Haunting tales are arising out of the Country Boy Mine in Breckenridge
May 16, 2008
BRECKENRIDGE If ghosts DO exist, it certainly seems like the perfect place for them to hang out. At least, thats what some locals and tourists are beginning to believe.At 900 feet below ground, the Country Boy Mine in Breckenridge, with its 2,000 feet of maze-like tunnels winding around in pitch-black darkness, seems like a ghostly playground just waiting for the spirit world to inhabit it. If you looked up the word spooky in the dictionary, there should be a photo of the Country Boy right next to the definition.And photos, indeed, may be at the heart of something big happening there after all.Im a very scientific, rational person, and I need proof for everything, says Country Boy owner/operator Paul Hintgen. But visitors have been e-mailing us saying that theyre seeing things on their film. The first e-mail came from a visitor last summer, who got home, started loading his digital photos on his computer and noticed that one looked completely different.All the photos before and after this one were of the same shot and looked normal, but this one had a mysterious fog-like image of a person inside the mine you can even point out his features and his beard, said Hintgen, pointing to an image that eerily outlines a miner pushing a cart.Then we got another e-mail from someone else who had taken a photo of his daughter, in a very well-lit area in back of the mine near the ore carts, Hintgen continued. Its lit by halogen lamps, which is why our tourists often take their photos there.When the digital photo was loaded onto his computer, the photographer was surprised to see a flame of mist encompassing and surrounded the daughter.You can see this figure, like a torso, standing directly behind the daughter, with its arms going around her shoulders like shes being hugged, said Hintgen. In that area of the mine, you should be seeing bright lights and Do Not Enter and ore carts in the back but that part of the photo is completely black.Thats when Paul and his wife Cindy started hearing unsettling things from their tour guides as well.Each morning, one of the tour guides goes inside alone first to inspect the mine and monitor the air quality, Hintgen said. One of them told me that when he was done with his inspection at the back and was walking out, somebody pushed him from behind on the shoulder so hard that he stumbled forward. He was alone down there, and he knows that he didnt trip something pushed him. He even tells people about it in his tour, Hintgen added.Hintgen decided to share these stories with the producers of the popular Sci-Fi channel show, Ghost Hunters.I would love to get these guys to spend the night in the mine, he said. It would be totally different than the haunted house thing. After all, it takes people out of their comfort zone, to go into a dark hole in the ground.While there has never been a documented accident in the Country Boy Mine, there have been local legends of occurrences happening there, as well as in other area mines.In the February 28, 1936 issue of the Summit County Journal, writer Ed Auge chronicled the activities of the nearby Wellington Mine during the grueling winter of 1912. While describing the mines various stopes the openings or rooms made in a mine during the process of ore extraction he made reference to an area called the Ghost Stope.The stope received its name from the story that was told of seeing a headless man prowling around there, Auge writes. Many who are superstitious or too weak to conquer their own imaginations refuse to work there.Hintgens story of the possible Country Boy Mine haunting was selected to be included in the Ghost Hunters website Map of Haunted America. You can go to the site and vote for it its Case #3243 at http://www.scifi.com/ghosthunters/ghosthunt/ and you can also write in your own experiences of hauntings in Breckenridge. If the site garners enough Breckenridge votes or stories, theres a chance that the Ghost Hunters team may come and film an episode in the area. You can also go to http://www.countryboymine.com and look at the ghost photos already posted or submit your own, if youve had an other-worldly experience there.So the question for Paul Hintgen is, does he believe in ghosts?If youd asked me that two weeks ago, Id have said no, he says. Does that mean …?If you ask me that today, Hintgen admits, I would have to say that yes, I have experienced something as recently as a week ago.Stay tuned.