Remains and Spooky Legends Rise Up at Cheesman Park

November 2 2010, 9:03 AM

Just before Halloween parties got into full swing over the weekend, irrigation workers at Cheesman Park unearthed a chilling find: four skeletons more than 100 years old. The bones were probably never removed when the old Prospect Hill Cemetery was closed decades ago. "Cheesman's cemetery had a lot of criminals and paupers buried without headstones or any records," Jill McGranahan, a spokeswoman for the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, explains to The Denver Post. "There's really nowhere to look to find out who these bones belonged to."

The skeletal remains will be relocated to Mount Olivet Cemetery from Cheesman Park, named for Walter Scott Cheesman, the Denver real estate, railroad, and water baron who died in 1907.

Local legends hold that the park is haunted because of the old Prospect Hill graveyard that was established there in the mid-1800s (via 7News). Of those who continue to haunt it, apparently, are Denver gambler Jack O'Neal and the man who murdered him, John Stoefel. Many of those buried at Prospect Hill had typhoid and other diseases that stemmed from Denver's lack of sanitary infrastructure. When the graveyard was moved, workers were accused of grave robbing and hacking up bodies to make their work easier.