Old photo of Trinidad

                                            Photo from    ~ ~   (Call Number: CHS.X5150)

The city of Trinidad, officially incorporated in 1876, owes its existence to the Santa Fe Trail; a trail of commerce between Anglo,
Hispanic and Indian cultures. The Santa Fe Trail brought the famous and the not so famous to Trinidad’s streets, including Billy the
Kid, Kit Carson, Uncle Dick Wootton, Casimiro Barela, Bat Masterson and Doc Holiday.

One of the hell-raising towns of the old west, Trinidad was headquarters for the famous Prairie Land & Cattle Company before
barbed wire brought an end to the open range. Many of the magnificent buildings in Trinidad’s Corazon de Trinidad National
Historic district were built with cattle money.

Adorning hilly streets, nestled along the banks of the Purgatoire River, is Trinidad,  a Victorian, quaint and adobe city Located
along Interstate 1-25, 19 miles from Colorado’s southern border, at an elevation of 6,025’.

                              In the ‘SPIRIT’ of Halloween


Thursday, OCTOBER 28,2004


Proudly Serving Southeastern Colorado and Northeastern New Mexico
Vol. 128, No. 160
The Chronicle-News

 Photo by Marty Hackett, Chronicle News, (2004).

TRINIDAD – Radio station KOA 8/50, out of Denver, usually has a sports program that fills the 3 p.m.–7 p.m. spot Monday through
Friday. Yesterday, the 8/50 team led by Dave Logan and Scott Hastings, was in Trinidad visiting the Tarabino Inn, hoping to have a
‘spirit’ grace them with a presence while they aired live to Denver’s ghost lovers. The team is traveling south, with the St. James
Hotel in Cimarron being their next stop.

The team was a little ‘spooked’ already, though, because of an apparition one of the team members reportedly saw in the basement
of a home where they spent the night on Tuesday. “We stayed at the Croke/Patterson Campbell Mansion, which is a private
residence in Denver.” The 160,000 sq. foot home is one of the more notorious homes in the Denver area that touts ghostly
apparitions. One of the team members apparently saw a body that was covered with a blanket, so only the head was showing.
“When I saw it, I told Mary Raye, who was behind me, “Shhh, somebody’s trying to sleep,” said Casey Lamb. He said the eyes were
closed and all he actually saw was his head. It wasn’t until later that the team discovered there couldn’t have been anyone there.

The encounter was at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. One of the family’s young boys, who apparently has his room
downstairs, has also reported seeing “the man” on numerous occasions somewhere near the fireplace. Ghost hunting is apparently
not going to be as fun as they started out thinking. “I was pretty spooked,” volunteered Casey.

The team spent the night at the Tarabino Inn, which is Trinidad’s “haunted house.” The bed and breakfast is owned by Theresa
and Kevin Vila, and has been featured in “All About Ghosts,” a newsletter all about ghosts. Teresa said that she has experienced
some “activity” while she and her husband have owned the home. Kevin reported to Maji, an interviewer for the newsletter that,
“Twice I awoke to the call of nature and came across the image of a young woman in a nightgown. She was standing at the foot of
the stairs, just looking at me with a sad or longing expression.” Teresa says that she has experienced the sounds of footsteps on
the stairs, the smell of cigar smoke in the library and has, “even caught a whiff of Christmas,” on occasion. “It is said that the entire
house is ‘busy’, said Teresa, but she personally “explains things away.”

“I have had experiences where the fans kept turning on, and I figured it was just a short. Another time the oven kept turning on and I
just said, “Cut it out!” and it stopped.” Guests have experienced more paranormal activity in the west gable, according to Teresa. “It’
s usually in the area of the closet where the guests have had the most adverse reactions.” Another apparition that has been
experienced was a ‘wiry haired woman in a rocker.”

A friend of the Vilas reportedly came to assess the house and claimed that there were at least seven entities residing at the Inn.
There were children on the top floor, two stairwalkers, something in the dining room, and a guy named Hector who likes to smoke
cherry tobacco in the library. She also claimed that there was “something not human” in the Chestnut Suite. She mentioned that
although there are some mischievous energies in the house, she sensed nothing malevolent. One reference to the ghost of Barney
Tarabino is the only direct link to families that have actually resided in the home.

Kevin reported that at one time a guest came down to breakfast in the morning and stated, “You have a very busy house.” She
described a family gathering that went on throughout the night. One man, she claimed, was actually tickling her belly in a playful
manner! Teresa showed him some old newspaper clippings about the house that had been found in the local library and the guest
pointed to a picture of Barney and exclaimed, “That’s him!”

F. Dean Sneed, who lived in the house for 18 years, published a book about ghosts in Trinidad, and says of the spirits in the home,
“They were non-threatening, I always felt protected.” Footsteps, shadows and voices were some of the things reported by his family
while living there. “I once felt a reassuring hand on my shoulder in the library,” said Sneed. Do the Vilas really believe in ghosts?
“Hector helps me when we (Kevin and I) play Scrabble, because I win when we play in the Library, but nowhere else.” Kevin was
noted as saying, “I have always been open to the possibility of spirits and hauntings. Now, however,” he says, “even though a part
of me is still a skeptic, I live as though they are real.”

This small closet in the west gable, is the area that reportedly generates the most “activity” in the house, as if someone is trying to
tell them to “keep out.”                                

                                                                    (Photo by Marty Hackett)

 Tarabino Inn

An elegant Victorian inn two blocks above Main Street with spacious suites, a library, many antiques, and serving a delicious full

Oh.....and did I mention that it's haunted?

Tarabino Inn is a fine bed and breakfast located in an Italianate Victorian home on a residential street in El Corazon de Trinidad
National Historic District.  

The inn itself provides its own history, both real and "unreal."  Relax in the former home of the Tarabino Brothers, merchants from
northern Italy who founded the Famous Department Store on the Santa Fe Trail in the late nineteenth century.

Enjoy a luxurious night, a fabulous breakfast and maybe a few ghost stories.  A story or two may be your own by morning...  

We're a nonsmoking household, so if you smell cherry pipe tobacco, that would be Hector (or one of several other friendly entities
reported to reside in the house).  

Mention this promotion when making your reservation to receive a free copy of Dean Sneed's book, "Ghosts of Trinidad and Las
Animas County," which includes a chapter about "Our House on Second Street," that is, the Tarabino Inn.

Dates: October 1 through Halloween. Cost: $84 - $129. For additional Inspected and Approved Inn Specials throughout the state,
go to:
(Check to make sure this special is still going on. Specials, packages, and events are subject to change.)

Tarabino Inn
Innkeepers: Kevin & Teresa
310 East Second St., Trinidad, CO 81082
Reservations: 866-846-8808
Local: 719-846-2115

Back to home page