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Exploring the Haunted History of the Stanley Hotel in Colorado

Are you a fan of horror movies or haunted places? Then you must have heard of the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. This iconic hotel has been the subject of many horror films and is known for its paranormal activity. But there is more to the Stanley Hotel than just its spooky reputation. In this blog post, we will explore the haunted history of the Stanley Hotel and what makes it a must-visit destination for thrill-seekers.

History Of The Stanley Hotel

Origins Of The Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is a historic hotel that has been around for over 100 years. Its history dates back to the early 1900s when Freelan Oscar Stanley, an inventor and entrepreneur, decided to move to Estes Park due to his tuberculosis diagnosis. He was advised by his doctor to get fresh air and sunlight, which led him to fall in love with the area.

Stanley and his wife Flora decided to build a grand hotel in Estes Park, one that would rival the best hotels in Europe. They purchased land on a hill overlooking the town and began construction on what would become The Stanley Hotel.

The hotel opened its doors on July 4th, 1909, and quickly became a popular destination for wealthy travelers seeking a luxurious mountain getaway. The hotel boasted modern amenities such as electricity, telephones, and en suite bathrooms, which were rare luxuries at the time.

Over the years, The Stanley Hotel has undergone several renovations and expansions, but it still retains much of its original charm and character. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a beloved piece of Colorado history.

For more information on the history of The Stanley Hotel, please visit

Famous Guests

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado has a rich history, and over the years, many famous guests have stayed at the hotel. These guests include politicians, actors, musicians, and writers, among others.

One of the most famous guests to stay at the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King. In fact, it was his stay at the hotel that inspired his novel, “The Shining”. King and his wife checked into Room 217, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former housekeeper named Elizabeth Wilson. The experience inspired King to write one of his most famous novels, and the hotel has since become a popular destination for fans of the book and movie.

Other famous guests at the Stanley Hotel include former President Theodore Roosevelt, who stayed at the hotel during a hunting trip in 1905. The hotel also hosted a number of Hollywood stars during the golden age of cinema, including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Judy Garland.

In addition to these famous guests, the Stanley Hotel has also played host to a number of musicians over the years. Notable guests include Bob Dylan, who stayed at the hotel in 1970, and Johnny Cash, who performed at the hotel’s concert hall in 1996.

Name Occupation Year of Stay
Stephen King Author N/A
Theodore Roosevelt Former President 1905
Clark Gable Actor N/A
Carole Lombard Actress N/A
Judy Garland Actress/Singer N/A
Bob Dylan Musician 1970
Johnny Cash Musician 1996

The Stanley Hotel’s rich history and famous guests have made it a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re a fan of Stephen King or simply appreciate the hotel’s unique architecture and stunning views, a stay at the Stanley is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

The Haunted Room

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is a historic landmark, famous for its stunning architecture and its association with one of the most iconic horror movies ever made – The Shining. However, the hotel’s history goes far beyond its Hollywood connections. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Stanley Hotel is its reputation for being haunted.

One room, in particular, has gained notoriety for its paranormal activity – Room 217. This room was once occupied by a family who requested a candle to be lit in their room. Unfortunately, the candle caused an explosion that destroyed much of the second floor. Although no one was killed, the room remains a hotspot for supernatural occurrences.

Guests have reported the sound of children playing in the hallway outside the room, despite there being no children present at the hotel. Others have claimed to see the apparition of a housekeeper named Elizabeth Wilson, who worked at the hotel in the early 1900s. She is said to have been injured during the aforementioned explosion and died shortly after in room 217.

The Stanley Hotel embraces its spooky reputation and offers ghost tours for those brave enough to explore the hotel’s haunted history. Visitors can also stay in Room 217, although it’s worth noting that it’s often booked months in advance due to its notoriety.

The Ghosts Of The Stanley Hotel

The Ghost Of Flora Stanley

The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is known for its paranormal activity and has been a popular destination for ghost hunters and enthusiasts. The hotel was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley and his wife Flora in 1909.

Flora Stanley is said to be one of the ghosts that haunts the hotel. She was known for her love of music and played the piano frequently. Guests have reported hearing piano music coming from empty rooms and the ballroom, which is believed to be Flora’s favorite place.

Some guests have also claimed to see Flora’s apparition dressed in formal attire wandering around the hotel. Her presence is often accompanied by the scent of her favorite perfume, Gardenia.

According to The Lineup, a website that covers true crime, unsolved mysteries, and the paranormal, there have been several reports of paranormal activity related to Flora Stanley. In one instance, a guest reported seeing a woman in a white dress standing at the end of their bed. When they turned on the light, the woman disappeared.

