The Haunted Stanley Hotel of Estes Park

Posted on October 19, 2007

Did you see Stephen King’s The Shining? The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado (About 45 minutes away from Boulder) was King’s inspiration for the movie. The hotel has been reported to be haunted be a few ghosts.

The Shining wasn’t shot at the hotel even though many people think it was. When King began work on the novel he actually locked himself up in room number 217.

When the Stanley Hotel opened it’s doors in 1909 it was the only hotel anywhere in the world to have electric power. The hotel was originally owned by Lord Dunraven and was later sold to Stanley Steamer inventor F. Stanley.

The ghost of Lord Dunraven has been reported to haunt the 4th floor. A lot of ghost activity has been reported near the bathroom door of room number 407. Hotel guests have also reported hearing child ghosts playing and laughing in the 4th floor hallway.

Haunted Stanley Hotel The ghost of Stanley seems to prefer the Billiard Room, which was one of his favorite places to hang out when he was living. The ghost of his wife, Flora, has also been reported to play the piano downstairs. The piano originally belonged to Flora and is over a century old.

The Stanley Hotel is so well known for it’s ghosts that it has become a tourist attraction, especially during the Halloween season.

To learn more about the Haunted Stanley Hotel visit their official website:

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43 Responses to “The Haunted Stanley Hotel of Estes Park”
  1. Jonwain Oquinn says:

    I have heard that the Stanley Hotel is Haunted . Any truth to this ? If so what is the most haunted room?

    • Mikayla says:

      They say that room 418 on the fourth floor is the most haunted. The fourth floor has had the most encounters, it used to be the “workers quarters” but is no longer , and they say its pretty haunted. Also the billarad room, and Lobby is where they say Mr.Stanleys ghost has been spotted most. Mrs.Stanley has been said to haunt the hotel as well, and play piano in the music room.

  2. Lucy says:

    I saw Taps there investigating. Let me just say that I would think twice about spending the night there.

    • Jonwain Oquinn says:

      Taps did a good job and I would stay. I dont think there any spirits there that can harm anyone.

  3. Traci says:

    My Mom was in Colorado visiting me last week, and we went on the ghost tour at The Stanley on 10/17/08. I was aware that generally, ghosts sometimes appear in mirrors, so when we were on the tour I took pictures of all the mirrors we came upon (at an angle so I wouldn’t be in the photos), and sure enough, one of our pics of the mirror in the Billiard Room has images of ghosts and what I think is a demon in it. I am looking into having the pic analyzed by a professional.

    We went to the hotel hoping to see something spooky, but now that we have photographic evidence of ghosts and even of a demon (I’ve read that the spirits/ghosts at The Stanley aren’t evil, but the one in our pic certainly appears to be evil), I will not be staying at the Hotel ever, like I had planned on in the past.

    And as an FYI, our tour was at 2:00 p.m., and there were no lights on in the Billiard Room when I took the picture.

  4. Bender says:

    I spent a night at this hotel being a Colorado native I have many opertunites to stat there and it pretty much is like a second home for me. I have spent one night in paticular there were I have had the door close on me on its own or my glasses droped and cracked

  5. Anonymous says:

    my mom had lunch there with my grandma and said it was relly scray

  6. Brittny says:

    I visted the hotel in the summer of 08 and i didnt have any encounters when i went, but I took several pictures of the hotel and when I came back home to Texas, I uploaded my pictures on to my computer and one picture caught my eye because I saw a face in the background and when i researched the hotel It had a picture of Mr. stanley which resembled the face in the picture.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is in response to Traci’s comment. My family stayed at The Stanley, Labor Day Weekend, 2008. We, too, caught a capture that appears demonic looking. To the right of that image appears to be another face; a face of a man. If you google: paranormal investigators “visitor submitted evidence” …you will find a website that when you click on “visitor submitted evidence” the full image with the entity in the shot and close up image of the entity can be found. The images were filtered, “cleaned up” so to speak. Two different paranormal investigators and a group of anyalysts from CA have deemed the shot paranormal and/or unexplainable. I was wondering if our capture looks anything like your capture. I sent the shots to that website; Tom (the webmaster?) had the pic analyzed. The second paranormal investigator I sent the pic to is Gina Lanier. She also said the pic is of an entity, not a ghost.

