The Stanley Hotel was built during the early part of 1900 by Freelan Oscar Stanley, the creator of the Stanley Steam Engine. Stanley and his wife, Flora, came to Colorado in 1903 under instructions from Stanley’s doctor to get some fresh mountain air. He suffered from tuberculosis and had been given six months to live. His doctor made arrangements for them to stay in Estes Park at a friend’s cabin for the summer. Stanley’s health improved dramatically and the couple loved the area.
Stanley Hotel Haunted
The Stanley Hotel was built on land bought from Earl Lord Dunraven, who visited the area during an 1872 hunting excursion. Dunraven built a cabin, hotel and hunting lodge for guests and then homesteaded illegally up to 6,000 acres to try to develop a private hunting preserve. When it was discovered that Dunraven was trying to swindle people out of their money and land, he was made run away.
Construction on the Stanley Hotel began in 1906. Rock and wood obtained from nearby mountains was used to build it in the Georgian style of architecture. It was completed in 1909 and held its grand opening. The hotel catered to the rich and famous and boasted electricity, running water, and telephones. It didn’t have heat, however, so it was turned into a summer resort. Below you find everything about the Stanley Hotel haunted:
The Shining Hotel
Many people are aware of The Stanley Hotel because of Stephen King’s book The Shining. While he did not write the book while staying at the hotel, he did experience some things there that influenced his writing. King was working on a story centered around a haunted amusement park that had roller coasters flying off the tracks to eat people. His friends didn’t like the story and told him so. He decided to back away for a bit and think about the story some more so King and Tabitha, his wife, traveled through Estes Park and into the Rocky Mountain National Park. Highway 34, or Trailridge Road, was closed because of bad weather. They turned back and King decided to stay at the Stanley Hotel instead. He experienced some scary things while they were there and he worked a lot of these events into The Shining. This is why the hotel is sometimes referred to as the Shining Hotel.
Stanley Hotel Haunted
There have been a number of ghosts spotted at the Stanley Hotel. One of the most well-known is F.O. Stanley himself. He’s often seen hanging around in the Billiard Room and the lobby as these were his favorite areas of the hotel when he was living. He once appeared to a group of tourists that were in the Billiard Room by materializing behind one of the tourists. Bartenders at the Stanley claim to see F.O. strolling through the bar and vanishing as they attempt to stop him at the kitchen.
In addition, Flora Stanley has been spotted quite often. She used to entertain the guests by playing the piano in the ballroom. She’s said to still do just that. Many times, her music is heard, but only the piano keys are seen moving. However, if anyone walks into the room for further investigation, the music ceases, as does the movement of the piano keys.
Various rooms in the Stanley Hotel are especially active when it comes to paranormal activity. One of these is Room 407. Lord Dunraven is said to occupy this room at times. He supposedly likes to stand in the corner of the room close to the bathroom door. One witness said that a light constantly turned on and off. When the light was off, the witnesses informed the ghost that they knew of his presence.
They also told him that they were just staying two nights and then politely requested that he please turn back on the light. That’s when the light came back on. Later, the lights were off, but noises kept coming from an elevator close by. The problem was that this particular elevator was out of order at the time. There are other reports of a ghostly face peering out of the window of Room 407 even when the room is vacant.
Stanley Hotel Hauntings
Another room that gets a lot of attention is Room 418. The spirits here are mostly from children. Cleaning staff have heard many odd sounds coming from the room along with seeing impressions on the bed when no one has been in the room. When Room 418 is occupied, the guests talk about hearing children playing at night in the hallway. There was even a couple that checked out really early in the morning because of all the noise the children had made in the hallway all night. Oddly enough, no children were staying at the hotel then.
When Stephen and Tabitha King stayed at the hotel, it was at the end of the season and they were the only two guests. They stayed in Room 217. There was a tragic accident in this room during 1911. Housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson was almost killed during a gas leak explosion in that room. She survived the explosion but died in the 1950s. Since that time there has been odd and unexplained activity in Room 217. This activity includes lights turning on and off and doors opening and closing on their own. There are also reports of guests having their suitcases unpacked and items put away.
There’s a story that the tour guides tell about a small child that’s been spotted by a lot of the staff members all over the hotel. Even Stephen King saw this child calling for his nanny on the second floor. If you want the best chance to experience some ghostly activity, the best place to stay is on the fourth floor of the hotel. This is where children are heard at all hours of the night playing and chasing each other.
Stanley Hotel Ghost
I have been looking around for some stories about The Stanley Hotel and here is one that sticks out. A person was on a ghost tour of the hotel and happened to take this picture just outside the hotel. As you can see the window has a child at it, but the figure is very hazy when it shouldn’t be because that window is actually opened. The person that took the photo investigated into this photo and called the hotel.
Enjoy the Haunted Stanley Hotel Personally
If you appreciate the chills that a true haunting can bring, you may want to visit The Stanley Hotel. This location was also one that was investigated by the Ghost Hunters from the Sy-Fy Channel. They found it to be, indeed, haunted. The hotel isn’t just open seasonally any more. It’s now open year round. You’ll find it at 333 Wonderview in Estes Park, Colorado. Be sure to call ahead for reservations.
Further information on the Stanley Hotel:
The Stanley Hotel on Wikipedia