Haunted Journeys

Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel

333 East Wonderview Avenue
Estes Park, Colorado
80517 United States

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Estes Park, CO is home to one of the most haunted places in the state, Stanley Hotel. Come Explore its mystery with Haunted Journeys.

The History

The hotel was designed and built in 1909 by the original owner, Freelan Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile. It is a majestic mansion in the scenic Rocky Mountains. The Stanleys arrived in Colorado in 1903, Freelan was suffering from tuberculosis and his doctor advised him to seek fresh mountain air. They fell in love with the area while recuperating and decided to build the hotel. 

The 138 room, the four-storied inn was built with the comfort and entertainment of the Stanleys' friends and special guests in mind. Each guest room had a private bath, heat, phone, and electricity, thanks to the power plant and dam that Stanley built. The electricity that was created not only kept the lights on at his Stanley Inn but also powered the homes and businesses of the people of Estes Park, for free. 

Despite the Stanley Hotel's grandeur and opulence, it was probably destined to remain obscure until a famous guest changed its future—and it's past. The Stanley Hotel has hosted many "famous" guests, including The Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.

The Stanley Hotel may be best known, for its most famous guest, Stephen King, who used the majestic hotel as the inspiration for his The Shining, which he wrote after staying in room 217. King did not write the novel there, nor was the 1980 Stanley Kubrick movie filmed there, but the TV version of The Shining was filmed here.

Today, the elegant hotel is a popular destination for travelers and ghost hunters alike.

The Hauntings

This haunted history of the Stanley Hotel is not limited to the fame that Stephen King bestowed on it with its iconic novel. The Stanley had earned a sound reputation as a paranormal nerve center long before King’s arrival at the hotel. Most of it is attributed to the attached spirit of the F. O. Stanley who created this majestic hotel.

Years after his death in 1940, the apparition of Mr. Stanley reportedly has appeared to guests checking in at the reception desk and in the billiard-room. He was said to have appeared in the Billiard Room during a tour group's visit, materializing behind a member of the tour. Bartenders report seeing F.O. stroll through the bar. Accompanying him, the phantom of his wife Flora, once a pianist, sometimes can be heard tickling the ivories in the empty music room.

While some spots are more spiritually active than others, guests have reported strange occurrences – shadowy figures, eerie laughter, flickering lights, and items moving on their own – in every room on the hotel compound, which includes a century-old lodge and concert hall. Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps have been heard in the hallways and rooms and staff and visitors report unseen hands pulling at their clothing. More than one guest has said they have awakened to find their blankets taken from their beds and neatly folded. 

Stephen King stayed in Room 217, which was the site of a tragic accident in 1911, where Elizabeth Wilson, a housekeeper, was nearly killed with a gas leak explosion. After she died in the 1950s, strange, unexplained activity started taking place in that room, including lights switching on and off by themselves and doors opening and closing.  Another influence for King's experience is the ghost of a small child who has been spotted on the second floor calling out to his nanny multiple times, including by Stephen King. 

Room 418 is said to be the most active room, it is apparently haunted by the ghosts of children. Guests claim phantom children can be heard playing in the hallways at night and one couple complained that the noisy children kept them up all night when no children were staying at the hotel at the time. Impressions of bodies have been found on the bed when the room has been unoccupied.

The hotel offers several ghost hunting packages and events and is a favorite destination for travelers seeking the haunted!  Due to its incredible history and recorded haunted experience, this hotel has been featured on several paranormal television shows, including Haunted History, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Most Haunted, and My Ghost Story.

More to read or video to watch...

         The History and Haunting of the Stanley Hotel, 2nd Edition by [Rebecca F. Pittman]        Shining Secrets of the Stanley Hotel


Book a Spooky Stay at the Stanley Hotel


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Understand This:

This property, as part of our network, has been added for they may have history, validation, or folk tales of having spirited activities. Please take caution in approaching and visiting these locations, since courtesy, respect, and caution should be a top priority in every Haunted Investigator's style. Also do realize, some of these places may have permanently closed, changed ownership and/or names, or just are not available for your visits. Please respect this.

We are not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided on this listing, but offer it as a first step in finding your next haunted travel destination. Please do confirm with the property before making any plans to visit.

If you visit, tour, or investigate this property (or any of our properties), we are not responsible or held liable for any outcomes, lack of evidence, or injuries associated with your travels. This is only for entertainment purposes, and information provided is only as found in public domains (or as offered by the associated contributor (as a claimed property).

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Date added: Jun/29/2019 | Last time updated: Jun/02/2020

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