Each year, Manitou Springs hosts the Emma Crawford Coffin Races to commemorate a local tale and bring the community together in celebration of Halloween!
The History of Emma Crawford
In 1889, a young woman named Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs hopeful that the clean mountain air and healing mineral springs would cure her tuberculosis. After accomplishing a hike up nearby Red Mountain, she let it be known that once she passed on, her wish was to be buried on the mountain. She died soon after and was laid to rest on Red Mountain. Many years later, heavy rainfall caused Emma’s coffin to dislodge, and it came racing down the mountain, inspiring the Coffin Races. Emma supposedly still haunts Red Mountain today.
The Coffin Races & Other Spooky Activities
The story of Emma Crawford lives on in the wacky Emma Crawford Coffin Race up Manitou Avenue. Costumed impersonators of Emma ride on coffin-like contraptions pulled by teams of four “mourners.” A Parade of Coffins and awards for the best Emma and Most Creative Coffin complete the day-long event. Stay in town for the Emma Crawford Estate Sidewalk Sale hosted by participating local businesses in Downtown Historic Manitou Springs. The night before, a Victorian Wake in Emma's honor is held at Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs.