A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with fellow filmmaker, Don Vasicek on a TV pilot called Haunted World. This involved spending the night filming with a team of paranormal investigators at the Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion, in Denver, Colorado. This ostentatious and imposing sandstone ‘castle’ built in the late 1800’s, is known as the most elegant and frightening haunted house in America.
We certainly experienced a few scary moments. Being a little skeptical I decided to venture down into the basement, alone, in the dark, to get a ‘feel’ for the place. Nothing unusual for a few minutes, until I stepped into a cold spot and smelled something that can only be described as road kill. The odor only existed in one small area and there was nothing present, such as a dead rat (or any other rotting corpse) to account for it. I scrambled quickly up the stairs.
Later, when I was standing near the top of those same basement stairs, two people – the owner of the house and a paranormal investigator – saw a shadow pass across my legs. I did not see or feel anything at the time. But as you can tell from the video below, I was spooked – we all were!
Was this house really haunted? Were there spirits present? I did feel something uneasy in this building, that’s for sure. Fueled by the mansion’s rich history – stories of ghostly sightings, tragic and frightening events – our expectation and desire for eerie action may have deceived us into believing we were witnessing supernatural phenomena. But that does not account for the orb we saw in a monitor, filmed on a video camera set up in a separate, empty room. I certainly smelled something rotten in the basement. There were several cold spots. All these sensory experiences are indisputable. But a true skeptic could easily come up with an explanation.
What’s most interesting about this night is the after effects. I could not stop shivering when I returned home. The next day I just couldn’t get warm and had to eventually ask for help. One of our camera operators that night happened to be a spiritual healer, and she advised me to soak in a tub full of sea salts. She suggested that something, maybe a spirit, could have attached itself to me. Either way, the bath worked. I warmed up and stayed warm.