Northern Colorado Haunted Hotels:
Taking a trip to the Centennial State? The diverse landscape, the outdoor activities, and the rich cultural heritage make for a great vacation, no matter what part you decide to visit. But don’t forget about the ghosts! These Northern Colorado Haunted Hotels will ensure your trip is to die for.
If you don’t know that the Stanley Hotel is the most famous haunted hotel in Colorado, perhaps even in the country, then you must have been living under a rock. The Stanley Hotel is well known to be Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in his novel, “The Shining,” and the 1996, mini-series based on the book was filmed here. You will find this hotel on pretty much any list of haunted destinations in America.
Room 217 is where King stayed and is haunted by a former housekeeper who died there, but that’s not the only room with otherworldly activity. Ghostly children run and play in the halls, an older gentleman, resembling the original owner has been seen in the windows and guests have smelled his pipe smoke trailing behind them. The entire fourth floor, which used to be the servant’s quarters, is extremely active with things moving about on their own and disembodied footsteps roaming about.
The Stanley Hotel has been beautifully restored and hosts guests year-round, both the living and the dead. Stay tuned for our next blog dedicated solely to this legendary Colorado Haunted Hotel.
The Stanley Hotel is not the only Colorado Haunted Hotel located in Estes Park. Just two years after the Stanley opened, Gordon and Ethel Mace opened the Baldpate Inn. It was named for the Inn from their favorite mystery novel, Seven Keys, wherein guests were a souvenir room key to keep. Folks enjoyed the novelty so much that guests began bringing keys from their travels to give to the Maces. Now there are over 20,000 keys in the collection, including keys from famous buildings like the Pentagon, Westminster Abbey, Mozart’s Wine Cellar in Vienna, and Frankenstein’s castle in Germany!
Gordon and Ethel have both stuck around over the years, keeping an eye on the Inn. They were both very conservative and seem to hold the same disdain for such human vices as smoking and drinking. Before the Inn became smoke free, guests would complain that their cigarettes had gone missing. Sometimes a smoker would reach for their cigarette in the ashtray and find it smashed. To this day, the couple is known to knock liquor bottles off the shelves, spill drinks, and cause a general ruckus in the bar, trying to prevent guests from imbibing.
Ethel has been seen in the Key Room, still admiring her collection. She has gray hair and wears a dress with a high collar and always carries her Bible. Strong winds have rushed through the room, causing the keys to jingle. The doors slam on their own and knocking is heard on the walls. It’s very clear that the Maces want to make it known that they are always watching!
The Hotel Jerome opened on Thanksgiving eve 1889 with a grand ball. Today, it is distinguished as one of the “Top 10 Hotels in the World.” More importantly, the spirits of this Colorado Haunted Hotel are dying to meet you!
When the hotel opened, a pretty young Irish woman named Katie worked as a chambermaid. She was very popular with the male guests which made for lots of resentment from the other maids. One cold night, they told Katie that her kitten had gotten out and was seen near the pond. Katie rushed to the frozen pond for find her pet but the slipped and fell through the ice. A guest pulled her out, but she came down with pneumonia and died shortly after. Believe it or not, Katie’s spirit doesn’t seem to hold her death against the maids that have come and gone over the years she’s even been known to help with their work and will turn down the beds in the evening. Guests have reported seeing a beautiful red head down by the pond who vanishes when approached.
In the 1930’s a little boy drowned in the hotel’s swimming pool. His spirit now haunts the pool area and room 310, which is directly above the pool. One guest called the front desk out of concern for the wet, shivering boy she saw in the hall. When the manager looked around, there all he found were wet footprints that stopped at the door of room 310. He checked inside the vacant room and found no sign of the child or the wet footprints. Another time, two women staying in 310 returned from dinner to find the heat had been turned all the way up and there was water all over the bathroom.
The ghost of a young prospector named Henry, is seen, forlornly staring out of the hotel windows. It seems he struck it rich when he dug up a huge silver nugget and moved into the Jerome Hotel. There he fell in love with Clarissa, a beautiful young heiress from Boston. But Clarissa’s father refused to give his permission for their marriage and forced her to return home. Henry wasted through his fortune and died penniless. Now he roams the grounds, waiting for his long-lost love to return.
Jake and Jessie Hand built the Hand Hotel in 1931 to draw people in from the highway. Jesse was an expert fisherwoman and an even better cook. People came from miles away for her Rocky Mountain Trout and she became known as “Grandma Hand.” There are 11 rooms in the Colorado Haunted Hotel and nearly that many active spirits.
Grandma Hand’s has been seen at the window of her room, and her rocking chair moves on it’s own. One guest had a dream, the night after he returned home, about an old woman who help repeating “Give it back!” The dream continued until he discovered that he had mistakenly taken the room key. He mailed it back and the dreams stopped.
The most frightening spirit is found in the basement. The hotel hosted a haunted house one Halloween and a carpenter was working on the details in the basement. He had his young son with him who suddenly started crying, “Don’t puppy, get away! Don’t bite me!” Though there was no dog to be seen, the boy had what looked like a bite on his hand. Employees don’t like going down there because it gives them a queasy stomach and they hear growling in the shadows, and they have felt an animal brush past them. This creepy canine isn’t just confined in the basement. One guest was terrified when a large, dark dog pulled the covers off of her, snarled, then simply disappeared. A police officer used the lobby restroom and he came running out with his pants undone, shouting “There’s a vicious dog in there!”
