1310 Bannock Street
Located at the edge of the famously haunted Capitol Hill neighborhood, this historic Denver home has had a long and diverse history, making it not only a standout attraction for those visiting the Mile High City but an understandable source of local pride.
Recently restored to showcase the home’s early 20th-century grandeur, the Byers-Evans House Museum, besides being the home of the Center for Colorado Women's History, also features antiques, artwork, and educational tours.
But, behind the tourist-facing facade lies something much more sinister, and despite putting its notorious past on display, it still has its fair share of scars to hide. Most who pass through its doors will never know it, but the Byers-Evans house has many more stories to tell.
You won’t find the Byers-Evans House Museum on any map of Denver’s haunted houses. The current owners, and those before them, prefer to keep the focus on the house’s heritage, historical value, and charitable endeavors.
But, try as they might to keep the strange and unusual safely locked away behind closed doors, rumors about the house and the paranormal activity within has been circulating the Capitol Hill neighborhood for many years.
From phantom sounds, playful poltergeists, full-body apparitions, and even a portal to the spirit realm beyond, there is no shortage of activity in this museum. As time goes by, more and more recorded incidents are becoming known.
It just goes to show that while the Byers-Evans house may be more interested in antiquity than the antics of its otherworldly guests, there are some things that cannot be hidden away, and some stories that need to be told.
While reports of paranormal activity in the house have been rumored to exist long before it transitioned into the role the house plays today, they mostly go unconfirmed. Nonetheless, in that past era, the biggest mark had been left—one that’s not so easy to ignore.
Now, museum staff and guests alike have reported countless unusual events, including voices coming from empty rooms, furniture being moved around in the night, and doors opening and closing on their own.
Some have even claimed to see the full-body apparition of several ghostly figures, most of whom are dressed in early 20th-century clothing, and are said to be the ghosts of the Evans family themselves, left behind with their worldly belongings.
Many believe that it is these very items in the house that have retained the energy, or spirit, of the past, reenacting a time when the house was still a home, and the Evans family was still alive and prospering.
It would be a pleasant thought, especially if the activity stopped at the Evans family and their belongings. Still, there are other events in the house with much more sinister implications, brought about by spirits thought to be unattached to either the house, the Evans family, or the museum.
For many years, people have wondered how these otherworldly trespassers, who exist in the house for no other reason than to terrify the guests and staff, made their way into the Byers-Evans House Museum.
Now, they think they know.
There have been recent reports that have gone way past the usual closing doors and disembodied voices, things that have the current employees of the museum looking over their shoulders, wondering how the energy in the Byers-Evans house changed so drastically.
It took the work of a medium to enlighten the new manager, who was becoming so concerned with the negative energy and mischievous spirits that she herself had difficulty staying in the building late at night.
The psychic, after rigorous study of the premises, concluded that a portal to another world had been opened somewhere in the house, one that was allowing other spirits, even those with no connection to the house, to take up residence between its walls.
It sounds like a horror movie come to life, and for some of the new employees of the Byers-Evans House Museum, it just might be, but they soon found themselves helpless, unable to do a thing as malevolent spirits terrorized the household.
The new manager, though, refused to be pushed around, and now, upon entering the building, she always takes the time to speak with the unruly spirits, reminding them that she means them no harm and will leave them alone if they promise to do the same.
How well this has worked so far remains to be seen, but, either way, it’s clear that this home turned museum is a lot more than what meets the eye.
Built in 1883 by the founder of the Rocky Mountain News, William Byers, the Italianate style home was the talk of the town upon its completion, a new standard for luxury and design that stood out among the houses in Denver’s affluent, Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Despite its grandeur, Byers only lived in the house for a short time, selling it to William Gray Evans, the oldest son of Colorado's second territorial governor, in 1889. Evans lived in the home with his wife, their four children, and, eventually, his mother, the former first lady of Colorado, as well as his unmarried sister.
The house remained in the Evans family for many years, serving as their home until it was officially donated to the Colorado Historical Society in 1981 along with the entire contents of the house, including furniture, antiques, heirlooms, the family’s personal belongings.
In fact, 90% of the artifacts and household items on display in the museum had once belonged to the Evans family and were handpicked to compliment the house's early 20th-century restoration, which reflects the time period from 1912 to 1924.
Today, the Byers-Evans home serves mostly as a museum, featuring a historically accurate restoration of the household’s life between 1912 and 1924, including original furnishings, decorations, and artifacts.
The house also offers an extensive gallery showcasing the life and times of early Denver, as well as the contributions of many influential Colorado women in the Center for Colorado Women's History exhibit.
To take a tour and experience the Byers-Evans House Museum for yourself, head on down to 1310 Bannock St, Denver, CO.