A Haunting Invitation – My Experience at the Stanley Hotel

You may have heard of the Stanley Hotel in the mountains of Estes Park, Colorado. In 1903, this was paradise for a couple named Freelan and Flora Stanley. Due to health reasons, they had to reside in the valley.
To Mr. Stanley’s surprise, just one season in the valley improved his health and so he vowed to return every summer for the rest of his life.
In 1909, he and his wife decided to build a grand hotel which is still standing today, known as the Stanley Hotel.


movie poster, the shining

By the 1970’s
, the hotel was rundown due to lack of care and investment. However, an author named Stephen King sought for shelter due to a storm that was on the horizon. He and his wife had the whole hotel to themselves for one night. That was all that was needed to bring the Stanley Hotel back to life again making it famous in more ways than one.

His story, The Shining is based on his stay in room 217 where he had a nightmare about his son who was being chased down the hallways of the hotel. Other celebrities have also experienced paranormal activity in this hotel. 

In 1994, while Jim Carrey was filming the movie, Dumb and Dumber at the hotel, he had a paranormal experience that caused him to never want to speak of nor step back onto the property again,

A housekeeper was also injured in an accident in room 217 as well. She was cleaning the room where she lit a candle which led to an explosion causing the roof to fall on top of her. She survived thankfully, and Mr. Stanley ended up taking care of her and her bills for the rest of her life due to this unfortunate incident.
The Stanley Hotel is also well known for the ghosts of Mr. & Mrs. Stanley that are believed to reside there.

My Haunted Experience

 I got the pleasure of staying there myself in 2018, as a birthday gift from my family. As an amateur ghost investigator, I was over the moon and needed to bring my ghost equipment along with me.

My boyfriend at the time, who is a skeptic, also stayed on the 4th floor which was the most haunted floor reported. When we got there, it was the most overwhelming sight I had ever seen. The grounds around the hotel were spacious yet beautiful while giving us the feeling of a haunting invitation. 

The maze outside wasn’t like the movie but it was cool anyway. The hotel inside was everything I imagined it would be; similar to the movie The Shining. It was filled with vintage furniture and accent pieces with history swirling around you. 

Wanting to explore the hotel, I could feel my anxiousness. Their elevator was like a scene from the Twilight Zone, but it is one of a kind.



One of the cavernous hallways at the Stanley Hotel - the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining. Image via Google.

 The room we stayed in was number 411, which had no other rooms on either side, so it was nice.

Our first experience we had was on night one. We decided to go to happy hour and check out the bar. I left my recorder on the nightstand and announced to the room that if anyone was here, to please talk to my recorder once I left.

Later that night I decided to listen to my recorder to see if I had caught anything and an exciting moment happened.
I got my first “CLASS A” EVP of what sounds like a woman that answered me. I was so excited that I was hitting my boyfriend and yelling “Oh My God!”

I told him to listen and when he did, his face turned white. I felt after that night, he turned into a believer. I was so floored that I messaged the founder of my paranormal team OC Ghost and Legends, Cris August, and told him that I may have caught an E.V.P.  Of course, he was excited as well. 

So, I jumped into action right there and did my own investigation. My K-II meter lit up like Christmas when being asked if it was a woman or Mrs. Stanley. 

I believed I was speaking to her, which made it more exciting. The next few days I left my recorder and we got all sorts noises. To add more of a “Shining” vibe, it dumped tons of snow that week. For the next 4 nights, we felt so uneasy just to close our eyes.

We decided to take the ghost tour that was part of the package and toured the whole property at night. We got to hear all the ghost stories that have occurred over the years.

From the Ballroom where they say Mrs. Stanley likes to play the piano, to the Men’s club where they would drink and smoke their cigars, and we also saw their pet cemetery where the Stanley’s buried their pets.

No, Stephen King wasn’t inspired by this when be penned “Pet Cemetery” in case you were wondering.   

We also got to see the tunnels that the workers used to get from one end to another. Lastly, one of the ghost shows got an unbelievable EVP from their visit. Overall, my experience at this magnificent hotel will be one that I will never forget. My advice to fellow ghost seekers are to go and have your own experiences -you won’t regret it.


Christine Boonchareon

** This blog consists of opinions that reflect on a variety of topics within the paranormal realm and anomalous research. Statements on this blog reflect the author’s personal opinions and do not represent the overall views and/or policies of our organization.
OC Ghosts and Legends promotes an environment for our team members to be able to share thoughts, ideas and theories of the paranormal with respect to our team mission and philosophy. All content provided is for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only

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