Riverdale Road

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The 11-mile stretch of winding Riverdale Road between Thornton and Brighton is, according to the local tales, haunted by almost every form of supernatural being imaginable: a ghostly white lady, a phantom jogger, demons, talking animals, Native-American burial ground curses, devil worshippers, witch hangings and even the Gates of Hell. The road signs are said to have spatters and handprints of blood made by the ghost of a little boy who was killed here as he was walking to school (although locals report that vandals shoot them with paintball guns). Spirits are said to roam here in animal form: A coyote is a friendly spirit while a gray fox is evil. One story is of a man who murdered his family in their house along this road, then set it afire. There was an old mansion that burned down, the 1864 Wolpert Mansion, which had been a private home, a cowboy inn, a gambling bar, a brothel and a ranch for racehorses. But the run-down mansion had been condemned just months before the fire and was uninhabited.

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    Geographic Information

    Riverdale Road
    Thornton, CO
    United States

    Get Directions »
    39.980274896854176, -104.84710156906658
    Adams County, Colorado
    Nearest Towns:
    Todd Creek, CO (1.4 mi.)
    Brighton, CO (1.4 mi.)
    Lochbuie, CO (7.2 mi.)
    Fort Lupton, CO (7.4 mi.)
    Dacono, CO (8.7 mi.)
    Frederick, CO (9.5 mi.)
    Northglenn, CO (9.9 mi.)
    Aristocrat Ranchettes, CO (10.0 mi.)
    Thornton, CO (10.2 mi.)
    Firestone, CO (10.3 mi.)


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    Comments (23)

    1. I live in one of the communities off of Riverdale Road in Thornton, Colorado and can see the road clearly from my porch. I’m very much a night owl, being able to stay up incredibly late(I can’t get up early, though) and on the harder nights, I like going outside to look at the stars and any cars that may pass by. I have personally seen the Lady in White and the little boy. Both simply seemed to be passing. The woman disappeared upon walking behind a streetlight and the boy disappeared after I looked away(I saw a car coming from another street). I don’t go out too late anymore, however.

      • Hi my name is Christina and I am part of the group HPI (Hot hkiss Paranormal Investigators) and we are waing Eye witness testimony to help us find the best part on the road to invesyigate. Contact us on FB if you have any info. Thank You

        • From 1989 to 1994 I lived in the housing addition right where Riverdale Rd curves. There is a trailer court right to the north of it but I am not sure it was there. Me, my sister, sister’s best friend and my best friend were all in a storage room my basement at it was only room without a window. We using a Ouija board and saw several dog eyes in the dark. You know how animals eyes glow when light was shown in them. We saw groups of some yellow and some green eyes at different heights. We never saw what they were connected to but it all felt native American to me. Where the road curves close to the river check that out. Getting down the bank to get to the river was really dangerous and I had someone pull me down into the river when I was wading, Let me know and I can tell you some creepy places near that housing addition me and all my friends saw thing. Let me know and I can tell you more stories.

        • Just north of the Quebec street round about there’s a few trees on the left side of the road missing their tree bark. I knew a kid who wrecked into those trees killing himself and his girlfriend. Not a bad place to start

    2. Esmeralda Chavarria  |  

      Whats weird is that me and my parents just passed by it and saw someone on a horse with a dog in front of it. We turn around and it’s gone. Can someone please explain this shit to me? I’m freaking out. I just read all this and now I’m fucking flipping.

      • Well, there have been a lot of deaths on that road, including one where a guy got possessed and burned down his mansion with his family still inside. The demon still resides in his spacious underground chicken coop, which has symbols drawn within it. That’s at the gates of Hell, stay far away from there. You’ll know where it is when you see the large iron gates in front of where the mansion once stood

    3. Can someone please tell me exactly where the “Gates of Hell” are located? Or even just a rough idea of where to look? Which side of the road?

      • The gates no longer stand there they are gone however it is on the right hand side going towards qubec down Riverdale. The tree that is rumored to have hung slaves before is shaped as the hand symbol for devil horns ( lml ) the turn in for this place is to the right of the tree.


