Stanley Hotel: Haunted Hospitality


Boscoe Slann

The Stanley Hotel is one of Colorado’s famous locations made especially popular by someone famous (other than South Park, of course). This hotel sits in Estes Park, with the architecture of the Stanley hotel adding onto the area’s established beauty. Stephen King stayed there, which inspired him to write “The Shining,” with it basically saving th­e hotel’s business. It’s now a very well-known hotel with plenty of haunted rooms and plenty of history.

First, the history. It began in 1903 when a self-made inventor, Freelan Oscar Stanley arrived in Estes Valley (currently Estes Park). He was weak and underweight from the symptoms of Tuberculosis, but after just one season he felt almost brand new. After that, he decided to return every summer there for the rest of his days. Since he was more used to the fanciness of the east coast, he saw potential for sophistication in this small community. He decided with his wife that they would build a hotel, and in only a few years, the hotel opened in 1909. Stanley helped the town immensely from his time there. Power Plants, water-works and civic organizations at Estes Park are all in some way thanks to Stanley. But, by the 1970’s, the hotel was slowly deteriorating without the funds to repair. But, the saving grace of the hotel was legendary author Stephen King. He only stayed for only one night, but a nightmare of a possessed fire hose strangling his son pretty much inspired his writing for his first hardcover bestseller, “The Shining”.

The Shining is a novel written by Stephen King, which was first published in 1977. It’s a horror book that centers around the Torrance family, Jack, Wendy and Danny. This book might have been one of the main things that saved the hotel. When the book was published and became a bestseller, it absolutely brought traffic there. The book was considered a cult classic. It became so big to where it was referenced frequently in TV and movies, and even in the Simpsons.

Now that the hotel has so many updates and has become so popular, people from all over come to stay.  The infamous room 217, where Stephen King stayed, is also stocked with his books. Even some scenes from Dumb and Dumber were filmed there, which spiked an interest for fans to see at the hotel. One of the lead actors, Jim Carrey also stayed in room 217 which made it a popular room to stay in.

The Stanley hotel is pretty crucial in how Estes Park is still standing today. The book “The Shining” is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other seemingly haunted rooms, with it being strange because you’d never expect a building built so recent and in such good condition to be that haunted; you usually only expect a run down hotel to be haunted, maybe an abandoned asylum or hospital. If you ever feel like checking out beautiful sights, or checking out a hotel from your favorite movie/book, try heading to the Stanley Hotel! The tour is fun, but be warned if you stay there, the room prices can be scarier than the ghosts.