  8. cj says:

    Me and my aunt and my cousin were going to make a trip up there and stay a night , but since ihave done a little research i dont know if i want to.

  9. CuteSagittarius says:

    I would definitely wana visit this place if I ever get a chance. WoW! Stephen King got his inspiration from this hotel? Then it must be unusually special! “The Shining” is 1 of SK’s awWwsomest work, 1 of my favorites.

  10. Aleitheia says:

    Hi! Just wanted to comment that, though the film “The Shining” wasn’t shot there, the TV mini-series used The Stanley as one of their filming locations. Just watched it yesterday and saw that in the credits.

  11. Kiana says:

    I resently took a tour of the Stanley hotel.

    Our tour guide did an amazing job of getting us to interact with the ghost. My family and I took a few pictures, and some of our pictures had orbs of light. I guess those where ghosts.

    The tour took about an hour and a half and I would extremely recommend that tour to families that enjoy things like that.

  12. jonathan hall says:

    hi i am jonathan and i recently took a tour there and i had a encounter with a spirit. We had got to the fourth floor we were on the tour and me and my dad’s were against room 413. The tour guide was still talking something started rattling the door then all the sudden i heard foot steps right beside me and there was no body there. Then right after that the door started to rattle again. Then i heard foot steps right beside me and there was no body there. Then the tour guide was done and we started walk off me and my dad stayed in the back the whole time taking pitures so when we started walking off we heard the door rattling again and then all the sudden it stoped. After the tour was over i went to see if somebody was staying in the room and nobody was staying in that room. Me and my dad caught a old lady in mid 1800′s dress. And me and my dad caught a lot of orbs on camera.

  13. Babydoll says:

    In response to Jonathan… Um. Considering the hotel was built in the 1900′s, I doubt your story is true, simply because you claimed that the woman you caught was in 1800′s dress.

  14. Mister P. Lister says:

    I,ve heard King’s inspiration for the book was when he and his wife checked in. He was wondering the hotel halls, trying to find his way back to his room, But!!! he got lost. they say it was a scary moment for the master of horror.

    • Pat says:

      That is just what I heard! How funny that he got lost! Goes to show you how big that place really is!

  15. Wendi says:

    The Stanley Hotel is definitely haunted. If you want the real experience, you should stay there in the winter when the hotel is relatively unoccupied on the 4th floor like I did (I stayed there for 3 days in January-and those were the LONGEST 3 days). If I hadn’t been there for a work event, I would have left. The events I experienced were: ghost came into my room and actually SAT on me when I was laying down (felt like heavy, cold air, but I couldn’t move), there were footsteps and laughter starting at about 3 am until dawn, running up and down the hallway. Children mostly, but there was also an “adult.” There were heavy boots stomping up and down, first in the hallway, then in my room, so loud it rattled the glasses on the table. The second night the ghost sat on my bed and I told it to “get out” and it did. I had my eyes squeezed shut, but you could feel the bed sink down and the cold, heavy air again. At least I didn’t get pinned the second night. The other “odd” thing is when you are up on the 4th floor, you feel a sense of vertigo, or “claustrophobia.”

  16. Resqdvrchik says:

    Recently stayed at Stanley room 217 the closet is creepy but the bathroom door opened twice. 413 was really active several orbs on camera but I felt like someone touched my back twice and after hearing a thumping sound and peeking from the bathroom I swear I saw my boot was tipped on its heel and feel back in the standing position…I wasn’t sure if these things were just my mind playing tricks on me and explained them away but while laying in bed I heard noises in the closet and the door handle turned back and forth this was undeniable and right in front of my face I couldn’t explain it., and it happened a few times in a row. As for the door rattling just and FYI the draft coming from teh seals around teh windows causes it that one I was able to debunk>

  17. Anthony says:

    June 4, 2009,
    We stayed on the 4th floor. I had my son and nephew stand on front of room 401 to take some pictures. My wife was on the other side near the stairs. As I was about to take a picture, their heads were moving back and fourth. I asked what they were doing? My wife put her finger to her mouth as to be quiet and her head was also moving . Just then I heard some kids giggling and running from 401 to the stairs and back. We couldn’t believe it. We checked the 3rd floor for any signs of kids or people. ” nothing”. I can’t wait to go back !!

