Colorado history is steeped in murder mysteries and love lost. Embrace this spooky season at a hotel near you.
By Julie Bielenberg
Bed & Breakfast at Historic Onaledge
Caitlin Selby and Connor Grega tour one of the haunted staircases at the Bed & Breakfast at Historic Onaledge. © Chad Chisholm
336 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs
Owner and innkeeper Brett Maddox is happy to show guests his “extended” family—the Lady of the house and the little boy in a blue suit. Or you may see the grandfather figure whose pipe tobacco aroma wafts through on occasion. These three are linked back to the buildings’ 1912 origins and mysterious happenings to the original family.
321 17th St., Denver
The story goes that a Denver socialite occupied Room 904 for nearly 15 years. When the hotel began sharing information of the socialite’s escapades, the switchboard began to receive phone calls from 904. Just one problem: that room had no electricity; all of its wires had been stripped during construction.
1600 17th St., Denver
The legendary Cruise Room martini bar opened the day Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Shortly after, bartenders began telling of the story of a postman. He would a beer and mutter the same phrase: “The children … I have to get the gifts to the children.” The man would drink his beer and leave. The bartender would take the bottle and discover that it was always full.
Records suggest that in the 1930s a postal worker on his way to Central City to deliver Christmas presents had disappeared. Townspeople presumed that he had sold the gifts and skipped town. The following spring witnesses found the decomposed body of a postal worker, Christmas gifts still in his possession.
Thomas B. Croke, who gained fame as a merchant and experimental plant breeder and later served as a state senator, commissioned the house and lived there until he sold the property to Thomas M. Patterson in 1892. © Jordan Jackson
420 E. 11th Ave., Denver
State Sen. Thomas B. Croke built the home in 1891. Rumors say he fled in terror after just one step into the building. Since then, suicides, murders, lynchings, and ghosts have all been linked to the mansion. Visitors report phantom footsteps and sudden changes in room temperature. The Inn hosts “haunted” tours. Stop in the cellar for an extra chill.
333 Wonderview Ave., Estes Park
The ballroom, billiard room, downstairs theatre and dressing rooms in the original 1909 inn might be some of the most visited by ghostly presences. Many associate The Stanley’s epic ghost community to its geologic foundation and architectural design. The Stanley offers haunted tours for guests and non-guests.
Julie Bielenberg is a Denver-based freelance writer.