Last week I spent 6 nights at the famous and historical Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs. This being my first trip to Colorado, expectations of ski lodges, hot cocoa, snowy hot tubs and fireplaces filled my mind. And even though this time of year is filled with Jack-o-Lanterns and black cats with every turn, the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween were far from my thoughts, as work and snow-frolicking were consuming what little focus I could muster.
I got to my hotel room after dark the first night and began my process of settling in, unpacking my things and running a bath. However, as I settled in to the tub, the beautiful and over-the-top-elegant room seemed all the more… creepy. I shook this feeling, and as the minutes crawled by, exhaustion and the elevation sank in, as well as some lazily-ordered-up room service. I fell asleep, not to be disturbed the rest of the night.
Morning came, and with it the beckoning of the early call-time into work. I started up the shower to allow the water to warm, and left the room to undress. Sleep still in my eyes, shuffling back in, I noticed that the steam of the shower had built rather quickly. And in the steam, was this:
I absolutely froze with fear, wondering what to do. Then I found myself wondering what would happen if I attempted to snap this being’s picture with the camera phone that was still in my hand. I slowly raised it and was half-amazed when it actually appeared in the photo. Happy. It was a seemingly very happy… ghost? Then, as quickly as it came, it left. And after a few minutes, I actually showered, all the while watching the steam around me with fear and curiosity, but knowing, deep within me, that whatever it was had moved on.
Once in the ballroom, where my team and I would be working for the week, I couldn’t wait to share the photo I’d snapped. It didn’t take long for several of my companions to start gushing about “experiences” they’d had over the years while staying at The Broadmoor: televisions turning themselves on and off, alarm clocks going wild, remotes jumping about the room from location to location. An acquaintance, also working at The Broadmoor for the week, shared hearing voices coming from an empty stairwell.
A simple Google search led us to others’ ghost stories, and tales of underground tunnels that connect areas of the resort to town that are claimed to be haunted. We quickly decided that we wanted to go ghost hunting within these tunnels, a desire that went unfullfilled, as hotel staff informed us that the higher-ups do not want the hotel to become “known” for its hauntings, and staff can’t honor this request. They confirmed, in rather round-about ways, that the tunnels exist, but would not share the points of entrance, or any further information.
My room continued to prove hair-raising as the week went on. My chandelier would sway on its own and, when I tried to video this, it would stop. Every time. And though I slept with my lights on every night, (as did my fairly unshakable boss), my alarm clock set into a fury of beeps at 3:15am one night. Scared me to death.
The final night of our stay, my friend Kris and I decided we’d wander the grounds and see what we could find by the way of “hauntings” and potential Halloween fun — a venture that proved wildly uneventful, for a while, to the point I stated out loud we should just retire to a bar and give up.
But as I did, a set of hands rested on my shoulders from behind me. I believed, for a second, that someone else from our team had joined the hunt, and turned to greet them. No one was there. And after shrieking and booking past Kris in the hallway, I knew for certain that the evening had gotten interesting.
Each night of my stay, I had had to walk past a banquet room to get to my own, and each night I had felt a chill of fright as I did, quite unexplained. We made our way to this room and, once inside, it became clear why I was so frightened. Both of us, simultaneously, saw the silhouette of a figure, reflected in the window, standing in the lit doorway watching us. When we would turn to see who this was, however, no one was there. We commented on this to each other and, as we did, three loud knocks sounded on the wall. And… we… were… out of there.
Minutes later, after discussing whether we should return to try to figure out what had happened, we walked back to find the door had closed. Kris place his hand on the knob to make his way in, and the door began to shake back and forth. No one was on the other side to shake it. We know, because the door was made of glass.
Our night of ghost hunting ended in Broadmoor West. We discovered a set of stairs descending into a meeting room space in the basement, and fear struck me, here, stronger then it had anywhere else. Kris, however, insisted on descending the stairs, looking up at me from the bottom, encouraging me to come down. “It’s totally fine,” he said, “it’s a lit up hallway”.
And the lights above his head let out a buzzing sound, and began to flicker. No joke. He ran upstairs and shook it off. But then, lets call it foolishly, he descended again. I was quite convinced I wasn’t moving, feeling super-scared of what might be down below. But he ended up coming back up and literally pulling me down with him and, once at the bottom, I saw that this was a well-lit hallway, seemingly used for business / meeting purposes, with signs of life all about — snacks set for the next day, beverages, etc. We began to walk down the hall slowly and with dread, but when nothing happened for a few minutes, we ended up chatting about our next-day plans and wandering a bit at ease.
Upon reaching an intersection of this hallway and another, however, the chatting stopped cold. Literally, cold, as a chilling breeze blew between us both out of no where. Then, we both heard the same man at the same time. A voice mumbling… with the only legible word being “migraine”. I asked Kris if he heard this and, as he confirmed, one by one the lights of the hallway opposite to ours started to explode into very bright light. Suddenly, I was a woman in the Seinfeld scene where George Costanza tramples women and children to escape a fire — Kris bowled right over me, and drug me down the hallway by my jacket collar, both of us scared out of our wits. Ghost hunting was DONE for the night. Done.
I can’t tell you exactly what happened at the Broadmoor. I can’t tell you with any certainty that the Broadmoor is haunted – maybe these things can be explained. I can simply tell you what I experienced, and the only thing that I learned for certain is that there are many, many things we will leave this world not knowing. And, it’s the not knowing, that scares us all.