  18. Candice says:

    I recently stayed here at this hotel and i stay in room 409 i think, but im not sure.
    and i woke up at 5 am to something “tucking” me in. I flipped over to my stomach and it felt like a heavy person was sitting on my legs. And it hurt. Then i sat up and looked around and my friends were passed out.

    I woke up the next morning and told my friends mom, the tour guide, what happened and she told me that that is something that happens to alot of people.

    I definitely want to go back again sometime soon!

  19. Heather says:

    My family and I stayed at The Stanley over Christmas in 2007. It was an incredible experience. The staff is great, and the hotel itself is beautiful considering it’s age. It was all decked out for the holiday and there was snow on the ground. We did have some odd things happen while we were there, but it was such a wonderful mini-vacation that we will be staying at The Stanley again soon.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The Stanley Hotel was never owned by Lord Dunraven. In fact Lord Dunraven sold the land that the hotel was built on to Mr Stanley in 1907, the year construction began on the hotel. Mr. Stanley had initially considered naming the hotel after Lord Dunraven but the townspeople of Estes Park made it very clear that that would be unacceptable and asked him to name it after himself.

  21. Jamie Urland says:

    February 20, 2010

    My husband and I said at the Stanley for our anniversary. I have been facinated with it since I was a child and have now been there only twice. We checked into room 426 and then went to town to shop. When we got back to our room I was in the bathroom and grabbed the soap to wash my hands. As I was unwrapping the soap the hot water turned on by itself. Then at three in the morning my husband went outside to smoke and I was trying to get my coat on to go with him because I was not comfortable being alone. I hurried to try to catch up with him, but couldn’t. When I was still about 20 feet from the door it opened wide all by itself and slammed shut. When we came back into the hotel after that the door to room 418 was open slightly and the chain was attached at the top, but noone was in that room. I was really scared and can’t wait to go back and see what else happens.

    • Jon says:

      My family just stayed in room 418. the door chain has been anchored in at least 3 places on the door frame. Currently, the chain does not fit the other part of the lock on the door. It. will. not. lock.

      But the bathroom door will. Only from the inside and no easy way to unlock it from the outside if, say, one’s two-year-old got in there and decided to play with the lock. Glad we prevented that from happening.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I visisted the Stanley as well back in 07′ and went on the tour. Almost every picture taken had orbs or white spots in them. Even ones taken outside. Really creepy place but a beautiful one at that. I would go back in a heartbeat.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We stayed at the Stanley Hotel last Tuesday, 8-10-10, in room 413. Four of us stayed in that room. We had the same thing happen as far as the wind shaking the door, but, my wife was afraid of the closet, so I put the luggage rack and out large suitcase up against it. There are 2 beds in that room……we lost the toss and got the one next to the closet. Anyway, we woke in the morning with no happenings all night. My sister in law heard a big thump of some kind around 4am, but couldnt figure out what it was. When I got up, I turned towards the closet and it had been pushed open enough to shove the suitcase a bit. Strange. The 3 of them smoke, so , went outside in front of the Hotel. I was working on my laptop when I heard faint giggling. I got up from the table and looked at the TV….it was off. Then I heard faint chatter and giggling again. It was coming from the ceiling in the middle of the room. We were on the 4th floor, so there is nothing above us. Just as the sound went away, I heard the others trying to open the door. I was right in front of the door and thinking the card wasn’t working. But, when I opened the door, there was no one there. I turned to look and see if the window was opened and it was pretty much closed shut……when I turned to look in the hallway again, thats when something rushed around or through me. Instantly I felt a saddness or a frantic feeling come over me for a matter of seconds. Someone or something looking for the children? Don’t know, but, later, my sister in law felt the same thing at 4am and even cried and didn’t want to sound crazy so didn’t say anything to us. My brother in law told me she had said something to him. He didn’t say anything till I spoke of my experience. I would love to go back next year.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am one of the previous responses listed as “anonymous” and giving a response to Tracy. Our family stayed in room 413 during the weekend of Labor Day, 2008. Although I, too, remembered being very creeped out by the closet; to my knowledge nothing happened in that regard. What DID happen in that room the first night, besides the normal creaking sounds of an old hotel, caused me to try and evaluate it the next day. Just as we were all settling in for the night, and I was just about to fall asleep, I heard what sounded like a light “whisking” sound. Like either a broom being swept or someone’s gait whisking a long crinoline along the carpet. The sound was light and definitely between the door and the bed closest to the window. Pretty much the center of the room. At that time the curtains were still and no one in our family was up and about. The next day, I mentioned it to everyone and my son who was sitting in one of the chairs at the foot of the bed said, “Did it sound like this?” He lightly made the cushion move up and down. I was amazed. It sounded just like that. I then wondered if perhaps a “child” was jumping up and down in the seat. The only thing I was sure of was that no one was moving around the room at the time of sound and the sound did appear to be coming from that area.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This summer i had visited the hotel, its really neat even tho if your not staying they wont let you go up by the rooms, just the lobby, the back, and the cafe’. We had taken many many pictures and 2 out of all of them we had caught something. im not shur wat shurly and orb is but in the picture of the bar there had been multiple large orbs sitting in the chairs and sitting atop the bar.

