The spirit of an Irish female entertainer is a handful!
She and her spectral friend enjoy a 1991 toy without paying.
This handsome 3-story brick building was built in 1896 to house commercial enterprises. Visitors will notice its fancy brickwork, and display windows right away. The building features rock-faced corner stones, a recessed center entryway, and fabulous, decorative molding.
There is a casino on the first floor, a hotel on the second and an old ballroom space on the third. Maggie’s Restaurant is found toward the back of the structure on the ground floor, downstairs from the casino.
The casino develops loyal customers by offering them points for playing and lets them win 10% more than other casinos. They pride themselves on being 10% looser than the Cripple Creek market! Another popular practice with customers is that they keep their TITO penny machines current, offering the latest Aristocrat and IGT Games. Penny players like the quick and convenient cash in service. They also keep their “oldies but goodies” loose dollar reel slots as long as they can repair them.
The hotel’s seven rooms offer a complimentary breakfast as each guest is given a ten dollar voucher. High rollers are given complimentary room, but probably lose more than enough money at the tables to pay for it, as it is hard to beat the house. Free snacks are offered to guests and room service from Maggie’s is another amenity that hotel guests enjoy.
Though Maggie’s Restaurant can be reached by going down the stairs from the casino, it also has its own entrance, about three quarters of the way down on the building’s side that sits on Third St., toward the back of the building. Maggie’s Restaurant pleases both visitors and locals. According to the restaurant’s webpage, “Maggie’s specializes in a variety of entrees and desserts in a classic, elegant restaurant setting. The restaurant is famous for its quality steaks, seafood and burgers. Maggie’s is very family friendly, and kids are welcome. ‘Ask anyone in town. This is the best place for breakfast, lunch and dinner.’”
Maggie’s also offers party and meeting rooms for various special occasions and events, for up to 40 people.
It doesn’t sound like the third floor has been renovated yet, but it probably will be done at some point. The casino owners strive to make their customers happy.
Over the years, this solid structure, The Fairley Brothers and Lampman Building, has been the home of many merchants. A variety of businesses have grown and prospered here, including a drug store, a millinery, an engineer, and a law office. The building has also housed medical offices, and a mortuary. At some time in its history, it became a hotel. The third floor was a ballroom, used for social events and a Masonic Temple home.
If this building could talk, what stories it would tell. Besides all the characters coming to Cripple Creek to get rich, start a business, or steal from others, there was always the drama of the miners. During the building’s first ten years, a nasty, violent labor war erupted between the mining union and mine owners, who lived in Colorado Springs. At one point, martial law was declared by the governor, and citizens of the community were invaded by the national guard. In this harsh atmosphere, merchants, who were a tough breed of folks, managed to stay in business, avoid the harsh political atmosphere and carry on with business as best they could, resenting all the while the military government imposed on them. A power struggle between the mining union and the owners, over the number of hours in a work day, dragged on.
Eventually, the National Guard left, but other challenges were to come. A big problem that they faced was the dwindling output of the mines, and the loss of population. Many mining towns had the same problems. Some, like Bodie and Calico, in Caliornia, and Meade, in Montana, lost all their residents. Others hung on by a thread, like the mining towns in Jerome, Arizona and Virginia City, Nevada. Still others, like Park City, Utah, and Brisbee, Arizona, found other ways to bring in money successfully, growing into prosperous towns.
By 1970, Cripple Creek was considered a ghost town, but still had a population of one hundred. These determined individuals did their best to eke out a living serving tourists, nature-lovers and hunters. Like the mining town of Bullock, South Dakota, their outlook brightened a bit in the 1990s. In 1991, the voters of Colorado voted to allow the opening of limited gaming in Cripple Creek and two other locations, which proved to be its salvation. While some residents didn’t like the idea of harvesting money from people and moved, others came to live in Cripple Creek. Nevada Gold & Casinos came to town and bought the Fairley Brothers and Lampman building, renovated and restored the first floor, and opened a limited gambling casino, which also resulted in a boost of earnings from Maggie’s Restaurant. Some of the old rooms on the second floor were renovated into rooms and suites, offering convenient lodging for adult customers, preferably the high rollers, making it easier for patrons to enjoy the gaming downstairs.
Others also opened casinos in their hotels and buildings, providing quite a choice for folks willing to try lady luck. When we visited the town in 2010, the economy had taken out the weaker gaming joints, leaving only the stronger ones, such as Wild Horse Casino, Colorado Grande Casino, Century Casino and Bronco Billy’s Casino.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
It is hard to say who Maggie and her gaming companion are, for a variety of people have owned and visited this handsome, durable structure. Clues from the experiences people have had with her can be used to theorize who she may be and why she is haunting the building.
