Saint Elmo Ghost Town

Saint Elmo Ghost Town


Location: Colorado Map

Found: 1880


Description of Saint Elmo

Saint Elmo Ghost Town located in Colorado is one of the best preserved ghost town in United States. It was originally found by gold prospectors in 1880. Initially called Forrest City due to heavy forested area this city changed its name due to objections at the post office. California already had a city by this name, thus a under a new name it was incorporated as a Saint Elmo after a popular novel of the time. At its peak Saint Elmo had population of 2000. Saloons, dance hall, bawdy houses along with church and school was build. Today only 24 of the original buildings stand including mercantile, saloon, county courthouse/ jail and many private homes. Unfortunately they all private and closed, but you can get the sense of the life at the time by picking through the windows.
A long narrow road will lead to the town of Saint Elmo. It is not very wide so use caution and look out for incoming traffic. At the entrance of the city there is a general store open in one of the original buildings. It operates between May through October. Objects from homes and items found in archeological digs in the city and its surroundings are gathered here. Hundreds of artifacts include cowboy spurs from the late nineteenth century, utensils of early twentieth century, magazines from the 50’s and many others.
No far from the general store there is an area called Chipmunk Crossing. Guests feed incredibly friendly chipmunks that are not really afraid of humans. A bag for 50 cent is sold at the store.


Ghost stories on Saint Elmo

As a real ghost town Saint Elmo certainly has its own ghosts. The most famous of them is Annabelle Stark. According to witness testimonies who knew the Stark family, Annabelle was send to work in a Salida (20 miles from St. Elmo) in 1922. Beautiful and lonely girl fell in love with a man named Ward. They got engaged, but for some reason Annabelle came back to Saint Elmo without explanation and a wedding ring. She spent the rest of her life in the city working in parents hotel and convenient store. However the coal mine boom ceased and citizens started leaving the city. Only Annabelle with her brother Tony stayed behind. The city officially “died” in 1952 with post office closing for good. They lived in a former hotel that belonged to their parents without electricity or running water. Eventually she got a nickname of “Dirty Anne” for obvious reasons. Witnesses say she walked around in dirty clothes and messy hair with a shotgun in her hands watching over the empty town. The city was falling apart and both Tony and Annabelle showed signs of mental problems. In fact for a short period they were confined in a mental institution. Eventually they were allowed to come back home to Saint Elmo. Tony died somewhere in the 50s and Annabelle finally died in the 1960.

Several reports of the ghostly activities in Saint Elmo have been reported associated with “Dirty Anne”. Ghost seems to play tricks on people smashing doors, relocating objects around the house and others creepy acts. Besides drop of temperature, strange signs and apparition in the windows of the hotel were seen by many individuals.