Everyone has been known to have a few skeletons in their closet and Old Town of Fort Collins is no exception.
The charming restaurants and small local shops make Old Town quaint and inviting. However, similar to most good scary stories, not all is always how it appears.
CTV Reporter Elizabeth Drolet went to streets of Old Town for a deeper look into the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center’s Terror Tours of this area’s lush haunted past, comparable to that of most horror films today.
“Terror Tours offers an opportunity for the community to learn some of the stories of Fort Collins’ past that sometimes get swept under the rug,” Terror Tour guide, Tiffani Righero said.
The tour highlights gruesome events and ghost stories of historical buildings located in the area.
One of the most ghoulish stories in the tour is that of Eva and James Howe. Eva was married to a much older James Howe in the late 1800s. Howe was an abusive alcoholic and would routinely beat his young wife. Eva had finally had enough and decided to leave her abusive husband. Eva was unfortunately interrupted by a drunk and angry James Howe before fleeing with their child. Howe viciously stabbed his wife in the throat. Eva ran outside at the site where the Armadillo Restaurant stands today and yelled “murder” before taking her last breath and dying outside the then Howe house in 1888.
The community was greatly outraged by the horrific event and wanted some “frontier justice.” Howe was sent to prison that night, but did not stay there long. Some local townsmen decided to kidnap Howe from his cell. They dragged Howe from the old Lerimer County Jail and through the streets of Old Town before stopping at a construction derrick, where they slowly hung Howe. This is the only known lynching in the history of Ft. Collins today.
Customers and employees at the Armadillo Restaurant have reported seeing Eva and James Howe in the bathroom of the women’s restaurant.
“Late at night you feel like you got to get out of here, like you don’t want be alone in this building,” Manager at the Armadillo Restaurant, Jannette Garza said.