Since it is a damp, foggy “Jack the Ripper” kind of day outside I decided this might be a good time to relate stories of hauntings in Cheyenne.
One of the most well-known sites in Cheyenne is St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 1908 Central Avenue. When the church opened in 1888 the bell tower was still not complete and it had been capped off. It remained that way until it was completed in 1924. Two Swedish workmen were hired to complete the tower. However, when it reached the height of forty feet, both workmen disappeared. New craftsmen were engaged and they reported hearing strange noises; tapping, the sound of hammers and whispering which seemed to be coming from the walls of the tower.
Years later, someone finally stepped up to the plate and reported that one of the original masons slipped and fell to his death. The other man feared he would be deported so he entombed the dead man in the tower wall and fled the area.
Legend has it that the pipe organ that was once located in the tower can still be heard years after its removal. Some have reported the church bells ringing on their own and others say that the whispers can still be heard in the tower.
The Plains Hotel was a luxurious new hotel back in 1911 and it is also said to be haunted. As the story goes, a newly wedded couple checked into the hotel and the bride caught the groom with another women. Ooopsie. After killing her husband and the other woman, the bride shot herself as well. It’s said that all three haunt the premises.
Francis E. Warren Air Force Base is said to be the sight of many paranormal occurrences. It was first established as Fort D.A. Russell in 1867 as an army outpost, to protect workers building the Union Pacific Railroad across the frontier. It became a large cavalry installation providing backup to regional forts and protection for early surveyors, building of the telegraph system and stage lines. Today it is the oldest continuously active installation in the Air Force. It is now home to the 90th Space Wing and is one of four strategic missile bases in the U.S. Many lovely historic homes and structures remain on the base.
Even now there are many tales of sighting old cavalry soldiers roaming the old dormitories and grounds. Residents of many of the old officers’ homes report paranormal activities and speak of phantom pets or people who share their homes with them. There is another tale of an Indian woman who roams Crow Creek and can be heard wailing in the night.
Civilians are not allowed on base except during public tours or unless they are sponsored by military personnel. The best time to visit is during Fort D.A. Russell Days when there are guided tours of the gracious old homes as well as historical military re-enactments.