The Ghost of Geneva Basin
Our story begins in one of the more remote places in Colorado,
Geneva Basin. This sleepy ski area is located on an unpaved road
called Guanella Pass. It's summit reaches over 11,000 feet above
sea level with the nearest sign of civilization miles away.
During the construction of the area in the early 1960's, Heron
Engineering was hired to install the area's first lift, the Duck Creek
Chair. Construction was going as planned until a disaster occurred.
Edward Guanella was helping crews string up the ski lift's cable
when he got decapitated by the wire. Ed died that day, leaving
everyone in a shocked state. While Guanella left this planet in
physical form, his spirit remained.
Now our story jumps a decade into the late 1970's. Worker Bill
Halamicek started working at Geneva in 1977. He was brought on
as a night worker who did everything from preparing rentals to
janitorial work. Since the ski area did not have public service
utilities, the lodge and lifts all ran on generators. At night he said,
"One time around Christmas day, I was working by myself at about 2
am. Again I was setting rental stuff up for a large group when a cold
puff of wind or something made the hairs on the back of my head
stand up! I was annoyed, thinking it was the heating system, then
the power went out. When the first generator died, the second
backup did not start up. Then I heard someone distinctly walking in
the office above me. I went outside to where the stairs to the
A-frame were. No one was there, I never believed in ghosts, but to
the day this stands out in my memory."
|The Duck Creek Chair on a crowded
day at the Basin.
Bill continued by saying, "At the time, I was a full blown atheist, but
that place would really freak me out. One time I was sitting in the lodge
late at night with five other people when the solid wood cafeteria doors
flew fully open. I mean to the max, as though someone was holding
them open. They stayed like that for a whole minute! A draft definitely
did not cause it as there was no flow of air through the room. Trust
me, I looked for fishing line or something!"
"Another night, I went into the lodge to swipe some hot chocolate
from the cafeteria when all of the main lights were out. As I walked into
the lodge alone, as I was the only one at the ski area, I distinctly heard
footsteps heading directly for me as though someone was right in front
"I wanted to have a Halloween camp out there for years, but I
figured that something would definitely happen if people were there. I
heard that Forest Service guys torched the lodge to make sure that
the area wouldn't reopen."
The story does not end here. Over the years, many people have
contacted ColoradoSkiHistory describing this ghost. So if you're bored
and reading this on Halloween, you might just pay Ed a visit and create
your own ghost story. Just remember, we warned you!
|The only remaining structure at
Geneva Basin is the old ski patrol hut
located at the summit of the mountain.
|copyright © ColoradoSkiHistory.com
All Rights Reserved.
Writing by Brad C.
Pictures thanks to Brad C. and Scott B.
Story by Bill H.