Sharing Space with the Undead

Do you believe in ghosts?

Editor’s note: Crested Butte has a history of haunting. This Halloween we share a simple story from recent times of something just a little spooky.

“I live in Irwin. I’m going to Gothic to see my brother.”



It’s dark out and cold. The moon has set, but the sun is not yet risen. Fog sits on the Slate like carpet. A lone man walks the road between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. He holds his body stiff.
Driving toward the mountain, just past the cemetery, a local man on the way to an early morning work shift sees the walker. Feeling for the man, he pulls over, and pushes open the passenger door of his pickup.
The guy gets in. Grime covers his face and clothes. He’s ripe with the smell of body odor—oniony and unwashed. He sits on the edge of the seat, pulls close the door. He seems displaced, staring at the dash lights and radio buttons as if enamored by their brightness.
“What type of wagon is this?” he asks before sliding back into the seat, and continuing to speak. “I live in Irwin. I’m on my way to Gothic to see my brother.”
At the top of the hill, the passenger gets out. Looking in the rearview mirror as he turns to head for work, the driver sees the man is simply gone.
“There’s another story,” says local spiritual historian Henrietta Raines. “Of two boys driving in their truck with their dog on the same stretch of road between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. They saw a guy walking by the cemetery in the wee hours. When they picked him up, their dog cowered against the far door. The man told the boys he lived in Irwin and was going to Gothic to visit his brother. They said he was filthy, that he stank of B.O.”
The boys dropped the guy off on the Gothic Road at Snodgrass. Leaving, they turned off the lights of their truck.
“They said they were scared,” says Raines. “They didn’t want him to see where they were going.”
As the boys tried to sneak down the road, they said they could hear laughing behind them—a dark, haunted laugh.
“It’s the same story, and I’ve repeated both the boys’ story and the worker’s to a few friends,” said Raines. “Not that many years ago, one of them called me and said he saw my ghost. The dirty man, walking by the cemetery between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte in the early morning hours. It was confirmed.”

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