“The Eerie Enigma: Exploring the Haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park”

By Bob •  Updated: 12/30/23 •  5 min read

The Eerie Enigma: Exploring the Haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park


Nestled in the picturesque town of Estes Park, Colorado, stands a historic landmark with a reputation that sends shivers down the spines of thrill-seekers and history lovers alike. The Stanley Hotel, often referred to as one of America’s most haunted hotels, has become an enigmatic destination for those intrigued by the paranormal. In this blog post, we will delve into the haunted legends surrounding the Stanley Hotel and explore its eerie allure.

History of the Stanley Hotel

Before we delve into the supernatural tales, it’s essential to understand the origins of this iconic hotel. The Stanley Hotel was built by Freelan O. Stanley, co-inventor of the famous Stanley Steamer automobile, and his wife Flora in 1909. The couple envisioned a luxurious retreat amidst Colorado’s stunning Rocky Mountains.

With its grand architecture and breathtaking views, the hotel quickly became a hotspot for wealthy vacationers seeking solace in nature’s embrace. Over time, it transformed into a hub for social gatherings and hosted notable events such as lavish parties attended by prominent figures like Theodore Roosevelt.

The Haunted Legends Surrounding the Stanley Hotel

As with any historic building that has stood for over a century, ghost stories and legends have woven their way into its narrative. The Stanley Hotel is no exception; it is believed to be teeming with spirits from another realm.

One popular legend involves F.O. Stanley himself; he is said to still roam around Room 217—the same room where he resided during his stays at his beloved hotel. Guests have reported encountering an elderly gentleman who resembles F.O. Stanley standing at their bedside or even assisting them with unpacking their luggage.

Other guests have encountered spectral piano music echoing through empty hallways or witnessed apparitions in period clothing wandering aimlessly throughout various parts of the building.

Ghostly Encounters: Famous Haunting Cases at the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel has experienced numerous ghostly encounters throughout the years, making it a paranormal hotspot. One particularly chilling incident took place in 1974 when author Stephen King and his wife stayed at the hotel during its offseason. King’s experiences during that stay inspired his renowned novel, “The Shining.”

Guests and staff members have reported unexplained phenomena such as doors opening and closing on their own, lights flickering inexplicably, and the feeling of an unseen presence whispering in their ears. Some even claim to have seen full-bodied apparitions roaming the hallways or witnessed objects moving without any logical explanation.

Stephen King’s Inspiration: The Shining

Stephen King’s stay at the Stanley Hotel left an indelible mark on him, inspiring him to write one of his most iconic novels— “The Shining.” While he took creative liberties with the story, many elements from his experience at the hotel found their way into this chilling tale.

King’s depiction of Room 217 in “The Shining” mirrors his encounter with a spirit in that very room. This connection between Stephen King and the Stanley Hotel has undoubtedly added to its allure as a haunted destination for horror enthusiasts.

Paranormal Investigations at the Stanley Hotel

Given its reputation as a hotbed of paranormal activity, it comes as no surprise that many professional paranormal investigators have flocked to the Stanley Hotel. These investigations aim to capture evidence of supernatural occurrences through various methods such as electronic voice phenomena (EVP) recordings, infrared cameras, and sensory equipment.

Some investigators claim to have captured compelling evidence during their visits—recordings of disembodied voices whispering cryptic messages or shadowy figures captured on camera. While skeptics may dismiss these findings as mere coincidences or tricks of light, they only serve to deepen the mystique surrounding this haunted establishment.

Unique Attractions: Exploring Beyond Ghosts at the Stanley Hotel

While the paranormal allure of the Stanley Hotel may be its main draw, there is much more to explore beyond its ghostly reputation. The hotel’s location in Estes Park offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, providing a perfect backdrop for hiking, wildlife spotting, and scenic drives.

Additionally, guests can partake in historical tours that delve into the hotel’s rich past or indulge in amenities such as luxurious spas and world-class dining experiences. Whether you are seeking ghostly encounters or simply looking for a memorable getaway, the Stanley Hotel has something to offer for everyone.

Visiting Tips: Planning Your Haunted Stay at The Stanley Hotel

If you are eager to experience the haunted legends surrounding the Stanley Hotel firsthand, planning your visit requires some careful consideration. Here are a few tips:

1. Room Choices: Consider booking a room with reported paranormal activity, such as Room 217 or 418.
2. Guided Tours: Take advantage of guided tours offered by the hotel to learn more about its history and ghostly tales.
3. Time Your Visit: If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, consider visiting during Halloween or other special events hosted by the hotel.
4. Be Respectful: Remember that even though this is considered a haunted location, it is still someone’s home and place of business—treat it with respect.


The haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park stands as an enigmatic testament to both architectural grandeur and supernatural tales that have captivated visitors from around the world. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there’s no denying that this remarkable establishment has become synonymous with mystery and intrigue.

So, if you’re ready to embrace your inner thrill-seeker or explore history through an eerie lens, pack your bags and embark on a haunting journey to Estes Park’s most famous landmark—the haunted Stanley Hotel awaits your arrival.