You’ve likely heard of the Stanley Hotel, or at the least, of the movie The Shining. The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is where Stephen King stayed that inspired him to write The Shining. Specifically, he stayed in Room 217 of the hotel.
Despite my efforts, Room 217 was booked up during the time that we were there. We opted for a room on the third floor, which was located beside another room that is said to be haunted. The spirit that is said to haunt the room next to ours apparently likes women (….great, as if I wasn’t already nervous) and sometimes touches them as they walk by in the hallway.
As we checked in, one of the front desk employees offered to take our photo behind the desk where all of the old hotel keys were located. As we were back there, we heard the employees talking about one of the photos hanging above the keys. It was crooked at the time, which apparently happens often. According to one employee, it often moves and falls from the wall. The lady in the photo is said to still be at the hotel.
We checked into our room and settled in. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, but it definitely still has a sort of “haunted hotel” vibe. The lighting is done in such a way that you feel like the hotel is haunted from that aspect alone.
*Side note: The Stanley does not have air conditioning in the rooms. The breeze from the nearby mountains is thought to be enough to keep the rooms cool during the warmer months.
Since there was still some daylight left, we decided to explore the outside of the hotel while we still had time. Unfortunately, there was some construction going on during our visit. Thankfully the construction was minimal and was not disruptive to our visit at all.
The views from outside of the Stanley are breathtaking.
After the sunset, we decided that we might as well explore the inside of the hotel.
Although Room 217 is the most famous room, the fourth floor is actually said to have the most paranormal activity. The fourth floor is where the female employees and children would stay during the early 1900s. It used to be more of just an attic, but it has been converted to allow hotel patrons to spend the night there. One thing that we found that was interesting of this floor was a steep stair-case to what I assume is storage. Someone has taken it upon themselves to write the famous “Red Rum” on the ceiling. It was both a little spooky and very appropriate.
We finally made our way to Room 217. We were not sure if we had found it, due to the fact that someone had likely decided to take a souvenir for themselves and had stolen the room number from the wall. It sort of resembled a closet, but after further investigated we discovered that this was, in fact, Room 217.
Room 217 is where Stephen King and his wife stayed for one night in 1973. They just happened to be the only guests at the hotel that night and were put into Room 217. King is said to have experienced paranormal activity both in the hallways and in his room that night. Thus, the inspiration for The Shining was born.
The Grand Staircase is also one of the most haunted areas in the hotel.
We went back outside after nightfall to try to make our way through the famous maze in front of the hotel. We found our way to the middle of the maze, where there is a statue of Freeman Oscar Stanley stood. In typical Colorado fashion, we encountered a couple of people enjoying a joint with Mr. Stanley.
As we walked through the hallways of each floor, there were occasions that I felt a little odd or just overall uncomfortable. Nothing particularly happened to make me feel this way, so maybe it was just the expectations in my mind that gave me these feelings.
While we settled into our room for the night, we watched the channel that showed all of the history of the hotel. It talked all about F O Stanley. In short, he was pretty awesome. After wandering the halls more we decided to turn in for the night.
I do not recall ever wanting something to happen so badly, yet being absolutely terrified that it might actually happen. I mean, saying you had an interaction with a ghost at the hotel that inspired The Shining is a pretty amazing story. On the other hand, if someone/something that I could not see touched me or interacted with me in any way, I was fairly confident that I would need counseling.
I probably woke up once every two hours. While I did not have a good nights sleep, I never had any ghostly interactions. I was both thankful and somewhat disappointed.
Overall, I would most definitely visit the Stanley again. The hotel itself is absolutely beautiful, not to mention the stunning views. I may or may not get a “spirited” room during my next visit.
You can book your own room for The Stanley here!
**They regularly post deals on their Facebook page, so be sure to check that out before you book anything!