This posting is a promised addendum to my 3/17/15 seance and EVP session held in room 551 of the Hotel Colorado on a two-day stopover during my Amtrak Writers Residency trip across the US. To learn about my encounter with the Most Adorable Ghost-Hunting Family Ever, a Disney Channel reality show waiting to happen, I urge you to read the full entry here before proceeding. (If you’re looking for the Bachelors Grove Cemetery EVP session and slideshow they’re here).
The Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, CO was built in 1893 and is considered by many to be haunted. Supposedly, the hotel’s ghosts include a young girl in Victorian clothing seen playing with a ball, a woman who hovers over sleeping male guests, and a man who roams the hallway on the fifth floor (where I stayed). Both of the primary haunted rooms, 325 and 553, were booked, so the clerk kindly put me as close to one of them as possible, which wound up being room 551 which also has its share of haunting tales.
One popular story about room 551 regards a ghostly interior decorator. In 1982 an attempt was made to replace the wallpaper. The morning after contractors put it up, all the paper had mysteriously rolled off the walls and was in the floor. They reapplied it but the next day it was found on the floor again. After a few more tries, the contractor got the idea to leave several wallpaper samples on the bed overnight. When he returned the next morning all of the samples but one were on the floor. They papered the room with the choice left alone on the bed and the wallpaper stayed in place. Also, there is supposedly a high level of electromagnetic energy detectable in the hallway between the door to 551 and an unmarked door across from it which leads to the attic.
All caught up? Good. As I explained in the aforementioned posting, as soon as amazing Iowans the Warren-Powell family and I entered my room on my second night they all fanned out with tablets and smartphones and began snapping away at every square inch of the place. I told them not to bother as I had already done that and seen nothing unusual. The words were barely out of my mouth when high school senior Cody interrupted. “You’ve got a little boy in the bathroom.” Huh? Sure enough on the pic he had just snapped we could make out what seemed to be the solid figure of a short person (let’s say roughly a 10-year-old) leaning halfway in the bathroom doorway right where we were standing, yet it wasn’t visible to the naked eye. Are you getting chills yet? I was. Here is the original photo and a closeup of the mirror (click on any photo to enlarge it):
Look in the mirror’s reflection. See that figure in blue sticking partly into the doorway at left? Well, as you can see in the first photo it only appears in the reflection, not in the doorway itself. We were all standing right there with Cody (whom you can glimpse in the red shirt as he snapped the pic) when he took the picture. This isn’t some orb or streak of light but a solid figure. We were absolutely baffled. We tried a process of elimination — could it be the doorway, a bath towel, one of us — but ruled them all out. It simply didn’t make sense…
Next I pulled a small round table, the kind that seems like it was made for a 19th century seance, away from the wall. I sat down and made a homemade Ouija board hearkening back to my teenage days simply by writing the letters, numbers, and YES and NO on a blank sheet of paper. For a planchette I used a credit card turned upside down. The raised letters give it a very small surface area. One corner of the credit card we designated the pointer. Cody and I sat down together first and didn’t have much luck. I stepped out and let Cameron take my place. The planchette still wouldn’t budge, so then Cameron and I tried it. That combination of partners got it moving. We soon communicated with someone who referred to him/herself with initials A T who said he/she was a U T E, which amazed me because they are the original inhabitants of this area. He/she was aged 8 0. I asked if it lived in the hotel and it said N O. So what brought you here tonight?, I asked. Y O U. Oh, so you heard my call at the top of the session to speak to someone friendly who felt like chatting? Y E S. Did we annoy you, are you angry that we summoned you? N O. Would you like to speak with us electrically? Y E S.
At that I let 11th grader Madison take my place at the board and ran over and fired up my trusty P-SB7 spirit box and aimed my camera at it to record the audio, just like the audience and I do at every conclusion of my live theatrical solo show Boneyards.
Meanwhile A T handed the board over to a new presence. I A M LEE. Your name is Lee? Y E S. How old are you? 7. Naturally the only conclusion we could draw is that this child was the same little girl or boy whom Cody had photographed in the bathroom. At one point we asked where s/he was standing and s/he spelled B E H I N D M A D I S O N, which would indeed put her/him in the bathroom doorway. We asked Lee why s/he was in the hotel and s/he spelled out F A I M. Cody pointed out that faim in French means hunger or starvation.
Things got even weirder. Cameron snapped a panoramic photo of the main room and found in the mirror’s reflection over the sideboard the image of a second, even smaller figure standing beside my night stand watching us. Take a look at his photo (CLICK TO SEE HI-RES VERSION):
Notice the table lamp at left next to my bed. Now notice the lampshade and bed table’s shadows on the wall just to the right of it: angular, gray, what you’d expect, nothing special. Now look in the reflection of that same spot in the big wall mirror on the right side of the photo. Instead of the lampshade and bed table’s light gray shadows there is a solid black column that appears to be a cloaked figure about 3 feet tall. Now look closely toward the top of that 3-foot-tall black shape at the faint white face peering out of it. It doesn’t look like a child to me so much as a grizzled old man. Could this be AT, while the figure in the bathroom is Lee? Again, check all of this out in the high-res version.
Here’s a closeup of the mirror. Look to the right of the chest of drawers at the right edge of the photo for the long, slender black figure about 3 feet tall:
Still not seeing it? Here’s an even closer crop on just the figure:
And here it is again in high contrast black & white and with the face amateurishly drawn on it (by yours truly) to try and make clear what we’re talking about:
Now scroll back up and look at them all again. See it? I had to go to sleep next to this thing afterward.
Meanwhile the P-SB7 was really cooking. The raw recording is 5 minutes long. As usual I’ve trimmed it down to only the most audible portions. These have also been slowed down while maintaining the original pitch, had the volume boosted and a little noise reduction applied. Here is the result along with a transcript and my comments:
I’m frightened. Particularly chilling as it sounds like a child. Is this Lee? And is Lee the same as the little girl that many have reported seeing over the years? Hard to tell if it’s wearing Victorian attire and I don’t see it holding a ball. (Then again, see visitor NK‘s comment below along with his photo interpretation at right that indeed depicts a child holding a ball. Click the photo to enlarge it.)
Bend down. Well, we’ve got two small figures in the room, one in the bathroom and one by the bed. Either one of these could be asking us to come closer and be better heard, similar to the “talk louder” remark above.
Ochenta. Spanish for 80! See above: AT had told us moments earlier on the Ouija board that he/she was 80. And it wouldn’t be at all unusual for a Ute to speak Spanish as they had frequent trade and sometimes violent confrontations with the Spanish from the 16th century onward. Also the Old Spanish Trail, a trade route which started in the 1500s and was in use until the 1850s, crossed through Ute country.
Turn out. Turn out the lights? Not sure but I wouldn’t have turned out the lights for a million bucks at that point. Even after everyone had left and I attempted to go to sleep, believe me, I kept those lights on and the TV blaring until sunrise.
Despite the alarming moments our mood overall was positive. AT and Lee turned out to be cool and as curious and eager as we were to communicate. The Ouija board and EVP sessions weren’t particularly strong as compared to others I have experienced but those photos… they’ve left me flabbergasted.