Drinks in hand, a group of eager strangers gathered at CooperMuse Distillery late Thursday evening, poised to get their fill of spooks. With Halloween just around the corner, this proved to be a jam-packed day for a haunted pub tour. Sitting at the center of a long table, a man dressed in full Edwardian garb called the attention of the chattering crowd, cuing up what could surly be a frightening night.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here in a house of spirits!” the tour guide said, gazing intently at each guest seated around the table. “And since we are in a house of spirits, it may interest you to know that we were a mostly dry community here in Fort Collins from 1896 all the way up to 1969. Might say we’ve been making up for it ever since.” The group let out a collective chuckle. Quick to keep the spooky atmosphere alive, the guide dove into some Fort Collins history, and some of the ghosts that might still be sticking around.
The Haunted Pub Crawl is one of several tours put on by the family-owned business, Fort Collins Tours. The walking tour gives guests a peek into the supernatural underbelly of an array of Old Town bars. For $15, those of legal drinking age can treat themselves to a night of ghost stories and exploration in a variety of pubs, bars and distilleries.
According to one of the owners of Fort Collins Tours, Lori Juszak, the tour offers access to places people never get to see on an average night out on the town. Juzsak had originally set out to create a historical tour around Fort Collins’s oldest buildings. In a way, she achieved that goal, but with a haunted twist connecting the stops. Much of the histories would include an “Oh! By the way, our building is haunted”. Now about five years later, Fort Collins Tours boasts a spread of spooky ghost tours.
After meeting in Old Town Square and enjoying a drink to kick off the night, the crawl begins. The guides take guests into dank basements and creepy tunnels beneath some of the city’s popular watering holes. Once settled into the darkness, the guide may flash a light under his chin, spinning tales of horror and tragedy that occurred in that very spot. The history of these establishments might leave visitors chilled to the bone, ready to scurry above ground.
Night to night, the crawl’s path shifts. Some drinking establishments that a guest might anticipate visiting are Pinball Jones, Prost Brewing and several more. Each establishment has its own dark past and its own supposed ghoulish inhabitants. Many visitors claimed to experience unexplainable, creepy moments while on the tour. Some even take home a photo that just might feature a paranormal photobomber.
Although alcohol isn’t provided, there are drink specials available at some of the stops along the crawl. At CopperMuse, a $6 drink deal includes favorites such as the Coopermule and Gold ‘N’ Stormy. Juszak cited Prost’s as a great place to enjoy a tasty German beer between spooks. These deals vary from night to night.
So if you want to switch up your night out, maybe choose a night of fright one this Thursday. Remember to plan ahead because these tours fill up fast. If you want more haunted horrors, Fort Collins Tours also offers other ghost tours on Friday and Saturday including The Fort Collins Ghost Tour, Horse and Buggy Ghost Tour and the Ghost and Goodies Tour.