Spooky Stories: The ‘Shining’ Hotel


The Stanley Hotel has a haunted history and the ability to intrigue and inspire. Don’t be fooled, the hotel may have a beautiful view overlooking the mountain town of Estes Park, but it has a spooky past built on a combination of probable facts and events according to colorado.com. There are hotel guests and staff accounts of hearing disembodied voices, being touched by something or someone they can’t see, and other strange and unexplainable occurrences. 

The origin story of the hotel all began when inventor, Freelan Oscar Stanley, stricken with tuberculosis, traveled to the valley in hopes of getting his health back. Some say that Stanley was so ill that he was convinced he’d die from consumption, and was intent on passing in a beautiful place. Luckily his health was restored after just one summer, which he credited to the fresh air and abundant sunshine. 

Stanley and his wife, Flora, made plans to build a large hotel in Estes Valley. They succeeded, and it was opened in 1909. The hotel was surrounded by wilderness but had the luxury of electricity, telephones, modern bathrooms, a maid, and a cooking staff dressed in professional uniforms. For decades the Stanley had a reputation for being posh in a exclusive  destination that provided a restful, rejuvenating break from the busy East Coast lifestyles.

This all took a turn when the hotel fell into a grave of despair due to years of neglect, and lack of investment. The Stanley could’ve been demolished easily had it not been for a blizzard and a fateful string of occurrences involving a world famous author, Stephen King, who had an intriguing nightmare that took place in Room 217. 

The most famed spot in the Stanley Hotel, according to tripsavy.com, is Room 217. Horror writer, Stephen King, spent the night in the room and got inspiration for his 1977 bestseller “The Shining.” When King and his wife arrived at the hotel, it was closing down for the season and they actually the only overnight guests staying there. Their night consisted of having dinner in an empty dining room with pre recorded orchestra music, then retreating back to their room on the spacious and eerily empty second floor. 

King was woken up that night by a terrifying dream of his 3-year-old son being chased through the corridors and screaming. This caused King to jerk out of bed and step outside onto the balcony. This is how the plot of his book was formed. 

Source popsugar.com states that The Stanley Hotel offers the opportunity for guests to book specific rooms on the “active” fourth floor.  Guests on this floor report the most frequent paranormal activity. 

Even without its paranormal reputation, the Stanley Hotel is a beautiful, fascinating place to visit.