Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stranger than fiction- the town of #ManitouSprings - setting of paranormal #romance @vampauthormaya #vampires #Colorado

Manitou Springs

The Hippy Mayberry
Satanic Capital of the Western World

My series, Ambrose Heights Vampires, is set in the historic town of Manitou Springs.

Since some readers were under the impression this was a fictional town, I decided to dedicate my Forbidden Fruit Friday blog to showcasing this amazing town.

To start, here are some facts about Manitou:

From ManitouMineralSprings.Org

General Palmer and Dr. William Bell founded Manitou Springs in 1872, intending the town to be a scenic health resort, claiming "Manitou Springs has been the quintessential tourist town since the 1870s, when visitors discovered the healing waters the Ute Indians had been drinking for years. Many of the town's mineral springs still function today and the water is free."

In 1980, the Manitou Springs Historic District was formed by the Historic Preservation Committee to manage development, renovation and preservation within the town. It is National Register of Historic Places listing and one of the country's largest National Historic Districts.

The natural spring waters are available free to the public. People fill cups or jugs from their favorite spring. Walking tours called “Springsabouts” are held a brochure with a map is available for those who prefer to tour the springs at their own pace. There are 8 springs open to the public, each with its own distinctive flavor and effervescence. Centuries ago, the great tribes of the plains and the Mountain Utes paid homage to the healing and spiritual powers of the mineral springs and believed the medicinal waters were a gift from the Great Spirit Manitou.

As if the healing waters of the town weren't cool enough, here's the really cool stuff that makes the town. You'll see why this was the perfect setting for my vampire series and why I call this place home. 

Coffin Races
Since October 1995 the annual tradition of coffin racingin honor of Emma Crawford takes place.

Emma travelled to Manitou Springs for the miracle mineral springs in 1889. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which back then was a death sentence. Unfortunately, she lost her battle on December 4, 1891. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Her fiance, William Hildebrand (a civil engineer on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway), and eleven other men carried her body up the 7,200 ft. slope. In 1929, after years of stormy weather, her remains washed down the side of the mountain. Only her casket handles, a nameplate and a few bones were found. Some say she haunts Red Mountain. 
Emma was buried some years later in Manitou Springs' Crystal Valley Cemetery in an unmarked grave. A Memorial Stone was erected in 2004 to honor her life.

Now, the Manitou honors her every year in late October with The Emma Crawford Festival.

Paranormal Activity 

By 1900, thousands of tuberculosis patients flocked to Manitou Springs seeking the cure. The sanitarium was overcrowded so a tent city was built around it. Hundreds of patients died on the land now known as haunted hill and apparitions are regularly seen lurking near the old hospital now known as Miramont Castle. Walking ghost tours and excursions are available in Manitou to explore this haunted past and possible witness a sighting.

SyFy’s Ghost Hunters’ investigated a well-known landmark of Manitou Springs- Briarhurst. Built in late 19th century by Dr. William Bell, the founder of Manitou Springs, this gorgeous old Tudor mansion is has a history of ghosts and hauntings!

Witches, Warlocks, Zombies and Devils, oh my!

Some call Manitou Springs as the witch capital of Colorado. Some fear the abidance of devil worshiping fueled by Geraldo Rivera's "Satanic" reference on Manitou Springs.

All I truly know is that I love our annual zombiefests.

Whatever the rumors, the fear of the supernatural prompted this inquiry on a city website:

“Can those that are living in Manitou Springs comment on the degree that witchcraft and devil worshiping plays in the character of the town. My wife and I are considering a move and while we’re open to much of life’s diversity, we don’t want to reside (and raise our 3 young girls) in a place where you openly witness people gathering and doing whatever satanic things they might do. We don’t mind a yearly festival where some of this might be seen, but can you live there without this intrusion? Please let me know how long you’ve lived there as well. Your opinion is very much appreciated. ~ Arnold Green”

And here's yet another perspective on this "weird" town:

There is a town within driving distance of me called Manitou Springs. This place is a weird strange place. It's the same town that I have to go through when I hike the Pike's Peak incline that I have posted about a few times here.
Anyway, I was in Manitou Springs yesterday and out of the blue I guess it was Day of the Dead or something. There were a bunch of hearses all over the place, but not just normal hearses. These were lowered, raised, painted, hooked up with serious sound systems, etc. Of course they had coffins in the back of them as well. One even had a fully legitimate AR-15 mounted on the dash, capable of firing live rounds. Apparently they were racing these at one point during the day.
And then of course there were the zombies. Hundreds of people were walking around painted up like zombies. They had a zombie crawl event where they all crawled and limped around like something straight out of Thriller or Dawn of the Dead.

Then, out of the blue, I see a guy walking along with a top hat and early 1900's clothing. To top it off, he had one of those white life vests that looked like he was straight out of the movie Titanic. Well wouldn't you believe it, I asked him who he was supposed to be and he said he had been an extra in Titanic and sometimes he liked to dress up in his costume and walk around in public. Well, that makes perfect sense I suppose...

And this was just a random day. This kind of crap happens all the time there. It's the strangest place I have ever been to. It gets worse though. There are witches, warlocks and wizards all over the place as well. If you do some researching on Manitou Springs you will find things such as blood drinking vampires and child sacrifices scattered throughout the history of the area.

This place has turned into quite the tourist attraction too. There are a bunch of shops all over the place and people are walking everywhere. Think that's a nice friendly Wizard shop? Not quite. Such shops are run by legitimate practitioners of the occult. When you see something in such a shop that says it's used for spells, it's not just your child friendly Disney toy, it's actually something that real witches use in their spells and practices

So, what about the Vampires and Manitou Springs you ask?
Take a look at the documentary that sets out to answer 
this question:


The Caves, Garden of the Gods, the healing  waters...

it's all wrapped up in the  tales of the Ambrose Heights Vampires 

Ambrose Heights Vampire Series


Maya DeLeina 

Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Author.
Maya was born and raised on the beautiful and romantic beaches of Oahu, Hawaii. Relocating to Colorado, Maya's crystal blue oceans and powdery white sands were traded for enchanting forests, mystic mountains and golden plains of promise. 

Living just on the outskirts of Manitou Springs, the town's history of spiritual healing, eclectic flare, fabled underground tunnels and rumored lore of wizardry and witchcraft rekindled Maya's love for the paranormal, metaphysical and most of all, vampires. 

One bite and she was hooked.

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