The Stanley Hotel: The Haunted Hotel That Inspired Stephen King

If you’re here on this blog reading this article, chances are that you are a fan of both traveling and weird/creepy stuff. So if you are looking to combine these two passions of yours, I have a great suggestion for your next trip: a night at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado!

The Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park, Colorado. It’s just five miles away from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers panoramic views of Lake Estes, the Rocky Mountains, and Long’s Peak. This hotel is over 100 years old, as it was opened on July 4, 1909. At first, it wasn’t an actual hotel. Instead, it was considered a resort for the upper-class and a health retreat for people who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis.

But the one thing that this hotel is best known for is the fact that it inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s bestselling novel The Shining. The Stanely Hotel was even one of the filming locations for the 1997 TV miniseries The Shining.

Why do people think that this hotel is haunted?

While the Stanley Hotel sounds like a wonderful place to rest and recharge your batteries, as it includes a spa, bed & breakfast, and a restaurant, a lot of people actually visit this place for different reasons. Because rumor has it that this hotel is actually haunted.

It all started in 1974 when Stephen King and his wife Tabitha spent a night at the Stanley Hotel in Room 217. Not long after arriving at their room, they discovered that they were the only overnight guests. They were the only guests having dinner at the restaurant and were only accompanied by chilling orchestral music.

Later, King said that on the first night they stayed at the hotel, he had a dream that gave him the idea for his best-selling book. He explained: “I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies. By the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”


Is the hotel really haunted?

This question is impossible to answer. You would have to book a night at the hotel and decide for yourself. However, there are many people who wholeheartedly believe that it is. The Stanley Hotel also doesn’t shy away from its reputation as one of America’s most haunted hotels. They offer different spirit tours and even have an on-site psychic.

Out of the more than 400 rooms, those that are rumored to be the most haunted are rooms 401, 407, 428, and of course, room 217. The management of the hotel claims that the number plate of room 217 gets stolen every week, by sneaky Stephen King fans taking a tour of the hotel. So if you are feeling brave, book a night in one of these rooms. Who knows, maybe you’ll feel inspired and spooked out, too.

Kanita Bajrami

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