In July 2010, Denver based Haunted Xplorations conducted an investigation inside the Capital Prize. The report is actually the observations of the three investigators which is important because you can see they sometimes experience the same thing as a group, and not just individually. Unfortunately the group has since disbanded and we lost the photos and EVP's that were posted on their website.
Haunted Capital Prize Gold Mine Report
Capital Prize Mines is still a working mine and contains both silver and gold. The mine operators still do blasting to expose more vessels of the mine. The mine has been rehabilitated and open for tours since October 2011. You can still see the marks on the side of the mine where engineers at one point wanted to blast to dig for gold/silver. Ride back over 1300′ on the gold mine train and tour turn of the century underground workings in the naturally climate controlled (50 deg. F all year long) Capital Prize Mines complex. Tours offer excellent examples of rich gold & silver ore bodies in place.
In 1859, George and David Griffith discovered gold ore west of Idaho Springs. Prospectors would journey up the creeks following the gold until they could track down veins or fracture in the Earth’s Crust where they could stake their claim at the source. The settlement of George’s Town sprouts up near the discovery and later becomes the town of Georgetown. Georgetown rises to prominence among mining towns after large silver deposits are discovered nearby in1864. For a time, Georgetown was the worlds leading producer of silver, and a thriving boom town. Later silver booms at Leadville, Colorado, and Virginia City, Nevada, would eclipse Georgetown as a silver producer, but good times would continue until the silver panic of 1893.
The Griffith Mining District was officially established in1860. Capital Prize is part of the original company started by the Griffiths at the very beginning of the District. Silver and gold were found, many claims were staked on lots of excellent ore but it was a pesky kind of ore that did not give up its gold or silver easily. It took several decades and repeated tries until metallurgic science got it right; half a century passed until the whole system was in place and the local miners found their stride.
The first Capital Prize Mines tunnel was started in 1860 and is the original founding mine of Georgetown. An additional access tunnel was built in 1906 – 1908 to access the Aetna Vein, the mother lode of the county.
The mine support building dates to prior to 1883 and is where they have their shop located now. It includes the original blacksmith shop and spaces used for the mine’s machinery. There are 6 different levels of tunnels above the entrance. The main tunnel runs about 3,300 feet straight back but currently it is possible to walk only 1200 feet to the back of the mine due to a cave-in. There are other tunnels that branch from the main some of which can be explored.
There are several documented deaths in the Capital Prize Mine:
Taken from Oak Creek Times (Oak Creek, Routt County), Thursday, June 23, 1910, page 5
Taken from Telluride Journal (Telluride, San Miguel County), Thursday, January 22, 1914, page 6
Taken from San Juan Prospector (Del Norte, Rio Grande County), November 28, 1914
Taken from the Routt County Sentinel (Steamboat Springs, Routt County), Friday, January 04, 1918
At the back of the tunnel there are miners names engraved in the walls of the mine, some date back to 1911. Nineteen sixty-nine was the last year people actually worked in the mine.
January 2010 is when they reopened portal that we entered for our investigation. The portal was closed for at least 15 years. Many people have entered the same entrance to access this particular mine as well as other mines that were connected in some way. For many miners, when they entered, they were never able to exit, losing their life inside the mine. Research shows an average of 200 miners a day entered through the Capital Prize Mine Portal.
Haunted Xplorations thoroughly enjoyed investigating this historic mine. Being the first paranormal team to ever investigate, we went in with no expectations. We began our investigation at the far end of the mine, 1500 ft within the mountain. We set up a camcorder and laser grid, REM pod, Mel Meter, K2 meter and several audio recorders positioned in various locations from the back wall to where we were sitting.
We began an EVP session in the dark, asking questions relevant to the history of the mine. The only illumination was from the laster grid pointed to the back wall where a cave in had occurred long ago. After a short time we became adjusted to the darkness; and began to see signs of shadow play in the area of the laser grid. Following this a series of events began to perplex us.
After we had been at our EVP session for a while, Yvonne began to feel strongly like someone standing beside her. She turned on her flashlight and of course no one was there. She almost immediately felt her leg touched several times. Right after this, Jill felt a touch on her neck. Charles was working with dowsing rods and asked if someone touched Jill’s neck. The immediate response was “yes”.
Jill then became overwhelmed with a feeling of being enveloped with something or someone standing directly behind her; even leaning on her. The feeling was so overpowering that she was rattled by the experience. The experience lasted for over a minute. At the same time Jill had this feeling, Charles reported seeing a black mass against her chair up against her back. This was called out right as she identified to everyone the feelings she was experienced. A simple coincidence?
During this same time frame that we were having personal experiences, the laser grid light suddenly went out even though it contained a fresh set of batteries. We quickly replaced the laser grid with a new one and not long after that the lights on the grid started fluctuating again finally settling on a very bright illumination.
We had some glow stick packages laying on the floor in the area we were sitting in case our flashlight batteries died. At one point we heard them being manipulated like something was poking them, curious about what they were. We checked and no investigators were near them or touching them. We jumped around trying to make them crinkle and it was a no go. We have no idea what was causing them to make such a racket. An inquisitive spirit perhaps?
Bill also experienced a great deal of emotion during this time frame. Something definitely had an effect on him. It was just so odd that all of this was happening at the same time. We were all feeling something. What was really unnerving was that although we were sitting in the dark, it got even darker for a short period if that is even possible. We are all impressed with the entire experience.
We decided to move back up to the front of the mine making several stops along the way to explore several branching tunnels. As we moved up the main tunnel, Yvonne took pictures down these branches, capturing a mist or fog on the first picture snap. Subsequent snaps of the camera within seconds of the first showed no signs of mist or fog. The pictures were clear. This happened numerous times. We were unable to identify what would cause it.
