Thursday, October 16, 2014

#Ghosthunt No. 4 for new book: Forest Queen Hotel in Crested Butte



(All this fall and early spring, we're engaged in our latest book project -- haunted hotels in western and mountainous Colorado -- and we're using our blog to share highlights about our visits (and ghost hunts) to each location. You can click on the tab just under our blog banner called "New WIP Ghost Hunt Book" for more context and a bit of backstory about the project.)

This time, we report on the Forest Queen Hotel in Crested Butte, where Kym got more interaction than she bargained for!

First, a S/O to GM Dave Coleman, hotel manager Meghan Driscoll, and the whole staff -- all who made us feel welcome!

We began by interviewing the staff in the restaurant below the hotel. They had lots to say and recommended we focus our investigations on Rooms One, Four, and Six.

We had the unusual advantage of arriving on a day when the hotel was unoccupied, and the manager gave us a master key to the entire second floor of guest rooms. Then she left us to our own devices, literally.

Opening the rooms, we peered inside each and took baseline readings, which ranged from 200-460mG. In the hallway, we noted the smell of old smoke, like the aftermath of charred timbers. Later we asked one of the restaurant staff about it, and she said she and the cook had noticed the same odd odor for the first time that very morning.

From the hallway, we entered Room Six and immediately stopped in our tracks, asking each other if the room felt weird. The space raised the hair on both of our necks. We returned to Room One to organize our equipment. In the meantime, we decided to let the video camera roll inside Room Six. But before we opened our videocam case in the creepy room, we discovered one of the bed pillows now on the floor. We exchanged glances and harmonized strains of the Twilight Zone tune.

Back in Room One, we started an EVP session, followed by EMF and Spirit Box readings. The EMF meter registered 300-500mG while we worked, once spiking to 700 mG near the foot of the brass bed (and nowhere else over the rest of the brass). At the same time, the spirit box chattered away, including such intriguing words as “burning” (twice), “death,” and “explosive.”

We experienced similar phenomena in Room Four: the spirit box announcing “game,” “innocence,” and “gate” (twice), but no significant EMF spikes. We’d expected more activity since this room was the reputed home of a late 1800s prostitute named Elizabeth, or "Liz-Liz," who'd thrown herself out that bedroom window.

With some trepidation, we reentered Room Six – and here we hit the Mother Lode. Both our EMF meters  
went off the charts, Mark’s sounding high-pitched beeps and Kym’s emitting a siren alert and once flashing an odd orb on the meter display we’d never seen before. Most of the room revealed hotspots, particularly on and around the bed. We conducted an EVP session, asking for a sign of any spirit’s presence. At that moment, one of the table lamps flickered just once (the only flicker to take place that day). Afterwards, Kym turned on her Spirit Box, which produced the words “horse,” “rifle,” “room,” “”burning,” and “fire.”

Kym went back to Room One to retrieve the rest of our equipment and found the door shut and locked. We’d left it wide open. (To be fair, the bedroom window was open, but no breeze blew through the second floor.) In the meantime, Mark started his Spirit Box in Room Six, which seemed strangely quiet. It said only two words: “secret” and “Kym.” 

Needless to say, Kym felt a little disturbed by the direct reference. More so, since she confessed she’d felt the sensation of dragging hobble ropes or shackles around her ankles as soon as we entered the second floor: Each step would pull at the right ankle while the left one felt a pinch. The feeling persisted most of the time we remained in the hotel but stopped as soon as we left the building. Let’s get this straight – Kym has always been the “Scully” of the investigations: pragmatic, rational, skeptical. 


About that time, we both heard footsteps in the hallway and a door slam. We peered out, expecting to see the manager, but we were alone. And all the doors remained open.

We’d had enough for one day and didn’t scout out the other rooms as carefully.

 EVP of woman's voice in Room Four

Our later analyses detected no anomalies in the videos and no orbs in the photos. However, we did capture an EVP of a woman’s voice in Room Four, but neither of us could make out what the three syllables actually said. Still, it was exciting to capture an audio-only recording of a voice -- and in the very room  "Liz-Liz" was was said to occupy before taking her life by jumping out that window.

One more thing to report: When we got home, Kym found a red straight-line
bruise on the inside of her left ankle, which we photographed before it faded within a couple of hours. This was exactly where she'd felt the pinches while inside the Forest Queen.

Next week, we share highlights of our visit to The Twin Lakes Inn, on the road to Independence Pass -- already closed for the season, but that doesn't stop the permanent hotel residents from staying on!
 
Don't forget you can follow along during our investigations as we live-tweet from Twitter @writeinthethick. You can check out our Facebook page for updates about dates and times.