Colorado has no shortage of old hotels and that means there is no shortage of haunted hotels. Every city seems to boast of having at least one of these establishments. Indeed, some even served as hospitals, such as the Colorado Hotel in Glenwood Springs during World War II.
Ghostly experiences are not promised, and in fact many people stay in haunted hotels and no apparitions appear. However, just knowing the stories of a place can make a stay more memorable and less ordinary.
With a handful of personal experiences and help from members of the Colorado Ghost Hunters group on Facebook, here are three haunted hotels in colorful Colorado.
Colorado Hotel, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
One of Colorado’s most majestic buildings, this hotel towers over the city of Glenwood Springs in the western part of the state. Built in 1893, the Colorado Hotel has hosted dignitaries of all kinds, including Presidents Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, and the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Some guests were more infamous than worthy, like Chicago gangster Diamond Jack Alterie.
From 1943 until the end of World War II, it served as a convalescent hospital for the United States Navy.
Decommissioned in 1946, 6,500 patients remained there, and there is something about hotels turned into hotels that make them even more susceptible to paranormal activity. Probably because by its very nature a hospital is not only a place of healing but also of death.
Personally, I have stayed at the Colorado hotel several times. This is my husband’s favorite hotel in the state. The recording gives the impression of stepping into another era, which suggests that the ghosts could indeed roam these wide corridors and drift into the sumptuous dining room.
Although ghost stories abound at the Colorado hotel, especially those involving ghostly children and the smell of cigar smoke, I only had one weird experience at the hotel. I was fast asleep, next to Ryan, when I woke up to what I felt like someone sitting on the end of the bed. The feeling was so real that I didn’t dare open my eyes for fear of seeing something or someone sitting on the end of the bed.
Eventually the feeling went away, but I count it among one of the strangest things that has happened in my life. Of course he did not pr
kept me from staying at the Colorado hotel over and over again. After all, the place is beautiful and truly one of a kind.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Built in the early 1900s, it is perhaps Colorado’s most famous haunted hotel. The story goes that author Stephen King stayed at the hotel in the 1970s when the hotel was in a state of disarray for lack of investment and care.
King’s stay at the Stanley Hotel inspired his book, “The Shining,” about a family trapped in a haunted hotel in winter. King’s stay was fortuitous for the hotel, as the book and the film that followed helped the property gain enormous popularity, and perhaps even spared it from wrecking.
The Stanley Hotel remains a popular destination for Stephen King fans and ghost lovers from around the world. The hotel does not hesitate to capitalize on its fame and organizes guided ghost tours for guests and visitors throughout the year.
There are a lot of ghost stories here, including one about finding her clothes neatly folded after the same clothes had been strewn around the room the night before. It is also quite common to hear children playing in unoccupied rooms around the property.
Guests can book specific rooms at the Stanley Hotel, including those where Stephen King has stayed,
Chamber 217, as well as others who are considered more “trained” than others. Unsurprisingly, these rooms fill up quickly during the Halloween season.
Hand Hotel Bed & Breakfast, Fairplay, Colorado
It is perhaps the most haunted hotel in all of Colorado, with each room having its own ghostly presence. For example, Grandma’s Room has a rocking chair that sometimes swings without anyone sitting on it; person who can be seen who is.
Built in 1932 by the Hand family, fifty years later, the building had fallen into disrepair. Sunlight was coming through holes in the roof, but it was saved in 1987, renovated and has been a working hotel ever since.
The ghost stories at Hand Hotel Bed & Breakfast are plentiful and the property has been visited by official ghost hunters over the years. Stories range from light beds to messy beds after housekeeping has given them over to spooky ones. Two ghost sisters, who are believed to have died during a smallpox outbreak in Fairplay, wander the hallways and turn the nightlight in the kitchen on and off.
The basement is a constant source of paranormal activity and a favorite with ghost hunters. He is said to be haunted by a demonic dog and more ghost children who have no good intentions for those who visit their haunted basement. Fortunately, the ghosts in the bedrooms are basically friendly.
I stayed at the Hand Hotel many years ago. While I didn’t experience any unexplained events, we had booked a room just beyond Grandma’s room which meant we had to walk past her open door several times a day. I would run past the room without looking inside because I didn’t want to see this famous rocking chair rock independently of any human intervention.
Whether you are planning a getaway to bathe in the hot springs at Glenwood Springs, curl up with a good book this winter at Estes Park or relax in the wilderness of the South Park area at Fairplay, these hotels await you and theirs. ghosts.