The Stanley Hotel                                             Back to Famous Haunted Places

by Walter Bissell
the stanley hotel
In 1906, Freelan Oscar Stanley, creator of the Stanley Steam
Engine, purchased 160 acres of land from the Irish Earl Lord
Dunraven near Estes Park, Colorado.  Freelan and his brother
Francis were the founders of the Stanley Steamer Company
and had made their fortune manufacturing a steam-powered
automobile that many Americans called a “horseless carriage.”  
In 1907, F. O. Stanley began construction of a magnificent Georgian style, 135-room hotel
designed to impress even the wealthiest of the wealthy.  The Stanley Hotel located at 333
Wonderview was a grand sight with the majestic Rocky Mountains for its backdrop.  The
hotel opened in 1909 and played host to many famous guests including “The Unsinkable
Molly Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of
Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.”  Author Steven King was a guest at the
Stanley Hotel for five months where he began writing “The Shining.”

It was reported that Steven entertained special guests of his own during his stay on the
hotel’s 2nd floor.  He complained about a young child that kept running up and down the
halls calling for his nanny.  Other guests that stay in room 217 have had trouble sleeping,
because of the noise of children playing in the hallway all night.  When they complained to
the hotel’s staff, they were told “there were no children booked in the hotel at that time.”  
However it is room 418 that gets the most reports of haunting activity, apparently from
children’s spirits.  “Tour guides tell a story of the ghost of a small child who has been seen
by many of the staff in various areas of the old hotel.”

The entire 4th floor is said to be haunted.  There have been many reports by guests of
haunting activities in Room 401.  Lord Dunraven is said to be seen standing in the corner
of room 407 near the bathroom door.  “At other times, a ghost has been reported to be
looking out the window of Room 407, when the room is not booked.”  Chambermaids
report hearing footsteps and many strange noises from the room, as well as seeing
impressions on the bed even though no one is lying there.  Other employees report hearing
footsteps and seeing apparitions throughout the building.

Other areas of the hotel are said to be haunted as well.  The most notable ghost is F.O.
Stanley himself who “is most often seen in the lobby and the Billiard Room, which was his
favorite room when he was still alive.”  He appeared in the Billiard Room to a tour group as
they visited the hotel.  Bartenders have also reported that they have seen F.O. stroll through
the bar and then disappear near the kitchen entrance.

Flora Stanley also haunts the hotel, continuing to entertain guests with her piano playing in
the ballroom.  Many who have heard the music also have seen the keys moving on the
piano.  Those who have the courage to take a closer look say that when they approach the
piano the music stops and the keys stop moving.

As of this writing, evening ghost tours of the Stanley Hotel are offered weekly for an
admission fee of only $10.00.  Ghost hunters are invited to “Come hear the music play.”  
The Stanley Hotel is a Cabaret.  “Come to the Cabaret.”

Ghost Pictures taken at Stanley Hotel:
Stanley Hotel Ghost Picture   
Stanley Hotel Ghost Tour Picture
The Stanley Hotel Ghost Photo

For more information visit the official Stanley Hotel website:
The Stanley Hotel
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