Close the gate at the Briggle House Museum or the resident spirits will remind you. “Katie doesn’t like it when we leave the gate open,” remarked docent June Walters at a recent Paranormal Investigation Tour. Katie is Kathleen Briggle, one of the frequent spirit visitors to this historic Victorian-era house operated by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. The Briggle House was her beloved home and she remains protective of it, even 70 years after her death.
Ghosts and spirits are commonly found at the Briggle House according to medium and Paranormal Investigation leader Trevor Baringer. In addition to Katie, or Kathleen as she prefers to be called, a rascal of a boy named Peter is also a frequent visitor. William Briggle, Kathleen’s husband, is the only person confirmed to have died in the house and he occasionally makes an appearance. Other spirits come through from time to time, old miners from Breckenridge’s history as well as contemporary spirits responding to current family queries. At the Paranormal Investigation, Baringer gently coaxes the shy spirits to make an appearance, sweet talking and politely asking them to make their presence known. A flashlight may go on or off, a pendulum might start swinging with purpose, or the Ghost Radar app might squawk.
On our group’s recent tour, we paused in the downstairs bedroom where the Ghost Radar app was especially active. Flashlights responded when Baringer asked if any spirits were present. Baringer’s mobile phone was set on the bed, the Ghost Radar application slowly circling like a Navy radar looking for suspicious activity. “Forgot” the phone called out, the clearest of any sounds it made that evening. “Did you forget to close the gate?” June Walters asked Baringer. Yes, he had. Walters nodded, “they let us know when we forget to close the gate. Sometimes the Ghost Radar app will say ‘close it’ or ‘gate.’”
Trevor Baringer is a medium and self-taught paranormal investigator. He started his career guiding tours at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, one of the most active haunted locations in the state, where he learned from experienced ghost hunters. He continued his training with courses in shamanism and mediumship. And he relies on his “clairsentient” abilities, the ability to perceive information by a feeling or body sense. Baringer meshes the metaphysical with the scientific realm, using a variety of devices and meters to measure for ghostly spirits. The tools of his trade include old-fashioned dowsing rods and crystal pendulums. Equally impressive is the array of modern scientific equipment he uses, like EMF readers to test for electromagnetic fields, thermo-temperature gauges, laser grid lights, a thermal imaging camera, and the aforementioned Ghost Radar application. Baringer also employs a piece of equipment specific to the paranormal field, the Ovilus, which translates ambient electromagnetic waves in the air, using an EMF Meter, to utter words, enabling communication with the spirit world.
Guests on the Paranormal Investigation are asked to come with an open mind. “The most successful tours are when the guests are enthusiastic about engaging with the spirits,” Baringer explained. Modern visitors to the Briggle House Museum have described feeling cold spots in the room, a sensation of someone breathing down their neck or tugging their hair, and hearing footsteps in the attic. Photos showing orbs are common. Baringer invites the ghosts of good intention to visit the guests at the Briggle House Museum. While there is no guarantee the supernatural will appear, the tour is always fun and in good spirits.
If you are interested in the Paranormal Investigation, expect a two-hour guided experience in the Briggle House. It is not recommended for sensitive children and those easily frightened. The Paranormal Investigation is offered on Friday evenings in July, March, and, of course, October. Advance reservations and payment are required and guests must be at least 13 years old to join.
For those who prefer to visit a number of locations and hear spooky stories along the way, the Breckenridge Haunted Tour is for you. The tour concludes at the Briggle House Museum, but with less of a focus on the paranormal investigative equipment.
written by Leigh Girvin