I found everything about The Hotel Boulderado, with its Otis Elevator and historic decor, charming.
My daughters had a different impression.
“This place looks haunted,” Molly said as we checked in just after midnight last Thursday night.
I cheerfully disagreed. I love old places. I have to. I’m old.
We made our way across a 100-year old tile floor, crammed our tall selves into the tiny 1908 elevator and chatted with the attendant as she cranked us up to the fifth floor and walked us to our room. Then, we stepped over the threshold and left an entire century behind. Flowered wallpaper covered every corner of the walls, water pipes hung low and vintage chairs and a settee formed a timeless tableaux.
I loved it.
The next morning I woke early and, amused by my view, I snapped a picture of the room. I zoomed in to take a closer look at an accidental reflection in the mirror and chuckled when I saw the figure of a young woman lying in repose. (It was Molly.)
“Jeez, maybe they’re right,” I thought. “Maybe this place is haunted.”
With a little time to kill, I Googled.
It turns out, the place is as comfortable for wandering souls as it is for travelers.
For instance, according to various reports, a jilted bride once threw herself out the window of room 511. Apparently, she occasionally appears in that room, still in her wedding dress, standing over guests as they sleep, flickering lights and randomly flushing toilets.
Other stories of untimely deaths and the hauntings they inspired might have been off-putting to some, but I found them fascinating. I read them all.
Then, I did a little wandering of my own.
“Hello?” I called out hopefully down an intriguing third-floor hallway. I stared hard at an antique organ I spotted randomly perched against a wall, and dared it to start playing. Alas, I heard nothing.
The hotel does not advertise its ghostly reputation and, in fact, it rebranded its original bar from “the Catacombs” to the less ghoulish “License No. 1,” (so named because the tavern secured Boulder’s first liquor license since the city finally ended prohibition in 1967).
But, I kind of like the idea of communing with people from another time. Imagine the stories they’d tell!