Victor Hotel: Spirits in the birdcage and down the hall
At 9,700 feet elevation on the south flank of Pikes Peak, winters are tough in Victor, even today. But in its boom times of over 100 years ago, absent the modern conveniences of backhoe, a person passing from this world into another, might have to wait for spring (or perhaps summer) until the ground was soft enough to be buried. Stories have it, that out of convenience, bodies waited for the thaw out in what is now the fourth floor of the Victor Hotel.
“It is apparently many of these long dead Victor residents that haunt the historic hotel today,” according to Legends of America. “Though seemingly harmless, several people have witnessed the site of disembodied apparitions on the fourth floor. Reports include what look like doctors and patients, sometimes without arms, legs and even heads, moving about this place that once acted as a `holding cell' for the dead.”
The fourth floor functioned as a hospital of sorts, where medical staff performed operations such as an emergency appendectomy as early as 1906.
Lowell Thomas father, physician H.G. Thomas maintained his office in the building as well. On the main floor, banks such as the First National Bank of Victor and later City Bank operated along side, at various times, grocery stores, restaurants, Barrett's Furniture, the Colorado Telephone Company and Western Union Telegraph in the building. City Bank failed in the 1930s.
After years of neglect, the Hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 1991 and 1992 under the direction of new owners represented by Marjoe D. Bandimere of Arvada.
But the ghosts from the fourth floor are apparently not alone according to local folklore.
“Our most famous ghost is Eddie, who lived in the Victor Hotel, Room 301 during the early part of the 1900s,” says the hotel's web site.
“Eddie worked in the mines wearing his heavey, steel-toed work boots. One night Eddie got up in the wee hours of the morning and pressed the Bird Cage elevator to go down. When the doors opened, Eddie got in, but there wasn't an elevator there. He fell to his death and was later laid out for viewing in his room. Today, our 106-year-old Bird Cage elevator door's open and close and at times the elevator goes up to the third floor without anyone touching the buttons. The elevator never stops on the second or fourth floors at these times, only the third. Eddie is still trying to get the elevator up to the third! Eddie is heard walking the halls at all hours of the night. Many times the guests have been awakened by loud footsteps in the hall. Upon looking out the door, no one is there.”
But that is not end of the spirit business in the historic building.
“Other guests have seen Charlie, who wears a black hat, torn jeans and a plaid shirt. Charlie is very friendly ghost who appears to be about 60-years-old and seems to have a good sense of humor. During the Christmas season of 2003, a young woman was seen several times in the lobby late at night walking around observing the decorations. She was seen on nights when absolutely no one was even checked into the hotel,” according to the hotel's literature.