The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room Georgian hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Located within sight of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Stanley offers panoramic views of the Rockies. It was built in 1909 by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame and catered to the rich and famous. The hotel and its surrounding lands are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Stanley has hosted many famous guests, including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities. The Stanley Hotel also hosted Stephen King, inspiring him to write The Shining. Contrary to information sometimes published King was living in Boulder at the time and did not actually write the novel at the hotel. Parts of the mini-series version of The Shining were filmed there, although it was not used for Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic version.
The Stanley Hotel shows the uncut R-rated version of Kubrick’s The Shining on a continuous loop on Channel 42 on guest room televisions
In 1903, F. O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, came to Estes Park for his health. Stanley suffered from tuberculosis and came West at his doctor’s suggestion. The doctor arranged for the couple to stay in a cabin in Estes Park for the summer. Immediately, they fell in love with the area and Stanley’s health began to dramatically improve. Impressed by the beauty of the valley and grateful for the improvement in his health, he decided to invest his money and his future there. In 1909, he opened the elegant Stanley Hotel, a classic hostelry exemplifying the golden age of touring.
After spending the summer in the cabin, Flora wanted a home like the one she had left in Maine. Their home was built about one-half mile west of where the Stanley Hotel would later be built. Today the house is a private residence.
Stanley built the hotel on land that he purchased from the English Earl Lord Dunraven. Dunraven came to the area in 1872 while on a hunting trip. He built a hunting lodge, cabin, and hotel for his guests and illegally homesteaded up to 15,000 acres (61 km2) in an unsuccessful attempt to create a private hunting preserve. Dunraven, was finally run out of the area after trying to swindle folks out of their land and money.
Vintage Stanley Steamer in hotel lobbyIn 1907, construction started on the Stanley Hotel. Wood and rock were obtained from the nearby mountains and the hotel was built in the Georgian architectural style, which experienced a revival in the early Twentieth century. Equipped with running water, electricity, and telephones, the only amenity the hotel lacked was heat, as the hotel was designed as a summer resort.
The neoclassical hotel was the inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel The Shining. While he and his wife were staying at the Stanley, King conceived the basic idea for the novel. The 1997 television miniseries version of The Shining was filmed at the Stanley, and it has been used as a location site for other films as well, most notably as the “Hotel Danbury” in Dumb and Dumber.
In May 2006, investigators with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) investigated the hotel for the SciFi Channel program Ghost Hunters. TAPS returned to the hotel on October 31st, 2006 for a live, six hour follow-up investigation.
First Broadcast : 11th November 2008
A self confessed super fan of Most Haunted and editor of GhostMag.com. Matt’s passion for ghost hunting began when he moved into a haunted house in his second year of university in Leicester! His favourite location is the Niddry Street Vaults in Edinburgh.