Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Long Awaited Visit to the Stanley Hotel

I never thought the day would come. Yet, it did. It's taken me almost a week to collect my thoughts about my experiences at the hotel. Here's my story in images, otherwise, I'd be long-winded and bore you to tears.

Welcome to the Stanley Hotel. Built in 1909, the hotel is located in Estes Park, Colorado. Several of the photos I took, were out of focus. O_O 

I'd blame it on camera, but I took them with my phone, which usually takes beautiful shots, such as the front of the hotel here.

We signed up for a guided tour of the hotel. Unfortunately for us, many of the rooms were booked by a wedding party, so we didn't get to visit the alleged haunted rooms. Here's a picture of the infamous Rm. 217. My daughter and sister-in-law posed for me. This is the room Stephen King stayed in when he was inspired to write, The Shining.

The couch on the fourth floor hallway, the Children's Hallway, is supposedly haunted by several children. The guests leave candy on the couch as rewards for the tiny spirits. Visiting children are asked to sit on the couch to see if they can feel the spirits touch them. Stephen King himself caught sight of a set of twins roaming the hallway the night he stayed at the hotel. 

This was an interesting photo. My husband is sitting in the lower left hand corner in a leather chair. One of the employees is sharing with him that the "spirit children" were playing with his shoelaces. He's quite the skeptic, so he wasn't too impressed. However, I could not get my camera to show the lower half of the photo, no matter what!

I did get the camera to work from a different view, but the table and chairs block the area with the ghostly children. You can see hubby sitting in the chair looking at his shoes. The employee is kneeling down beside him. Check out the guy sitting across from them, hiding in a book!! He's probably thinking, "Don't let me be next!" I caught this fella peeking out from behind his book, watching. Too funny.

Above is one of the many creepy hallways. This one is on the second floor. I was waiting for a head to pop out of one of the doors.

 A haunted staircase. At times, people have taken photos and there are faces in between the railings. I wasn't so lucky.


The banister posts in the main stairwell were hand-carved to represent the four seasons. The original owner's wife, Flora Stanley, insisted on adding Native American details in the architecture.  

Below is a photo of an attic door. Someone thought it would be humorous to paint the word "Redrum" on it. Murder spelled backwards, it's a detail from Stephen King's novel, The Shining.


And then, just when I thought I wasn't going to catch a ghost on my camera, I did. Well, if you count a mist-form as a ghost. I took two photos of this old cave entrance in the basement area of the hotel. One second it was clear and the next, it wasn't. What do you think?

I took a third photo, and it was clear again. The hotel is built on limestone, which contains quartz crystal. The tour guide noted that quartz is known to be a transmitter, so to speak, for energy. Which may account for some of the reported paranormal activity.

Our last part of the visit was not on the tour. We met up with the "employee" I mentioned earlier. She's had some recent physical ailments, which have taken her off the tours. I instantly fell in love with her. She had a gentle spirit. She immediately took to my daughter, and invited us behind closed doors. Literally. We sat with her for over 30 minutes in the roped off Billiard Room while she spoke to the spirit children, and through her, they spoke to us.

An enlightening experience to say the least! She has 10 spirit children who are with her all the time, tugging at her skirt. If I hadn't of seen her skirt being manipulated, by what looked like tiny hand impressions, I wouldn't believe it. She claimed not to be a psychic, but she read us like books. It was amazing. All the things she knew about us was astounding. She made us promise to come back and let her know when we stay the night.

Although the Stanley inspired the novel, The Shining, the movie was not filmed there. Apparently, there wasn't enough snowfall, and it wasn't isolated enough for the producers of the movie. 

Stephen King did go back, years later, when they filmed the series there. The Shining series is a three-part TV miniseries based on the novel. Stephen King had the honor of writing the screenplay. Here's a clip from the series. If you scare easily, don't watch it!

Bustling with bridezillas, simultaneous tours, and sightseers, the grand hotel was a tad too busy to hear any spirits whisper. We didn't get an opportunity to stay the night, but we plan on doing so in the future. I guess I'll have to wait and do some ghost hunting another time.

All in all, we had an extraordinary Stanley Hotel experience. Have any of you ever visited the Stanley? If so, what were your experiences?


  1. I never knew that about the Shining. I always figured it was filmed at this hotel. What an awesome place to stay though...very creepy.

    1. Me too, until I researched the hotel before my visit. The drive to the hotel in the mountains was part of the movie, just not the hotel itself.

  2. Scary! The hotel in the movie really did look like the interior of that hotel.
    I believe the exterior was filmed at a lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon.

  3. It's a wonder anyone takes baths at all. There's always something creepy behind the curtain.

  4. I so want to go there! That was a great tour you led us on, now I can feel like I was almost there. I love the story about the employee with her ten spirit children. That must have been a sight and would have made a believer out of me. Thanks for sharing some of your wonderful vacation with us! :)

  5. I've been to that place. Good synopsis of your time there. And you got great pics.

  6. Fascinating! You are a much braver woman than I am.

  7. What a fascinating post, Candilynn. To see a woman's skirt being tugged as if by invisible hands must have been quite unnerving, besides them "talking" through her. The clip from the movie didn't work on my visit to your blog though. :-( Roland

    Come visit Christine's cyber home to see what she says about my book:

  8. This is awesome! I would love to visit there and I just might one day :-) I'm not sure how I would react to the ghost kids playing with my shoelaces or touching me (note to myself: wear slip ons, no shoelaces :-). )

    I am reading this post on my iPhone and the screen is too small to see the photos really well. As soon as I'm back home, at my computer, I will take a very close look.

  9. @Alex, I can't recall if the tour guide ever told us where the movie was filmed, but thanks for that bit of info.. :)

    @Brent, I agree! Jaws did it for me regarding bathtubs. And now that I think about it, I still am apprehensive when opening a shower curtain!

    @Michael, it was my pleasure! Sharing information and pictures of such a historical place is something I'd like to do much more of. Especially when it relates to books!

    @James, thanks for your feedback. I appreciate your thoughts. :))

  10. @Talli, I'm brave to a certain extent. I've been to a couple of ghostly places which caused me to run in the other direction. The Stanley was low-key for me. :)

  11. @Roland, actually I was fascinated by the experience. I'm only frightened by the scary things. This felt innocent and almost funny, as they picked on her, prompted her to ask people questions. Would I be weird to say, it was cute?

    Angela! So nice to see you up and blogging again. :)) I didn't add this part, but I was "touched" on the tour. It was on the fourth floor. Something touched my forehead as we were listening to a story about one of the haunted rooms. Later, the tour guide told us being touched on the head is one of the most common claims near that room. O_O

  12. Eee! That looks so deliciously creepy and fun! What a neat thing to do :)

  13. Man, that cave is creepy! I'd love to explore it (I watch way too much Ghost Hunter...) What wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  14. That is awesome! I would love to visit the hotel one day. Just looking at the photos gives me the creeps. Hehehe! Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  15. While the Stanley is a wonderful old hotel and has a few original Ghost legends, the Quartz/Limestone myth is absolutley false.
    We (and several branches of the U.S. Government) conducted a soil survey at the Hotel to check the claims of the mineral deposits.
    Guess what we found?