Ghost Investigation: Hand Hotel, Fairplay Co.

March 26, 2010 | By | 13 Comments

 The original hotel was built in 1931 by Jake and Jessie Hand and was furnished with western and Indian memorabilia from the South Park area. The interesting décor and the hospitality created a steady clientele keeping the hotel booked months ahead. The guests enjoyed fishing and hunting excursions as well as day trips into the local mountains.

For breakfast, many guests found tasty trout on the menu caught from the nearby fresh water stream by Jessie Hand herself. She continued fishing until the day of her death.

After visiting the Hotel two years ago while doing a UFO investigation, it’s been my wish to come back and perform a ghost investigation there. Some of the interesting paranormal events which have occurred at the hotel include:

Full body apparitions seen in the hallway on the second floor.

Little girls seen near the stair case.

Facial appearances coming from a mirror in one of the rooms.

Child size impressions on newly made beds.

Playful toying with males in one of the rooms.

Grandma Hand herself appearing to make sure her personal room is kept tidy.

Communicated noises and smells popping in and out of certain rooms.

Shadow figures.

And some say a “demonic dog” lurking in the basement which actually bit one of the previous visitors to the hotel.

Ok, now you see why I was so intrigued with this particular establishment. The hotel manager, Mike couldn’t have been more neighborly giving our team carte blanche of the whole establishment. Taking three rooms for ourselves, two of them having previous “ghostly” experience, we had complete access to other rooms including the basement to further our investigative needs. And boy, the basement was the place to be. One of the hotel stories tells about a “madame” who brought her girls in from Denver and took over the second floor one summer. During that time frame a local doctor visited the hotel and performed abortions on the pregnant “girls of the night” then buried the fetuses in the basement. The following is just a taste of what we accomplished that long but short night. Short because we lost an hour due to daylight savings time. As we go through the hours of tapes and audio, we will be releasing more information on this investigation in which I’ve already caught a couple strange anomalies including some possible EVPs. (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)

(Clockwise from left: Daniel, Genevieve, Trina, Matt & Sarah)

Saturday March 13th was our day to visit the Hotel. The “UFOnut” team consisted of me, Matt, Trina, Genevieve, Daniel and Sarah. Originally we were slated to break up into 3 two-person teams, but unusual occurrences, which you would expect while ghost hunting warranted us to convert to 2 three-person teams. At this time let’s just say it was safer to stay in larger groups.

Equipment ready to be put to good use. Paranormal style.

This image was taken by my Nishika 35mm 3-D camera. (Don’t forget to look at the center vertical black bar and slightly cross your eyes to achieve a third 3D image in the center)

Our equipment setup consisted having two low light Sony CCD DVR cameras stationary. One in the upstairs hallway, and the other in Grandma Hand’s personal bedroom just to the right of this picture. At the time of writing this blog, I’m still going through hours of DVR data. Even though some people seem to think this part of the investigation is boring, I for one enjoy every second looking for strange anomalies.

(Nishika 35mm 3-D camera picture)

We had two Sony night shot 8mm cameras stationary in the basement, one positioned in an area we expected the aborted fetuses were buried, and the other covering an area which included our investigative sessions and a sealed underground tunnel.

(Nishika 35mm 3-D camera picture)

Two more hand held cameras were used; One taken by each team while venturing in the basement and the other manned by Matt, which was used to document the investigation. This Nishika image was taken in complete darkness. The image shows what most ghost investigators have to deal with while walking around. “The hazards of the investigation”. While maneuvering around in these close and darkened quarters, we also carried two ghost hunting EMF meters, a K2 meter, a Natural Tri-Field EMF meter, temperature meters, digital recorders, red LED flashlights, and assorted props to coerce the spirits. We weren’t there to mess around, we meant business and were ready to tackle any “paranormal” situation.

