Saturday, January 31, 2015

Colorado Haunted Hotels - The Fairlamb House B&B

Between now and late spring, we're sharing the history and haunted legends associated with each of the hotels and B&Bs included in our forthcoming book,  
Fairlamb House B&B
an amateur ghost hunting guide
to Haunted Hotels
in southwest Colorado

This week, we feature The Fairlamb House B&B  in Delta, Colo. (If you missed -- or want to revisit -- the paranormal investigation we conducted at this hotel, you can click here, as well as watch YouTube clips from our actual investigation.)

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Historical Context
 For hundreds of years, this area was homelands to the Ute tribes, and by the early 1800s, a trading post sprang up in the region to serve Native Americans, traders, and trappers. In 1828, Antoine Robidoux built Fort Uncompahgre, established as a fur trading center. The nearby 200-year old Ute Council Tree still commemorates the tribe's Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta. Legend says Chipeta was the only Indian woman ever permitted to sit in council meetings held at this site.
Annual Ute powwow in Delta
      Delta County was created by the Colorado legislature in 1883. The town took its name from the delta that forms at the confluence of the Uncompahgre and Gunnison rivers. The area’s story reflects a heritage of pioneering agriculture, mining, as well as land and water development.
Millard and Stella Fairlamb built The Fairlamb House in 1906, constructed of local Delta brick in classic Four Square architectural style. It was the first home in the area built by workers on an eight-hour work day. The house stood on a bluff that overlooked the delta below, and family members erected a series of houses that stretched an entire block. The Fairlamb House is listed on the State Historical Register.
One curious story centers on Millard, who combed through the nearby Utah desert in search of Indian artifacts. Finding a human skeleton, he gathered up the bones, put them in a box, and stored them in his third-floor attic. There they stayed for a number of years, always scaring the Fairlamb children. Eventually, the skeleton was turned over to the Utes for interment.
The house passed from Millard and Stella to Charles and Ethel Fairlamb and later Harley and Ethel (Lale) Fairlamb Jackson, and it continued to stay in the family for over seventy-two years. The Fairlambs experienced their share of life’s tragedies, including the death of one household member after she fell from a ladder hanging Christmas lights. After 1978, the house continued under had two subsequent owners, both doctors, and also numerous renters.
John Taylor and Elizabeth Thompson purchased the house in 1994, and they’ve maintained the turn-of-the-century décor.

Guestroom directly below attic
hosting the skeleton
Legends, Stories, and Guest Experiences
Despite the fact that there was a skeleton in the attic for years and at least one Fairlamb family member died on the premises, current B&B owners John and Elizabeth attest they’ve personally witnessed very few instances of paranormal activity other than the occasional odd noises that an old house can make. 
Elizabeth did, however, experience an unexplained phenomenon during the renovations. She’d hired a high school girl to help, and soon the student pointed out a small seashell placed on a shelf kept showing up in other parts of the house. At first, Elizabeth thought the girl was playing a joke on her. But when she started paying attention, she, too, noticed the rogue seashell popping up in strange places.
Millard Room - It was at the foot of this
bed the five trapped spirits appeared.
Then in 1996, two years after the new owners purchased the property, they learned five female spirits resided at the Fairlamb. During the Ute powwow that year, the B&B played host to several visiting Native Americans, including a Lakota medicine man and his wife. That first morning at breakfast, the couple told John and Elizabeth they’d almost left in the middle of the night because of what happened to them. The medicine man recounted that they both woke to five benevolent female spirits standing at the foot of their bed in the Millard Room. They told the shaman they were trapped in the house.
The Lakota offered to perform a release ceremony, which included chanting and burning sage that he wafted with an eagle feather. The ceremony may have released those five trapped ghosts, but paranormal activity continued for at least one woman we interviewed, who regularly stays at the Fairlamb.
A year after the Lakotas visited, she reported seeing a wicker chair rocking on its own in the bathroom while she washed her face. She again stayed at the house in 2001, this time with her husband and baby. Back in the same bathroom, lights started to flicker and she heard banging noises. On a third visit, nothing paranormal occurred to her, but she still sensed an unseen presence – even when alone in the house.

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Next week, we share history and ghostly stories for Fairplay's Hand Hotel, "home" to six distinct entities, including a ghost dog.