Sinister Steamboat: Stories of murder, mayhem and exploding buildings |

Sinister Steamboat: Stories of murder, mayhem and exploding buildings

Local tour guide and historian, Marianne Capra will lead Sinister Steamboat this weekend to tell the untold stories of murder, mystery and mayhem in places least expected.
John F. Russell
If you go: What: Sinister Steamboat When: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, Saturday, Oct. 28, Sunday, Oct. 29 Where: Meet at the Steamboat Coffee House, 635 Lincoln Ave.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sometimes the scariest stories are the ones that are true.

“Naturally, I think human beings have a light and dark side to our nature,” said Marianne Capra, freelance natural and cultural historian and Spellbinder™ storyteller. “Sometimes, the darkness in movies, and even the new, is hyperbole. But what’s really scary about some of these stories is the truth of them.”

At the inaugural Sinister Steamboat event, participants are invited to take a walk on the dark side of Routt County’s history with stories of murder, mayhem, aliens and ghosts found in unlikely places.

Capra will lead the 10-block, two-hour walking tour at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29. The tours will begin at the Steamboat Coffee House, 635 Lincoln Ave.

As a fundraiser for Olympic hopefuls Brant Crossan, skier cross, and Ryan Dyer, freestyle moguls, Sinister Steamboat will include a meet and greet with the athletes and a “history-telling” of “Hahn-ted Peak.”

“I used to run the Haunted Crawford House program, and I miss telling the dark histories that are perfect to get your spook on during this dried-leaf time of year,” Capra said.

Although the information she provides on this tour may not rot your teeth like cheap Halloween candy, it may make attendees think twice about walking the downtown streets at night.

“Snow today is what brings people to town, before, it was the reason no one came here,” Capra said. “It was deadly, lethal.”

With a background working at Yosemite National Park, Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Olympic National Park, Capra offers story sessions, living history programs and guided walking tours throughout the year, but none quite like this.

Día de Muertos “Day of the Dead” being one of her favorite holidays, Capra has collected stories over the years and said many of them are hidden in plain sight.

“I think that’s what’s terrifying — the darkness, the truth that’s right there, the surprise of it when they notice something that’s been sitting in front of them the whole time,” Capra said.

The cost of the Sinister Steamboat walking tours are $20 per person. No RSVP is required; however, sign up for tour will be at the Steamboat Coffee House one hour prior to each tour. Tour size is limited and it’s not recommended for kids younger than 8.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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