A Fort Collins ghost story: Q & A with the owner of Walrus Ice Cream, Lisa Paugh.
An inside look at the ghost living peacefully at the heart of Fort Collins, CO.
Lisa Paugh, owner of the Fort Collins favorite, Walrus Ice cream, moved to this lovely town from Iowa in 1996, and has stayed despite the numerous encounters with the supernatural. Lisa and her ex-husband co-own the popular ice cream parlor and have since they purchased the building on Mountain Ave. in 1999. This interview is a firsthand account of operating a successful business in the midst of a friendly, yet present, ghost.
What do you know about the ghost who haunts Walrus?
Lisa: Our ghost name is Charlie Dinnebeck. He was one of the original occupants of the building we are in now, the owner of the town cafe back around the 1900’s. He is a very friendly ghost and brings a real energy to our business. He mostly spends his time in the basement and we have been told by the experts that he is the guardian of a portal for the supernatural which is also in the basement.
Have you had any experiences with the Charlie?
Lisa: Yes, absolutely. Actually, when we first renovated the building after we purchased it, we messed with the balance of everything. The most supernatural activity was that first year. Charlie, the ghost which haunts the building, was upset that we were ignoring his presence and and we found the front windows smashed and large cupboards tipped over. As new business owners we were a little freaked out, but soon came to see what a joyful ghost Charlie is. Now that we make him know to the public, he brings a fun energy to our shop. Recently he laid all of our cookie sheets in an ordered line across the floor, I think he was just reminding us that he is still around.
Do you know much else about the history of the building that you own?
Lisa: Our building has a lot of history, where to begin. It was originally a printing press for the Coloradoan, it was also a cafe, and at a point it was part of a bank while the teller was across the street in the building which is now Rare. The basement was often used for celebrations and festivities, which is why we think Charlie is quite the entertainer. There are tunnels underground connecting our basement to the basement of Rare, and or the Rio, which used to be the old morgue. The basement also has part of the Cache La Poudre river running under it. We have been told this is where the portal to the other side sits.
What would you tell your customers about Charlie?
Lisa: I would tell them to not be afraid. The business we run is for families and fun occasions. Charlie brings goodwill and good tidings and I believe that is all has ever wanted to do. We have pictures of Charlie and his family hung up on our walls as well as well as his story and we want him to know he is welcome. He makes us all feel welcome and I believe he has helped our business to be successful. Charlie is definitely here to stay, and I think we are all are okay with that.