Spooky Happenings at Hotel Jerome


Morgan Reed, Head Editor/Chief

The Hotel Jerome has not only become one of the most well known landmarks in Aspen, Colorado, but is also infamous for having its own demons.

The hotel’s most famous permanent resident is the “Water Boy.” In 1936, a family was staying in the hotel with their ten-year old son, who shortly after their arrival drowned in the pool. The room they family was staying in, Room 310, overlooks the pool and only the bravest of hotel guests stay in the room. The Water Boy’s ghost appears to guest shivering and wet near the edge of the pool. Those who have seen him report that after approaching him he suddenly disappears, leaving a trail of wet footprints.

There are several other hauntings reported on the third floor of the building. However, there are believed to be more and many employees are afraid to work on that floor. Some of the more well known spirits include Katie Kerrigan, a helpful maid, and Henry O’Callister, a heartbroken miner.

Katie Kerrigan was employed as a maid at the hotel. Her looks and charm planted a seed of jealousy among her coworkers, as well as many of the hotel guests. As a result, Kerrigan became the victim of pranks and tricks facilitated by the other maids. One night, she was told her pet kitten had fallen through ice on a nearby pond. When she went to rescue her pet, she herself fell through the ice. Despite her successful rescue, she later died from pneumonia as a result of the extensive time she spent in the ice cold water.

To this day, many maids at the Jerome are not always surprised to find that Kerrigan has seemingly already prepare their rooms for guests.

Henry O’Callister made his fortune in the mining industry. He decided to settle down in Aspen and was staying in the Jerome, where he met and fell in love with Clarissa Washington, a woman from Boston. However, O’Callister was hearlessly refused by Washington’s father when the two made the leap to tie the knot. Washington returned to the East coast with her father, leaving O’Callister alone and broken hearted in Aspen. Now, O’Callister can be heard wandering the hallways of the Jerome sobbing.

The Hotel Jerome is on East Main Street in Aspen, and was built in the 1880’s by Jerome Wheeler. Wheeler was originally the co-owner of Macy’s, but left his career to open the Jerome, which quickly grew in popularity as it was the first in the Aspen area to have a fully equipped electrical system and a grand ballroom.

In the early 1900’s, the ski town unfortunately saw a steady decline in tourist interest, called the “quiet years,” leaving the Wheeler to come up with other purposes the Jerome could serve if he hoped to stay in business. As a result, the Jerome became a temporary morgue for a number of years, which certainly contributes to the famous haunted charm of the hotel.