There is a supportive male spirit, called Ben, who seems to show up when he is needed. He has carried luggage, opened doors, held the elevator, and performed other helpful tasks; The ghosts of twin girls like to play in the kitchen. They will throw things to the floor, spill ingredients, and make a huge mess; There are shadowy figures and a woman’s face in the mirrors. Guests on the 2nd floor will occasionally complain about the sounds of a party up above them. This is especially strange because there are only two floors!
The Colorado Haunted Hotel was built by the community. Colorado was booming and Boulder was afraid of being passed by without a luxury hotel to draw people in. The city was dry from 1916 until 1967, so the Boulderado Hotel did not have a bar, yet it still thrived. It was made even more popular when the Curran Opera House opened across the street. In 1934, the hotel manager, Hugh Mark had a fatal heart attack in the hotel dining room and the hotel had a hard time keeping up with the cheaper motels that had popped up in the mountains. After a snowstorm broke through the beautiful canopy glass ceiling, and the Boulderado deteriorated so much that it was deemed a fire hazard and slated for demolition. Luckily, some investors swooped in, cleaned the place up, and added a sprinkler system. It wasn’t until 1967 that the Boulderado began to see its former glory as a luxury accommodation. The glass ceiling was restored, and The Catacombs Bar opened in the basement. It was Boulder’s first legal bar.
The Boulderado has seen its fair share of death. A married couple made a suicide pact to be carried out in room 302. Guests staying in that room report strange voices and shadows, the TV flips on and off, and the hands on the antique grandfather clock spin out of control.
A young bride threw herself out the window of room 511 after she was jilted at the alter. She appears in that room, still in her wedding dress, standing over guests as they sleep. Sometimes she will cause a ruckus in the bathroom, flushing the toilet and messing with the lights. Female guests have reported feeling someone gently brushing their hair back.
A carpenter from Pennsylvania was staying in room 214. A maid found his dead body and a shotgun on the balcony. The receipt for the weapon showed that he had purchased it that day. Another man shot himself in room 509 a week after he had inherited millions of Dollars. Both rooms have reports of loud bangs and scratching on the walls. A maintenance worker in room 214 saw a dark figure duck into the closet and heard the hangers swinging around. When he demanded the intruder show himself, a loud shout came from inside. He grabbed his hammer and threw open the closet door to find it empty.
Hugh Mark, the manager who died in the hotel, seems to be obsessed with the heavy. When he ran the hotel, it had no air conditioning, so he was constantly opening windows in the summer to let in the mountain breeze. The windows throughout the hotel are very heavy and with the shifting wood, they are constantly getting stuck. Most of them have been sealed shut. Nonetheless, employees constantly find the windows wide open. A desk clerk even watched in horror as the lock turned and the window opened completely on its own!
The Hotel Colorado has been a luxury hotel from the start, save for a brief period during WWII when it was used as a military hospital. It boasts several famous guests, including Theodore Roosevelt. The Hotel Colorado became the “Little White House” whenever he stayed during his hunting trips. This is where the legend of the Teddy Bear began! TR was bummed one day after a fruitless bear hunt, so the maids took scraps of fur and made him a stuffed bear. His daughter, Alice, named the stuffed bear “Teddy.” Roosevelt also met his beloved terrier, Skip, at the hotel. He was the smallest in a pack of hunting dogs, so the President would tuck the pup behind his saddle when it got tired.
In the lobby of this Colorado Haunted Hotel, drawers open by themselves, supplies fly off the front desk, and the chandelier sways on its. Orbs fly about the room and photographs have revealed a ghostly gentleman with a mustache, usually reading a newspaper. The staff believe him to be Walter, the man who built the hotel. Whenever he gets too rowdy, they just yell “Walter, quit fooling around!” And he does.
The kitchen is full of ghostly mischief. Glasses shake violently, pots and pans crish to the floor, boxes of food fly at the chef. The sound of knives being sharpened can be heard when the kitchen is empty. When it is investigated, all that is found in the kitchen is a thick mist that travels through the back wall. A man was doing repairs on the stove when he kept noticing out of the corner of his eye that a large box kept inching closer to him. Knowing the kitchen to be haunted and not really caring, he ignored it until the box was right beside him. He gave it a shove and it wouldn’t budge.
While the hotel was being used as a military hospital, a nurse named Bobbi fell for two officers. One of them beat her to death in the basement morgue, when he found out about the other man. The crime was covered up and both men shipped out immediately. Bobbi’s death was reported as natural, and to this day, she is not happy about it. Her favorite flowers were gardenias and now the scent is said to be overpowering in some parts of the hotel. The basement is now the laundry room and a paranormal hot spot. A security guard discovered the room lit up with all machines running, with no one inside and the door locked. Once he got the door unlocked and opened, the room was dark and nothing was operating and he felt a rush of cold pass by him. A maid was folding linens when suddenly she saw a woman’s body in a laundry cart, covered in blood. She screamed and ran but when security checked, there was no body, nor was there a laundry cart in the room. A bloody woman in a nurse’s uniform has also been seen in the elevator headed to the basement.
Rest In Peace Colorado!
Colorado truly has an exciting history and is an exciting destination for all types of adventurers. So, freak yourself out and get ready to hide under your blankets in one of these Northern Colorado Haunted Hotels!