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  • Writer's pictureKaty L. Wood

Victorian Ghost Child

(Originally posted to my tumblr in August 2018.)

As many of my followers already know, I am a born and bred Colorado girl from a big ass extended family. Said family does a lot of things together like family vacations and dinners and generational conspiracies to terrify people staying in the same hotel as us. Bonding, am I right?

When I was a child the standard vacation was taking the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs, a nice mountain town with lots of fun things to do like caving and hiking and overeating at the tasty restaurants. It is famous for things like (supposedly) being the birthplace of the teddy bear, (supposedly) having hidden tunnels under the Colorado River constructed by Al Capone, being the place where Doc Holiday (supposedly) died but then they lost his body so who knows, and other fun things like that. Also they have a pool shaped like a giant coffin, as you do.

The jewel of the town, as it were, is the Hotel Colorado which is…well…it looks like a pink castle. There’s towers, wings, a lovely courtyard, a spa in what used to be the morgue in the basement. A decade or so ago some terrible redecorating decisions were made involving the lobby, but overall it is a very pretty hotel built in 1893. It has played host to an extensive collection of interesting guests and even more interesting stories. They’ve found hidden rooms and secret passages, even a hidden amphitheater. How you manage to hide an amphitheater is a question for the ages, honestly.

My family frequently stayed at this particular hotel, especially when I was younger and it was less expensive. Now, if we talked about every ghost story the place has we’d be here all day. There’s one in particular involving a little girl that is relevant, however. I don’t know how true this story is, and I’ve never bothered to look because the truth of it doesn’t really matter. What I was always told was that in the early days of the hotel a family with a young daughter was staying in one of the tower rooms and had the windows open to let in a breeze. The little girl, whose name I’ve never been told, was playing with a ball as her mother was otherwise occupied. She bounced the ball a bit too hard and it went out the open window. Attempting to retrieve it, she fell from the window and to her death. Supposedly her mother tried to grab her and fell to her death as well. It’s said that now you can sometimes see the little girl wandering the halls asking people to play with her, and sometimes you can hear her ball bouncing.

The story was told to me not only by my family, but by the people who ran the very popular ghost tours at the hotel. People knew this story. It was popular. This, right here, was prime territory for a family with a toddler daughter who could be motivated to do anything for M&Ms. So a Victorian passing toddler dress was located, a red playground ball acquired, and a bag of M&Ms offered if I’d walk up and down the halls in the evening asking to play with people. I had a ball and promised M&Ms so I was more than willing to wander around being unintentionally creepy.

Sadly, it gets a bit anticlimactic at this point. Mostly people just said I was cute and laughed when they saw my family watching from around the corner. A few people got a bit wide-eyed and scuttled away. Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures that I know of, but there was always talk of doing it again with another young girl in the family. The next young girl was my little sister, but we never did get around to dressing her up, and after that no more girls were born into the part of the family that went on the trips.

We haven’t gone to Glenwood in awhile, but it will always be one of my favorite places in the world, ghosts and all.

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