Can you conjure enough courage to stay at these Centennial State lodgings?
Colorado is not short on history, urban legends or chilling tales of the supernatural. Even our ghost towns live up to their name in local lore. Heck, even some of our city parks are said to be the stomping grounds of spirits.
So, it goes to reason that some of our great hotels are filled with more than temporary guests. If you are a fan of the spooky, take an overnight trip (or more) to some of these historic hotels and see if you can scare up some fun ... or, if nothing else, a luxurious night's sleep.
Oxford Hotel – Denver
A throwback photo of the Cruise Room. It has since been remodeled but still holds the same timeless vibe. Take a seat at the bar and maybe you'll meet the doomed postman. Courtesy of The Oxford Hotel (Facebook)
Holding the title of the oldest hotel in Denver, the Oxford Hotel was built in 1891. Interestingly, it was designed by the same architect who built what is referred to as the most haunted home in Denver, the Peabody-Whitehead Mansion.
If your lucky, you might meet a few long-term residents at the Oxford. The Cruise Room, the hotel's bar, is home to a tragic traveler of another time. People have claimed to strike up a conversation with a man at the bar who disappears after he orders a drink. If you happen upon this lonely ghost, you just met the bar’s most famous apparition, a former postal worker who often drops in for a drink but always rushes out before drinking, saying, "The children, I have to get the gifts to the children," according to diningout.com. He first appeared in the '30s, and after investigation, the hotel staff found an account of a postal worker who met a tragic end as he made his way to deliver Christmas gifts to the Central City.
"The people of Central City assumed that the postal worker had sold the gifts and took the money. In the spring, however, they learned otherwise. They found the bag of gifts alongside his decomposing body in between Denver and Central City," the site relates.
Did you book room 320? If so, beware of Florence Montague, a young woman who had taken residence in the room with a lover. When her husband found her, she was murdered in the room. It is reported that she still haunts the room (possible photographs of her ghostly form have been captured) and has a particular interest in male guests. She has been photographed in the room.
The Broadmoor – Colorado Springs
Courtesy of The Broadmoor (Facebook)
Many people take a vacation to The Broadmoor for all the amenities and things to do in the Colorado Springs area. Some of them have liked it so much, they never left. The initial lodge was originally built by a wealthy Prussian Count, James Pourtales, who headed West to make a name for himself catering to the recently wealthy mining crowd. Originally a lodge and casino, it burned down in 1897 and was quickly built back, boasting a new hotel to greet more guests.
The fire sparked rumors of tortured souls who remained on the grounds after dying in the flames. Staff claims to have seen several apparitions floating through the halls, and the penthouse is also a hot spot for activity. That, the story goes, is caused by Julie Penrose, a widow who lived in the rooms until she passed away. Julie lived until 1956, and since then, cold spots, moving objects, and lights with a mind of their own have been reported. The staff has noted that a woman in a period 1930s dress has been seen floating down the hallways and up the front staircases at night.
Baldpate Inn – Estes Park
Courtesy of the Baldpate Inn
Everyone knows about the Stanley Hotel's haunted reputation, but it's not the only place in Estes Park that hosts guests of the ghostly kind. For over 100 years, the Baldpate Inn has welcomed guests who are traveling in and around Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes. The inn was the dream of Gordon and Ethel Mace, and one of the most interesting things about the inn is the "Key Room", which contains over 20,000 keys from across the world.
What was the Mace's dream in life, also seems to be in death. Ethel has been seen haunting her old room and the Key Room, and she doesn’t appreciate the drinking crowd, sending drinks flying off the tables. Gordon isn’t a fan of smokers and has been known to smash lit cigarettes and steal cigarette packs.
Stanley Hotel – Estes Park
Courtesy of Stanley Hotel
And, here we come to the granddaddy of haunted hotels in our state, The Stanley. It's likely the most well-known hotel for scaring horror author Stephen King so much that he used it as an inspiration for The Shining. Contrary to what many believe, the movie wasn’t filmed there, but a later TV series was.
The sounds of children running and laughing down the halls are often reported on the fourth floor (which was once the staff quarters). Mr. Stanley, the hotel’s original owner and the inventor of the Stanley Steamer Automobiles, as well as his wife, are said to frequently greet guests. A former housekeeper is said to frequently assist guests in room 217 by helping them unpack.
This author had an experience with the "Lady in Green" in the Manor House, the building adjacent to the main hotel. I was exploring the place to write an article, and other than a conference, there were no people around. Upon almost reaching the top of the beautiful staircase in the building, I caught, out of the corner of my eye, someone wearing green rounding the corner from the hallway to descend the staircase. We appeared to be about to collide, so I flinched in preparation for impact. Nothing happened, and when I looked up, there was no one there. Afterward, when I took the ghost tour (I cannot recommend this enough—it's both historic and a ton of fun), the guide discussed the "Lady in Green" who haunts the Manor House. On a separate tour, I witnessed chairs rocking on their own on the porch on a clear, calm day. Was it just a slight breeze that made them move? You'll just have to check-in and decide for yourself!
Hotel Colorado – Glenwood Springs
Courtesy of Hotel Colorado
From a rumored Native American curse to a basement that once served as a morgue, Hotel Colorado is full of stories of the strange.
The hotel seems to be most active in the wee hours of the morning; elevators travel the floors with no one inside, the smell of cigar smoke wafts through the halls, and screams of a woman are heard throughout the hotel. A child has been seen wearing Victorian-style clothing and playing with a ball in the Devereaux Dining Room. People have also smelled perfume and heard dishes clanging in the area.
The Black Monarch Hotel – Victor
Courtesy of the Black Monarch Hotel
Who doesn't want to stay at a remodeled, historic haunted hotel with a serial-killer theme? The Black Monarch Hotel's genius concept with a creepy vibe ups the spook factor of an already ghostly building.
Located in what was once the second-largest gold mining district, the hotel has seen several people come and go over the years. If its walls could talk, they would share stories of its time as a late-1800s casino, saloon, and brothel. According to legend, it's not uncommon for lodgers to report phantom party sounds and other random noises in the middle of the night. The hotel was leveled in a fire in 1899, which is thought to have left a few souls behind to wander the halls. The spirit of a barkeep who died in a gunfight also remains to sling drinks and scares.
The hotel offers four remodeled rooms with three being dedicated to historic serial killers throughout history. Are you brave enough to stay in the Elizabeth Bathory room, named after a Hungarian countess who tortured and murdered hundreds of girls and bathed in their blood, searching for restored youth?
Are you up for sharing your hotel room with a spirit? Let us know in the comments below!