Grant Humphreys Mansion
The original owner has found some peace here, but is still
restless from his accidental demise.
His family members may be keeping him company.
An undertaker’s bumbling caused many
restless spirits to wander into nearby homes…
The Grant Humphreys Mansion is a three-story, 30-room palace, built in 1902 and created in the Beaux-Arts style, an architectural art form inspired by Renaissance Europe. James Grant, one of Colorado’s wealthiest men, hired architects Theodore Davis Boal and F.I. Harnois, to build his showpiece home for $35,000. WOW! What a place! The mansion has a glorious brick facade with terra cotta balustrades, projecting balconies, and 20-foot columns! James Grant had wonderful taste!
Outside, the mansion is surrounded by picturesque gardens, perfect for events.
Inside, one finds the usual living space: A parlor, a dining room, bedrooms, a reception room, and a sun room. Other perks include a solarium, a library, a beautiful ballroom, and a two-lane bowling alley. When the Colorado Council of the Arts bought the mansion, it was redecorated and restored fully. It is used for office and public space, and rented out for weddings, receptions, and special events.
James Benton Grant was born in 1848 on his family’s plantation in Alabama. His family suffered economically in the Civil War. In the 1870s, James went to Germany to study mining at the prestigious Freiburg Mining Institute. In 1877, he moved to Leadville and started Omaha and Grant Smelting Company. He married 24-year-old Mary Matteson Goodell in 1881, one of five granddaughters of Illinois governor Joel Matteson. 1882 was a big year for James and Mary. He relocated the Grant Smelting Company and his wife to the state’s capital, Denver, and was elected the third governor of the state, serving from 1883 – 1885.
The Grants had many wealthy and influential friends and liked to entertain at their mansion, hosting receptions, teas, dinners and dances. They would be really happy to see the social activities that are hosted there now!
James Benton Grant died in 1911, and Mary sold the mansion to wealthy southern-born entrepreneur Albert E. Humphreys and his wife, Alice Boyd Humphreys in 1917. Albert had a gift for taking risk in business and made two fortunes, in lumber and mining, though they eventually turned sour. No matter! He made a third fortune in wildcat oil speculative investments in Oklahoma, Wyoming and Texas.
The Grants’ son and daughter-in-law, Ira Boyd and his wife Lucille, lived with them. Ira was a brilliant inventor who was honored with an an engineering award for his brainchild, the Humphreys spiral concentrator. It was a device used in the development of ore concentration, during World War II. He was also an accomplished pilot in the early days of flight.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Albert E. Humphreys, who was a keen-eyed crack shot, died in a suspicious shooting accident on the third floor.
In nearby Cheesman Park, near the Grant Humphreys Mansion, the remains of 2,000 people are buried there, as the park was built on top of the Mount Prospect Graveyard or Boot Hill, founded in 1858. In 1873, elected officials renamed the cemetery, calling it City Cemetery. It was a place where epidemic victims, transients and criminals were buried. In 1893, like many cities, Denver decided to use City Cemetery’s land for something else and gave its owners 90 days to move the bodies. Catholic and Jewish sections were removed by church and temple members, but many graves were left unmoved. The city then hired an incompetent undertaker, who made a huge mess of things, creating a large scandal in the process.
Graves were looted, bodies were broken in order to fit them into little mini-boxes, and body parts littered the ground. No respect was given the unearthed dead, despite warnings from psychics to say a little prayer over each. (Uh oh! Not a good idea!)
Well, all hell broke loose. Spirits were disturbed and began wandering around and through the buildings and homes near the cemetery, showing themselves in mirrors. Finally, the whole mess had to be plowed under, and a park was put on top of it all, called Cheesman Park.
At least five ghosts make the mansion their home!
The Entity of Albert E. Humphreys
He is still enjoying his home, though he is restless because of an untimely death which was either a stupid accident, a suicide, or murder.
Four Other Entities Keep Him Company!
Perhaps some are from the disrupted and desecrated graveyard.
Possibly they wandered in, and, liking the mansion, decided to stay.
The spirits of other family members, or other people with a connection to this mansion, may also have decided to move in and make themselves at home.
The entity of Albert Humphreys can’t get over the fact that he lost his life, regardless of how it happened. Too bad there was no CSI then to solve the case.
Ghost lectures are held here every October, because of known paranormal activity.
Radio Station KNUS in Denver held a seance in the mansion, and actually contacted several entities.
770 Pennsylvania Street
Denver, Colorado 80203
The Grant Humphreys Mansion can be found in central Denver, in the area of Cheesman Park.
- The National Directory, by Dennis William Hauck, Penguin Books, 2002
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr