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What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with a stay at one of Colorado’s most haunted hotels? Of course, with these, it’s Halloween all year-round.
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The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is a legendary hotel that reportedly spooked horror author Stephen King so much that it became the inspiration for the setting of “The Shining.” The hotel opened its doors in 1909, and ghostly events have been part of its history ever since. The sounds of children running and laughing down the halls are often reported on the fourth floor, and Mr. Stanley, the hotel’s original owner and the inventor of the Stanley Steamer Automobiles, as well as his wife, are said to frequently walk through the lobby. Mrs. Stanley can sometimes be heard playing her piano, while a former housekeeper who died at the hotel in 1911, is said to frequently assist guests in Room 217 by unpacking and storing their belongings.
For over a century now the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa has set the standard when it comes to Denver’s luxurious accommodation offerings. Not only has it hosted countless celebrities, presidents and other dignitaries, it’s also said to house several spirits, with many tales of unexplained paranormal activity reported by staff and guests throughout the years. The stories have included sightings of a string quartet in the San Marco Room where guests used to enjoy musical performances, the group has reportedly assured various bellmen by saying, “we live here.”
Locals sometimes refer to Hotel Jerome in Aspen as the “Bad Luck Hotel” due to the unusually high number of deaths and other tragedies that have befallen it. Multiple guests throughout its history have checked into this top-rated hotel in Aspen and never checked out. There have been drownings, accidental deaths and murders here, and many of those spirits are still said to be wandering its halls. Some have even glimpsed a drowning victim swimming in the hotel pool.
Hotel St. Nicholas was a hospital during Cripple Creek’s booming gold mining days, and it also had a ward for the mentally ill. If you’re interested in experiencing some of its paranormal activity, many mysterious incidents have taken place in room 11. Paranormal investigators and guests have had all sorts of strange happenings occur, including spirits that seem to want to carry their care-taking skills into the afterlife by watching over guests while they’re in bed.
Guests and staff have reported numerous bizarre events over the years at Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, most often in the wee hours of the morning, between 2am and 4am. Sometimes the elevators move from floor to floor with no one inside, or the smell of cigar smoke wafts through the halls, though no one is smoking. The screams of a woman frequently can be heard throughout the hotel and is believed to be that of a chambermaid who was murdered by her lover in a guest room that’s since been turned into a storage area, due to the many paranormal occurrences. If you’re brave enough to experience it all, the third floor is said to have the greatest amount of activity, like lights flickering on and off, televisions changing channels on their own, apparition sightings and more.
The Delaware Hotel is situated in America’s highest incorporated city, Leadville, at 10,152 feet. Surrounded by the majestic Rockies, it not only offers a stunning setting, but it’s one of the most haunted hotels in the state. Built in 1886, there’s a lot of history here, and not all of it pretty. A woman named Mary Coffey is said to roam the halls – she and her husband stayed here in 1899, and in a jealous rage, he shot her in the back. While she lived for several days, she eventually succumbed to her wounds. A vision of Coffey has repeatedly been reported ever since.
The 1874 Windsor Hotel in Del Norte is one of Colorado’s oldest hotels. In the late 19th-century, a time when the town was a flourishing mining and ranching center, it became its social and commercial hub. The hotel is said to be haunted by a woman known as Maude, who stayed here with her husband. He reportedly told her that he’d be right back, but when she looked out the window to watch him go, she saw him leaving with another woman, and he was never heard from again. Brokenhearted, she went across the street and purchased a gun, returned to her room and shot herself. Today, guests who stay in the room can sometimes still hear her moaning in pain, from the wound and the loss of her love.
The Strater Hotel in Durango was built in 1887, reportedly on old railroad tracks. It has a gorgeous interior that includes one of the most extensive collections of Victorian walnut antiques and also hosts one of the most prestigious still-active theaters. It’s also believed to be haunted, with numerous paranormal reports, like the apparition that looks like a railway engineer dressed in period clothing that strolls through the lobby, and the shadowy figure of a man in a white shirt who vanishes as quickly as he appears. The hotel staff is so disturbed that no one will work alone on the hotel’s upper floors.
The Victor Hotel, a 1899 building, was originally a bank, but also served as a storage place for the bodies of the dead when people passed away in the winter, as the ground was too hard for burial. Today, you’ll be impressed when you see its beautiful Victorian-style lobby and authentic birdcage elevator, but if you spend the night, particularly on the fourth floor where the bodies were stored, you may not get much rest as it’s said to be quite active. Apparitions as well as the sounds of footsteps and voices when no one is there, and lights turning on and off on their own have been reported among other events. Room 301 is said to be haunted by a ghost named Eddie, who fell down the elevator shaft, and the doors of the elevator often open and close on their own.