Conspiracy theories have long surrounded Denver's International Airport since it opened in 1995 – with many believing it hides a secret bunker for the Illuminati.

Visitors to the airport are greeted by a massive statue of a horse rearing on its hind legs with glowing red eyes. To add to the creepiness, the statue - titled Blue Mustang - killed its sculptor Luis Jimenez in 2006, when it fell on him and severed an artery in his leg.

Read more: Why is Denver's airport so creepy?

Inside the terminal, the unsettling iconography continues. A gargoyle pops out of a suitcase at baggage claim and a mysterious plaque states that the airport was paid for by the "New World Airport Commission" - which doesn't exist.

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A section of Leo Tanguma's mural shows a storm trooper-esque figure killing a dove. Photo / Flickr, Mark Frauenfelder
A section of Leo Tanguma's mural shows a storm trooper-esque figure killing a dove. Photo / Flickr, Mark Frauenfelder

And the strange post-apocalyptic murals within the airport – which have since been removed – certainly didn't help stop the spread of the rumours.

Located 40km outside of Denver, the airport is enormous - it's twice the size of Manhattan and reportedly went $2 billion over budget.

Before its construction, Denver already had an airport, Stapleton, which added fuel to beliefs that it was constructed to hide a large underground bunker, presumably reserved for members of the Illuminati.

However, now it seems Denver International Airport has embraced the conspiracies.

Signs plastered over temporary walls surrounding construction zones pay tribute to the rumours of aliens, Freemasons and Illuminati agents roaming the secret tunnels the airport supposedly hides. Emblazoned with images of reptilian humanoids, gargoyles and the demonic horse known as "Blucifer", the posters embrace the conspiracy theories head on.

A sign at Denver International Airport addresses the conspiracy theories. Photo / Denver International Airport
A sign at Denver International Airport addresses the conspiracy theories. Photo / Denver International Airport

"Construction? Or cover up?" reads one sign. Another hints on what could be coming soon: "A secret portal to the underworld", "streamlined security" or "another misunderstood mural".'

Whether the walls are hiding "new Illuminati headquarters", "a remodeling of the lizard's people lair" or just new restaurants, they're sure to get the tin-foil hat crowd talking.

Emily Williams, a spokesperson for the airport, told the Denver Post that the conspiracy theories had become part of the airport's brand and were a "fun" way to engage with passengers.

A gargoyle in a suitcase at Denver International Airport. Photo / K W Reinsch, Flickr
A gargoyle in a suitcase at Denver International Airport. Photo / K W Reinsch, Flickr

The posters also direct visitors to a website which explains what is happening with the construction process – as well as explaining the conspiracy theories. But the airport is hardly attempting to defuse them. Instead, it simply states "if that's what you want to believe, we're not going to hinder your imagination."