the building slamming doors, overturning water glasses and relish trays, and turning on the kitchen faucet. Three of the bartenders that work at the Brown all have the same story about the ghostly occurrences of Ms. Whitney.
Even in Westwood’s personal life, she’s had supernatural encounters. Once, she was looking for a new house in England and had knocked on the door of a historic home. From inside the house, she heard footsteps and noises, but no one opened the door. Curious about the noises, she decided to go around back of the house to find an old lady doing laundry. Despite her attempt to introduce herself, the lady never turned around. She later talked to her real-estate agent who told her that there was an old lady who died in the home, but no one had lived there for a long time.
For those visiting Breckenridge on an At Your Pace – Freestyle Cycling Adventures tour, the Breckenridge Ghostly Tales is a must visit attraction if you are riding through Breckenridge. The tour runs every night of the week at 7 PM and costs $18 per person or $10 for children. For more information, you can visit their website: Breck Ghost Tours