  25. Christy says:

    My 3 sisters & I just stayed overnight @ the Stanley Hotel in room 401, which seems to be known for lots of activity. We had many incidents! We shut the drapes in the evening & went on our tour, and they were open when we came back. They said Lord Dunraven triesstays in that room & tries to take your jewelry. He kept trying to take my sister’s pretty bracelet -watch off her wrist, and my youngest sister’s rhinestone earring from her ear. We went on the ghost tour and two of the little spirit kids held my hands. We felt dizzy and sucked of energy in the spot the ghost-kids frequent. We bought balls for them to play with, and they were scattered around in the morning. A neighbor told us he saw them filmed by a ghost-busting crew, and the balls moved by themselves! (this area is on the 4th floor, too) We were freaked out by the closet in our room & moved the chair in front of it, because they told us Dunraven likes to hang out in there & watch you if you are female. The bathroom light turned on by itself, and we heard footsteps running and laughing all night, but were too chicken to see who was in the hall. The scariest thing happened to me when I was taking a shower in the morning. I felt something burning on my back & called my sisters in to look, & I had scratches down one side by my left shoulderblade. This is a spot that itches sometimes & I have to have my husband scratch it, because I can’t reach it. Then when we were leaving, we found some candy on the floor. We think the ghost kids gave it to us in thanks for the balls. I’m going back next year w/ my 3 daughters.

    • Michael says:

      My wife and I meet you and your sisters at the Stanley. I was the one that saw the group doing the investigation. I wish I had gotten more info from them because I haven’t found anything on the internet about them. I’m guessing are too small of a group. It was still a great experience. We are now living in Japan with our nine month old son. We hope to go back to Estes Park when he is old enough to enjoy the beautiful sights. Hope all is well. Again, i apologize for not getting more info from the investigation crew.

  26. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I took the Stanley tour, 5pm, in early Sept. of 09. I listened with open mind and enjoyed the spin our tour guide gave. The hotel is old and has many creaks throughout, that and I’m sure it has settled some over the years.Some of the doors weren’t “fitted” properly as they had gaps at the top and bottom, again from settling I believe, plus most as I can remember were on the west wing. Different floors, but the same with the doors not hanging properly. We were nearing the finish of the tour on the fourth floor on the east wing and as we were leaving to take the final stop, the basement area, I was separated slightly from everyone else and as I passed one of the doors, I got a cold blast of air on my legs! I mentioned this to my wife and just though that a window was left open in the room and this is what happened. My wife said she didn’t feel what I had felt. As we left and got back to our car, I stopped and looked up to the fourth floor and no windows were open. Strange indeed!

