Mellen’s Halloween ‘Fun’: Stanley Hotel

Stanley HotelOpening for business on July 4, 1909, this 104-room Neo-Georgian hotel in Estes Park, Colorado overlooking the Rockies built by inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley became a mecca for the rich and famous. A few of the notables who enjoyed a relaxing stay included the RMS Titantic survivor Margaret Brown, composer John Philip Sousa, US President Theodore Roosevelt, as well as the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The structure was also the inspiration and filming spot of the infamous Stephen King novel & film adaption as well as the television series sharing the title of ‘The Shining’ after Mr. King stayed at the hotel in room 217. (Proudly to this day, the movie, ‘The Shining’, is continually played, looped as you may call it, on channel 42 in all of its guest rooms.) And although this resort is commonly booked-full during ‘season’ with pay guests and para-seekers, as ‘The Shining’ implies tis never without a few ‘other’ guests as well! The ShiningSome of the ghostly happenings have included … Mr. Stanley being spotted nearby the offices as if he never truly rested from working. At the bottom of main stair and billiard room both Mr. & Mrs. Stanley still appear to welcome guests, always dressed in their finest as Mrs. Stanley’s beautiful piano playing echoes through the vast halls from the ballroom. The Earl of Dunraven, the previous owner of the land on which this fine hotel was built, is said to also haunt room 407. The mysterious aroma of a pipe filled with cherry-tobacco fills the room according to patrons. Endless staff and guests alike have reported hearing ghostly voices and footsteps down the endless halls, endured their hands being touched as well as their clothing tugged upon, and several guests have complained to have found blankets taken from them then folded neatly while they slept. But it’s the ghost of small children which really peaks the interests and heart strings of those who patronize or work at the Stanley! Room 217, where Stephen King stayed and was inspired to compose ‘The Shining’, was also the site of an accident which almost took the life of housekeeper, Elizabeth Wilson, when a slow gas leak almost killed her. It wasn’t until after death in the mid-1950s when strange happenings within this room was reported by not-so-lucky guests who lost sleep due to doors slamming, lights turnings off & on all by unseen hands. Room 217Purportedly, though, room 418 is considered the most active of the haunted hotel, by staff and guests. At night, images of phantom children have been heard as they play in the halls leading to this room. The impressions of bodies, as if someone laid on room 418’s bed prior to guests checking-in, is a regular occurrence reported. But it’s the ghost of a small child who has been seen and heard calling-out for its nanny which leaves many frozen in fear! The Shanley is still open-to-the-public; especially embracing its para-history – proudly telling the ghostly tales with over-night guests who dare stay even just one night. So should you have the courage to do the same, don’t be shy – you never know who you may meet during your stay – Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, a maid bound to her beloved job, or a few fun-seeking children playing a trick or two, on you! Remember, what ‘happens at the Stanley, stays at the Stanley‘ so even though you may be staying with ‘friends’, they’ll remain within the walls of this fine hotel awaiting your return! Enjoy, m’brave ones! Happy Halloween!   Hugs & happy hunting … Mellen