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    Monday, January 15, 2018

    Haunted Hotel Stanley

    Haunted Hotel Stanley

    The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has the unusual distinction that it not only terrified horror writer Stephen King, it also inspired him to write one of his most popular novels.

    King and his wife Tabitha stayed at the hotel in late September 1974. They were the only guests as the hotel was shutting for the winter the next day. That night, King had a nightmare in which his three-year old son was being chased through the corridors of the hotel by a strange entity. He woke up and jotted down some notes which would later become the plot for The Shining.

    However, not all guests at the Stanley have been able to convert their unease into a best-selling novel and this is known as one of the most haunted hotels in America.

    The Stanley was completed in 1909 and was one of the first hotels in this part of America to have electric lights – the hotel had its own hydro-electric plant to supply electricity to its 140 guest rooms. The hotel immediately proved popular, but several of the guest rooms have a reputation for being haunted.

    Room 428 is haunted by the ghost of a man in Cowboy dress. One couple awoke to find the ghost pacing back and forth at the end of their bed, but he left when they asked him to go. Female guests have reported waking to find the Cowboy leaning over them, seemingly about to place a kiss on their heads.

    Room 418 is said to be haunted by young children who can be heard giggling, talking and running by guests who stay in this room. Room 418 is also known as a room where there are indentations in the bed, as if someone has been lying on it, even when there has been no-one in the room. Some guests have also reported bed covers being pulled off the bed in this room and the bathroom light switching itself on and off.

    Nearby Room 401 is also said to be haunted, though this time by the person who sold the land on which the Stanley Hotel was built. Thomas Wyndham-Quin, the Fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was never a guest in the hotel when he was alive but a shadowy figure has been seen in this room on several occasions which is presumed to be him due to the presence being accompanied by the smell of the pipe tobacco he was so fond of.

    This ghost is said to be particularly welcoming to women guests, who often feel an arm around their shoulder or their hair being stroked. Male guests on the other hand seem to be less welcome and often complain of an oppressive atmosphere in this room.

    The Concert Hall at the hotel is also said to be haunted. Sometimes, the sound of someone playing the piano can be heard when the hall is empty. This is claimed to be the ghost of Flora Stanley, wife of the man who originally had the hotel built, who enjoyed picking out tunes on one of the pianos in the Concert Hall.

    The ghost of a young girl named “Lucy” is also often seen in the Concert Hall and is believed to be responsible for lights being switched on and off and the sound of melodic humming.

    However, the most haunted room in the Stanley Hotel is said to be Room 217, the room in which Stephen King spent the night in 1974. This room has been the location for a number of odd happenings including items being moved around the room, lights turning off and on and even luggage being carefully unpacked and placed on the bed.

    The paranormal events reported in this room are often linked to an explosion which happened here on June 25th, 1911. However, there is more than a little confusion about precisely what did happen.

    On June 26th, the Denver Times and the Denver Post reported that a maid named Elizabeth Lambert was killed when she inadvertently ignited leaking gas in room 217. The Fort Collins Weekly Courier agreed that the maid was killed, but confidently named her as Lizzie Leitenbergher.

    However, the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Rocky Mountain reported the same story by noting that the maid was named Elizabeth Wilson and that she survived the explosion but suffered two broken ankles. All we can be certain of is that something happened in Room 217 in 1911 and that this Room now seems to be the focus of a number

    The Stanley Hotel was one of the first to recognise that having haunted rooms doesn’t discourage guests from visiting a hotel. In fact, quite the reverse. The Stanley Hotel organised Ghost Tours, taking guests to the most haunted parts of the hotel and explaining its history and welcomed investigators from a number of popular ghost hunting television shows including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.

    The result? People flocked to stay at this historic hotel and often insisted on staying in some of the reputedly most haunted rooms.

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