A few weeks before my oldest daughter’s 16th birthday, my husband and I began our search for what made the perfect 16th Birthday Present. We found many great ideas. Parties, cars, money, technology, etc. None of these things seemed to fit what we were looking for.
My daughter has a heart of gold and loves the Edgar Allen Poe motif. She loves ravens both in the gothic style and biblical sense. She’s drawn to them. She also has a curiosity to explore old buildings and has expressed the desire to tour America’s abandoned mental health hospitals. The prepackaged teenage gift just wouldn’t do.
With a simple google search, I found a list of Colorado’s most haunted locations and narrowed it down to Bed & Breakfast Hotels. The Onaledge B&B on the Red Gregg’s property in Manitou Springs, CO was on that list. It was affordable and available. I booked it and told everyone but my daughter about our plans to sleep there for the night.
On the night of my daughter’s 16th birthday, she requested dinner at the Mona Lisa Restaurant with family and her boyfriend. We picked up her boyfriend and arrived at the restaurant. We stuffed ourselves with all the cheesy goodness that was offered. When we thought we could eat no more, we ate more. The meat and chocolate fondue flowed until we tapped out for the night.
After each course, my daughter was allowed to open one gift. There was the Raven Scarf after the cheese and a personalized photo album from Justin. Then just after the chocolate, we told her about our evening plans to stay in a haunted B&B for her Birthday present. Immediately, she burst into tears and signed with a “sh*t”.
Her first thought was that we were going to drop her off alone at some haunted hotel. We assured her that we would be staying too. My husband tried to assure her that it wasn’t haunted, but I warned them both otherwise. I’d done a small amount of extra reading that assured me that the Onaledge was as close to haunted as anything could be.
We dropped off my daughter’s boyfriend at his home and then drove through the heavy black cast iron gates of the B&B. The night was dark and the old building was waiting for us. We opened the doors to our spacious room and brought in our over night bags. The antique furniture welcomed us. The eagle clawed tub invited my daughter in for a soak.
It was late and we wasted no time jumping into the king sized bed. My husband immediately fell asleep and snoring kept my daughter up.
She abandoned us for the TV and a DVD copy of “Book of Eli”. During the dark hours of night, she didn’t sleep a wink.
I did fall sleep next to my husband. I’m used to the snoring and wasn’t bothered. I did keep waking up during the night and the room looked distorted. I could see the walls and mirrors with my dream lenses on. I could tell what everything was but it just didn’t look right. This went on well past midnight and I could reason with myself that I was just dreaming.
The hours between midnight and 3am were the most creepy. My daughter was still watching DVDs. After she put in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” the DVD box started skipping and pausing on its own. Then the DVD player AND the TV just shut off. It did this a few times. My daughter says she was freaked out by this and felt that it wasn’t just random. She couldn’t shake the feeling that we were not alone for the rest of the evening.
Sometime during the TV/DVD incident, my dreams changed. I woke up 3 or 4 times shaking all over and I was thinking “it’s trying to strip off my soul”. My whole body was trembling from head to toe. I’ve never woken up like that before and that was defiantly a new thought. It only took a few moments to look around the room before I was fully awake. I stopped shaking and fell back to sleep only to awake again shaking. I did not rest in peace.
My husband snored the night away and woke fully rested. My daughter and I were able to grab some sleep once the sun started to raise.
Once the sun was up, we ate breakfast and wandered around the On-a-ledge building. We bumped into another couple staying in the building. The wife said she was also plagued with nightmares her first night there. During the sun lit hours, the place was inviting. The house held a feeling of home. I didn’t want to leave.