It's Friday the 13th — a day like any other to those immune to superstitions, but one fraught with potential peril for those with a more spirited personality.
The latter group will love the website HauntedPlaces.org, which not only allows visitors to search for haunted places by state, but also ranks those in each state.
So...what are the most haunted places in Colorado? Well, they're widely scattered, with only one in Denver proper making the cut. In contrast, Canon City boasts two, and communities such as Victor, Manitou Springs, Durango and Penrose also represented.
We've collected and photo-illustrated the top ten, which feature HauntedPlaces.org text and links to each page. Click on them for much more information.
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone — and try not to get spooked.
Number 10: VICTOR HOTEL
This 1899 building was originally a bank, but it also was a storage area for the bodies of those who died during the winter when the ground was too hard for burial. Now that it is a hotel, the haunts have come to stay. The 4th floor, where the bodies were stored, is said to be very active with voices, footsteps, and apparitions. Also, a ghost named Eddie haunts room 301 since he fell down the elevator shaft, and the elevator is said to open and close all by itself.
Number 9: MUSEUM OF COLORADO PRISONS
Canon City, Colorado
The Museum of Colorado Prisons is rumored to have some lingering spirits. Cold spots and a phantom tobacco smell have been reported in the old laundry room, and Cell 19 is said to be haunted by a female prisoner who passed away there. Photographs have shown ghost orbs and the sound of coughing has come from the empty cell.
Number 8: LUMBER BARON INN AND GARDENS
The building was apartments in the 1970s, and during that time, a 17-year-old runaway girl and her friend allegedly were murdered here. Footsteps have been heard, and the apparition of a 1920s-era flapper girl also has been seen here.
Number 7: BED AND BREAKFAST AT HISTORIC ONALEDGE
Manitou Springs, Colorado
This historic bed and breakfast is haunted by at least three spirits, which are seen in various guest rooms of the stately manor house. The first is that of a woman in a pastel dress, who appears to oversee what goes on in the bed and breakfast. The second is a polite young boy in a blue suit, who often talks with guests before vanishing. The third apparition is a portly man in a suit, who has been seen wandering the ground of the house as well as in hate hallways. Cigar smoke generally attributed to him is seen in various sections of the bed and breakfast.
Number 6: STRATER HOTEL
This historic hotel was built directly on the railroad in the late nineteenth century, and is believed to be haunted by many apparitions. People walking through the alley adjacent to the hotel have seen the ghostly figure of a man in a white shirt standing on the railroad tracks, who vanishes suddenly. The other apparition mainly seen in is a railway engineer in period clothing walking through the hotel lobby. Staff at this historic hotel refuse to work alone on the upper floors due to reports of a menacing shadowy apparition and a transparent lady in white.
Number 5: BROOK FOREST INN
At this inn originally built in the early 1900s, many ghosts are said to walk. The top floor is home to two: Jessica, a chambermaid who was murdered by her stable-hand lover, and the stable hand himself, who committed suicide after committing the dastardly deed. On the second floor lives Carl, the ghost of a man who killed his wife after learning she had had an affair. On the third floor lives a little boy ghost who can be heard running in the hallways late at night. Cold breezes are said to be felt going up the stairway to the third floor. Also, the forest surrounding the area is said to be full of the ghosts of Native Americans.
Number 4: HOTEL COLORADO
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
At this 1893 hotel, witnesses say that the elevator works by itself, doors open and close on their own, and there is a phantom smell of cigat smoke in the lobby. The apparition of a little girl in Victorian clothing has been seen on the staircase, and if that weren’t enough, the ghost of a murdered chambermaid is said to materialize in the Devereux room at night.
Number 3: ST. CLOUD HOTEL
Canon City, Colorado
Reported to be vacant and in disrepair, this 1888 hotel building is said to be the home of some playful ghosts. Past guests have seen the ghost of a young girl playing with a ball in the hallways. It’s said that the ghosts liked to play tricks on the guests and staff, such as hiding objects, turning the lights or the TV on and off, and stacking up the chairs when no one is in the room.
Number 2: LAST DOLLAR INN
Cripple Creek, Colorado
This historic inn was the first in the township of Cripple Creek, and is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a miner who frequented the inn back when it was a gambling parlour. It is believed that he died in a fight on the upper floor of the inn, and has been seen by passer-bye as well as by guests at the inn.
Number 1: OLD GLENDALE STAGECOACH STATION
The eerie ruins of the old 1861 Glendale Stagecoach Station are said to be haunted by a gray lady, Kathleen Cooper. Katherine was singing in 1877 when gold prospector Julian LaSalle first met her, and they fell in love. But Julian had business to attend to, and left on the stagecoach with Katherine’s words calling out that she would wait for him. They corresponded through the winter and made plans for their wedding, but Julian never showed up on the appointed day. He had been robbed and killed by highwaymen along the way. Katherine wouldn’t touch food or drink after this, and so died a self-imposed death. But her ghost has been seen at the station, a sad gray apparition in a wedding dress, still awaiting her beloved Julian.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.