"Georgetown has a haunted house," proclaimed the December 26, 1868, issue of the Rocky Mountain News:
The Ghost of Bainbridge, who was hung by a vigilance committee, has returned to earth to vex and worry the people who lived in a house hard by the fatal tree. It opens doors that are locked and slams them in a way supposed to be natural to a house breaker. One citizen of keen perception has seen him with the rope still around his neck. The family has moved away. The Miner tells all about it.
This article led me to question who Bainbridge was and just what he had done to have been lynched by a vigilante group.
We learn from Mr. J. P. Waterman, who has just arrived from Georgetown, that a man named Ed. Bainbridge shot another by the name of Martin, yesterday evening. A dispute arose over a game of cards, when Bainbridge drew his pistol and deliberately shot Martin through the head, the ball penetrating his forehead. Martin died instantly. It was reported in Central that the murderer would be lynched, and our informant thinks he has been strung up ore [sic] this. —Rocky Mountain News, April 25, 1867, page 3
Reports of Bainbridge's gruesome hanging by an angry mob appeared in the Rocky just a few days later on April 29. This article also mentioned that Martin was actually still alive, but was not expected to recover.
Many books and web pages have been written about the ghost of Edward Bainbridge haunting Georgetown, but few can point to documented evidence about Bainbridge's life. Where was Bainbridge from? Was he a miner? Did he have a history of violence?
Can YOU fill in the details of this ghost story using the Western History/Genealogy department's genealogy resources?
Want to hear a ghost story? Several iterations of the Edward Bainbridge ghost story can be found in these DPL titles:
- From the grave : a roadside guide to Colorado's pioneer cemeteries by Wommack, Linda
- Georgetown : a quick history : including the Georgetown Loop by Jessen, Kenneth Christian
- Haunted places : the national directory : ghostly abodes, sacred sites, UFO landings, and other supernatural locations by Hauck, Dennis William