James and Eva Howe

According to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s Local History Archive, perhaps spookiest haunting of Fort Collins is a story about James and Eva Howe who moved here in 1880. Although married for 15 years, Eva decided she had enough of her husband’s violence brought on by drinking.

1314 Myrtle Street is the address of the house James Howes killed his wife Eva in on April 3, 1880. The house was originally on Walnut, but was lifted from its roots and placed on Myrtle. 

On April 3, 1888 Eva was ready to lead herself and her daughter to safety when a drunk James arrived home unexpectedly. James was furious and knocked Eva out, stood over her and stabbed her in the neck. The neighbors who had seen this travesty took James to the jailhouse.

The same evening, all the lights went out in Fort Collins and a mob ensued to drag James to the gallows where he was hung. This incident was a large part in the promotion of temperance and led to Fort Collins becoming a dry town from 1909 to 1968. It is rumored James haunts the building where The Armadillo Mexican Restaurant used to reside (now the Elizabeth Hotel). Full body apparitions have been seen in photos along with some ankle grabbing of guests.