Haunted Hotels in Colorado

Lovers of ghosts and ghouls will delight in this list of haunted hotels in Colorado. I can’t promise that you’ll see a ghost when you visit, but they’ll see you.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, best known to have inspired Stephen King to write The Shining, is arguably Colorado’s most famous haunted hotel, and no article about this state’s ghostly places is complete without mention of this iconic place.

The best way to get up close and personal with The Stanley’s extensive ghost population is to stay there. When you do, add a ghost tour to your itinerary, but be aware that this tour may prevent you from enjoying a good night's sleep, despite the hotel's comfy beds

And if you’re questioning The Stanley’s status as a haunted hotel, you don’t have to take my word for it. The Stanley has been closely scrutinized by many specialists and experts in the field of paranormal investigations, and it has been proclaimed to be one of the nation’s most active sites.

I didn’t see any ghosts when I stayed there, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t bump into one or two.

Photo: Mark Morris of Inner Soul Investigations

I didn’t see any ghosts when I stayed at the Hand Hotel Bed & Breakfast in Fairplay a number of years ago, but I did do everything I could to avoid an encounter. After all, this place has some of the scariest ghost stories of anywhere in Colorado, and every room has its own ghost. It has 11 rooms in allthat’s at least 11 restless souls wandering the hallways of this 85-year-old building.

Hand Hotel has been visited by a number of investigators, and they claim that the paranormal activity here is off the charts. You can find online articles and even YouTube videos of paranormal experiences that took place at Hand Hotel. Stories range from mischievous twin-girl ghosts in the kitchen to a deranged demonic dog that haunts the hotel’s basement.

Some of the ghosts here are benevolent in nature. For instance, Grandma Hand is said to haunt the room that bears her name, and when her chair is rocking back and forth all by itself, you know she’s home.

While the owners deny that it’s haunted, I’ve had several paranormal hotel experiences at Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, which is one of our favorite hotels in the state. The first time I stayed at this 123-year-old hotel in 1999, the hairs on my neck would literally stand on end every time I walked down the wide hallway outside our room.

The second time we stayed, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sensation of someone sitting at the foot of our bed. My husband, Ryan, was snoring gently next to me, so I knew he hadn’t gotten up. I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary on my third stay, which was a little disappointing.

Other haunted hotels in Colorado include the Delaware Hotel in Leadville, the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, but this isn’t the entire list. In a state sprinkled with old mining towns and filled with Wild West lore, it’s not difficult to find haunted accommodations, especially for a believer.

Author’s Note: Thank you to Mark Morris of Inner Soul Investigations for the Hand Hotel photo. Learn more about this group on Facebook here.

Categories: The Heidi Guide