      I have included one picture of a house that is almost identical to what the Wolpert mansion looked like. I have also included three topical diagrams for reference.

      My name is Randy Vasquez and this is my actual account of the Wolpert mansion that once stood at 9190 Riverdale Road. Many of you know the story today as the ‘Gates of Hell’.

      I will start by saying that most of the stories you have heard about the mansion, including the location, are false. What I’m about to share with you will re-solidify the mystique of the mansion and the grounds, and the mansion itself may even be responsible for the sightings that may or may not be taking place around the Riverdale Road area.

      Being a straight forward guy at 46 years of age, I’m not really the type of person to go around telling quirky spook tales. At first I was very reluctant and unwilling to provide any information or reference to this ‘Gates of Hell’ due to my faith, but my story is 100% authentic and it needs to be told so that I can leave it behind me once and for all.

      In those days, we lived at 9281 Ciancio St. in Old Thornton. I made it through all 4 years at Bertha Heid Elementary and through 1 year at Clayton Elementary before we moved away to New Thornton at the end of my 5th grade year in 1980. I never made it to York Junior High, or Highland High School but my older brother and sister both graduated from Highland. I later graduated from Northglenn High School in 1987. We moved away from Old Thornton five years after the mansion burned down.

      Many speculate that the mansion was somewhere beyond 132nd and Riverdale Rd., however, the actual location of the mansion was situated closer to Skyview High School off of 88th Ave. at 9190 Riverdale Road. If you Google map this address you will see that there is a dirt road that parallels the existing Riverdale Rd. That dirt road used to be the original Riverdale Rd. before road construction changed it in the early 90’s. If you look parallel to the right of the existing 9190 Riverdale Road address, you will see the old road at its closest point to the Platte River. That is where the Wolpert mansion stood. It is easily accessible on foot from the ‘Colorado Front Range Trail’. If you are planning on going out there, go in groups because the spirit realm is nothing to play around with. And be careful at night because the ground out there is very rocky and uneven.

      Now, I would like to take you back almost 40 years ago to the fall of 1975.

      I was 6 years old back then. We had an orange K-5 blazer with a white top and side pipes. Gerald Ford was the president. Disco was definitely the most popular genre of music. Silk shirts, platform shoes, and afro hair styles were everywhere.

      The Wolpert mansion was abandoned then and it was pretty run down. I had gone there a total of four times while it was still standing, and a few time to see the ruins thereafter. Our focus here will be about the four times I had gone there while it was still standing.

      The first two times were in daylight and I was with my older brother, a cousin, and two of their friends. Those four boys were all older than me and were between the ages of 12 to 15. The last two times I would go there would be on the same night and subsequently it would also turn out to be the actual night the house burned down. I was there with the same four boys each time, but the last two times my mom, a friend of hers, and my sister were there with all of us boys. There were a total of eight of us that night.

      My older brother, my cousin, and the two friends discovered the Wolpert mansion from the back while they were tubing on the Platte River that summer. The river ran right in back of the house and it caught their attention many times while they were floating past it. I was never with them personally when they were tubing.

      (First daytime account)
      I had been with the boys that day because my brother was baby sitting me. We had walked there when that part of Riverdale Road was still a usable and accessible road. I remember walking up to the property and seeing a big red brick barn to the left. The place looked very old, dated, and very run down with chipped paint, weathered wood and broken windows. The grounds were un-kept and had grown wild. In short, the place looked dark and dead, and definitely qualified for a spook house. I still thank God today that the evil presence that was there went undetected by my 6 year old psyche; however the second day was a lot different.

      We never went inside the first day but we did poke around for a while. I remember there was a swing in the back yard of the house tied to a huge tree that swung out over the Platte River. The boys put me on it and were pushing me. It was very scary because the swing was made big like a double wide for two people and I couldn’t hold on very good like I could with a conventional sized swing with my arms tucked at my sides. I remember that in order for me to take hold of each rope, my arms had to be extended out from my sides full spread. Holding on like that was not very reassuring because I remember teetering back and forth; I was very unstable on the swing.

