If you ever visit the state of Colorado, you won’t want to miss The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. You don’t have to be a paranormal investigator to feel the supernatural activity on the property.
With a reputation for being one of the most haunted hotels in the world, the Stanley has become a place that has not only attracted paranormal investigators, but also the famous and ordinary people from around the globe. In addition to an overnight stay, the hotel also offers fascinating history and ghost tours.
The opening of the Stanley was on July 4, 1909. American inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley spent three years building the 8-acre hotel. When the Stanley first opened its doors, it only catered to the wealthy. The large property includes 420 rooms and spectacular panoramic views of Lake Estes. It is located just five miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.
With decades of business, events and human activity, the hotel has earned its fame for being a property filled with intense supernatural energy. Over the years, there have been many reports from hotel staff and guests who say they see ghosts of guests and employees who have passed away. There are also reports of sightings of Freelan Oscar Stanley and his wife Flora.
The Ghost and History Tour: My Compelling Experience
In early March of 2017, I was excited to finally take my first steps into The Stanley Hotel. Although I did not stay overnight, I purchased a ticket for a history and ghost tour. The journey lasted about an hour and a half. Despite always doubting the existence of the supernatural, I left my closed-minded attitude at home. Fortunately, there were only five people in our group. With less attendees, I had more opportunities to ask questions.
Prior to proceeding to the billiard room on the first floor, the tour guide wanted to first tell us about her preference when referring to dead people. Instead of calling them “ghosts,” she wanted us to refer to them as intelligent spirits. I must say that it was quite difficult to not call them ghosts or simply spirits. I have never heard of the term “intelligent spirits”.
After given permission to take as many pictures as we desired, I decided to take full advantage of it. Luckily, I brought my cell phone with me.
The Billiard Room
Our first stop was the Billiard Room.
This is where I learned about about an American flag like no other. Our tour guide said there were guests who say they see Freelan Stanley in the flag.
In the billiard room there is a framed American flag. According to the tour guide, it belonged to Freelan Stanley. It was given back to the hotel in his honor. Over the years, there has been discoloration that is said to have caused an interesting visual. That is, the face of Mr. Stanley. Another thing our tour guide told us was that despite reports of seeing Stanley’s face in the American flag, there has yet to be a investigation of any kind to substantiate the claim.
Unfortunately, there was an imminent event that had prevented our group from entering the ballroom. All I could do is take a quick picture from the outside. The ballroom in the hotel is a well known area for ghost activity. That is, many reports of Flora Stanley playing the piano.
The Vortex: An Area With Intense Energy
This is an image of an area of the hotel our tour guide referred to as the “vortex.” Although I did not know what she meant, I was intrigued. There are two sets of staircases on each side of the building. Each staircase joins all four floors of the hotel. According the tour guide, the intense energy from the presence of spirits throughout the building, as well as the energy coming from the Earth, has created an extremely strong surge of energy. She mentioned this location as being an area reported to contain spirits who are almost always children.
Before we moved on from the vortex, we were first asked to feel the energy ourselves with our own hands. Most people in our small group said they did feel the energy. For me, I didn’t notice much of a difference. That is, until just moments later when I got near room #217.
Room 217: The Home Of A Dead Housekeeper
In spite of hearing a bunch of spooky tales about ghosts since I was a child, I never believed them. My only explanation for the claims was that either the stories were all made up, or the people who thought they actually saw spirits, saw nothing. Instead, I believed their brain was playing tricks on them. Little did I know that my beliefs would change from just one experience on a hotel tour.
As we proceeded near room #217, I felt an extreme force of energy I’ve never felt before. The closer I got to the room, the stronger it got. After this particular experience, the belief that ghosts exist, quickly turned from nothing but complete nonsense, to a possibility.
Who Is Elizabeth Wilson?
In the early infancy of The Stanley Hotel, a woman by the name of Elizabeth Wilson worked as the chief housekeeper. In 1911, she was working in room 217. Unfortunately, in the middle of lighting acetylene lanterns, a gas leak occurred. The leak created an explosion sending Wilson through the hotel floor. Although she survived the horrible accident with nothing worse than a pair of broken ankles, she was found buried underneath two floors of debris.
