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.
Some say she still haunts Red Mountain today, but the only sure way to see Emma is to come to Manitou Springs and to the Coffin Races and Festival bearing her name.
The Emma Crawford Races are a family friendly event open to the public. For assistance with lodging, please contact Ultimate Paranormal Adventures, LLC., a haunted and historic travel agency, at www.ultimateparanormal.com/services.