Whether or not a person believes in spirits, internet websites and local investigators allege that ghosts and other paranormal phenomenon are active locally.

HauntedPlaces.org purports to list more than 7,000 haunted locations in America including three in Delta County: The Pondy tavern in Cedaredge (where patrons have reported encountering the spirit of a little girl) and two Delta locations: Butch’s Café (formerly Wayne’s Drive In where a former employee is rumored to haunt the place) and the Fairlamb House Bed and Breakfast. Details are sketchy and there are no dates associated with the brief reports of alleged spirit activity.

Phantom happenings at Delta’s Fairlamb House and Bed & Breakfast are detailed in the 2015 book, ‘Wild West Ghosts: an Amateur Ghost-Hunting Guide for Haunted Hotels in Southwest Colorado.’ Western Slope authors Mark Todd and Kym O’Connell-Todd outline the history and legends surrounding the Fairlamb. And their website includes videos of paranormal experiments performed at the site in 2014 when the ambitious couple also visited hotels in Paonia (The Bross Hotel) plus Ouray and Del Norte (writeinthe

However, when it comes to contemporary ghost hunters, it’s hard to beat Delta’s own Debbie Anderson, Bonnie Mitchell and Shelley Slavens. Anderson, a psychic medium and author, operates Deja View Paranormal Investigations. Mitchell and Slavens are co-owners of the eclectic Blue Easel Boutique & Apothecary at 320 Main St. in Delta, reported to be the scene of recent paranormal activity.

Where to begin?

For starters every inch — upstairs and down — of the Main Street location seems to be alive (if that is the right word) with spirit entities. Shoppers and participants in the Blue Easel’s ghost tours and Anderson’s ghost hunts regularly report seeing apparitions, being touched by unseen hands and seeing and hearing other unexplained phenomenon. The trio’s popular town tours and hunts are only available by purchasing an advance ticket. Both events are sold out through Halloween this year.

Although boutique shoppers sometimes experience spirit presences on the ground floor, much of the activity at 320 Main appears to be centered upstairs which, legend has it, once housed a hotel which doubled as a bordello and was the scene of at least one grisly murder.

A padlocked street door leads to a steep dark stairway. Climbing upward, the intrepid visitor reaches a catacomb of small rooms perched on both sides of the long hallway. Serving as guides, Anderson and Mitchell knock on doors to alert the ethereal occupants of visitors.

It’s dark upstairs and spooky and, yes, the floors creak.

Video and sound equipment — a designated “spirit box” — are distributed around the upstairs to keep a record of unusual activity which may include disembodied voices, the appearance of full body phantoms, curious lights and various objects which disappear from one location and reappear elsewhere.

On Oct 31, youngsters and families can visit a kid-friendly and mildly-scary fun house at the Blue Easel. The boutique will be open during Delta’s Main Street trick-or-treat event which runs from 3-6 p.m. But it’s far too late to sign up for the Halloween walking tour or the nighttime ghost hunt. For future events, paranormal explorers can inquire at the boutique during business hours or visit its website: blue

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