Sightings Of Wilson
In the 1950s, Elizabeth Wilson died from natural causes. Today, many people believe she still hangs out in the same room she literally fell through decades earlier. Guests report a variety of activity from her spirit including:
-Claims of guests items being moved around the room.
– Packed luggage becomes unpacked luggage.
-Lights turning on and off.
-Some couples who are unmarried report experiencing some sort of force between them. They say this force is only felt while they are laying in bed. This suggests that the spirit may be trying to keep them apart.
Jim Carey’s Stay In Room 217
Regular guests are not the only ones who have paid a visit to the Stanley. Actor Jim Carey booked a room during the time he was filming his 1994 comedy Dumb and Dumber. What better room to stay in than one of the most haunted rooms in the entire hotel?
Carey picked room 217 for his overnight stay. Interestingly, according to our tour guide, he didn’t even make it through the night. Apparently, he was so terrified, he did not want to be left alone. Instead of just trying to stick it out for the night, he made his crew get another hotel for him to stay at. Whatever Jim Carey saw that night, it must have been petrifying. He still has yet to describe exactly what happened the night he was all alone in that room.
Stephen King’s Stay In Room 217
In 1974, Stephen King came to Colorado and stayed the night at The Stanley. According to StanleyHotel.com, King’s visit left him frightened. However, his stay at the hotel helped him come up with the outline for his 1977 Gothic horror novel The Shining.
This is an image of the original movie script for The Shining film from 1980 by Stanley Kubrick. I took this picture from the basement where our group had gathered before the tour started.
The Original Underground Walkway For Hotel Employees
This is an image of the original walkway used by hotel employees. Due to the shifting of the Rocky Mountains, the caves have slowly filled in, resulting in reconstruction of the basement.
Room 428: The Man With A Cowboy Hat
Our next stop was by room #428. We were told that guests in this room have reported seeing a shadow figure of a man who wears a cowboy hat. Oddly, he will only show himself just moments before a guest falls asleep. It must be frustrating for guests because as soon as they get out their cameras to shoot an image of him, he disappears into thin air. To this day, his spirit remains a mystery. Not even paranormal investigators can get a photo of the man.
One Man’s Shocking Photo That Went Viral
Henry Yau is an ordinary man from Houston, Texas. He is the director of public relations at the Children’s Museum of Houston. In mid-April of 2016, Yau went to visit Denver for his birthday. During his visit, he stopped by the Stanley Hotel. While his goal was to get a good a panoramic image of the hotel lobby. Instead, he may have also gotten a figure of a ghost.
The next morning, he decided to take a look at the photos he took at the hotel. This is when he noticed the ghostly figure. Yau insists that there was no one at the top of the staircase when he took the image. He claimed he waited until everyone was out of the way. Over night, Yau’s story went viral. Just when you thought if couldn’t get more interesting.
According to a paranormal investigator, there is not one, but two figures in the photo. Investigator Kevin Sampron says the second ghostly figure is located to the left of the first figure.
For more on this fascinating story, listen to Yau’s full interview on 9news.
After taking an exciting tour through one of the most haunted hotels around, I can definitely say I am a bit more open-minded to the possibility that there are spirits roaming the planet. Although I do not like the thought of spirits walking among the living, I want to continue investigating for any paranormal activity until I am fully convinced that it exists. That might require a little more evidence than the intense energy I felt when I was near room #217.
After my experience at The Stanley Hotel tour, my next plan is to book a room for an overnight stay. My first preference is either room 217 or 428. Perhaps one day I will find evidence that will drive me to explore other well-known haunted areas around the world.
This is a guest post written by a contributor. Kirin Johnson is a blogger who enjoys writing about the many unsual things going on in the world. Although there are many different topics she likes writing about, some of her favorite topics are bizarre web pages, weird stories that go viral and the paranormal. You can find Kirin on her Google Plus page.