June 11, 2006--Although we here at MEGA 1031 look forward to speaking with our wonderful clients everyday, another adventure---unusual and sometimes curious---also awaits us at our historic office building.
As some of you may know, the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion is reportedly filled with a dozen or so ghosts. As a result we are always on the look out for supernatural events. Inexplicably, books have mysteriously fallen from shelves in empty rooms and paperwork has strangely re-arranged itself. We’ve even heard an occasional faint baby’s cry, however; none of us have actually spotted any cloudy spirits lurking in our offices.
The haunting rumors began immediately after construction when Doctor William Riddick Whitehead and his family took up residence in the mansion. Whitehead had performed surgery in the blood-soaked Russian Crimean and U.S. Civil Wars. The Crimean War is known as one of the dirtiest and deadliest in modern world history due to atrocious medical treatment aggravated by a sweeping cholera epidemic. The number of battlefield soldiers dying while in Whitehead’s medical care mounted during the American Civil War. Among those who died after undergoing Whitehead’s surgical knife was Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Some believe the traumatized spirits of Whitehead’s battlefield patients followed him to Denver from New York.
Besides the war dead that are believed to haunt 1128 Grant Street, some suggest that the ghostly inhabitants linger from the occupancy of Governor James Peabody. Peabody’s two-year term as governor featured plenty of chaos and disorder, thanks to often-violent strikes in the state’s many mining communities. Peabody repeatedly declared martial law and sent in the militia which rounded up striking miners when it wasn’t brutally attacking local newspaper offices.
In the mid-1950s, the Peabody-Whitehead mansion was transformed into apartments before eventually being remodeled into a series of restaurants and nightclubs. Reports of ghostly visitations picked up after 1970 when restaurants such as the Carriage Inn, Bentley’s, La Scala, the Bombay Club, the BBC, Albies and Señor Peabody’s occupied the mansion. Restaurant owners were constantly perplexed by trays mysteriously tipping over as well as dishes and glassware suddenly breaking. Upon occasion, guests and employees reported seeing knives, forks, pots and pans flying around the kitchen and dining areas. Customers and employees were also besieged by the ringing of disconnected servants’ bells and phones, and the occasional unexpected flashing of the disco lights.
One of the strangest occurrences during this time period involves a flickering chandelier. One restaurant manager called an electrician to fix the annoyance. After studying the wiring, the perplexed electrician said he could do nothing as the chandelier wasn’t hooked up to any electrical wiring!
Seeking to take advantage of the Peabody-Whitehead mansion’s haunted reputation one entrepreneur opened a bar named Spirits on Grant Street on Halloween 1983. That business was forced to close within the year. One of the more colorful stories from that era was of a ghost who reportedly poured a bottle of beer down the shirt of a cook who had disparaged homosexuals.
In the 1970s and again, three decades later, owners brought in psychics, parapsychologists and camera crews to discover more about the spirits. One of the investigative teams reported that a young woman named Eloise, or Ella, haunted the second floor. The team suggested that she may have died after being abandoned by her fiancé. Some visitors say they’ve seen her image hovering in mirrors. A few men have also reported glimpsing her in the men’s restroom.
Furthermore, the mansion’s creepy basement may be the home of more than one restless spirit including that of a restaurant waitress who hung herself with her apron from the basement’s overhead pipes one night after closing. Another spirit reportedly occupies the first floor women’s bathroom. It’s believed that it’s the ghost of an older gentleman whose cherry scented pipe tobacco haunts the bathroom. The nauseatingly strong cherry odor comes and goes with puzzling regularity.
Thankfully, Matthew Arber, who headed the renovation work for Arber and Associates, believes most of the mansion’s spirits are benevolent. According to Matthew, visiting psychics have told him the ghosts are grateful for his thoughtful care during the home’s restoration.
Please feel free to come by for a short tour of at the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion! Clients of MEGA 1031 and Malbur Properties, LLC are always welcome. Perhaps you’ll be able to glimpse one of our spooky officemates!