      As they were pushing me on this swing, I remember that it would go over the edge of the river embankment. If someone ever fell off at that point it would not be a good thing because from the swing to the ground at the high point must have been about 15 or 20 feet to the rocks below. Thank God they never pushed me very high and I never fell off. Maybe years ago the water level must have been higher. The stride seemed to take a long time from one push to the next. The tree that the ropes were tied to was very high so the ropes had to be very long. Who ever built it looked like they had built it for giants.

      I only swung for about four or five strides and then they took me off. After that the boys were trying to peek inside the main house to see if there was a way in but it was all locked up and the interest was soon lost. After we left it turned out to be just another day in the neighborhood for a bunch of roughhouse kids.

      (Second daytime account)
      This is the day that I’m having the hardest time with revealing to you all. Please bear with me as I try to get it out in detail. It’s not that I don’t remember, but rather that it makes me very uncomfortable. I pray to God that He cleanses my thoughts of this place for good after this.

      On this day we had gone back again the same way from the road. I’m not sure if it was the next day or days later. I remember that there always seemed to be a whistling breeze around the outside of the house and those days were not windy. While the same four boys were trying to find a way in, they discovered that the back door that was locked tight on the first encounter was now open. The door was actually unlocked and was cracked open. This back door was situated more on the left side of the house at an extended part like in the picture and diagram I provided. I remember two bird statues at the back door area where the stairs led up. The house was almost identical to the house in the picture.

      Right when we were about to go inside a huge flock of birds flew out of the red barn. And I mean there were a lot of birds. It took a minute for all of them to come out. It scarred the crap out of us.

      We proceeded to go inside. Once in the back door, we cut through the kitchen to get through to the main area on the first level. The kitchen almost looked lived in with a few pot and pans lying around. The main room beyond the kitchen was pretty much empty with blankets or something covering the windows. It was kind of dim but we still had fairly good visibility since the mid-day sun was shining outside. I remember the house had a dank wet musty odor.

      We never really traveled to any other part of the house on the main lever outside of the two rooms we passed through. Then we proceeded to go upstairs.

      Here is where I’m starting to have real trouble getting this out.

      The stairway to the upstairs portion of the house was actually kind of narrow and steep. The grade of the incline was different from the way stairs are today. I just remember them being a little off for some reason.

      When we got to the top of the stairs there was a big open room to the left and another hallway leading to the right of the house that we never went to.

      The windows were uncovered on this level and we could see everything perfectly clear. From the first time we stepped inside I always had the feeling that someone was watching us. Upstairs, the walls were made of plaster that was chipping off and underneath were horizontal slats of wood that could be peered through if someone was hiding behind the walls. Like the way someone would peek through venetian blinds. I would be willing to bet that there was someone in the house hiding when we were there.

      There were newspapers and comic books or magazines all over the place rustling in the wind, I distinctly remember the pages rustling. Once we made out what was in the room, we all frozen for a minute to absorb what we were seeing. In that room there was a glob of chunky blood pooled in the middle of the room and there were ropes above it coming from the ceiling for hanging. We also noticed that the blood was spattered all over the walls too.

      I don’t think we fully registered what we were looking at or where we were at the time out of young ignorance. We only realized the magnitude of what we had stumbled onto by talking about it years later. I thank God for that one too because I’m still not quite sure if I fully understand it today, even when talking about it now.

      One of the friends of my brother and cousin found a homemade hand-sized instrument that was fashioned out of a block of metal or aluminum. It had steel rods attached to the block with screws. The rods were different sizes from long to short like a xylophone. There was another rod with a hoop at the end tied to a hole in the block with a rope. I guess it was used for playing the instrument. When he brushed it across the rods it made the ugliest dissonant droning sound I have ever heard in my life. Ten time worse than nails on a chalkboard. He kept the instrument but I never saw it again after that day.

