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Ghostly Colorado castle goes on the auction block today

Published March 19, 2005 1:25 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

DENVER - A century-old castle with a history full of ghosts, ex-presidents and tycoons goes up for auction today, two years after federal agents seized it as part of a multimillion-dollar investing scam.

The 42-room mansion in the mountains near Aspen has a roller coaster past: Teddy Roosevelt stayed at the estate during a hunting trip after he left the White House; oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller did too. But it was nearly abandoned after a mining bust, and some say the cigar-smoking ghost of its builder, coal baron John Cleveland Osgood, still haunts the halls.

''We're hoping the right buyer will come by and recognize the need to preserve a very important part of Colorado history and a very important part of U.S. history,'' Internal Revenue Service special agent Jim Harrison said.

Lined with antiques and surrounded by a carriage house, barn and other outbuildings, the castle and 149-acre estate last sold in 2000 for about $6 million. Harrison declined to say what it is worth today.

Federal agents seized the castle in March 2003 during a federal investigation into an international Ponzi scheme. The IRS also seized about $17 million in cash from various bank accounts and race cars worth $2 million.