“I was sleeping here by myself one time late at night and there was a lot of activity, movement and sounds,” Zimmerli, the new owner of the hotel, tells Refinery29. “There was one night in particular that I woke up in the middle of the night and it sounded like someone was walking around the building so clearly.”
He was convinced that someone broke in, but when he went in search of (we’re not exactly sure what) nobody was there and the doors were all locked. Sketch.
While a couple of creaks in a 19th-century casino, saloon, and brothel turned hotel might not be enough to make you call Ghostbusters, things that go bump in the night have a different meaning in the hotel’s town of Victor, CO.
Victor was once the site of the second largest gold mining district in the United States, with nearly 18,000 residents living there in 1899, but has since turned into a ghost town in the most literal sense of the word, with only 397 people counted in the 2010 census, according to the city’s website.
The city’s decline probably has more to do with depleted ore in mines and miners leaving during WWI, but the city’s train wrecks and crashes, according to Zimmerli, have spurred many stories of the town, and his building specifically, being haunted.
“People were saying the building was haunted so I said we should run with that,” he says. “Let’s take it to the full level of haunted.”
The Black Monarch Hotel currently has four rooms, and each one is named after a historic figure, with a varying degree of a scare factor. The most popular room, Nikola Tesla, was an electrical engineer who is rumored to have wired the building The Black Monarch now resides in. Its popularity might have something to do with being the least scary room — the next one is named after H. H. Holmes, America’s first known serial killer. Elizabeth Báthory has a room named after her as well. She was the Hungarian countess who tortured and killed more than 600 girls and used their blood in the hopes of conserving her own youth. And the last room takes the name of Black Annis for the folklore ghost creature.
The spooky naming of the rooms is only aided by the historic decor. Zimmerli describes the 10,000-square-foot hotel as gothic Victorian. As a self-proclaimed collector of oddities and antiques, Zimmerli has put that stamp on the hotel with the antique taxidermy he has collected over the years as well as “pretty authentic” decorations.
As much as the hotel has a historic feel, it is not without all the modern comforts Black Monarch’s guests require.
If the hotel’s history has you spooked, guests will hopefully be able to sleep soundly on the memory foam pillow top mattress and luxurious linens that Zimmerli has made a priority in the hotel. “I don’t want to sacrifice cleanliness, I don’t want to sacrifice comfort at all,” he says, which is why amenities such as 50-inch 4k smart TVs, Bluetooth systems, air purifiers, and white noise machines have all made their way into the rooms, too.
One common complaint, however, is guests being woken up at 3 a.m. to the sound of a woman laughing and men fighting at the party...that is never taking place. Consider us spooked.