Head to Manitou Springs on Oct. 27 for a day of fun that's straight from the grave.
Coloradans will celebrate pretty much anything (looking at you Frozen Dead Guy Days). So, when Halloween rolls around, why not throw a party for the macabre tale of Emma Crawford and how her coffin rolled down a mountain into infamy.
Picture it: Manitou Springs, 1889. A beautiful young woman comes to Manitou searching for a cure for tuberculosis in the famed natural, cold-water mineral springs. While trying to restore her health, she falls deeply in love with the town and her fiancé, William Hildebrand.
She never had a chance to marry. Tuberculosis took its final toll on dear Emma in 1891, and it was her dying wish to be buried near her beloved community at the top of Red Mountain. William and 11 other townspeople carried Emma’s coffin up the 7,200-foot slope to her final resting place.
Except she didn’t stay there. In 1929, piles of winter snow and torrential spring rains caused flooding and erosion on the mountainside. Emma, and her coffin, were unearthed and raced down the mountain amidst the flowing mud and water. When she was found by a group of young children, there was only a nameplate, casket handles and a few bones left of poor Emma. She is said to haunt Red Mountain to this day.
So, of course, the next logical thing for the town was to celebrate her wild ride with the Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival. Since 1995, teams have been decorating “coffins” and sending them barreling down Manitou Ave to see who is first to reach the finish line. And you can get a front row seat on this fun fest!
Be sure to arrive early to get your best viewing spot for the parade that starts at noon followed by a ghastly cohort of teams racing coffins to the ultimate victory! There will also be a beer garden and music entertainment in Soda Springs Park following the races, as well as several other fun, spooky events throughout the town. Dress up in your best costume to fit right in!
Check out the fun in this video courtesy of the festival.
What: 24th Annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races and Festival
When: Oct. 27, 12-4 p.m.
Where: Manitou Springs
More Info and Festival Events
Will we see you there? Let us know in the comments below.