After settling at the front part of the mine, we started a second EVP session. During this session, we heard laughing and we heard responses to many of our questions, some of which were captured on our audio equipment. This can be heard by going to the EVPs tab on our website. We also captured EVPs that we were not aware of until we later reviewed our footage. We have posted these for your review as well.
We tried to invoke a response with several pieces of equipment. We had three flashlights set up on a shelf; trying to see if we could get them to turn on by request. While these flashlights were not ever turned on, a flashlight in Yvonne’s lap was manipulated twice and turned on by command.
A K2 EMF meter set up in the area we were doing this second EVP session did not show much response at first. Yvonne and I asked the guys to leave so we could carry on the session with just the girls. Once they left the mine, Yvonne began talking. As she talked the meter lit up and stayed lit during the entire time. When Charles re-entered the mine, the lights on the meter suddenly went off. We asked him to leave and again the meter lit up when Yvonne started talking. It was very strange.
When the guys returned, the meter did continue to respond continuously to the question and answer session. So we tried something different and asked that the meter be set to green and held in this position. It did. Next it was time for the girls to leave the mine. The guys held a session with the dowsing rods. The rods showed some very interesting results to questions asked.
Given the number of personal experiences and the number of EVPs captured while investigating this mine, we do feel there is paranormal activity. Please take a look at the EVPs we have posted in the EVPs section of our website for responses to our sessions. We look forward to returning the Capital Prize Mines for followup investigations and seeing what else we can experience.
“Being that this was our first mine investigation, the group as a whole was excited to get in there! We had such an amazing time throughout the night and mainly because we had such a good tour guide and tons of history that Bill provided to us.
We started off the night by walking straight to the end of the mine and we got set up. After only a few moments of being inside the cave, myself and other members of the group, along with Bill would randomly see red flashes of lights. Some occurring in the same area repeatedly and some off to the distance. We checked to make sure there was nothing that was giving off these red lights or anything electrical was going off and everywhere we saw these lights, was straight mountain.
After a while we all were sitting around the same area and I had Jill in front of me, Charles and Bill were off to my left and I felt as if someone just stepped to stand right behind me. Of course no one was there but it was a very strong presence that was felt by me. Soon after, I felt the presence behind me go away is when Jill started feeling as though someone was standing behind her chair and was making physical contact with her.
As we moved forward with our investigation, we noticed the green laser-grid that we had set up started to flicker. This seemed odd because we had just replaced the batteries and didn’t think they should be drained by that time. After the laser went out, we replaced it with an identical laser that another member had. We set it up in the exact same place and a few minutes after getting it in place, the laser grid got brighter. Just very odd occurrences with both sets of lasers. We all seemed to be finding our equipment to be losing battery life fast throughout the night.
Bill, who works in the mine on a daily basis was overcome by emotions during one point. He said the tears were just flowing and he didn’t understand why. He said he never had felt this way and he has been working at this location for close to a year now.
Another odd thing happened as we started making our way to the entrance of the mine; every few hundred yards, there would be a corridor that branched off from the main tunnel in the mine. I had my digital camera in hand and just for documentary purposes, thought taking photos every few steps would be cool to review and have for our files. When we reached the first corridor to our right, we turned the corner and I snapped a quick photo and quickly snapped another right after. The first initial photo showed some sort of mist or smoke that one of our investigators had seen throughout the night with her bare eyes. We continued on towards other corridors and I continued on with snapping photos. At one point, I had taken a photo and nothing appeared and quickly after, snapped another photo to find the same misty cloud appear and the third photo I snapped, the mist was gone.
We ended the night with having tons of noises and bangs and even footsteps heard by myself along with the other members.
Reviewing our evidence we are finding some very solid EVP’s that we would love to have your opinion on.
I cannot thank Bill and Capital Prize Mines for their hospitality and kindness! We truly hope we will be invited back to the mines again in the future.”
“I would like to thank the entire Capital Prize Mine staff for allowing us to be the first paranormal team to investigate this location. The mine its self is amazing. If I had sat in this mine all night and had no personal experiences and found nothing during evidence review it would have been worth it. The Capital Prize team is very knowledgeable about the mine and mining. But I’m glad that the opposite occurred.
With this being one of the few outdoor investigations I’ve done, I was skeptical as to how it was going to go. With an outdoor investigation you have to compete with all types of noises from the elements, cars and sometimes people.
I was returning to join the group. On my way back to the end of the mine, I felt like it was getting colder and then it felt like my head was being pressed on from both sides.
Evidence Review Audio recorders:
During the investigation, several dowsing rod sessions were conducted. The most impressive one I had was close to the entrance of the mine. Clay our guest investigator asked if the rods could point to the way out of the mine. One rod pointed to the exit we all knew about, the other rod pointed towards one of the mine shafts. Bill confirmed that at on point you could enter and exit the mine from the second shaft. In order to confirm this. I turned in a different direction, Clay asked the same question again and again the rods pointed in the same direction. After he asked the second time, you could hear a sigh. It was almost like are you really asking me this again.
I was talking about some of the history of the mine and the deaths that had occurred here. I started talking about how Jill Yvonne and Bill had experienced being touched and feeling weird while in the mine and that nothing had happened to me. After making that comment I picked and EVP that told me to “back off”
During the investigation we all heard laughing coming from one of the mine shafts. Several possible voices some of which were caught on recording. Yvonne and Jill even got buzzed by a bat.
The Capital Prize Mines is one of the most active places I’ve ever investigated. With all the personal experiences the team had and all the evidence that was found by the team. I would have to say that Capital Prize Mines is haunted. I also feel that whatever or whoever is here is just here to have fun.”