The Stanley: Part 1

The Stanley is a hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, and is known to be very haunted. It opened in 1909 and was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley. The Stanley Hotel’s claim to fame is that the horror novelist Stephen King was inspired after staying there to write the book, The Shining. King stayed in what is known as the most haunted room at the hotel, Room 217. He had a nightmare that his three-year-old son was running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, and screaming. He was being chased by a fire hose. King woke up, jumped out of bed, and within a few minutes he had the main plot of The Shining in his mind.


A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to visit The Stanley Hotel. My friend K and I were staying in Boulder, CO visiting her son who goes to CU. K knew that I have always wanted to go to The Stanley, so we drove out for the day to have lunch and take the tour.

The drive to Estes Park from Boulder is absolutely gorgeous. The winding roads, the lush pine trees, and the flowing stream that ran along side the road. The drive is up and over a mountain and as you come over the top and start coming down, you can see a big valley. In the middle of the valley is the beautiful and pristine Stanley Hotel. A large white edifice surrounded by green foliage and monstrous snow capped mountains. It is hard to capture it’s beauty in a picture.

It was a crisp cold day and the sun was now covered by clouds, and as I stood at the bottom of the stairs to go into The Stanley, it looked a little ominous. I had butterflies in my stomach. Was it a warning? Or was it because I couldn’t believe I was there?

We entered the lobby, which is long and narrow, not wide, and the stairs to go up or down are right in front of you. We went downstairs to get tour times and pay for our tickets. That area was very small. There were a few offices, the meeting room, a large doll house that looks like The Stanley, and a refreshment concession area.

doll house

Our tour did not start for a few hours, so we went to the hotel restaurant. The restaurant and bar are beautiful. The Bloody Marys were so delicious and our lunch tasted amazing. During lunch, K asked if I was going to tell our tour guide that I was a sensitive. I said that I wasn’t going to say anything, but I couldn’t control what might happen during the tour. I was already feeling a little anxious, so the Bloody Mary was taking the edge off.

After lunch, I wanted to take a few pictures of the exterior. I brought my fancy camera, so if we did capture anything paranormal, I could download the pictures to my computer and really analyze them.  Also, I made sure I put all brand new batteries in the camera so I could take tons of pictures. Plus, I had 6 batteries in my purse, just in case. And thank goodness I did, I was going to need the batteries in my purse sooner than I thought.

Part 2 of my experience at The Stanley is about what happens during our tour and what I find when I download the pictures. I will post my pictures and would love to know what you think.