The Ghosts of Colorado’s Historic Hand Hotel
The Stanley Hotel often gets recognized as being the most haunted hotel in Colorado, but there are several other accommodations in the state that have plenty of paranormal activity present on their respective properties too.
The historic Hand Hotel in Fairplay, Colorado is one of those places.
In 1859, the discovery of gold in South Park brought many miners to the nearby town of Fairplay. Subsequently, these prospectors began setting up camps and establishing actual towns. Unfortunately, during the 1920s, an intense fire ravaged Fairplay, destroying much of what was in its path. This included the building at 531 Front Street where the Hand Hotel now stands.
In 1931, Jake and Jessie Hand built a brand new structure at the Front Street site. The Hands opened the establishment as a hostelry. Jessie furnished the entire interior, including each of the 11 guest rooms, with Western and Native American memorabilia from the South Park area. Business was booming at the Hand Hotel throughout the 1930s. A steady clientele from the east kept the hotel booked months ahead. During their stays, guests were offered fishing and hunting excursions, as well as day trips into the mountains.
The rustic hotel stayed in the Hand family for many years.
Despite the hotel's success, the building became rundown and was eventually abandoned by the Hands. With the structure at risk of being condemned, a woman named Pat Pocius and two partners purchased the property in 1987 and began major renovations. She ran the new hotel for the next decade.
After that, the hotel changed hands a few more times. The downside to that was that each time it was sold and remodeled, much of the building's historic character was taken away.
However, the current owners completely stripped the building back to the original walls and have taken the iconic hotel back in time to the period of 1890 to 1910. It continues to operate as a quaint bed and breakfast, overlooking the scenic Rocky Mountains and South Platte River.
Besides just being a charming B&B, the Hand Hotel is also a popular destination for paranormalists. At least five different ghosts allegedly haunt the halls of this historic Colorado hotel. Employees and guests have reported incredibly eerie experiences inside the building but fortunately, all of the lingering souls seem to be in good spirits.
For example, housekeeping staff often find messed-up beds after they’ve prepared and locked rooms. Child-size imprints have also been observed on freshly made beds.
Apparations of mysterious children and adults who manifest via shadows have been seen in the guestrooms as well as roaming the second-floor hallway. Faces have also been said to randomly appear in one of the guestroom mirrors and unexplained figures were observed peering out of the windows - freaky, for sure!
The ghosts of two little girls who died during a smallpox epidemic are also believed to haunt the hotel. Occasionally seen near the staircase, the girls also make their presence known in the kitchen.
Another resident ghost is an older man named Ben, who was once the hotel's caretaker. Guests have encountered his spirit in the hallway. One person saw Ben pushing a cart and even recalls having a conversation with the friendly staff member (that didn't actually exist).
Still not convinced the hotel is haunted?
There have been reports of feet tramping on the second-floor ceiling and guests have often inquired how to get to the party on the third floor. There is no third floor.
The wife of a previous hotel manager twice smelled the scent of rosewater perfume in the Grandma Hand Room. The wife later learned that was the exact scent Grandma Hand used to wear.
It's not just the spirits of humans that are inside the Hand Hotel. A ghost dog also roams the premises, but especially loves the downstairs bathroom, and Rooms Two and Eleven. Several guests have seen the dog, and some people have even asked the front desk about the cute canine - yet no one could find a dog in the facilities afterward.
Due to the frequency of these haunted happenings, the Hand Hotel has been the subject of many paranormal investigations. Yet, that doesn't stop travelers from continuing to rent out rooms here.
Would you be brave enough to book a stay?
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