St. Mark's Episcopal Church can be
found on 19th street and Central Avenue in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
1908 Central Avenue,
In 1868, the main part of this church
was built. In 1886, the people wanted a more "imposing house of worship,
and wanted a grand bell tower built as well, like the great British churches.
The foundation of the bell tower wall was sunk 15 feet deep, to support
the later to be 60 ft massive structure, with walls 4 feet thick. The
building of the tower was stopped for a long time because the masons working
on it disappeared.
When building the tower was finally
started again and finished in 1927, a room to please the tower ghost was
added, just below the eleven carillon bells, that weigh 20 tons. This
ghost room has an inlaid wood floor, and big gothic windows that surround
it. The ceiling is hand-plastered, with a chandelier hanging from it.
This special room can only be reached by climbing an 85 ft spiral stairway,
which starts in the church basement.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
As no one local in 1886 had the skill
to do the quality of stone masonry required for such a grand effort, two
Swedish immigrant masons were hired to do the job. While they did a great
job laying the foundation, they only built part of the tower, before both
One morning, the church's rector,
Dr. Rafter, stopped by to ask if any more cement or stones were needed.
He noticed that only one mason was there and he was quite nervous and
agitated. The next day, no one showed up for work, so the unfinished tower
became a study room for the rector, after they put a roof on it.
In 1966, a very old man confessed
to Father Todd, the then present rector of St. Marks, that when he was
a young man, he and a fellow mason were hired to work on the bell tower
of Saint Marks Church. When his fellow mason slipped and fell to his death,
he panicked and stuffed the body in an unfinished section of the wall,
bending it so it would fit in the curvature of the wall. After putting
a thick layer of cement over the body, he placed stones over the body,
sealing it in the wall.
Started to happen soon after the study
room was completed.
1) However, this study room, made from
the unfinished bell tower in 1886, was anything but quiet, as the new
rector found out. What was described as hammering beating, and muffled
indistinguishable talking came from the walls. For a while after that,
the room was sealed. Then a pipe organ was put in there.
2) In 1927, when work began again,
some of the masons heard the sounds of hammering beating and muffled
indistinguishable words coming from the newly made stone walls. (This
caused great fear and dissension among the workers, bringing the construction
to a halt. The foreman went to Father Bennett, with the idea to build
the ghost its own room, as the men felt this would please this ghost.)
3) Sometimes church goers heard
jumbled words still, but one sentence came out quite clear. "There
is a body in the wall."
4) In 1979, the bell tower was opened
for public tours, which was very popular around Halloween. A few years
later, a popular Denver psychic, Ms. Wright, and a deejay from a Cheyenne
radio station tried to spend Halloween night, broadcasting from the
tower. As Ms. Wright climbed the stairway, she was overcome by dreadful
feelings, as she sensed the presence of a frightening, upset apparition.
She also sensed a second spirit, an elderly white-haired man who walked
with a cane. He was later identified as Father Rafter, mentioned above.
5) After Ms. Wright and the deejay
had set up in the tower room, Father Todd locked all the doors and left.
Looking out the window, Ms. Wright saw little balls of white light dancing
around the church gravestones in the cemetery below.
6) A sense of fear and foreboding
came over Ms. Wright again when she saw tiny blue lights climb the stairs
to their room. A slimy substance began to ooze from the room's baseboards.
All at once the carillon bells began to ring all by themselves. Over
the loud bell ringing, a rough man's voice shouted at them, "Get
out while you still have your mind." The deejay called for help.
Within 15 minutes, all made a hasty exit from the bell tower, escorted
out by Father Todd and the radio manager.
7) After twenty minutes, the bells
again rang all by themselves. After a thorough search by police, no
human pranksters were found, and there was no logical explanation for
the ooze, the lights, the voice or the impromptu bell ringing. The floor
was white with a dust-like substance, that wasn't there when they first
entered the room.
According to Ms. Wright's research,
it definitely still is.
Conclusions from Ms. Wright's psychic
1) The Bell Tower is haunted by two
spirits; The mason who is buried in the wall, and by Father Rafter.
2) Ms. Wright doesn't feel that
the spirits inhabiting the bell tower are evil, just upset to have the
living intrude in on their peace that they find in their special room.
3) Father Todd feels that this beautiful
church is filled with the spirits of many deceased church members; men,
women, and children, whose lights were seen by Ms Wright as she looked
down on the gravestones in the church graveyard.
Tours of the bell tower are no longer
offered, to keep the living out of the spirits' much loved private chamber
Church Web-site: stmarkscheyenne.org