Saturday, December 13, 2014

#GhostHunt No. 12: the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, CO

Our account this week from our paranormal investigations for the new book takes place at the Beaumont Hotel & Spa in Ouray, CO.

Note Queen Anne Victorian architecture
But first a S/O to co-owner Jennifer Leaver, who gave us a tour of this lovely building and filled us in about various hotspots along the way. Thanks, Jen!

Built in 1886 of bricks fired from the mud of local hot springs, the Beaumont began as an enterprise to entertain railroad and mining investors to the area during the gold and silver rush. And through the years, it has accumulated an impressive array of paranormal occurrences, including full-bodied apparitions, mysterious aromas of tobacco smoke and perfume in various rooms and halls, as well as lots of poltergeist activity.

Since our on-site visit occurred during off-season, we had access to most of the hotel. We’d asked Jen which rooms had the most promising paranormal activity to launch our investigation, and she told us she felt hard-pressed to name a room that didn't have such reports!

Room 304
But she recommended we start in Room 304, where the bathtub had mysteriously filled late one night for unsuspecting and surprised guests. Before having a chance to set up our equipment, we both caught a whiff of tobacco smoke close to the door of this “unoccupied” room. (The whole facility is non-smoking.) At first we thought we might have smelled the coffeemaker. But on closer inspection, that wasn’t the source. The odor was clearly tobacco. We took a step backwards and neither of us could smell the aroma. We stepped forward and it had disappeared altogether, only to return a moment later. What an intriguing beginning, and consistent with accounts by other guests and staff throughout the hotel.

We bee-lined toward the infamous bathroom and hovered our EMF meter over the claw-footed tub. Baseline readings registered 530mG. (EMF stands for Electromagnetic Field, and ghosts are said to manipulate this energy as a way to manifest or communicate.) The rest of the suite fell in much the same range: 520mG in the bedroom and 560mG over the bed, which had a wooden four-poster frame. 

Next we set up the camcorder, audio digital recorder, and EchoVox spirit box to see if we could capture any EVPs. (EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon, sometimes occurring on audio recordings but can also be generated through a spirit box. Our EchoVox generates only random sounds -- no words -- and it's up to a spirit to assemble and create intelligible responses.) In real time, we heard a number of single words, including “tobacco” and “smoke.” Guess the entities wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the aromas they had manifested for our benefit.

EVP confirming ghostly smells we detected

We retrieved the flashlight and invited any spirits in the room to use that energy to communicate. Almost immediately, the flashlight flickered multiple times and then almost dimmed out – twice! – which we documented on video. We felt excited by this two-way conversation involving targeted questions and flashlight replies and consider the phenomenon one of the hallmarks of this investigation.

Room 304's impressive flashlight interaction 

Our later analysis of the audio-only recording gave nothing new, but the EchoVox replay revealed “babble” and “birthday,” followed by a coughing sound (the smoking habit of one of the local ghosts?)

We next set up in the second-floor spa, a whole suite of rooms showing EMF ranges of 510-560mG. The foyer seemed the most convenient location to stage our equipment. We’d had such great luck with the flashlight already, we repeated that experiment – but the flashlight refused to come on at first. Mark stepped into the hallway with the light, and reentered the spa to try it again. This time it came on; simultaneously the EchoVox announced, “It works.” On our request, the flashlight flickered twice more. And again, our camcorder captured all this.
Later analysis of the EchoVox offered nothing additional to our findings, nor did the audio-only session we conducted.

Lobby staircase
Our final investigation took place in the Luella Lounge, where our EMF registered a fairly steady 520mG throughout -- except when we decided to go for broke by setting up the flashlight once more. This time the light fluttered only slightly, but more impressive during those flickers, the EMF shot up past 970mG. During paranormal investigations, the dimming of the light at the same time as the electromagnetic flux confirms a ghost drawing on flashlight energy as a way to manifest or make contact.

Then, without warning, the EMF dropped to baseline. It seemed like the ghosts had gotten bored with us.

In the meantime, we’d left our EchoVox running, but heard nothing definitive, then nor during later analysis. 

On the outside chance the spirit or entities had returned, we switched on our audio-only recorder. We didn’t have high hopes of capturing anything with the bar’s refrigerator humming in the background. Nevertheless, we analyzed the recording when we returned home and found an EVP of “Jim” when we’d asked for a name. 

 Audio-only EVP in Luella Lounge

Ghostly smoke aromas, on-request flashlight winks, and solid EVPs – we couldn’t have asked for more during this on-site investigation.

* * *
 Next week, we share highlights of our visit to the Bross Hotel in Paonia, CO, where we witness a ghostly fanny print on a freshly made bed!

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. And you can subscribe to our YouTube "Ghost Hunt Findings" channel to see video clips from our investigations.

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