DENVER – Cheesman Park is known for many things - treelined trails, lush green space, the Denver Botanical Gardens, summer concerts and, well, ghosts.
Back in the mid-1800s, the area that is now Cheesman Park was known as Mount Prospect Cemetery. By the late 1800s, the cemetery was barely in use and an act of Congress allowed the City of Denver to convert it into a park.
In 1893, the city hired an undertaker named E.P McGovern to manage the relocation of 5,000 graves. McGovern was contracted to be paid per coffin, and to increase his pay, he infamously dismembered bodies and split up the body parts into small “child size” coffins. McGovern was dismissed from the job before he was able to remove all the bodies and the bodies left behind remain under the park to this day.
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“There’s low estimates of 400 to 800 bodies scattered, we don’t know exactly where, higher estimates of two-to-four thousand,” says Robert Ehmann from Historic Denver.
For years there have been stories about hauntings and paranormal activity throughout the Cheesman Park area.
“We know that there are rumors of hauntings,” says Ehmann. “At Historic Denver we’re all about fact, but there have been plenty of stories and anecdotal evidence. Makes a good Halloween story.”