Even before entering the Gilpin Hotel and Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado you can tell the stately, three-story brick building is full of history.

Formerly a hotel, the original establishment dates back to the mining days of the late 1800s, during a time when the Central City/Black Hawk area was considered to be the richest square mile on earth. Back then, the town of Black Hawk wasn't known for gambling, but was still a tourist destination for those traveling through the area.

Guests can't actually stay at the Gilpin Hotel anymore – it's now a casino, but besides lively gamblers parked at the colorful machines, there's also some other not as lively souls still lingering within the building's thick walls.

According to Legends of America, the spirit of a woman named Lucille is believed to haunt the Gilpin Casino. During the 1800s, the Gilpin Hotel also housed a one-room school upstairs, where Lucille Malone taught a small group of students. Miss Malone was in love with a local miner, but story has it, that he was tragically run over by a wagon in front of the hotel. Lucille was so distraught when the accident occurred, that she threw herself off the hotel's balcony, taking her own life in the same street where her lover died.

Lingering Lucille

The legend of Lucille remains at the Gilpin Casino, and many guests have reported paranormal sightings of the former schoolteacher.

In one documented story from the 1990s, a man who was living in the hotel at the time experienced lights turning on and off, followed by the sound of pots and pans suddenly falling from the wall downstairs. He credited these noises to Lucille, and was convinced that she was attempting to warn him about a fire that had broken out in the building's kitchen.

Following the fire, the Black Hawk building was refurbished, but the sightings continued. Both employees and guests have reportedly seen a female apparition appear in various places throughout the casino. In one particular case, a manager claimed to have seen a woman entering into a second-floor room, but when we went up to check on the situation, no one was there.

Paying homage to the Gilpin's ghostly guest, a restaurant within the casino was given the name Lucille Malone's.

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