Halloween tours offered for first time at historic Avery House

Samy Gentle

The entrance of the Avery House
The entryway of the 1879 Avery House, Oct. 23. The Avery House is a historical landmark in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is a stone cottage home that once housed Franklin Avery, an important figure in Fort Collins, and his family. (Cat Blouch | The Collegian)

This Saturday evening, the Poudre Landmarks Foundation will host Halloween-themed tours of Fort Collins’ historic 1879 Avery House. 

According to the Poudre Landmarks Foundation website, the tour will inform guests of historical Halloween facts and traditions, including why Victorians bobbed for apples and how modern trick-or-treating came to be. Tickets are available for $10 on the website to grant guests admission as well as apple cider and a slice of pumpkin pie. 


Tour guides will lead guests through the house, “which will be candlelit and decorated for the season, full of objects we associate with Halloween,” said Sarah Tisdale, Poudre Landmarks Foundation board member and Avery House docent for the past six years. 

Tisdale said the Poudre Landmarks Foundation put on Valentine’s Day-themed tours in 2019, but this is the first year they have held a Halloween event. The Halloween-themed tours of the Avery House will begin every half-hour from 6-8 p.m.

The Victorians helped shape many aspects of Halloween as we know them today, so it’s a nice tie-in with our Victorian-era home.”- Sarah Tisdale, Poudre Landmarks Foundation board member

While many Halloween events are generally for children, the Avery House tours will be oriented toward an older audience. An alternative event for families with children is the trick-or-treat event held at the Avery House on Halloween night. Tour guides will be dressed in full costume and handing out candy from 5-7 p.m., according to the Poudre Landmarks Foundation. 

“For adults, it’s often limited to costume parties at bars,” Tisdale said. “We wanted to give adults interested in local history and the community a place to go and have fun.”

The Halloween tours of the Avery House will operate with COVID-19 procedures in place, according to the website. Procedures include limiting the number of guests in each tour as well as requiring masks at all times inside the house. Additionally, Tisdale said the pumpkin pie and cider will be served in to-go containers so guests can enjoy them in the comfort of their own home. 

Tisdale said the Poudre Landmarks Foundation chose the Avery House as the venue for the tours because of its unique history.

The Victorians helped shape many aspects of Halloween as we know them today, so it’s a nice tie-in with our Victorian-era home,” Tisdale said. 

Built in 1879 by Franklin Avery, who lived in the home with his family, the Avery House is on the corner of North Meldrum Street and West Mountain Avenue. According to the Poudre Landmarks Foundation, members of the Avery family owned the house until they sold it in 1962. Tisdale said the house served as college student housing after that.

While it is an old building with a long history, the Avery House is not famous for being a haunted house.

One of the local ghost tours sometimes stops out front of the house and likes to share stories of a figure in white seen in one of the upstairs windows,” Tisdale said. “But I’ve been alone in the house many times and honestly have never experienced anything.”


While probably not haunted, Tisdale said the Avery House has a “welcoming atmosphere” and “(the Poudre Landmarks Foundation is) really excited about these tours.”

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_