Haunted Baldpate Inn in Estes Park

Haunted Baldpate Inn in Estes Park
Most folks interested in the paranormal are well aware of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, the inspiration for Stephen King’s excellent novel, The Shining. Many, though, aren’t aware of the haunted Baldpate Inn located in the Estes Park area as well.

Gordon Mace, born in 1885, immigrated to the United States from England with his parents when he was a child. He and his wife, Ethel Mace, visited the Estes Park area while honeymooning in 1911. They loved the beauty of the region and began homesteading and renting cabins on the property where the Inn was eventually built in 1917, a few years after The Stanley opened.

The Maces named their Inn after the fictional Baldpate Inn in the mystery novel and silent film, Seven Keys to Baldpate, by Earl Derr Biggers. In line with the story, the Maces enjoyed giving guests a souvenir key to the Inn until the metal shortage of WWI. The tradition then changed a bit as guests began bringing keys from their travels to give to the Maces.

There are now over 20,000 keys in the collection, including keys from famous buildings such as the Pentagon, Westminster Abbey, Mozart’s Wine Cellar in Vienna, and Frankenstein’s castle in Germany.

According to an interview with Sybil Barnes in 2004, Ethel was “always very gracious and would give us lemonade and cookies…” Gordon passed away in 1959, and Sybil didn’t remember him. She did recall the dining room at the Inn closing soon after Mr. Mace passed away.

Sybil was friends with Gordon and Ethel’s granddaughter, Leann, in later years. She said that Leann and her husband tried to get the Baldpate Inn going again, but she remembers taking phone calls from creditors “who were wondering why Leann was able to buy a fox coat, but she wasn’t able to pay, you know, the milk bill.”

In 1986, Baldpate Inn was purchased by the Smith family. Guests and staff members at the bed and breakfast establishment report paranormal activity that indicate the spirits of Gordon and Ethel remain at the Baldpate Inn, where they enjoyed so much happiness together.

Ethel has been seen in “her old room for years.” She is often found in the Key Room, and has been seen in what is now a storage room adjacent to the Key Room, sitting before a fireplace in a wing-backed rocking chair, with her feet up on a footstool, reading the bible. She has gray hair and wears a dress with a high collar.

The Maces are believed to be responsible for alcoholic drinks disappearing, spilling and flying off tables. Before smoking was banned in the establishment, they would sometimes smash cigarettes and hide the packs from guests.

Knocking and Footsteps are often heard in the hallway by the bathroom on the second floor near Ethel’s’ old room, as well as the sound of someone running up and down the stairways.

Some guests have experienced a strong wind rushing through the Key Room and other parts of the Inn, slamming doors. One psychic who visited the Inn believes that Ethel Mace wants people to know she is there.

Paul Hamilton, a caretaker who worked at the Inn in 1965 and again in recent years, often heard footsteps and running throughout the Inn at night when he was alone in the building. He knows there is “talk about ghosts at the Inn,” but he chooses to believe the experiences were caused by the wind “or something like that.”

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