Now, tackling the “paranormal” situation is a different story. If you ever hear of anyone who does ghost investigations say they’ve seen it all or can deal with any paranormal situation, they’re not being truthful. Trust me, we got scared plenty of times that night, but always went back for more. Why? Because we’re stupid that’s why. Anyone who does this has to have a screw loose or just be a UFOnut. It’s always the thrill of any investigation which drives us further…further into the unknown. This particular investigation had plenty of surprises and I guarantee there is something going on at the Hand Hotel. The responses we were getting through our Q & A (EMF meter) sessions were just outstanding. During our verbal sessions and experiments we experienced cold sensations, responses through our EMF meters and one of our team members not only felt something or someone brushing against their leg (not once but numerous times), but also sensed a touch from the apparition. A burning sensation was felt on their lower back elevating to sunburn potential. Marks were seen on the skin and immediately nausea set in, so the session had to be cut short. How do you handle a situation like that? We reconvened upstairs went through a video debriefing then re-organized and went right back to it. Why? Because that’s what you do. Face your fears and deal with them. I’m still learning to face my fears and that’s what makes this type of investigation exciting.

Here’s something interesting to note. After our team member Daniel made it back home, he went to bed to catch up on some z’s before he had to work Sunday night. He was awakened by a strange dream of an old lady telling him that he had taken something of hers. Not knowing what to think about the dream and considering all possibilities, he abruptly got out of his bed and started going through the clothes he was wearing earlier that morning. Guess what? He had forgot to turn in his room key to the front desk. Coincidence or could it have been Grandma Hand scolding him for taking home one of her room keys? Needless to say I contacted the Hand Hotel front desk and immediately mailed the key back to them. Grandma Hand was one tough cookie and none of my team including me, want to get on her bad side.

Matt and I are still going through the video looking for any evidence of the paranormal nature. I will blog on this investigation again releasing any evidence we find. Hopefully we’ll be able to add video too! Good hunting.

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Category: Hauntings & the Paranormal, Investigations, The Z-Files

About the Author ()

For the past 28 years Chuck has been researching and investigating the UFO/Paranormal phenomenon. Chuck approaches his investigations with an analytical understanding, making sure to address all human known possibilities before venturing into the non-human or paranormal aspects of the sightings. (TV Shows in which Chuck's investigations have been featured on:) *2002, The Roswell Crash, Startling New Evidence: Documentary Sci-Fi Channel *2006, Sci Fi Investigates: Episode 5, The Roswell episode, Sci-Fi Channel *2009, Primetime: Outsiders, with Juju Chang, Alien Abductions, NBC *2010, SyFy Fact or Faked: Episode 6, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, SyFy Channel *2011, Chasing UFO’s, Episode 3, Alien Cowboys, San Luis Cattle Mutilation, Nat Geo *2013, Finding Bigfoot, Bailey Colorado episode, Animal Planet

Comments (13)

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  1. kathy hart says:

    Excellent. I’m headed back next week having not visited in two years. Perhaps it will be more enlightening than my last visit.

  2. Steve Royal says:

    My wife and I have stayed at the Hand Hotel 5 times since 2004. We stay a week each visit and take our Jeep into the mountains on the old gold mine trails. Although I did not believe in such things prior to our visits, I am now a firm believer. There is one room I refuse to stay in. We plan to return this summer and look forward to seeing the staff, as well as the unofficial staff that roams the hotel.

  3. Samantha Stearns says:

    There are, without a shadow of a doubt, ghosts in this hotel. Two new stories from this very evening: One of my co-workers left a cookie beside the sink in The School Marm’s room before we went out to dinner. When we returned later that night, the cookie was half eaten, and there were crumbs all over the sink. No one had been in his room, and the door was locked. Subsequently, I walked down the hall to check the weather outside, where it was storming. As I was walking back, the rocking chair in one of the rooms was rocking back and forth very deliberately. The window was closed, and when the front desk clerk went up to check it, she said the chair was at a completely different angle than it had been this morning. Also, she closed the door when she left. When my co-worker and I went up the stairs about 20 minutes later, it was open again. I’m a little perturbed but fascinated nonetheless.

