Haunted Hotel Tour: Colorado Edition – Armstrong Hotel (Fort Collins, CO)

So, it’s no surprise to the people who know me that I like creepy stuff.  Zombies, non-sparkly vampires, witches and of course, ghosts.  Last year, a group of friends and I went on a ghost tour of St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis.  While I’m not sure we found any evidence of paranormal goodness, we had fun and our spectrometers lit up like the 4th of July.

A few months back, there was a deal to stay in the Stanley Hotel, the place where parts of The Shining (the Kubrick one) was filmed.  It was 99 bucks to stay on an off-season night.  I put the word out onto the ol’ Facebook to see if there were any takers.  A few people were interested, but my friend Matt was definitely in.

Anyway…to cut to the chase, we ended up planning a 3-night whirlwind trip out to Colorado to stay at The Stanley.  To make it interesting, we thought it would be cool to make every night during our stay a ghostly good time.  I found a couple other places that were reported to have some ghostly stuff happening and here we are!

For our first night, we drove from the airport in Denver (we flew with SPIRIT airlines, by the way) to Fort Collins where we had a room reserved at the Armstrong Hotel.


On the phone I was told there were a couple of rooms that had some activity reported there.  We ended up reserving room 210, an “active” room.  When we checked in, I asked the two dudes at the front counter what the story was.  They let us know that people have reported seeing a bell-hop-looking spirit that had gold accents in his uniform and hat.  With that in mind, we were ready to rock.


Since it was pretty much amateur hour at the Armstrong, we didn’t really know what to do.  I mean, sure, we had some apps on our iPhones and iPad that could capture some stuff.  Matt has this thing called M2 that does a sweep of the room like a radar sorta thing, looking for any abnormalities in the air.  It’ll blip and we’re able to pinpoint where there might (or might not) be some paranormal fun occurring.  It also throws out an occasional word that it picks up.  To be honest, I’m not sure how much stock I put into that thing.  I used an app called Paranormal Recorder.  It’ll pick up EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) if there’s any to be had.  I also set my iPad up in the room and set it to record, thinking we might see something move or some sort of image in the video.  Worth a shot, right?

So, we started by asking questions:

“Is there anybody here?”

“Can you give us a sign that you’re with us?”


At one point during all of this, I got a really creepy sensation, followed by a localized area or hairs on my left bicep sort of feeling “brushed.”  I don’t know.  Usually when I get creeped out by something, all of the hair on my arms goes up and I feel goosebumps rise up.  That wasn’t the case here.  It was literally just a small patch and it felt strange.

Hard to quantify and I think we’ve got footage of that to examine later.  We’ll see if it was anything worth getting excited over.  We decided to up the stakes a bit and see if we could get some action in some other way.

Matt had brought 4 balls of various weights, colors and size.  He thought if we set them up, we might be able to get the presence to move them or give us an indication that we weren’t alone.  So, we tried that, too.

“If you’re in the room, can you move one of the balls?”

Matt decided to get more specific.

“Can you move the yellow ball?  It’s lighter than the others.”

We didn’t have anything.  So, we took a break, went out and got a delicious ice cream-stuffed cookie (Mary’s Mountain Cookies) and came back.  I set the iPad (camera) up on the counter near the wall.  I wedged it between some stuff to keep it in place and to make sure you could see our dumb faces on the video.  It wasn’t going anywhere.  We set up the balls, took a seat and started talking again.  That’s when this happened:

Needless to say, this little bit kinda scared the crap out of us.  At first I thought, well, big deal.  My iPad fell forward off of the counter.  It happens.  But what’s weird it that it was pretty well stabilized.  Even weirder?  There isn’t that moment where it’s sort of slipping and then it topples over.  It’s literally like someone (or something!) just slapped it off of the counter after Matt said “nice guys.”

Wow.  I thought we were nice guys.  Maybe not.

We watched the footage over and over and this is shortened so that it could be uploaded here, but it sort of captures the gist of what we’re trying question-wise.  We’re not trying to antagonize the spirits (if there are any) or anything like that.  Sure, maybe we’re asking for parlor tricks, but c’mon.  We need SOMETHING.  It’s not like we’re staying there ALL week.  Ya know?

Anyway, we moved around and did some more monitoring.  We even moved into the other room at one point to see what was going on in the bedroom.  It was sufficiently creepy in there, but we didn’t have anything of note happen.  Matt’s meter showed a blip in a couple of different spots, but my EVP thing didn’t capture anything and we sort of felt like that was it.

After another break to see what Fort Collins nightlife had to offer (the Drunken Monkey had karaoke and a girl with some odd face piercings was urging us to sing…we didn’t).  We had a delicious beverage and came back to the Armstrong.  After putzing around a bit more, we decided to hit the hay.


Nothing happened that I noticed while we were sleeping.  I had my EVP detector running all night, hoping to capture something.  Maybe an apology for knocking over my iPad.  Nothing!

I got up at 6am (Colorado time) and went into the living room to putz around on my phone.  I got rid of some e-mails, played a stupid game, the works.  After about a half hour, I sat up and looked at the table where Matt had placed the balls.

The yellow ball was missing.

It didn’t take me long to find it.  There, under the chair where Matt was sitting, was the yellow ball that he urged the spirit to move (since it was the lightest).  At first I thought: Friggin’ Matt.  He got up in the middle of the night and moved it.  He’s messing with me.


He was still asleep and so I decided to take some pictures, post a dumb update on Facebook and see what he had to say when he got up.  Matt was up a little later, holding his phone.  Right away he said: “I didn’t touch the balls.  I swear.”

So…there’s that.  The thing about it is this:  The balls were wedged pretty close together, so it would’ve been tough to just have one roll away while keeping the others in a pretty symmetrical line.   Also, if it did indeed come loose, it could’ve rolled ANYWHERE.  But no, it sort of went out of it’s way to end up under Matt’s chair.

Coincidence?  Maybe.

Reading too much into it?  Perhaps.

Still sorta creeped out? You’re GD right.

So, that was our night at the Armstrong.  Later in the morning I could hear meowing from Oreo, the hotel cat.  He was outside working the hallways, likely looking for attention or a tasty treat.  I went outside and gave him the petting of a lifetime.  I almost wanted to bring him into our room to see if he could spot “the bellhop,” but decided against it.


No time.