Legends of the Hotel Colorado
Overlooking the huge, warm-water pools in Glenwood Springs is the Hotel Colorado, once known as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies.”
Tales of spirits that haunt the rooms within the sturdy stone walls are numerous, though staff members are reluctant to speak about them. The hotel management prefers to keep quiet about folk tales of hauntings and restless spirits. But when asked directly, some staff members glance around quickly and lower their voices to describe moments when the fine hair seemed to rise on the back of their necks and they felt a presence they couldn’t describe.
Longtime volunteer tour guide Kathleen Hurd details the history of the inn for visitors and will share some of the tales of guests who may still roam the halls, if only in spirit.
One legend dates to World War II, when the vast hotel served as a convalescent hospital. A patient had developed an attachment to a beautiful nurse and saw her talking to a doctor in the hallway outside his room. The patient took a fork from his meal and went after the young woman in a jealous rage when she turned to leave.
Shouting for her not to go, the patient chased the frightened nurse as she ran into a nearby stairwell. He stabbed the young woman with the fork, and she bled to death on the stairs.
“They say she walks around in the hallways like she never truly completed her job,” Hurd says. “She was young, and she walks around like it’s her responsibility to make sure everything is OK.”
Hurd is one of many people who say they’ve heard the young caregiver humming as she wanders the halls.
An older legend involves a death and a spirit that hasn’t yet left the hotel or, more specifically, one room on the fourth floor. Hurd refers to the tale as “The Unfortunate Incident.”
Two couples on a vacation from the East Coast were staying at the luxurious Hotel Colorado for a summer. One couple had two children; the other couple was childless and unhappy. Since the husband of the childless couple was a reckless alcoholic, his wife strayed into the arms of her best friend’s husband. Her lover promised her that he’d leave his wife and kids to marry her.
Feeling desperate one night and realizing that the man would never leave his family, the woman shot herself in her room. Hurd says one wall of the room was stained by her blood. Although the room has been remodeled, the story goes, wallpaper and paint won’t stay on that wall.
“Maids would find the pillows in that room already fluffed,” Hurd says.
According to Hurd, the hotel does not rent that particular fourth-floor room anymore.
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