Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spooky Times at the Stanley Hotel

While we were in Estes Park, CO, we took a tour of the historic Stanley Hotel. The hotel was built by Freelan Oscar Stanley, who had moved to Colorado to overcome Tuberculosis. He and his wife originally lived in a small cabin. Later he built her a fine home. They wanted friends to come visit, so construction of a large guest retreat was begun in 1907. Later the 'guest retreat' became The Stanley Hotel. The hotel was the first building in Estes Park to have electricity. It also boasted running water and telephones.

Historic Image of Hotel

Stanley was quite the business entrepreneur. He was originally a photographer and invented a new means of coating photographic plates that cut the time to take a photo considerably. He eventually sold his process to George Eastman, of Eastman Kodak fame. Later, Stanley and his twin brother began to experiment with steam-driven cars. Their "Stanley Steamers" were among the fastest vehicles of the time.

A Stanley Steamer

The Stanley Hotel has become known for its paranormal activity. Guests often report ghostly activity in several of the rooms. Most of the reports are of non-threatening ghosts seen walking in the halls, playing the piano in the ballroom or visiting a few bedrooms. Children can sometimes be heard laughing and running in the 4th floor hallway. Stephen King spent an evening in the Hotel. His experiences inspired him to write "The Shining". His series of the same name was filmed, in part, at the hotel.

The Dining Room/Ballroom where ghosts are often seen

Visiting the Georgian style hotel is a wonderful way to take a step back in time and enjoy the luxuries of the past. The hotel grounds house a concert hall, which is also used for weddings and other gala events. There are two buildings for guests, the main hotel and the lodge. Originally single men stayed in the lodge as it was unseemly for unmarried men and women to mingle. The hotel originally had two sweeping staircases coming up to a long, covered porch. The paved area in front of the hotel forms a half circle that is the perfect turning radius for the Stanley Steamers that would drop guests off, or pick them up at the stairs. From the porch, guests enter a beautiful lobby with another grand staircase leading up to the guest rooms. Moving left through the lobby, guests enter the ballroom and dining room. This is one area where ghostly activity is often reported. I won't tell you all of the stories, as I'd hate to 'ruin' your own experience if you ever have the opportunity to tour the hotel!

The Hotel as it looks today

Although I am not a huge believer in ghosts... neither am I a disbeliever. The fact that my iPhone would not take a picture of one artifact in the ballroom was a bit odd.

Ghostly interference?
or
just a technical glitch?

The problem cleared up as soon as I stepped out of the room. 

Spooky! 

8 comments:

  1. i love the idea of ghosts being real, but I think this is because it's comforting to know that loved ones that have been lost are still near you. It sounds so odd about your phone though maybe more goes on, on this world than we realise!

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  2. Cool! That place is huge! I say the ghosts did not want you to get the photo :)

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  3. I've lived here my whole live, within 45 minutes of the Stanley and have never taken the tour. Maybe I should, sounds like fun.

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  4. Fun post, Dreaming! I would definitely like to stay in the Stanley Hotel! I read King's novel before I had any clue I would live in Colorado! Hope all is well with you!

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  5. I love old and ghostly places like this one. A great looking hotel with many stories to tell.

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  6. That is one cool place! I have never been able to sit through all of The Shining..too scary. Yes, I believe there are ghosts..I have one at the museum. I didn't use to be a believer in ghosts..but I am now:)

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