  27. Anonymous says:

    i am so excited. my fiance’ and i booked our honeymoon to the stanley hotel. we are doing four nights in a honeymoon suite and then….. one night in room 401 and one night in room 217. we are soooo excited (we stayed at the salem inn in mass. and had paranormal experiences.) definately not the typical romantic getaway :)

  28. Ashley says:

    My boyfriend and I (along with his family) stayed in this hotel last March 2010 for a wedding. My boyfriend and I shared a room on the second floor (can’t remember the room number). Everytime I went into our room my cell phone would turn off. Every single time. Another boy in the wedding party said his phone did the same thing. We stayed for three nights, and each night was a sleepless night. We heard running around, and loud foot steps above us in the middle of the night. The bathroom door would open on it’s own after we were certain that we had shut it. We stood in the closet one at a time and it just made you feel really short of breath, cold, and creeped out.
    I also had a sensation of being smothered by a ghost in the middle of the night — it got very cold and it was hard to breathe. I felt pinned down and couldn’t move. When i squeezed my eyes closed images of early 1900s era people kept spinning through my head. It was scary. It took me a couple of drinks to work up the courage to go back to the room and sleep the next nights.

    My boyfriend said he felt a similar experience the last night we stayed. His parents were in the room next to us and they had their closet door continually open, they heard people talking very loud in the middle of the night, they said they had their room phone ring in the middle of the night (and then stop abruptly) and then when we were trying to leav we couldn’t find the car keys… We searched the whole room and they were under the bed…. Very eerie place. I would definitely go back, though!

  29. Anon says:

    I lived in room 409 with my family for about 6 months. We never had anything really spooky happen and never really saw anything. At one point they were redoing the shower in our room, so they gave us room 407 for a while, which is the room that has the most sightings of Lord Dunraven. That room is creepy as hell.
    I love The Stanley.

  30. Chad says:

    I took a trip with my son, nephew, and girlfriend to Estes Park and stayed at the Stanley Hotel in room 328 for one night. Within five minutes, the television turned on by itself; everyone was sitting around the room and the remote was still lying on the nightstand that was between the two beds. Not too alarmed, we laughed it off thinking the signal came from another neighboring room. Before we left for dinner, we threw a teeshirt into the closet on the floor because we heard weird things happen in the closets at night. We returned from dinner, watched some tv and gradually fell “somewhat” asleep. My girlfriend, who is a light sleeper, heard a pronounced bang on the mirror on the outside of the closet door and then a couple of clicking noises; she stated it was about 11:30 pm. Approximately 3:10 am, we abruptly awoke to what sounded like two young kids running like elephants in the hall on the floor above us (where the 400 rooms are located). We got dressed and ventured to the 400 floor to look around and snap some pics of the hallways. Although nothing showed up in the pics, there was some things in a corner all laying in a pile that consisted of gum, a bottle cap, a crayon and some other miscellaneous stuff. Strange . . So we returned to our room and noticed that the closet door was opened a smidge, but not enough to see if anything was different with the teeshirt we threw in earlier; the kids suggested that we open the closet in the morning since they were a bit freaked out, so my girlfriend closed it tightly. The next morning we all sat with suspense on the beds while my girlfriend went to open the closet door. The teeshirt was hung up on a hanger in the middle of the closet. My girlfriend had taken a picture when she first got to the room of the inside of the closet and all of the hangers were placed to the right side; in denial, everyone tried to blame the other person for hanging the shirt, but that was not the case. Interesting place . . .

  31. Mickey says:

    I recently stayed at the Stanley with a friend and my son. We loved the ghost tour and all the history of the hotel. The renovations are done well, customer service is fabulous and the food is great.
    During the night we did hear someone either playing ball or walking heavily at around 3:00 pm. A door loudly slam shut, but none of us could agree which area it came from. We enjoyed our stay and would do the tour again and stay again. As an sensitive, I did not feel any evil in the hotel. And all three of us enjoyed ourselves.

  32. Anonymous says:

    can u plz tell me the tarrif charges so i can plan my tour to stanley m really excited to visit sometime…

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