Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stayin' At La Veta

"I hope you're not afraid of ghosts," said the manager casually.

That was our introduction to the La Veta Inn this past weekend, a lovely old spot in (where else) La Veta, CO.
    (Some locals say "La Vee-ta," some say "La Vay-ta." Take your pick.)

The Brick just looked at him. "We've got you booked into Room #5 -- our most haunted room," the manager continued.  
    Well.

This place really is a charmer: lots of old wood, gleaming tables and a vast amount of art everywhere. Each of the rooms upstairs features a different artist. Ours -- #5 -- showcased the work of Janey Waldrep. (The architecture piece, seen below, is just amazing.)


The original inn was built in 1876, but some of it burned in the Forties. And it's obviously gone through an extensive revamp, as well. We trudged down the hall to Room #5, right at the end (next to the stained-glass window), a corner room full of light.
     And it was freezing in there.

After we got the heater going, and admired the antique furniture (Eastlake?), we spent some time downstairs. Wood floors, a large-screen tv (and some smaller ones -- no tv upstairs in our room), and people enthusiastically playing chess and other games. Came back upstairs -- the Brick hesitated. "Did you hear that?" He'd heard creaking, as if someone was coming up the stairs behind him. (Mr. Engineer explained this by saying that the stairs were 'relaxing' from his weight. They never did it again during our visit.)

     I felt a bit uneasy the first night, but other than an odd feeling off and on, nothing happened.
    Except the room got really hot. (The heater was turned down low, but that didn't seem to matter.)

Beautiful room...was it really haunted? We're still not sure.
 Wonderful breakfasts -- great coffee. Wonderful food, period. We had an interesting talk with our waiter, who'd worked at the inn for 7-8 months. He said he'd not seen anything, but had heard stories about people who had. And one night, he'd been cleaning up in the dining room, and kept hearing voices and pots & pans clattering in the kitchen.
    Except there was no one there. 

Night #2 produced the same occasional uneasy feeling. (And I have no idea why, but I got the feeling that if there was someone there, that someone was female. Maybe Maisie? Madeline?) Nothing specific, though our bed wiggled a bit twice. But that could have been us, shifting around.
    And this time, it started out as freezing -- got really hot partway through the night -- then was chilly again by morning.
     Weird, huh. 

Some of the nicest people work at the Inn, and they go far out of their way to be helpful. The morning we checked out, the Inn was officially closed -- but that didn't stop the chef, who lived at the Inn, from offering to make us breakfast, anyways, before we left. I again asked the manager if he'd noticed any ghostly sightings. He said, "I haven't seen anything." I said, "So you haven't noticed..." He interrupted, "Oh, I've heard lots of things, including footsteps and voices. I just haven't seen them."

So did we notice some odd things? Yep. Was our room haunted? Whatever was happening, it wasn't interested in us. (The Brick, ever the engineer, would argue more for an old heating system.) My guess is that these flitting incidents are more "echoes" from the many people and staff that have passed through the Inn's welcoming doors.

 Take a closer look at the La Veta Inn here. If you'd rather not bump into ghostly friends, there are plenty of rooms that are 'clear,' incident-wise. (In fact, most of the happenings seem to have occurred downstairs after closing time, in the bar and kitchen.)  Some great reviews on Trip Advisor; more photos, too. 

     I'm not getting a cent in compensation for writing about the La Veta Inn -- it was just a beautiful, slightly quirky place with lots of history, friendly staff and outstanding food.
     We had a good time. You would, too. 

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