A Front View of the Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

The Haunted History of The Stanley Hotel: Inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining”

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has a storied history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel has welcomed a variety of celebrities since its opening in 1909. However, it is most famous for being the hotel where author Stephen King stayed when he wrote “The Shining,” a classic horror novel about a recovering alcoholic father and his clairvoyant son. The hotel embraces its association with the book and even plays the R-rated version of the first film adaptation on a 24-hour loop in all guest rooms.

A Front View of the Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

Built by Freelan O. Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame, on top of 35 acres of pristine land, the hotel offers beautiful views of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Famous guests over the years include Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor of Japan, and Titanic survivor Margaret Brown. Some claim that the hotel is haunted by benign spirits, including Stanley himself, who is said to roam the lobby and billiards room at night.

Estes Park, CO - October 31, 2020: View of the historic Stanley Hotel in the Rocky Mountains of Estes Park

Stephen King stayed in room 217 during his visit, which is referenced in the novel as a room to be avoided. However, in the 1980 film adaptation, the room number was changed to 237 due to concerns from the owners of the Timberline Lodge, where exterior shots were filmed. Despite this, the hotel remains closely associated with the novel and was even the location for a 1997 remake of the film. The hotel has also been featured on the Syfy show “Ghost Hunters,” with the hosts claiming to have experienced paranormal activity during their visit. People could be seen in the hallways and then hiding, children could be heard running and playing on the floors above them and cupboard doors unlocked and opened while one of the ghost hunters was staying the night in a guest room.

333 Wonderview Ave.
Estes Park, Colorado, 80517
United States






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