The Molly Brown House Museum in Denver, CO, is hosting Victorian Halloween ghost stories. The event is called Victorian Horrors and runs through Oct. 25, 2014, weekends only, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. As visitors tour through the darkened mansion of “the Unsinkable Molly Brown,” they hear classic Gothic horror stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Christina Rosetti and other 19th-century writers. The museum advises parental discretion, suitable for ages 12 and up.
Molly Brown (1867-1932) was born Margaret “Molly” Tobin in Hannibal, MO. Two of her five siblings had gone to Colorado to seek their fortunes in mining. Brown followed in 1886 and settled in the mining town of Leadville, CO, where she earned money sewing for one of the stores. That same year, she met, fell in love and married mining superintendent J. J. Brown.
The couple struggled financially during the first few years of their marriage but her husband rose through the ranks of the mining company. They had two children, Lawrence Palmer born in 1887 and Catherine Ellen in 1889. Brown worked to improve Leadville’s schools and helped the mining families in the community in any way she could. Many miners lost everything during the Silver Crash of 1893 but that was when gold was discovered in one of her husband’s mines. As a result of their new wealth, the family moved to Denver in 1894 and purchased the mansion that is now known as the Molly Brown House Museum.
The mansion is in Denver’s historic district of Capitol Hill. It was where the wealthy mansions were built over 100 years ago. The Molly Brown House Museum begins its hour-long Victorian Halloween every 15 minutes, drawing visitors back to that time.
Brown is most famous for her heroism during the RMS Titanic disaster. It was because of this that she became known as “the Unsinkable Mrs. Brown” or “the Unsinkable Molly Brown.” After using her wealth to help several charitable causes related to poverty, homelessness, and improving education, she also sought to better her own education. She did this by learning several foreign languages and studying art while traveling all over the world. It was during one of these trips when she got word that her grandson was ill so she decided to return to the U.S. on the first available ship, the RMS Titanic. The ship struck an iceberg, Apr. 14, 1912, and sank within a few hours. Brown helped with the evacuation and used her knowledge of foreign languages to continue to help survivors who did not speak English after they were rescued by the Carpathia.
Brown’s life has been depicted on stage, in movies, and television in both fact and fiction. She was an activist, philanthropist, actor, writer, and much more. The Molly Brown House Museum has been hosting its annual Victorian Horrors Halloween ghost stories for 21 years and it is one of the most popular events. The lion sculptures in front, the interior statues, staircase, and large pieces of furniture are typical of the late 1800s, and reflect the people who lived there against a backdrop of Denver during Victorian times. Adding to the atmosphere are chandeliers dangling from the ceiling and dimly lit lamps preparing visitors for an evening filled with ghost stories. For more information about the museum or its Victorian Horrors event, the website is listed below.
By Cynthia Collins
Top Photo Credit: Onetwo1, Creative Commons license