Cripple Creek Colorado
Colorado Grande Casino
An Irish female entertainer is a handful!
She and her spectral friend enjoy a 1991 toy without paying.
This 1896, handsome, 3 story brick building was built to house commercial enterprises, starting with the fancy brickwork, and display windows on the outside. The building features rock-faced corner stones, a recessed center entryway, and fabulous, decorative molding.
Currently, there is a casino on the first floor, the hotel is on the second floor, while the old ballroom space is on the third floor. Maggie’s Restaurant is found toward the back of the structure on the first/ground floor, downstairs from the casino.
The casino develops loyal customers by offering them points for playing and lets them win 10% more than the other casino’s allow. They pride themselves on being 10% looser than the Cripple Creek market! Another popular practice with their 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 10 dollar voucher. High rollers are given a complementary room, but probably lose enough money at the tables to pay for the room, as it is hard to beat the house. Complementary snacks are offered to guests of the hotel and room service from Maggie’s is another amenity that the hotel guests enjoy.
Though Maggie’s Restaurant can be reached by going down the stairs from the casino, Maggie’s also has its own entrance, about 3/4 of the way down on the building’s side that sits on 3rd St., toward the back of the building. Maggie’s Restaurant pleases both visitors and the local population as well. According to the restaurant’s web-page, “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.’”
Also, 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, as this casino follows a lot of good business practices in striving to make their customers happy, during the time they, visit or stay as guests, as well as offer services to people who live in Cripple Creek.
Over the years, this solid structure, The Fairley Brothers and Lampman Building, has been the home of many kinds of merchants. A variety of businesses grew and prospered here, including a drug store, a millinery, an engineer, and a law office. Being a versatile structure, the building also housed medical offices, and a mortuary. At some time in its history, it became a hotel. The third floor was a ballroom, that was used for social events and was the home of the Masonic Temple.
If this building could talk, what stories it would tell. Besides seeing the variety of characters coming to Cripple Creek to try to get rich, start a business or to steal from others, other unpleasant consequences of mining also reared an ugly head. During the building’s first ten years, it saw a nasty, violent Labor War between the mining union and the 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 national guard, losing most of their constitutional rights. In this harsh atmosphere, merchants, who were a tough breed of folks, managed to stay in business, avoid the harsh political atmosphere and carried on with business as best they could, resenting their military government imposed on them because of a power struggle between the mining union and the owners, over the number of hours in a work day.
Eventually, the National Guard left, but other challenges were to come. A big problem that they faced over the years was the dwindling output of the mines, and the loss of population. Many mining towns had the same problems. Some mining towns, like Bodie & Calico, Calif., and Meade, Montana, became totally void of people, while some hung on by a thread, like the mining towns in Jerome, AZ and Virginia City, Nevada. Other mining towns, like Park City, Utah, and Brisbee, AZ, found another way to bring in money successfully, growing into prosperous towns.
By 1970, Cripple Creek was considered a ghost town, but still had a population of 100. These determined individuals did their best to eke out a living serving tourists, nature-lovers and hunters. However, like the mining town of Bullock, South Dakota, their outlook brightened a bit in the 1990s. In 1991, voters of Colorado voted to allow the opening of limited gaming in Cripple Creek and two other locations, which proved to be the salvation of this town. While some residents didn’t like the idea of harvesting money from people and moved out of town, 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 the boost in earnings made from Maggie’s Restaurant. Some of the old rooms on the second floor were renovated into 7 rooms and suites, offering convenient lodging for some of their adult customers; preferably the high rollers, making it easier for patrons to enjoy the gaming just downstairs.
Other people in Cripple Creek 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, built-like-a-rock structure. Clues gathered from the kind of 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 some say a brunette, around 25 years old, who wears her hair pinned up. Her mood and demeanor have always been positive, and she mostly stays on the second and third floors of the building, but 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 electrical machines/lights/items. This means that she is an intelligent spirit, who can interact with items and the living that are around her.
She wasn’t a prostitute, because soiled doves were only allowed to practice their trade in parlors located in the town’s red light district, along Meyers Street. The clothing she is seen in suggests that she was the 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 their business was located, perhaps even wanting to supervise the living as they run their business.
Perhaps she worked as an employee of one of the businesses that was located here during 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, doing her favorite activities, not letting the fact that she is dead 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 her memories of her life here, not angry or in turmoil at the circumstances of her death or carrying a grudge against the living. Perhaps she enjoyed the musical and social events held 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 held 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 dream, 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 plain of existence.
He must have had some sort of attachment to this building. Perhaps he was a customer of one of the businesses located on the first floor. He could’ve been a miner killed by the violence in town nearby this building. People who die near a building, sometimes come in and stay. He could be a spirit that decided to stay, 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 in an Irish accent a concertina, on the seconds and third floors, and 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 unseen or actually seen. 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, as a great detailed description of her has 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 a new toy to play with, as entities have longed enjoyed new electrical machines/lights/items.
This means that she is an intelligent spirit.
People have experienced the auditory, tactile paranormal activity and the occasional appearance of this cheerful spirit of Maggie for many years.
There is also strong hard evidence of Maggie and her spectral friend. Casino footage of Maggie and her male companion playing with the slot machines was recorded on the security cameras, though this footage mysteriously disappeared from the safe; either by a person not eager to display evidence of the haunting, or by the spirits themselves.
Colorado Researchers of Paranormal Science investigated the building, and caught an EVP, which is posted on their website.
The female investigators had some personal experiences with Maggie, when they went as a group of ladies, both up in Maggie’s favorite room, and in the restaurant.
They thought of a creative way to engage Maggie by inviting her to have some tea with them in the restaurant.
Maggie accepted their offer and made her presence known with a real strong aroma of roses. To read about both their experiences, read it for yourself in their initial report.
The spirit of Maggie isn’t going be defeated in enjoying her after-life here in spirit form. She does what she enjoyed doing while alive; singing, dancing and knowing what is going on inthe structure. She is as friendly as she was while alive and even found a new toy to play with: a slot machine! She even has company; 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 all located in a commercial prime spot in downtown Cripple Creek on Bennett Avenue All 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