Boulder County Paranormal Research Society

Investigation - Old Louisville Inn

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Investigating one of Boulder County's oldest inns.


Boulder County Paranormal and our colleagues from CPR investigate the O.L.I.
Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Present:  Miranda Armstrong (BCP)
               Brad Carstens (CPR)
               Richard Estep (BCP)
               Randy Schneider (BCP)
               Laura Sutcliffe (BCP)
The O.L.I. is the last of Louisville's original inns, from a series of thirteen that used to compose Front Street in this historic area. The inns were connected via underground tunnels, the remnants of which can still be seen if one visits the basement of this grand old structure. A tour of the establishment reveals the Inn's original hand-crank elevator, still in perfect working order, which is still used to transfer ice and beer barrels to and from the cellar.
Perhaps the Inn's most striking feature is the original wooden bar, which still has a bullet hole in it, and was constructed without a single nail being used. A copper spitoon trough runs along the foot of the bar, harkening back to the OLI's history of entertaining miners during the era of the Ludlow Massacre (and before). Running water used to pump through the trough, as many miners chewed tobacco rather than smoke. The Inn also used to operate a bordello out of a back room, and a vast array of colorful characters have past through the doors over the course of its long and often violent history.
The resident ghost is supposedly that of a prostitute named Samantha, who was reportedly stabbed to death inside the building. Samantha has been seen by a number of customers and staff, who report her to be a brunette wearing a purple chiffon dress. A female hand with purple chiffon sleeve has also been seen by the staff, reaching into the register - this occurs in their peripheral vision, and when the witness turns to look directly at the register, the hand disappears.
Garrett McCarthy is the owner of the O.L.I. and he kindly made himself and his staff available for interviews during the course of our investigation. He is immensely proud of his establishment, and takes the reported paranormal activity in his stride. "It gets really bad around St. Paddy's day, for some reason," he told me."It's almost as if somebody doesn't like that time of year at all." Garrett states that he once, half-jokingly, asked "Samantha" for a sign of her presence, and the swing-doors inside the bar imediately opened, while the neon sign outside began to turn off and on with no obvious cause.

On occasion, staff will arrive for work to find the kitchen trashed, when the building has been securely locked overnight. A cold spot has been reported by numerous staff members immediately in front of the downstairs furnace, although when we investigated this location and focused on the furnace area, no temperature anomalies were detected.

Customers have witnessed rolls of toilet paper unravelling before their eyes. A Native American male has been seen sitting in a booth upstairs, slowly disappearing before the eyes of the witnesses. It is worth nothing that a number of murals on the walls of the O.L.I. were painted by a Native American artist, who accepted liquor as his fee in lie of cash.

Any workplace undergoes it share of staff accidents, but interestingly enough, staff at the O.L.I. report several instances where a member of the kitchen or wait staff have tripped on the stairs leading down from the kitchen, only to be "caught" by unseen hands. A waiter also reports feeling a distinct tugging sensation on the back of his shirt, though when he turned round, he was alone in the room.
The kitchen is run by a gentlemen called Jesus, whose son assists him in his catering duties. Jesus has worked for 14 years at the kitchen in the O.L.I. and struck me as a very down-to-earth gentlemen, in late middle-age. He is extremely matter-of-fact where the alleged paranormal phenomena is concerned, keeping an open mind,  relating his experiences calmly and concisely. Jesus states that the kitchen lights turn themselves off and on quite frequently when the building is empty (other than he and his son). A piece of chalk was witness, flying through the air in the empty bar area. He also heard a child's voice calling "Mommy" from within the bar area, when the building was locked and empty.
In much the same vein, Jesus reports that he and his son often hear the voices of children calling their names. The voices seem to originate from within the bar area. The last time he saw "Samantha" was back in 2006, when she was witnessed crossing the floor in the bar area and heading towards the front door. Jesus and his son also hear footsteps walking along the upstairs corridor to the kitchen on a fairly regular basis.
One incident that occurred in February of 2008 shocked Jesus' son Manuel quite badly. While working in the kitchen, he witnessed several spoons and spatulas apparently 'jump" from their hanging hooks and scatter themselves on the floor of the kitchen. The kitchen radio also came to life at the same time, which is reportedly a common occurrence. Manuel also states that a dinner plate was once hurled at him when he was working in the kitchen, though he claims that it seemed to be done "in a playful manner". The last reported incidence of paranormal activity in the Inn was three weeks prior to our arrival, when the kitchen staff caught a glimpse of a figure walking past the kitchen door when the restaurant was empty.
Our investigation followed the usual protocols and procedures, but was hampered by the fact that the Inn was open for business for much of our time there. This rendered our audio detection equipment virtually useless. Temperature, electromagnetic, and background radiation baselines were unremarkable, and remained so throughout the investigation. The only unusual occurrence of note was a subjective feeling felt by both Brad and Randy, which was described as a "tingling, cold feeling - as if somebody is trying to brush past me". However, our instrumentation detected no thermal or electromagnetic abberations in the area at this time.
One photograph taken outside the ladies' restroom seems to show an unusual light in mid-air. Although initially interesting when viewed on the scene, examining the image on a 17" monitor has convinced us that we are dealing with nothing more than lens flare in this case.
We would like to extend our thanks to Garrett and the staff of the O.L.I. Although nothing objectively paranormal was recorded during our investigation, the food and hospitatlity at the Old Louisville Inn were second to none. We would unhesitatingly recommend it as a place to enjoy a night out, and who knows - you may have more success than we did in encountering one of the alleged ghostly inhabitants!
-Richard Estep


Staircase leading down from the restaurant/bar to the cellar.


Recording baseline EMF levels in the basement.


Not a paranormal light anomaly - this effect is caused by lens flare, as the flash reflects from the bathroom mirror.


Randy firing off some reference photographs.


The original saloon bar is still in place, complete with spitoon trough.