Haunting Cripple Creek, Colorado
With its wild and turbulent past, Cripple Creek, Colorado has a history of unexplained, supernatural occurrences, no wonder it’s earned the reputation of one of the most haunted towns in America. Tales of haunted Cripple Creek hotels, casinos, and homes flourish.
The Imperial Hotel at Third Street and Bennett Avenue known originally as the Collins Hotel, was built after most the town burned to the ground in 1896. As a young man, George Long emigrated from Europe and eventually made his way to Denver. He married his first cousin and together they ran the hotel. The union produced two daughters and a son. The eldest daughter, Alice, was mentally disturbed and the parents were forced to keep her locked in their apartment next to the lobby for her safety and the safety of others.
Soon after George fell to his death while negotiating the narrow stairs to the basement. Or some say Alice escaped, waited for him at the top of the stairs, struck him over the head and he crashed to his death from the stop of the stairs. It’s rumored his ghost haunts the hotel to this day.
My experience at the Imperial Hotel was at the performance of Dracula by the Imperial Players in early 1990’s. The performance was excellent, but the strong feeling of someone watching, icy patches and pressure on my arm and lower back, when no one was there.
The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. After meeting the cast in the lobby for an autograph session, my family and I quickly exited the hotel and raced to the safety of our vehicle, thankful that we hadn’t booked a room. Looking back on the experience, was it the performance of Dracula in the supposedly haunted hotel that caused my imagination to run wild, or was there really something there? I admit to having an overactive imagination, but not that time. In the years since, I’ve visited Cripple Creek on numerous occasions, to explore old buildings and mining shacks.
My husband and I drive up Hwy 67 to enjoy the turning of the Aspens in autumn, used to camp at the Lost Burro Campground but I haven’t set foot in the Imperial Hotel since that night.
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With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, a bit of mystery, and adventure flourish in her books.
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Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C. is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DCs power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running. Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.
Bruce's world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce's long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation. The undeniable attraction between demon and witch promises to tear apart both their professional and personal worlds.
A feeling of dark foreboding, like storm clouds forming on the horizon before a violent storm, washed over them as Bruce maneuvered the Mercedes into the parking lot behind The Krysal Unicorn.
Tristian was already there and it wasn’t to give his report. Bruce could feel the fury in Tristian’s magic signature hanging in the air. A silver tipped arrow penetrated the windshield, split the arm securing the rearview mirror, and stuck in the headrest a quarter inch from Bruce’s neck. Blue liquid oozed from the tip and a stream of red mist escaped from the other end of the arrow.
“Hold your breath and don’t open the door or windows. The influx of fresh air will spread the poison.” He hissed though his teeth not daring to take a breath.
Air pressure inside the vehicle changed, Angie’s head felt like it was going to explode. “Bruce.” She whispered into his mind.
“I know, just a few seconds more, I’ve got it handled.” His deep smooth voice floated reassuringly in her mind, as he reached over caressing her shoulder.
The pressure eased and the red mist sucked in on itself disappearing along with the oozing liquid. He pulled the arrow from the headrest, fingering the hole in the upholstery.
Through gritted teeth, Bruce growled. “His first mistake was that he missed me. His second deadly mistake was he risked your life. That is unforgivable.” Those two things also told Bruce that Tristian wasn’t thinking clearly, fury was coloring his judgment. That gave Bruce an edge, though the attack caught him off guard. He hadn’t expected Tristian to attack putting his sister at risk.
The console between them lowered to seat level. He deliberately added fuel to the fury burning inside Tristian. Bruce put his arm around Angie’s waist and pulled her against him, his lips pressed against hers then gently covered her mouth as his tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips. He drew back, touched his lips to hers again trailing them down to the pulsing hollow of her neck and whispered, “You’re going into the shop now, Willow is waiting just on the other side of the door. Please stay there, you’ll be able to remain in my mind just don’t interfere. I need your presence there as a calming one, Willow can help you.”