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If you’re looking for a paranormal experience, Manitou Springs haunted sites offer eerie beyond-the-grave energy. With a history of tuberculosis, to the scoundrels and debauchery of the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush residents, spirits are lurking around many corners. There’s no lack of opportunity to bump into something, or someone, that’s not of this world.
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum* sits in the heart of the city's downtown and is the old El Paso County Courthouse. Filled with exhibits and information from the region's past, the property plays host to another special visitor. In 1959, the property was overseen by Chief Custodian Eddie Roy Beals. Eddie and another employee ended up in a quarrel. While the reason is unknown, Eddie was shot five times right in front of the Otis Birdcage Elevator inside the Museum. It's been said Eddie haunts the halls of the museum since his death. Footsteps are heard, the elevator operates on its own and doors lock and unlock. A longtime employee has said he is a gentleman ghost and has even swung the door open for her. The museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday.http://www.cspm.org
Evergreen Cemetery* was part of Colorado Springs before the town was formally founded in 1871. People were buried there dating back to the 1860's. While the cemetery itself may be haunted, the presence many have experienced is in the small Chapel that was built to store caskets and for services in 1910. After many years, the usage of the building declined and quickly fell into disrepair. Cemetery workers using the basement for supplies have seen dark figures. Will Deboer Jr., cemetery manager since 1992, worked to receive funds to restore the building as well as have it listed on the National Register of Historical Places. As the tour for the designation was being conducted, the woman representing the organization felt a negative force move through her entire body and quickly left. The cemetery was even featured on Biography Channel's My Ghost Story. http://www.evergreencemeterysociety.com/
The Red Crags Estates Onaledge is a charming bed & breakfast that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Manitou Springs haunted sites. There have been many stories about the bump-in-the-night experiences here. One such story includes a woman hearing five different voices in her room around 3am. She left the lodge in her pajamas right away, saying she felt if she didn’t leave that instant that she never would. When local Colorado Springs TV stations have done investigations, there was strong proof of paranormal activity. Spirits have been seen peeking over the edge of a bed or spreading pennies throughout the rooms for staff and guests to find. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.Onaledge.net or call 888.685.4515.
Red Chief Mountain in Manitou Springs sits at 7,300+ feet above sea level. Back when tuberculosis was common and sufferers traveled to Manitou Springs seeking the healing springs and mountain air, Emma Crawford made her trip for a cure as well. Alas, she died at the tender age of 19. Her last wish was to be buried on the summit of nearby Red Mountain. Her fiancée, along with 11 other men, obliged and carried her remains to the summit for burial. After years of stormy weather and erosion, her remains washed down the side of the mountain. Because of this unsettling upheaval, many still believe that Emma haunts the mountain today; some have even seen her. There are trails on the side of the mountain to visit the site of her grave. A stop in the Manitou Springs haunted Cemetery will show an unmarked grave in remembrance of Emma. Annual coffin races are held in her honor down Manitou Avenue every October.
Outlaws & Jailmen Museum was, for over 90 years, the Teller County Jail in the mining town of Cripple Creek, CO. This red-brick building housed many a heathen during the Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush and thereafter. There were cells for both men and women. Accounts of paranormal activity include hearing laughter from what used to be the solitary confinement cell, sightings of small children who quickly disappear and even “white noise” recorded on audio tape. A recent investigation was conducted by Mountain Peak Paranormal Investigations who detected activity. The museum offers special lock-ins where visitors can spend the night with the spirits in one of the cells as well as try to detect activity with the Mountain Peak Paranormal Investigators.
Museum of Colorado Prisons welcomes visitors to explore the history of Colorado Corrections. Individual audio tours guide visitors through 32 cells filled with exciting exhibits and life-sized models that link the past to the present in dramatic presentation. Other artifacts and exhibits include the last hangmans noose and gas chamber used in Colorado for an execution, confiscated weapons (some used for actual murders), contraband and more. If this doesn't create a bit of creeps, the mannequins used to depict many exhibits might just do the trick. Mountain Peak Paranormal Investigators offer guided investigations throughout the year at the site. http://www.prisonmuseum.org/
Take a walk on the scary side, literally. Blue Moon Haunted History Tours has been scaring the living with their informative and creeptastic guided adventures for a decade. Various packages are offered all over the region including Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City, Fountain and Victor. All of the haunted locations are verified by published facts and have been documented by professional paranormal investigators. Be sure to bring a camera to capture a lasting souvenir of the experience. Offerings from Memorial Day weekend to November 1st. Other times of the year may be available upon request.
*Info. taken from Haunted Places in the Shadow of Pikes Peak