      In the same room we noticed that there was a painted pentagram inside a circle on the floor. It was a crudely painted upside down star. There was an ugly face with goat horns inside the star. There were symbols all around the outside of the star. On the inside edge of the circle there was a two headed snake that formed around the star with the two heads meeting at the top of the circle.

      Out of shear ignorance one of the boys walked over the floor painting and right then we heard a very loud crash. At that point we all ran for our lives. Being little, I was left behind and I was the last one out of the house. When we got outside we realized that the entire front porch section had pancaked to the ground. It could have been a coincidence since the house was so old but who really can say for sure. At that point we were half way home.

      (First nighttime account)
      I really can’t say what time it was, but that same day we had gotten home and told our parents what had happened earlier and what we had seen. We convinced them to go with us to see for themselves.

      I remember that it was nighttime and it was kind of late like around 10 or 11pm when we decided to go. All of us were in our blazer when we went back. When we got there we were flabbergasted because the entire house was lit up very brightly. I do mean every single room. We are not sure how they were able to get it that bright because we knew there was no usable electricity. We estimate that they had to have used a lot of candles to do it.

      When we saw the house like that we all got freaked out so my mom punched the gas in the blazer and we got out of there.

      (Second nighttime account)
      This was on the same night that we saw the lights on earlier that we decided to go back again. This was about 2am. What we were doing up that late I have no idea, but we went back because we were curious to see if the lights were still on.

      When we got there the fire department was there trying to put out the fire. The entire house was engulfed in flames and was burning. It looked like it was daytime because the flames were so big and bright.

      We kept driving and that was that. We never heard if anyone in the house had been killed.

      The red barn stayed standing for several years until it too was eventually knocked down.

      This was a very heavy issue for me to discuss and I have absolutely no intention to ever go back there again in my lifetime. I will say again that what I told you here is absolutely the truth. There would be no point in lying.

      We think the house was occupied by hippie or transient squatters who were devil worshipers. We think they opened up something very bad in that location from the spirit realm. I have no idea what they were sacrificing and I really don’t care to ponder it.

      This is just one account. I’m sure there must be other kids who were also exploring that have stories.

      I also know that the area in and around Old Thornton is Indian country because one time when a friend named Trent and I were playing in the fields near the Holy Cross Church at Wigham St. and Eppinger Blvd., he found a light colored arrow head. Back then there were no houses north of Eppinger Blvd., only the church and the rest was field and dirt bike trails.

      Here is the link to the Adams County, CO Genealogy/History Record: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~coadams/forgottenpast-1/wolpert.htm

      God bless you and thank you for taking the time to read about the ‘Real’ history behind the ‘Gates of Hell’. . .

    5. It was a few summers ago but my mom and I went up there , searched and searched. We finally found where we believe the location of where the mansion was. What we found was a old foundation for a large house and almost like a ran down old chicken coop that had a horrid smell and went underground. We didn’t go into the coop because we both began to feel nauseous…thoughts?

      • The old road that lead to the Wolpert Mansion is directly behind the mobile home park I live in. After about a month of searching and research, my boyfriend and I had finally found the location today. I’ve seen a few things about the old barn and chicken coop being north, but am now learning it was to the left of the house. I don’t believe the old coop is still there, but I could be wrong (we didn’t have much time to look for it) Any tips on how to locate the area, or key landmarks surrounding it?

    6. We are HPI (Hotchkiss Paranormal Investigators) and are wanting eye witness’ of a activity on this road and to find the best part of the road to investigate. We will be going there end of July. Please contact us on our facebook page. Thank You

    7. Sadly, this location no longer exists. Visited last night 10/30/16 around 2000- 2330, only discovering after a little research and reading comments, that its not there anymore. The area is now an open space with running trails. The gates and all structures have been torn down. We used the address that Randy listed above: 9190 Riverdale Rd. The entire area along Riverdale Rd has been developed. Would have loved to explore when the place still existed.

