The Mysterious Stanley Hotel – Above Ordinary

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

The mysterious  Stanley Hotel touts itself as a hotel “7500 feet above ordinary.” Listed on the Historic Registry and featured as one of the most haunted hotels in America, I definitely agree. My husband and I had the pleasure of staying there on a number of occasions.

With Interesting:
  • guests including frequent visitors from various “ghost buster” groups,
  • ghost tours,
  • museum pieces, and

    The Stanley Hotel, museum pieces.
    The Stanley Hotel — Museum Pieces
  • the fact that it inspired the setting for movies, a television series, and Stephen King’s book The Shining, as well as my own — Hidden Bloodlines, it’s a fun place to visit.

They even offer a Ghost Adventure Package. What would F.O. Stanley think? I wonder…

The Stanley Hotel, Steamer, Estes Park
The Stanley Hotel —

F.O. Stanley, famous for his Steamer among other things, moved west because of his health. He suffered from symptoms of consumption and found reprieve after he arrived in Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Excited about his health benefits, he wanted to build a hotel replete with all the eastern amenities he found the area lacking. He bought 160 acres from Lord Dunraven (more on him later) and initially built the main building of the Stanley Hotel. When it opened in 1909, it was the first hotel in the area to

Otis Elevator, Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel’s Otis Elevator 1909

offer posh amenities like electricity, telephones, bathrooms en suite, and automobiles. It attracted visitors from all over, especially those who searched for a similar reprieve for their health.

Stanley, in some form or another, helped develop the town. By 1917, the municipality was official with civic organizations, a power plant, and water works. Together with his wife Flora, he worked to create the Rocky Mountain National Park, probably his most lasting legacy. His efforts went a long way toward his friendship with

portrait F.O. Stanley, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Portrait of F.O. Stanley
The Stanley Hotel

Kyle Mills, a renowned naturalist.

By the 1970’s, this grand hotel was no longer grand. Faded by the wear and tear of time, it earned the reputation of being haunted. But for Stephen King’s stay which inspired his best-selling novel, The Shining, the hotel might have ceased to exist. In the next post on the Stanley Hotel, we’ll explore one of the most popular rooms in the hotel — the one frequented by many prominent guests and the ghost of Mrs. Wilson.

What historic hotels have you visited?

(C) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer

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