Haunted House Burns!
By Jaye Sudar
WALSENBURG- March 15th, 1935: Around 3 am, the house at 202 Colorado Avenue caught fire. The fire was discovered around 3:30 am by Mr. and Mrs. George Turner, who lived at 208 Colorado, when the bright light awakened them. They immediately called the fire department. The house had previously belonged to J.F. Hassenack and had just been purchased by the Turners.
There were few witnesses that early morning, but those who watched the house burn saw several little men escape from the flames. The men were about 18-20 inches tall and said to resemble "monkeys without tails." These little men fled the fire and disappeared into the darkness while the firemen battled the flames.
The previous summer of 1934, several children who played in the neighborhood had reported seeing the little men. One boy even took a small shoe from the house. He took it to school and showed it to his teacher, saying it belonged to one of the little men.
The house had a reputation. It was known to be haunted as well as inhabited by little men, and there were those who said an evil spell was the cause of the blaze. The frame building burned with an intensity described as demonic. Firemen battling to put it out were unable to quench the fire.
Despite the best efforts of the fire department, the house burned to ashes. The firemen stated that the house fire was caused by tramps, but there was no convincing local children or the neighbors. They remained certain that an evil spell sparked the fire. The children also wondered just where the little men would find a new place to live.
Was it an evil spell or just careless tramps? Were there really little men inhabiting the house? Might that evil still haunt that corner of Colorado Avenue? Or have the new occupants of 202 Colorado Avenue, the Walsenburg Housing Authority, rehoused the little men