We visited the St. Marks Episcopal Church on 7/29/09. It is one of several architecturally intriguing buildings in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
In 1868, the Cheyenne Episcopalians held their services in a small church building. By 1886, the congregation had outgrown this small building and plans were developed to construct a larger church building for services. By 1888, the new church building was almost entirely completed, except for the bell tower which was blocked off for completion at a later time.
Perhaps due to financial constraints, or some other logical reason, the bell tower remained on the list of things “to do” until 1924. According to one source, the construction of the bell tower was given over to be completed by two Swedish masons who were skilled in old-world-style masonry. When the bell tower was 40 feet tall, local lore claims that these two masons disappeared suddenly and without explanation. Years later, an unknown man stepped forward and explained that while the men were working the tower, one of them fell to his death. The other man, fearing that he would be deported, decided to entomb his coworker in the structure of the bell tower.
St. Marks Episcopal Church is located within the vicinity of the capitol building Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is significant because the haunts listed for Cheyenne fall along a path that is supposedly followed by underground tunnels. We have not verified the existence of these underground tunnels in Cheyenne, however.
The claim has been made that workers who finished construction on the tower after the disappearance of the two Swedish masons heard unexplained tapping, hammering, and whispering sounds coming from the walls of the tower.
The church once held an annual Halloween fundraiser which included a haunted house that went up into the St. Marks bell tower. Apparently, the rector placed a fake corpse in the bell tower as part of the “haunt” and this fake corpse is the source of rumors pertaining to the bell tower haunting.
According to one source, a psychic who visited the St. Marks church reported the existence of two spirits in the church. One of them an older white haired man and another one who was “upset”. These spirits are believed by some to be the Father Rafter who hired the two Swedish masons, and the man who fell to his death.
The sound of a pipe organ has been reported in the church though there is no pipe organ in the church anymore. There once was a pipe organ in the bell tower, however. Disembodied whispers are still reported and the church bells are said to ring without cause or warning at times as well.
Weiser (2009). Legends of America: Ghostly Legends of Cheyenne. Retrieved August 11, 2009 from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/WY-CheyenneGhosts.html
Shadowlord (1998). The Shadowlands Haunted Places Index. Retrieved August 11, 2008 from http://theshadowlands.net/places/wyoming.htm