The Stanley Hotel has a lot going for it, from its secluded place among the Rocky Mountains to the fact that it’s a Colonial Revival hotel with over 140 rooms and luxury suites/dining.
With all that being said, those in the know would have heard about the hotel’s dark history and prestige among horror and ghost fanatics, and especially with fans of Stanley Kubrick’s, The Shining. If you haven’t already heard, the famous Stanley Hotel is Colorado’s most haunted hotel and the set for the movie, based on Stephen King’s spooky stay here while writing one of his books.
The story goes like this: The prolific horror writer Stephen King and his wife Tabatha, were forced to pull over for the night in Estes Park at the Stanley Hotel, and they were the only two guests. King found it creepy and as he slept, his subconscious eerie feeling about the hotel manifested into a nightmare that inspired King to write The Shining. All that writing eventually turned into one of the most popular horror books, The Shining, made famous again for the film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick.
The film starts Jack Nicholson who plays a writer who goes crazy and eventually, takes out his pent-up frustration on his family. While the actual story is a work of fiction from King’s genius mind, there’s a seed of truth in the hotel’s spooky vibes that led to King’s initial inspiration. Guests of the hotel have reported some spooky sightings that draw from the hotel’s long history, and the hotel lets guests in on the fun by offering The Shining-themed tours.
This year in particular, Denver-based architects, MOA Architecture, has been tapped to create an exact replica of the infamous Room 237 as part of a new renovation, part of which is called The Shining Suite and will be an hour-long theatrical experience at the Stanley, where guests can walk through and take photos. This takes place in the Caretaker Cottage which is being renovated to reflect the hotel’s real and fiction history. The hour-long Caretaker’s Cottage tour is limited to ages 8 and up and costs $30 per person. Advance reservations for parties of up to 10 people are required. You can buy tickets to the event on the website.
One story has to do with a maid who worked at the hotel, Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, who broke both her ankles in a gas explosion in 1911. She was flung from the explosion into room 217–which, coincidentally enough, is the same room that King stayed in. The owner of the hotel, Freelan Oscar Stanley, came down with a case of tuberculosis and moved to Estes Park for fresh air (that he hoped would cure his ailment). He loved the Rockies so much he developed a hotel dedicated to wellness, which is how the Stanley came to be. When he, sadly, succumbed to his illness, there are rumors that he never actually left the hotel and haunts it to this day. The fourth floor is also reportedly “active” with paranormal activity. In case you’re thinking of staying there, we’d recommend it only if you like the paranormal.
If you’re curious to see whether or not ghosts are real, and if you, personally, receive any strange premonitions, inspiration, or ghostly sightings during your stay, you can book an overnight stay at the Stanley. From their “spirited” rooms that are said to hold paranormal activity, to their normal, luxury rooms if you’re feeling ghost shy. Come stop by and tell the ghosts we said hello!
[featured image thestanleyhotel via instagram]