      We didnt experience anything paranormal on our visit as we drove the road and explored the area where the house would have been. We did smell the “sulfur” smell close to where we believe the location of the house and chicken coop would have been.

      Other accounts have listed the Hells gate location as off of 132 (no longer exists) and Riverdale Rd. I did a google image search and discoverd a strange structure hidden insdie a corn field with no road leading into it….that location is now all leveled and ready for construction.

      The only strange thing we encountered was a newer silver Camery that turned its lights of as we passed traveling in the other direction and didnt turn them back on even after we passed?? Kids out having fun trying to scare people for Halloween?

      • In the area of 132nd and Riverdale, it is said if you turn off yourights as you drive the ghostly images of the jogger will appear as he was before his life came to a end.

    8. I live off Colorado Blvd, which is right by Riverdale. Last night was my first driving the stretch past dark, and I had a good friend with me for obvious reasons. Plus she knew about most of the legends, so she could tell me to dip out or make sure I wasn’t stupid enough to kill my engine or lights. I did not go up Jogger’s hill, as I didn’t want to freak out any residences on it as there are a few houses up there, including one being built right where the jogger supposedly died and now haunts.

      However, just after 112th, me, the driver, spotted a man jog out in front of my car. I slammed on my breaks to avoid him, but I knew I would have hit him. Just before my car should have wrecked his body, he vanished. My friend DID NOT SEE HIM. I was in tears and my heart was beating really fast. That spirit gave me a scary vibe. Passing under the bridge of E-470, I saw a pair of glowing human eyes attached to one of the three remaining crosses there. My friend didn’t see them last night, but had seen them at least once before.

      Right before a road closure last 151st, as I was turning back around, we saw either a coyote or a gray wolf. Definitely hoping it was the coyote because that one is a friendly spirit, the gray is an evil spirit. It was small though, so I think we were fine.

      Driving back down Riverdale toward 112th again, except closer to the 120th area, I saw the man again. This time I felt more scared than I ever have in my life. He appeared in front of my car, about twenty feet away, and was just standing this time. Not jogging or running. I almost made the mistake of breaking since I wouldn’t want to hit an actual person, but I sped up instead. Again, the man disappeared right before I could hit him. Again, my friend didn’t see him. She would have not believed me if she didn’t know the stories. I also never saw a lady in a white dress, and I’m glad. I know that if you stop for her, she leads you to your death.

      I also felt a weird vibration up by McIntosh Dairy. My friend told me a girl she know was killed there late last year, and it was possible I felt her spirit.

      Later that night, my friend took another friend down the road, hoping to see the man I saw. She was driving. She saw him twice, the first time he walked in front of her and the second he stood there the same as he did with me. Her friend in the passenger seat did not see him, so we’ve come to the conclusion that only the driver can see him.

      This man is wearing a dark, long coat (for me, I haven’t heard her give a description yet). It was either black or navy. I wasn’t 100% positive it was a man, but he was taller and had bulkier shoulders and slim hips so I’m assuming. No idea of race, it was too dark to tell even with my brights on.

      I have not found any legends on this man.

    9. I use to live in the mobile home park on 100th and Riverdale. The neighbors girl friend would come over almost every night because she said her house was haunted and scared. Both of our boyfriends worked nights. We would sit in my living room and watch lights turn off and on and doors open and close. We both moved away from there as soon as we could

    10. My car has broken down on 2 separate occasions on riverdale road, both before I was even aware of the legends. The first time was close to Colorado Blvd and the second was in front of the gates leading to the Wolfpert Mansion site by the 88th ave open space. I live about 2 minutes from the road and have always been skeeved out by it, I used to attribute my uneasiness to the lack of lights, but now I know what else could be giving me those feelings.

    11. If someone wants I can mark on a map places me, my sister, and our friends saw thing. I can’t grantee it will look the same but I can draw a map from my childhood where we saw things in the 80s and 90s. I have tons or stories because everyone living there knew it was haunted and we saw sketchy things all the time.

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.