Posted 12 p.m. Oct. 10, 2013

Haunted Cheyenne

Local author pens tales of supernatural encounters

By Derek Hoffman
A&E Editor

A Cheyenne author weaves tales of various people who have experienced hauntings and shared their stories in the book “Haunted Cheyenne,” out just in time for Halloween.

Jill Pope takes the reader on a journey into the history of Cheyenne depicting grisly scenes of death, murder and even tales of missing children. She also explores ghostly appearances in several of Cheyenne’s landmark locations, tying past events with supernatural reports in the present.

Pope is the director of operations at Visit Cheyenne, a part of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Having written and managed the popular “Ghost Tours” for the past 11 years, she has finally collected all these stories into “Haunted Cheyenne,” sharing these accounts with the world in the 144 pages published in 2013 by History Press.

Haunted depot

For example, in the Union Pacific Depot a woman and her husband have heard a child’s laughter, an encounter commonly experienced when closing the depot for the night.

The historic Atlas Theatre on 16th Street has a spectral haunting known as “Blue Girl,” a nicknamed given because of the blue dress she is reported to wear. Employees of the theater say the smell of flowers lingers in the air when she is around.

Stories such as these stick out and make the reader want to visit reportedly haunted areas in Cheyenne after dark.

The depth of the backstory and research of history that went in to this book help provide an immersive environment for the stories. Not only does the author provide interesting accounts of supernatural occurrences but also interesting history of the city of Cheyenne.

The riveting accounts of the history of the town make the stories seem so interesting the reader cannot stop turning the pages, looking up hours after beginning and wondering where the time went.

In darkness

One of the downfalls of the text was the lack of description and information given about those who experienced these encounters, often using only a first name with no description of what connected them to the place and events they were witnessing. Pope spoke of these characters as if they were commonly known to the reader, which more often leaves us in the dark. It is understandable to change the name of those involved to protect privacy, but the result was a lack connection to the people and their stories.<

“Haunted Cheyenne” was a joy to read, and Pope was clearly writing about a subject she is passionate about, but readers outside of Cheyenne may have difficulty picturing the locations of these stories, as they are not well described. The author seemed to assume her readers have visited the Atlas Theater and the Cheyenne Depot, which may leave out-of-town ghost enthusiasts with a vague idea of the stories’ surroundings.

Overall, this book was a spooky and interesting read with a lot of historical information. “Haunted Cheyenne”stands out among many books of ghost stories, and has won a place on my bookshelf. I learned more about the history of Cheyenne through this book than I have anywhere else since moving from Louisiana.

This book is great for anyone looking to know more about the history of the buildings we drive past every day and offer an insight into the mysteries that occur every night.

Pope’s “Ghost Tours” will be at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. lasting one and a half hours on Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27, at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza on 121 W. 15th St. if any would enjoy hearing some of these tales from the author herself. The admission for the “Ghost Tours” is $5 for ages 2-12 and $10 for ages 13+.

“Haunted Cheyenne” may be purchases from Barnes & Noble or the Cheyenne Depot Gift Shop for $19.99.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

 

More Information:

Pope’s “Ghost Tours” will be at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. lasting one and a half hours on Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26 and 27, at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza on 121 W. 15th St. if any would enjoy hearing some of these tales from the author herself. The admission for the “Ghost Tours” is $5 for ages 2-12 and $10 for ages 13+.

“Haunted Cheyenne” may be purchases from Barnes & Noble or the Cheyenne Depot Gift Shop for $19.99.