Flora Stanley
Born June 1, 1859
Died July 4, 1938
Occupation Musician, Philanthropist

Flora Stanley passed away in 1938, but her spirit is said to still reside in the hotel. Her love for music and the Stanley Hotel has made her one of the most well-known ghosts that haunts the historic hotel.

The Ghost Of Lord Dunraven

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is known for its paranormal activity and ghost stories. One of the most famous ghosts at the hotel is that of Lord Dunraven, who was a previous owner of the property.

Lord Dunraven was an Irish nobleman who purchased the land where the Stanley Hotel now stands in the late 1800s. He had plans to turn the area into a hunting and fishing resort, but his plans fell through, and he eventually sold the land to F.O. Stanley, who built the hotel.

Despite not being associated with the hotel’s construction, Lord Dunraven’s ghost is said to haunt the property. Guests have reported seeing him in various locations throughout the hotel, including the lobby and the billiards room.

Some believe that Lord Dunraven’s ghost is unhappy with the way the hotel turned out and is still trying to fulfill his failed vision for the property. Others speculate that he simply enjoys the attention and continues to linger on the property.

While there is no concrete evidence to support the existence of Lord Dunraven’s ghost, many guests and staff members at the Stanley Hotel have reported experiencing unexplained phenomena that they attribute to paranormal activity.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the Stanley Hotel is a fascinating destination for those interested in the supernatural. Visitors can take ghost tours of the property and even stay in the infamous Room 217, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former housekeeper.

The Ghost Of Room 217

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is famous for its paranormal activity and ghost sightings. One of the most talked-about ghosts is that of Room 217. It is said that the room is haunted by the spirit of Elizabeth Wilson, a former housekeeper who worked at the hotel in the early 1900s.

According to legend, Wilson was injured in an explosion while lighting the acetylene lanterns in the room. She survived but suffered severe burns and injuries. After her death, guests staying in the room have reported strange occurrences such as items moving on their own, doors opening and closing, and the feeling of being touched or watched.

The Stanley Hotel has capitalized on the popularity of the ghost stories and offers tours of the property, including Room 217. Guests can also book a stay in the room if they dare. The hotel has even installed a plaque in the room commemorating Wilson’s legacy.

While some skeptics argue that the ghost stories are merely a marketing ploy, many guests and employees have reported unexplainable events throughout the hotel. The Stanley Hotel continues to attract visitors from all over the world who come to experience the thrill of the paranormal.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ghostly legends surrounding the Stanley Hotel, be sure to check out their website for more information.

Stephen King And The Shining

Inspiration For The Book

Stephen King’s novel “The Shining” is a horror classic that has captivated readers for decades. One of the most interesting aspects of the book is the inspiration behind it, which came from King’s own experiences at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado.

The Stanley Hotel was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley, who was seeking a place to improve his health. The hotel quickly became a popular destination for wealthy travelers, and it was during a stay in 1974 that Stephen King first visited the hotel.

King and his wife Tabitha were the only guests staying at the hotel that night, and they were given Room 217. It was during their stay that King had a nightmare about his young son being chased through the corridors of the hotel by a fire hose. This nightmare served as the inspiration for “The Shining.”

In the novel, the character of Jack Torrance is also a writer who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. While the Overlook Hotel is fictional, it is based on the Stanley Hotel and the experiences that King had there.

The Stanley Hotel has fully embraced its connection to “The Shining,” and visitors can take a guided tour of the hotel that includes stops at locations that inspired scenes in the book. The hotel also offers a “Shining” themed package that includes a room in the historic main building, a copy of the novel, and a redrum cocktail.

The Filming Of The Shining

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is famous for being the inspiration behind Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. The hotel’s eerie atmosphere and haunted reputation have made it a popular destination for horror fans and paranormal enthusiasts alike. In 1980, the hotel was also used as the primary filming location for Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the novel.

The production of The Shining at the Stanley Hotel was not without its challenges. The cast and crew had to contend with high altitude sickness, extreme weather conditions, and a shortage of available resources in the remote mountain town. Despite these obstacles, Kubrick was able to create a cinematic masterpiece that has become a classic in the horror genre.

One of the most iconic scenes from the film takes place in the hotel’s grand lobby, where Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) sits at a typewriter and types the infamous phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This scene was shot on location at the Stanley Hotel, and the actual typewriter used in the film can still be seen on display at the hotel today.

Fun Fact: The hedge maze featured in the film was not actually part of the hotel’s grounds. It was constructed specifically for the movie on a nearby ranch.

The Stanley Hotel continues to embrace its connection to The Shining, offering themed tours and special events for fans of the book and film. Visitors can stay in the room that inspired King to write the novel or take a guided ghost tour of the property. The hotel even hosts an annual horror film festival called the Stanley Film Festival.

If you’re a fan of The Shining, a visit to the Stanley Hotel is a must-see experience. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the hotel’s rich history and unique atmosphere make it a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the intersection of literature, film, and pop culture.