  4. Loriell says:

    this is so awesome. My grandmother who died two years ago lived up at south park and at one time worked at the hand hotel and used to tell me about all the different things she saw there at the hotel; including the old woman and the dog in the basement. i recently moved back to Denver. i plan on visiting the hotel to see for myself soon(:

  5. Walter muff says:

    My family and I had the most rewarding and relaxing experience at The Hand. The staff and guests, many of them who had stayed there many times, were wonderful. We hope to come back some day. Sorry, no paranormal occurrences!

  6. Mercedes says:

    I stay at the Hand Hotel August 2005 for my cousins wedding. I stayed in the China Mary room with my two small children. I felt like I was being watched every time I tried to sleep in that room. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep for two nights. I do have to say, I would return.

  7. Kelsey says:

    My boyfriend and I took an adventure to SouthPark/Fairplay to get away from Denver for a night. a local had referred us to stay at The Hand Hotel. We were unaware of the fact it was haunted until after I paid for the room. We had a great time, ordered food from the bar next door, ate relaxed and I decided to whip out my EKG reader, my EVP and ovilus. I sat in Grandma Hands room and moved her rocking chair into the middle of the room while asking her if she would make herself known and that I wasn’t there to hurt anyone. The ovilus stated “mad” This was noted at 10:30pm. Nothing wanted to make itself known. We decided to get some rest feeling that the was a safe energy. 2:19am I was awoken by a disturbing SLAM. A door very close by had been slammed as if someone was angry. I woke my boyfriend up to hear the sound but he thought I was just scaring myself. Roughly 20 minutes later we heard a door creaking as if it was being opened and then SLAM! Do mind that we were the only 2 people in this hotel last night after 9pm. We couldn’t identity where the sound was coming from and at that point my boyfriend just wanted to protect us. We were pretty positive someone was messing with us or had broken in… things just progressively got worse. The door slammed every 30 minutes after that. There were sounds of a kitten and a Window being opened on the first floor. We checked all doors down the hallway and I trotted to turn my equipment on and everything was completely drained. Both phones dead and our bedroom was scorching hot. I felt sick. He felt weak. It was horrible. We couldn’t sleep at all. The last door slammed at 5:30am and to my thought I figured if a door slams shouldn’t it be shut? False. Come to realise after pushing on every door slowly, the only door that creaked was grandma hands room… the room I moved her rocking chair in… the room right next door to us (Indian Room). we informed the front desk lady and she just laughed. We called mike and Richard at 3am no one answered. I’ve always been interested in the paranormal but there is something more severe haunting this place. a poltergeist. Demons. I will never return.

  8. Kelsey says:

    Oh and not to mention while taking a bath earlier my boyfriend had closed the door to our room. when we got out the door was wide open. I couldn’t believe what happened last night.

  9. alisa Gardner says:

    I got to stay at the hand hotel all by myself. Nobody was in the building except for me including the staff which was also not there. I was staying at the hotel Due to the fact that there was a snowstorm and I couldn’t get home. I was scared to death knowing the history of this place and knowing all of its secrets and mysteries. While I was sleeping in the Mormons room, I felt a burning sensation on my back and it wouldn’t go away until a cat (as I thought) cuddled next to me and purred all night. Once I woke up staff showed up to get break fest ready and they asked how did I sleep and I politely said * The cat kept me warm all night although there was a buring sensation on my lower back.* It creeped me out when they told me there was no cat in my room. Infact they didn’t even have a cat. But I was thankful to realize nothing g else happened to me while I was staying at the Hand Hotel.

  10. Sarah Gielow says:

    This was a really interesting article. Jessie was my great great grandmother. I’ve never had a chance to visit the hotel myself but have heard many many stories from my grandmother Joy who grew up in the hotel.

  11. Jenny says:

    I was a breakfast and lunch cook at the Hand before it sold 27 some odd years ago. I did not experience a thing, but I did not stay in any of the rooms. I did have an experience at the Fairplay Hotel, though with the door that opens from the bar area into the dining area. It has old creaky floors, so there was no one there. The door opens slowly. Normally I would suspect cheap parlor tricks to attract tourists, but too many of the locals had experienced the same phenomena. There are 4 different ghosts there including children.
    If you want to see a UFO drive to Hartsel.

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