The Spirit of Emma Crawford Celebration

Join us in celebrating Emma Crawford

In the sequel to “The Year that Wasn’t”, we’re back again to honor the legend of Emma Crawford in our own Manitou way.

While there are no Coffin Races this year, there will be a celebration of all things Emma Crawford, complete with a hearse parade through downtown Manitou Springs, food and beverage vendors & live music in Soda Springs Park, door prizes and costume contests!

Tickets are very limited for the event, so be sure to snag yours before they’re all gone!

Who is Emma Crawford?

Emma Crawford came to Manitou Springs in 1889 searching for a cure for her tuberculosis in the the area’s famed cold-water mineral springs. She fell in love with the charming mountain town and her dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Unfortunately, Emma succumbed to her illness in 1891. Her lover, a civil engineer on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway named William Hildebrand, honored her wishes. With the help of eleven other townspeople, William carried Emma’s coffin up the 7,200 foot slope and buried her near the summit of Red Mountain.

In 1929, after years of harsh winters and spring rains, Emma and her coffin came racing down the mountainside. The young children who happened upon her remains found only the casket handles, a nameplate, and a few bones.

Looking for an Emma Crawford Tee?

Every year we design a new shirt celebrating Emma Crawford. Be sure to add the 2021 shirt to your collection! The shirt design was created by our very own Sallie Knox Hall.

Fall Events in Manitou Springs

Skeleton Craze

October 1-31

Our businesses compete for Best of Bones bragging rights and need your vote for the best skeleton window displays in town.

This year, Skeleton Craze will run throughout the month of October, and results will be announced on November 1st!

Halloween High Tea

October 29, 30, & 31

This posh, four-course tea service just got a bit more peculiar. Take high tea in the Queen’s Parlour Room at Miramont Castle, a 30-room masterpiece of eclectic architecture dating back to 1895. Rumor has it that Emma Crawford’s ghost is known to still wander the halls.

Ghost stories of old manitou

Weekends in October

These eerie yet fun ghost tours will walk you through long lost stories of real residents in Manitou Springs’ history. This year, the ghostly spirits come back to visit for five weekends in October (Oct 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23 and 30).

The Manitou Springs Heritage Center, along with our friends at THEATREdART, provide these evening tours that are thoughtfully scripted and brilliantly presented to provide a fun, family experience.

Haunted Lantern Tour - Director's cut

Friday-Sunday throughout October

For a limited time, take a JOURNEY INTO FEAR on our exclusive Haunted Lantern Tour: Director’s Cut! With only a handheld lantern, wind your way deep inside Cave of the Winds and hear spine-chilling ghost stories, learn about unexplained phenomena and the true raw history of Cave of the Winds. This Haunted Lantern Tour has EXTRA SPOOKY appeal for those of you looking for hair-raising fun!

Are you ready to party with us as we celebrate emma crawford?

Be sure to grab your ticket to join us at Soda Springs Park on October 30! Tickets are $5 and get you access into the park, where we’ll have food vendors, drink (both for the kids and the kids at heart), as well as live music, and tons of contests!

Emma answered some of your questions

You sure can! This is a family friendly event, you’ll need to pickup a free ticket for children between 2-10 when you order your ticket.

All Aboard and Family Elephant will keeping everyone at the event in the party spirit!

We’ll be giving away awards for three categories.

  • Best Emma
  • Best Couples Costume
  • Best Team Theme

We encourage everyone to dress up for the event whether you’re competing in one of the contests or not!

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Let us be your guide

Planning your next vacation or just daydreaming about our quaint mountain town? Order a FREE visitors guide and bring the mountains and mineral springs to your coffee table. More of a tree hugger? We get it. Download our virtual visitors guide.