Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ghost of Emma Crawford - Manitou Springs, Colorado

In central Colorado in the shadow of Pike's Peak, the town of Manitou Springs lies nestled in between the surrounding mountains just west of Colorado Springs. The area boasts many mineral springs which for centuries, visitors have come to take in their waters and breath in the clean mountain air.  One such visitor by the name of Emma Crawford moved to Manitou Springs in 1889 to try and heal her tuberculosis.  Many say she still roams the mountain side over looking the own where she liked to take walks.

Manitou Springs,  Colorado in circa 1950s.  Red Mountain is pictured in the background with the incline track leading to the summit where grave of Emma Crawford was once located

Young Emma Crawford was diagnosed with tuberculosis and decided that like many others, she needed to go to the mountains and take in the fresh air to help her condition.  While there, she liked to pass the time taking walks on a nearby mountain on days when her health permitted.  She was a very spiritual woman and believed she was guided to the area by a spirit guide.  She believed the mountain she liked to spend so much time on was inhabited by the spirit of a Native American.  She called the place Red Mountain, a name which has stuck with the mountain to this day.  It was her desire to be buried on the mountain in a specific spot where she had a vision of the spirit that lived on the mountain.

Emma fell in love with a local railroad engineer by the name of William Hildebrand.  However, before they could be married, Emma succumbed to her disease and passed away in 1891 at the age of 19 years old.  As per her wish, her fiancé buried her on the mountain in the very spot that she requested.

Years later, an inclined plane was being constructed on the mountain and Emma's grave was relocated to another spot nearby.  However, the grave was not dug properly and over time, Emma's casket and remains became exposed to the elements and washed down the side of the mountain.  Later, the people of Manitou Springs, out of respect for Emma Crawford, gathered up her remains and relocated them to the Crystal Valley Cemetery in town in an unmarked grave.  In 2004, the town placed a monument on Emma's grave to honor her. 

Today the inclined plane leading to the summit of Red Mountain in Manitou Springs, Colorado is in ruins.  The burial site of Emma Crawford was once at the top before it was relocated then washed away

Many claim that now in addition to the spirit that dwelled on Red Mountain, Emma's spirit also lives there.  Some folks claimed to have seen a woman walking on the mountain side in a late 19th century style red dress.  Emma Crawford most often wore her favorite red dress on her walks on the mountain side.  They believe this is the spirit of Emma, destined to roam until she is placed back in the spot she requested to be laid to rest.  Many refer to her as The Spirit of Red Mountain or The Lady of Red Mountain.

The view overlooking Manitou Springs, Colorado that Emma Crawford loved so dearly.  It was her wish to be buried near this location on the top of Red Mountain

A parade is held each year on Halloween in Emma Crawford's honor.  And in a very unusual way, a coffin race is held in her name.  Emma's sister, Alice Crawford also moved to Manitou Springs and she was very spiritual as well.  She lived on a stone mansion on Iron Mountain known today as Redstone Castle.  Until she disappeared that is!  Many believe that her spirit too still roams Manitou Springs near her old castle home as The Ghost of  Redstone Castle, Manitou Springs.

South Central Colorado on Dwellable

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