Monday, October 19, 2020

5 Colorful Colorado Ghost Stories by Kaye Spencer #westernfictioneers #ghoststories #halloween


This article kicks off my series of 13 Days of Spooky Blogging for Halloween, that I will post daily on my blog HERE and on Facebook HERE

Several of these 13 spooky blog articles are my first-hand, paranormal experiences. 

On to my first spooky article...

Every state has its paranormal stories and urban legends. Since I’m a native Coloradoan, I’m sharing five ghost stories from my home state.

Baldpate Inn, Estes Park, Colorado – Newlyweds Gordon and Ethel Mace homesteaded in Estes Park in 1911. They built a cabin for themselves along with small tourist cabins as a money-making endeavor. In 1917, they were financially able to build their inn. They named their inn after a novel in which guests received their own metal keys to the inn. They continued this until WWI when metal was too expensive to continue doing this. Instead, their regular visitors started bringing them metal keys, which became a “Key Room” of over 20,000 keys from all over the world. After their deaths, staff and visitors have continued to encounter Ethel in the Key Room, where she sits in a wing-backed rocker near a fireplace reading the Bible.

Baldpate Inn - Key Room (citing HERE)

Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, Colorado – This hotel is host to several ghost stories.

Henry Cordes Brown opened the hotel in 1892. It soon became ‘the place’ to stay. One of the ghost stories involves a Denver socialite who lived in Room 904 from 1940 – 1955. The story of her life involves heartbreak and a lost love. When the hotel began offering tours after 1955, phone calls started coming into the switchboard from her room, which was undergoing renovations and did not have telephone service connected. Once Room 904 was removed from the tour, the mysterious phone calls stopped.

Ellyngton’s is the current name of the main dining room. It was the San Marco Room during the Big Band Era. The story goes one night an employee heard sounds in the room. He investigated and discovered a string quartet practicing. He told the musicians there weren’t allowed there. The reply was not to concern himself, because they lived there.

The apparition of a man dressed in ‘old-fashioned train conductor’s uniform’ was seen for a moment then it disappeared through a wall. The wall was where the railroad ticket used to be.

A uniformed waiter is frequently seen in the service elevator.

Happy, laughing children have been seen running in the hallways.

A baby’s cry is often heard in the boiler room.

Brown Palace Hotel (citing HERE)

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado – Stephen King put the Stanley Hotel on the map as a result of his book, and later movie, The Shining. Freeland Oscar Stanley opened the hotel in 1908 as a summer hotel, because the hotel was unheated. For whatever paranormal reasons, the hotel has had hauntings and odd happenings throughout its history.

The ghost of a Lord Dunraven has been seen in Room 407 where he stands or peers out one of the windows. Lights in the bathroom also turn on and off of their own accord.

Inside and outside of Room 481, sounds of children playing can be heard when there are no children around. Doors open and shut by themselves, elevators take off on their own, invisible footsteps move along the hallways, music plays without musicians, and apparitions of men, women, children, and Mrs. and Mrs. Stanley are regular occurrences.

Stanley Hotel (citing HERE

Red Rocks, Morrison, Colorado – Red Rocks, the outdoor amphitheater, is the site of the legend of the Headless Hatchet Lady. There are various renditions of this legend from the hatchet lady simply being a homeless woman who chased people away from the cave she lived in to her being a headless woman with her coat over her head who rides a horse and wields a bloody hatchet as she chases anyone, particularly young couples, who dare explore the remote Red Rocks.

Yet another version explains the hatchet lady as a woman homesteaded in the Red Rocks area, who guarded her daughters’ reputations with that hatchet. Any man she caught taking liberties with her girls would come up missing important body parts.

Hence, the reason the rocks are red.

Town of Morrison - Red Rocks in background (citing HERE)

The Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs, Colorado – The Hotel Colorado opened in 1893 as a luxury resort. This hotel is associated with all sorts of paranormal activity. One origin story for the on-going and unexplained paranormal happenings is the land where the hotel sits was cursed by the Ute Indians, when they were forced to relocate around 1880.

Since then, there have been sightings of ghosts of people who died in the hotel walking the halls, sounds of women’s voices and the clicking of typewriters where neither exist, and faces peering in (and out) of windows.

The basement served as a naval hospital and morgue during World War II. On the main floor, the story of a ghost named Bobbie has been traced back to the 1940s. She was a nurse in the naval hospital, and she was possibly killed by her jealous lover/military officer who was stationed at the hotel/hospital. A cover-up followed, but hospital staff spilled the story.

Soon after the murder became common conversation around town, guests and staff began smelling a specific perfume in the area of Bobbie’s favorite table to the buffet line and back to the table. (‘Gardenia’ – perfume from 30s and 40s and no long produced)

Another ghost named Walter hangs out in the hallways and in the lobby, particularly in the evening. When Walter shows up, cigar smoke accompanies him. There is controversy over the identity of Walter. It’s thought he might be the spirit of E. E. Lewis, who became the general manager in 1905. Lewis took great pride in the hotel.

In Room 661 upstairs, a ghostly woman wearing a floral dress is often seen standing over the bed, and she will doggedly come into the room and close the window when a guest opens it. She has been heard to insist people stay out of the draft.

Hotel Colorado (citing HERE)

Until next time,
Kaye Spencer


American Farmhouse Style
Legends of America
Denver Post
Colorado Homes Magazine
Hotel Colorado


  1. Kaye, I love these "ghostly" tales about places in Colorado! I'm like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz: "I DO believe in ghosts! I DO believe in ghosts!" LOL (I really do.) I'm looking forward to your blog posts, wherever we may find them, about ghostly/eerie happenings between now and Halloween!

    1. Thank you, Cheryl. Day 2 (October 20th) Visits from my grandma...

  2. Oh, these are just plain fun, and Colorado has its fair share of ghostly happenings. Humm? Look forward to the next installment. Doris

    1. Doris,
      Colorado definitely has its fair share of ghost stories -- in the mountains, in the mines, in the ghost towns... I wouldn't be surprised if a person couldn't write a blog a day for a year about Colorado's paranormal stories and still have ghosts left over. hahaha

  3. W00T! I can comment again! Blogger is defeated!

    I visited the Brown Palace in Denver but didn't manage to see any ghosts while we were there. I don't think I'd be bothered much if I saw one of them -- or Ethel reading the Bible in the Key Room either. We have lots of ghost stories here in South Carolina too. There's one on the coast who appears just before a major hurricane -- and my I think I may have seen him once before Hugo plowed into us. I don't mind if they're helpful or just hanging around, but I'm not about to seek out any of the malicious spirits!

    Thanks for an interesting post!