Friday, October 14, 2011

Sidewalk Psychic

Psychic and Medium Grace Cooley
Haunted History After Dark just completed another ghostly adventure on the streets of Old Town Fort Collins. This enthusiastic and courageous group asked many awesome questions for both well-known local ghost whisperer Grace Cooley and myself. We were joined tonight by the Native Women’s Circle from Colorado State University as well as two very brave participants from Denver, Isabella and John. Thank you so much to all of our wonderful guests tonight!  

CSU Native Womens Circle from left Kodi, Katrina, Lyla, Jessica, Heather

You are truly valued and are a crucial part of all the “sidewalk stars”, both human and spirit, that Grace and I love to have on the tours.
Isabella (center) and John (right) from Denver
YMSB courtesy of
Nederland based bluegrass group, Yonder Mountain String Band, has a song they call “Sidewalk Stars”. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs. I have listened to this song probably over a thousand times. But, while sitting at a red light on my route towards the location of our tours on a Saturday night I was hit head on at the corner of Shields and LaPorte by the lyrics to this song;
“You looked at me through old windows
And said, "Dust is all I know"
And you're so clean and I'm so tired
Like lovers' smiles and green marker miles
Can't go back that's much too far
I'm asking you to laugh
But after all
You love a tragedy
Hope remains a sidewalk star.”
Linden St. 1880's/photo courtesy of Fort Collins musem
I was T-boned, broad sided, by the words and I couldn’t help but think about all the spirits we talk about on our tour. Even on a tour we were getting ready to start in just a few minutes. From the dusty images that peer down to us from window frames, the lost early victims of tragedy, these are the “sidewalk stars” that come to us on our ghostly adventures in Old Town Fort Collins, and through Haunted History After Dark tour guide, Grace, hope remains.
Local ghost whisperer, Grace Cooley,  and I created this tour not only to help residents and visitors learn more about Old Town Fort Collins historical and haunted past, but to bring to life the early settlers stories, their past and their tragedies and triumphs. Our goal is to talk about their struggles in order to bring clarity to their successes in this early frontier town. Without the resourcefulness and courage of early residents like Joe Mason, the Stover brothers, Jay and Clark Boughton, and the Avery family, Fort Collins would have been a ghost town. Rabbit brush would inhabit where the Northern Hotel now sits.  Where Austin’s keeps customers busy on the patio of the Welch Block today, cotton tails and mule deer would have been the only guests dining on fringed sage and winter fat without these early settlers. But, early residents stayed, and the town flourished.
Frank Stover's store 1880's/photo courtesy of Fort Collins museum
Early Fort Collins brought in travelers looking for fortune in the West. Mercantile owners, miners, cowhands, cavalrymen, railroad workers and others looking for a new life flocked here in the 1860’s and 70’s. Hispanic and German-Russian immigrants came here when the Sugar Beet factory opened in the early 1900’s.

This mix of varied cultures in such a small area, unfortunately brought conflict, crime, persecution and often times death. Many times on our tours, those victims emerge from the early structures. To most of us they can appear as orbs, mists, or even subtle apparitions. But, to Grace Cooley they reach out as real as the guests on her tours. Often times, sad or angry faces and entities appear to her and other times more benevolent spirits, searching for a resolution and peace approach Grace on our tours. Grace says she sees entities in sometimes a human form, other times a color, such a spirit who recently contacted her in a blue form who she found out died of emphysema. Grace says that some of the people we talk about on our tour often follow her home afterward and some continue on our tour. Most are looking for peace; some are in search of attaching themselves to a human.
Grace says, “I am not nice like other mediums. I don’t question whether they would like to go to the other side or not.  If I feel a spirit has not gone to the “other side”, I don’t ask, I just take them (to the other side). Most come back and thank me.” Grace has contact with “historical” spirits on our tour, as well as more contemporary entities, or those who have passed more recently. Sometimes, if an entity is in too much pain, she will decide to take them to other side, sometimes even while we are conducting a tour, which is exactly what she did on this night. While connecting with spirits at an early brothel on our tour, Grace realized that there was an entity that was very frightened and lost and had attached itself to a particular building. Our guests were able to witness first-hand how Grace works as she gently talked to the spirit and guided her towards the light. What a treat for the rest of us!

Grace Cooley
Nationally well-known psychics like John Edwards and Sylvia Brown provide meetings and conferences to packed auditoriums, but, we are so fortunate to have our own “sidewalk psychic” giving insight to the lives, culture, tragedy and trauma of Fort Collins early residents, as well as clues to our own lives through Grace Cooley.  That intimacy with a genuine psychic is what makes Haunted History After Dark unique.
After tonight’s tour, as on all of our tours, Grace cleansed the group of any attachments, and of any negativity that had preceded our guests even before the tour.
If you would like a private reading with Grace or have questions regarding the haunted and/or history of Fort Collins please contact
Check out photos of other recent brave ghost busters on the Haunted History After Dark tour!

Contact for more information. Cost is 10 big ones per courageous ghost buster or 35 clams for an extra brave group of four. Cash only please.

 Stephen Stills begged Suite Judy Blue Eyes long ago, “Will you come see me…Thursdays and Saturdays…” What a coincidence! That’s when our tours are.  Will you come see us…Thursdays and Saturdays.  Or by reservation. 7:30 p.m.  Tours start at 136 W. Mountain Avenue home of Boutique Bravo and Mother Lode Gallery where owner Kate has been in business for a whopping 33 years! Check her out. And remember...YOUR HAUNTED JOURNEY STARTS AT DUSK!



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