The "Richest Square Mile on
Earth" May Well also be the Most Haunted Square Mile on Earth
by Sally Taylor
Life in mining towns was not easy. Many died
untimely and violent deaths - deaths from diseases, from hostile environments,
from mining accidents, from crime, and even from broken hearts. Conditions
were ripe for creating ghosts and many mining towns today claim hauntings.
Central City, Colorado, also known as "the richest square mile on
earth" was a thriving mining town during the gold rush area and to this
day many of it's first residents and visitors still roam it's buildings,
streets, and cemeteries.
On the main intersection of town was a
building housing one of these restless spirits on it's second floor. During
the late 1980's the second floor of this building was the annex for the Golden
Rose Hotel, the main building being directly across the street from it. The
hotel was a replication of earlier days, all furnishings were actual gold rush
era pieces, and to preserve the historical ambiance there were no telephones
in the rooms. Guests would have to walk across the street to the main lobby to
talk to hotel personnel. With a ghost living in one of the rooms, guests made
the trip over to the main building quite often.
I worked in the hotel in 1990 and 1991 until
the building was sold to be turned into a casino. Room 25 seemed to have it's
problems. Windows would open themselves, which would not have been so hard to
rationalize if they had not had to slide up to be opened. Water faucets turned
themselves on, clothes and other objects would disappear then turn up on the
bed when the occupants got ready to leave. When the haunted room was empty,
any guests in rooms on either side would come to the desk to report fights in
I remember one guest had reported that items
were missing from his room. We assured him that our housekeepers were
extremely honest people, but he seemed to not be convinced, until just before
check-out he came in and spoke to me. He told me that his belongings had
turned up, just as I had indicated they might do. He seemed shaken, and I
again reassured him that this was not a prank that anyone on our staff would
orchestrate. He agreed readily that it was not our staff. It seems he had
already packed and was writing a quick letter to mail on his way to his next
destination. When he turned to the bed his belongings were neatly laid on the
foot of the bed. When I remarked that it was highly unlikely that someone
could have snuck in to replace the items without him hearing them, he just
laughed. It seems that he had been facing the mirror on the desk in his room
while writing and that no one could have moved anywhere in the vicinity of the
bed without him having seen them - and no one had. His missing belongings seem
to have just materialized out of thin air.
Several times during my employment with the
Golden Rose, guests in rooms next to the haunted room came to me to report
fights in the next room. When I would just calmly smile and assure them
everything was quite in order, they would protest so furiously that I would
have to walk across to the annex with them and open the door of the room where
the "fights" were taking place. It was interesting to see the colors
the guest's faces would turn when I opened the door revealing that the room
was indeed unoccupied, and neatly ordered with nothing out of place or
destroyed. Some guests loved it, some insisted on moving to the main building
for the rest of their stay.
When gaming was re-legalized in 1991 the
annex was sold and converted into a casino. I went off to a business
partnership running a parking lot, shuttles, and some miscellaneous marketing.
Part of this marketing involved doing coupons for some of the casinos.
Checking an order one day, I went to Doc Holliday's casino - which was in the
building that had housed the Golden Rose Annex just months before.
It was early morning and when I entered the
office the secretary was quite frazzled, and was sorting a very disordered
stack of papers on her desk. She complained loudly that the "guys"
kept forgetting to shut the windows and file cabinet drawers at night and she
was many mornings faced with picking files up off the floor and reorganizing
them. She was also not pleased with the disappearance of files, which would
invariably turn back up on her desk at a later time, but she could never find
out who was taking the files in the first place. The room the office was in?
You guessed it. Doc Holliday's casino office was located in none other than
the haunted annex room.
I was told that the casino was called Doc
Holliday's because it was believed that the ghost of Doc Holliday inhabited
the building. He actually died and was buried in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Whether he actually has taken up permanent residence in Central City, a town
he frequented often during life, or not will probably always be a mystery. It
is no mystery that SOMEONE has decided to take up permanent residence in that
This is only one instance of haunting in
Central City. For people interested in ghost hunting, I would be hard pressed
to think of a better place to visit. You will find that there are scores of
very well known haunted places there, and quite a few lesser known ones as
well if you talk to residents that have lived in the area for a time.
About the Author
©2005 Sally Taylor: Sal is an avid gem and
treasure hunter, explorer, writer, and is the owner of http://www.rockhoundstation1.com