She is described as being either a beautiful red head or a brunette, around 25 years old, who wears her hair pinned up. Her mood and demeanor have always been positive, and though she mostly stays on the second and third floors of the building, she also has been seen playing slots with a male friend on the first floor.
There were no slot machines in this building before 1991, which means she has discovered a new toy to play with, as entities have longed enjoyed new devices of all kinds. She is an intelligent spirit, who can interact with items and the living who are around her.
She wasn’t a prostitute, because so-called soiled doves were only allowed to practice their trade in parlors in the town’s red light district, along Meyers Street. The clothing she is seen in suggests that she was an average citizen of Colorado or a local resident of Cripple Creek, around the turn-of-the-century.
She could be the daughter of a building owner, or of one of the merchants who had a business in the building. If she was the wife of a merchant, she probably would’ve continued in her duties in the area where the business was located, and perhaps even wanted to supervise the living in their daily operations.
Perhaps she worked as an employee of one of the businesses located here at the turn-of-the-century.
Why does she haunt this building?
Maggie has always been in a happy, joyous mood, full of energy, set on having a good time, engaged in her favorite activities, not letting the fact that she is a spirit kill the joy in her soul. She loves to sing classical music. She also loves to dance. It is obvious to me that she is enjoying the memories of her life here, and is not angry or in turmoil at the circumstances of her death. She carries no grudge against the living. Perhaps she enjoyed the musical and social events in the ballroom when she was alive. Entities sometimes choose to stay in places where they enjoyed themselves during their lifetimes.
Perhaps she died unexpectedly from disease or an accident. As she loves to sing, perhaps she entertained at musical events on the third floor ballroom. Perhaps she had dreams of making it on stage, but died suddenly before she could do so. Sometimes people involved in the arts have a hard time giving up their dreams, when they die unexpectedly.
Who is the male entity seen with her? Perhaps he was attached to Maggie in some way. He could’ve been Maggie’s co-worker, boyfriend, brother or friend. Sometimes spirits hang around a place because their loved ones have chosen to stay earthbound. Perhaps they died together suddenly in an accident, or he died around the same time that Maggie did, which would explain why they can see each other in the same plane of existence.
He must have had some sort of attachment to this building. Perhaps he was a customer of one of the businesses on the first floor. He could’ve been a miner killed by the violence in town nearby. People who die near a building sometimes return to it and stay. He could be a spirit who decided to do this, after his body had been taken to the mortuary that used to be in this building.
The Entity of Maggie
People have reported hearing a fine, female voice, singing a concertina in an Irish accent, on the second and third floors. They have also heard her dancing round the third floor ballroom.
The sound of her high-heeled boots walking across the floors of the second and third floors has been reported.
The strong scent of roses indicates her presence, whether seen or unseen. Even in the restaurant, her rose scent is noticed, as she likes to see what is going on.
She has made appearances in front of the living!
She has been seen as an “amorphous blue light” traveling down the halls of the building, and she has appeared in a solid/transparent form as well. Detailed descriptions of her have been reported by many witnesses.
Security cameras have caught her playing the slot machines, with her male companion.
There were no slot machines in this building before 1991, which means she has discovered new toys to play with, as entities have long enjoyed new electrical devices.
She is an intelligent spirit.
People have experienced auditory and tactile paranormal activity, and Maggie’s occasional and cheerful appearances, for many years.
There is also strong evidence of Maggie and her spectral friend. Casino footage of Maggie and her male companion, playing with the slot machines, has been recorded on security cameras, though it mysteriously disappeared from the safe, taken either by a person not eager to display evidence of the haunting, or by the spirits themselves.
Colorado Researchers of Paranormal Science (CRPS) investigated the building, and caught an EVP, which they posted on their website.
Female investigators of CRPS had personal experiences with Maggie, when they went as a group to both Maggie’s favorite room, and the restaurant.
They thought of a creative way to engage her by inviting her to tea with them in the restaurant. Maggie accepted their offer and made her presence known with a real strong aroma of roses. Read it for yourself in their initial report.
The spirit of Maggie isn’t going to be prevented from enjoying her afterlife here in spirit form. She does what she enjoyed doing while alive: singing, dancing and knowing what is going on in the building. She is as friendly in the afterlife as she was while alive, has found new toys to play with, and has the company of a male spirit!
300 E. Bennett Avenue
Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813
Toll Free: (877) 244-9469 Local: (719) 689-3517
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant are located in a commercial spot in downtown Cripple Creek on Bennett Avenue. All of these businesses, owned by the same company, make their home in the handsome brick Fairley Brothers and Lampman Building, on the corner of 3rd Street and Bennett Avenue.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr