The living are in for a musical treat!
Being positive and happy doesn’t require a body.
Let’s have fun with the electrical toys!
“The grandest hotel in Cripple Creek is none other than the Colorado Grande Casino. It boasts casino gaming, a coffee bar, restaurant, and hotel all under one roof.” (uncovercolorado.com)
This handsome, three story 1896 brick building was built to house commercial enterprises, starting with the fancy brickwork, and display windows. The building features rock-faced corner stones, a recessed center entryway, and fabulous, decorative molding.
The casino is on the first floor, and the hotel, which has seven rooms, is on the second floor. The old ballroom space is on the third floor. Maggie’s Restaurant is found toward the back of the structure on the ground floor, downstairs from the casino. Although it can be reached by going down the stairs from the casino, Maggie’s also has its own entrance, about three quarters of the way down on Third Street.
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 rooms, 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.
Maggie’s Restaurant pleases both visitors and locals. 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.'”
Maggie’s also offers party and meeting rooms for special occasions and events, for up to forty people.
It doesn’t sound like the third floor has been renovated yet, as nothing is mentioned on the website, but it probably will be done at some point, if a need for large event space arises. The building’s owners strive to make customers happy.
The Fairley Brothers and Lampman Building is a solid structure, and has been home for many merchants over the years. A variety of businesses have grown and prospered here, including a drug store, a millinery, an engineering firm, 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.
Eventually, the National Guard left, but other challenges were to come. A big problem the city 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 California, 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 offering activities and goods that would attract tourists and vacationers.
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 1990s.
In 1991, the voters of Colorado allowed 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 an earning boost from Maggie’s Restaurant. Some of the old rooms on the second floor were renovated, offering convenient lodging for the high rollers, making it easier for patrons to enjoy the gaming just downstairs.
Other interests 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.
As of 2021, most of the historic downtown buildings have been bought by the large gaming outfit that now owns Bronco Billy’s Casino, with the contractual promise that they restore all the buildings, and that any new structures must fit in with the architectural style of Cripple Creek. So far so good!
Signs of progress are there. When we came and visited on our 2021 road trip through Colorado, they were constructing a 300 room hotel for the gamblers who are expected to be drawn to Cripple Creek on the south side of the main drag. They will have a convenient place to gamble and shop in the many stores along Main Street.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
There are two spirits who still enjoy this structure. Maggie is described as being either a beautiful red head, or some say a brunette, around 25 years old, who wears her hair pinned up. The second spirit is her male companion, who likes to play with the slot machines as well with her.
It is hard to say who Maggie and her companion are, for a variety of people have owned and visited this handsome, durable structure. 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.
We can speculate who she was while alive. She could’ve been the daughter of a building owner, or of one of the merchants who had a business there. If she was the wife of a merchant, she probably would’ve continued in the area where the business was located, perhaps even wanting to supervise the living as they ran their business. Perhaps she worked as an employee of one of the businesses here during the turn of the century.
Who is the male entity seen with her? Sometimes spirits hang around a place because their loved ones have chosen to stay earthbound in a structure that they all loved.
Her male companion has an attachment to this structure and probably to Maggie.
Why do she and her male companion haunt this building? There are some possibilities that may apply to them listed below.
Spirits who have lost their lives suddenly through war, accident, murder, disease or natural causes sometimes still want to enjoy their earthly life as best they can, in places they loved, sometimes through interaction in this world. They were endowed while alive with a positive outlook on life, enjoyed their hobbies and gifts, as well as the people they knew and loved to be with. They may have been killed or lost their lives, but they are determined to find new things to do as spirits.
Kolb Ridge Court, GA (A Civil War soldier who died in a Kolb Ridge battle, decided to move into a new home built on the land where he died. He enjoyed the new home, and got his chuckles by teasing the living there, eventually becoming part of the family).
Crystal Saloon, Tombstone, AZ (While Sheriff Virgil Earp had to quit his job due to injuries he received in an ambush, as a spirit he has become a spectral enforcer in The Crystal Saloon, interacting with any visitors who are rude or drunk).
Brumder Mansion, WI (The spirit of Mike, who provided security for Sam Pick’s speakeasy in the Brumder, was executed when the speakeasy was closed. He is now the head of Spectral Security at Brumder Mansion, responsible for getting rid of negative spirits who try to wander in. He keeps an eye on paranormal investigators).
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant, CO (The spirit of Maggie has always had a positive mood and demeanor, and makes sure that she has a good time in her afterlife by doing what she has always enjoyed doing, in a building she loved. New toys to play with must be a joy!).
Intelligent Spirits can enjoy modern conveniences, and are often fascinated by anything run by electricity, and can’t help but play with these items.
General Wayne Inn, PA (Spirits of Hessian soldiers loved to play with the Inn’s electrical equipment).
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant, CO (There were no slot machines in this building before 1991, which means these intelligent spirits have only recently discovered these new toys).
Who is the male entity seen with her? Sometimes spirits hang around a place because their loved ones have chosen to stay earthbound.
Stranahan House, FL (When spirits of members of her family decided to reside in the family home during their afterlife, Mrs. Stranahan’s spirit decided to stay too).
The Whaley House, CA (Spectral members of the Whaley family have decided to stay in their forever home to try to comfort their daughter, Violet, who is still distraught).
Old Allen House, AR (When the daughter committed suicide over another failed romance, the spirits of her son and parents decided to stay with her).
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant, CO (Maggie’s male spirit companion could’ve been her co-worker, boyfriend, brother or friend).
Groups of people who die from the same cause around the same time, sometimes stay together in the afterlife in the same place in this world.
Collingwood Art Center – the Gerber House, OH (Three spirit children who once lived here died around the same time from Cholera).
Farnsworth House, Gettysburg PA (Confederate soldiers who were all killed in the attic are still there).
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant, CO (Perhaps Maggie and her male companion died together suddenly in an accident, or he died around the same time that Maggie did, which would explain why he and Maggie can see each other in the same plane of existence).
Clues gathered from the kind of experiences people have had with Maggie say a lot about her and her male spectral companion.
The Spirit of Maggie –
Olfactory and Auditory Activity
People have reported hearing a fine, female voice, singing a concertina in an Irish accent, on the second 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 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, as a great detailed description of her has been reported by many witnesses.
New Toys for You and Me!
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. Entities have longed enjoyed new electrical machines/lights/items.
They are both intelligent spirits, enjoying what is at hand.
People have experienced auditory and tactile paranormal activity, and the occasional appearance, of this cheerful spirit of Maggie for many years.
There is strong evidence of Maggie and her spectral friend. Casino footage of the pair playing with the slot machines has been recorded on 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 (CRPS) investigated the building, and caught an EVP, which they posted on their website.
Female CRPS investigators have had personal experiences with Maggie, when they went as a group of ladies, both 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. You can read it for yourself in their initial report.
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 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 memories of her life here, is 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 in the ballroom when she was alive.
She is as friendly as she was while alive and has even found new toys to play with, like slot machines! She even has company, a male spirit, who must have a close tie to her, and is enjoying himself as well, being in a place that is special to him.
300 East Bennett Avenue
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Colorado Grande Casino, Hotel and Maggie’s Restaurant are all located in a prime commercial spot in downtown Cripple Creek on Bennett Ave. 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.
- HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory, by Dennis William Hauck, Penguin Books, 2002.