The Stanley Hotel official website is a great resource for information about the hotel’s history, amenities, and upcoming events.

The Stanley Hotel Today

The Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is a historic hotel that was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. The hotel has a rich history and has been featured in numerous films and television shows.

Today, the Stanley Hotel is still a popular tourist destination and offers a variety of accommodations and amenities for guests. Visitors can choose from rooms in the historic main building, as well as newer buildings on the property. The hotel also features a restaurant, bar, and gift shop.

One of the most popular attractions at the Stanley Hotel is the ghost tour. The hotel is said to be haunted, and many visitors have reported paranormal experiences during their stay. The ghost tour takes visitors through the hotel’s most haunted areas and shares stories of the hotel’s spooky history.

In addition to the ghost tour, the Stanley Hotel also offers a variety of other activities for guests. Visitors can take a guided tour of the hotel, go on a hike in nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, or attend one of the hotel’s many events and concerts.

Accommodations Amenities Activities
Main Building Rooms Restaurant Ghost Tour
Newer Building Rooms Bar Guided Tour
Gift Shop Hiking
Events and Concerts

The Stanley Hotel has become an iconic destination for horror fans and history buffs alike. With its rich history, beautiful location, and spooky reputation, it’s no wonder that the hotel continues to attract visitors from around the world.

Haunted Tours And Activities

Ghost Tours

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is known for being one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. One of the main attractions at the hotel is the ghost tours that take place regularly. These tours are led by experienced guides who share stories about the history of the hotel and its paranormal activity.

During the ghost tours, visitors have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling sudden drops in temperature. Some have even claimed to have had personal experiences with the ghosts that haunt the hotel.

If you’re interested in taking a ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel, it’s recommended that you book your tickets in advance. The tours can sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist season.

For more information on the ghost tours offered at the Stanley Hotel, visit their official website:

Night Spirit Tour

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is famous for its haunted history and the variety of tours and activities that it offers to visitors. One of the most popular tours is the Night Spirit Tour, which takes place after dark and explores the hotel’s most haunted areas.

During the Night Spirit Tour, guests are led through the hotel by a knowledgeable guide who shares stories about the ghosts that are said to haunt the property. The tour includes stops at the infamous Room 217, where Stephen King stayed and was inspired to write “The Shining,” as well as the Concert Hall and the underground tunnels beneath the hotel.

Many guests have reported experiencing paranormal activity during the Night Spirit Tour, including cold spots, unexplained noises, and even sightings of ghostly apparitions. Some of the most commonly reported ghosts include F.O. Stanley, the founder of the hotel, and his wife Flora, who are said to still roam the halls of the property.

If you’re interested in taking the Night Spirit Tour at the Stanley Hotel, be sure to book your tickets in advance, as they often sell out quickly. And if you’re feeling particularly brave, you might even consider staying overnight in one of the hotel’s haunted rooms!

The Stanley Film Festival

The Stanley Film Festival is an annual event held at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. The festival showcases horror films from around the world and is a popular attraction for horror fans and movie enthusiasts alike.

The festival was founded in 2013 by the Denver Film Society and has since grown in popularity, drawing in thousands of attendees each year. The festival is named after the hotel’s original owner, F.O. Stanley, who built the hotel in 1909.

During the festival, guests can attend film screenings, participate in Q&A sessions with filmmakers and actors, and enjoy various other events and activities. The festival also hosts a variety of workshops and panels for aspiring filmmakers to learn about the industry and network with other professionals.

The Stanley Hotel is no stranger to the horror genre, having served as inspiration for Stephen King’s novel “The Shining.” The hotel has embraced its haunted reputation and offers ghost tours and paranormal investigations for guests who are interested in the supernatural.

Year Festival Dates Number of Films Attendance
2013 May 2-5 19 Unknown
2014 April 24-27 20 2,500
2015 April 30 – May 3 44 3,200
2016 April 14-17 60 5,000
2017 April 20-23 Unknown Unknown

The festival has grown significantly since its inception, with attendance increasing each year. In 2016, the festival showcased over 60 films and attracted over 5,000 attendees.

Some notable films that have been featured at the Stanley Film Festival include “The Babadook,” “The Witch,” and “Green Room.” The festival also hosts special events, such as a “Shining” ballroom party and a horror-themed costume contest.

If you’re a horror fan or simply interested in attending a unique film festival, the Stanley Film Festival is definitely worth checking out.


The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is not just a hotel, it is an experience. Whether you are a fan of horror movies or just curious about the paranormal, the Stanley Hotel has something for everyone. From its haunted history to its stunning architecture, there is no shortage of things to see and do. So, are you brave enough to book a room at the Stanley Hotel? Who knows, you might just have a ghostly encounter of your own.

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