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The Stanley Hotel: 6 Interesting Inspirations

the Stanley hotel

In Estes Park, Colorado (USA), there is a famous hotel called The Stanley Hotel. Freeland Oscar Stanley, a prosperous inventor, and investor, constructed it in 1909 as an opulent resort for affluent tourists looking for a retreat in the Rocky Mountains.

1. How was This Hotel Constructed?

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The Stanley Hotel was founded by Freelan Oscar Stanley, a businessman, and inventor who made his fortune creating the Stanley Steamer. When Stanley was diagnosed with tuberculosis in the early 1900s, his doctor advised him to travel to Colorado in search of fresh mountain air.

Stanley and his wife Flora stayed at the Windham Inn in Estes Park in 1903. The couple had an unpleasant stay because the hotel was poorly managed. Stanley saw an opportunity to build a better hotel to accommodate the growing number of visitors flocking to the area to admire the natural splendor of the Rockies.

Stanley bought the property in Estes Park and commissioned F.E. to build the Stanley Hotel. Work began in 1907 and was completed in 1909 at a cost of $500,000. The inn had 8 rooms, a billiard room, dining room, music room, and smoking room. It was built in the Georgian Revival style.

The wealthy tourists who came to take advantage of the area’s stunning scenery and leisure facilities quickly made the Stanley Hotel a popular spot. Stanley and his wife were known for their generosity and often hosted lavish parties and events for their visitors.

The hotel’s concert theater, added in 1911, became the focus of entertainment choices. The hall had a stage for live performances and a dance area for guests to use.

Writer Stephen King, who lived there with his wife in 1974, was the hotel’s most famous visitor. King used the hotel as a setting for his book The Shining due to its eerie atmosphere and history of paranormal activity.

The Stanley Hotel continues to operate and is a popular tourist destination. Despite many renovations and additions over the years, the hotel has retained much of its original character and appeal. It is known for its ghost tours, which allow guests to explore the hotel’s haunted past and discover its paranormal activity.

2. Incidents

The Stanley Hotel, situated in Estes Park, Colorado, is well-known for its past and notoriety as one of the country’s most haunted lodgings. Stanley Steamer Automobile Inventor F.O. Stanley constructed the hotel in 1909, and it has a long history of paranormal activity. Some of them are:

2.1. Room 217

This is arguably the most well-known event that happened at the Stanley Hotel. Elizabeth Wilson, a chambermaid, was hurt in 1911 while igniting the gas lights in Room 217. She managed to escape the mishap, but it’s said that her ghost hasn’t left the room ever since.

Strange occurrences have been recorded by visitors, including their luggage being unpacked and moved around the room, doors opening and shutting by themselves, and the sound of someone pacing back and forth.

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Another location allegedly plagued by ghosts is the hotel’s ballroom. The dance floor has reportedly seen ghostly figures, strange noises have been heard in the room when it is vacant, and music has been heard without a source.

2.3. The Fourth Floor

Although the Stanley Hotel’s fourth level is off-limits to the general public, there have been reports of paranormal activity there. Despite the fact that there were no children overnight at the hotel, some visitors claim to have heard children laughing and playing. Others have described feeling uneasy and seeing eerie apparitions.

2.4. The Ghostly Carriage

Visitors have reported seeing a phantom carriage pulled by ghostly horses outside the hotel. Several others have even heard the sound of the horses’ hooves on the ground.

2.5. The Ghost of the F.O. Stanley

F.O. Stanley, who erected the hostel, is said to still be present on the property. Callers have reported seeing his ethereal reappearance throughout the hostel, especially in the foyer and the pool area.

These are only many of the multitudinous frequentness that have been noted at the Stanley Hotel. The hostel has been on several ghost-stalking shows and is now a popular position for those interested in the paranormal. Despite the multitudinous claims of hauntings and metaphysical sights, the Stanley Hotel remains a popular sightseer destination and an awful instance of the old armature.

3. Architecture

The hotel is known for its stunning design, charming setting, and association with horror author Stephen King, who was inspired to write his book The Shining after staying there.

The Stanley Hotel features elements of the Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, and Mission Revival architectural styles. On four levels, the hotel contains 12 rooms, many of which are suites and cottages. The hotel’s purple roof, white stucco walls, and wide verandas make for a distinctive appearance.

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The main entrance to the hotel has a large porte-cochere that opens into a large lobby. The lobby has a grand rustic staircase, fireplace, and elegant cabinetwork. The hotel also has several dining options, including the Cascade Dining Room, which serves breakfast, lunch, and regale, and the Whiskey Bar, which offers a variety of decorated whiskeys.

The hotel’s spectacular music hall, erected in 1909 and still used for performances and events, is one of its most distinctive features. The musicale hall has a beautiful stage, sundecks, and thoughtful interior design.

The Stanley Hotel has experienced a number of emendations and additions over the times, including the addition of a new sect in the 1990s. still, the hostel has retained much of its original charm and personality, making it a popular resort for excursionists and history suckers likewise.

3. The Shining, Stephen King

Stephen King was inspired to write about the Stanley Hotel after staying there with his woman Tabitha for one night in 1974. At the time, King was floundering to come up with a plot for his forthcoming book, but his stay at the Stanley Hotel handed him the alleviation he needed.

King and his woman were the only callers to the hostel during their stay as it was about to shut down for the downtime. A lone bellhop gave them a stint of the establishment, and King was struck by the hostel’s history, design, and unsettling atmosphere. The hostel made the ideal setting for a horror tale because of its substance, history, and remote position.

A plot about a man who relocates his family to a rural motel to look after it through the winter started to take shape in King’s mind. As they become stranded and alone in the snow, the family begins to encounter paranormal events, such as the hotel being haunted by previous guests.

King drew significantly from his own experiences while staying at the Stanley Hotel, as well as his interest in the paranormal and his own struggles with addiction, to write the story that would become “The Shining.”

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Although King drew inspiration for the book from the Stanley Hotel, it should be highlighted that the hotel in the book is not an exact duplicate of the Stanley. In order to fit his story, King used artistic licence to build the fictional Overlook Hotel, which is significantly dissimilar from the Stanley Hotel in real life.

The Stanley Hotel continues to play a major part in “The Shining’s” heritage and has nevertheless come a popular trip destination for suckers of both the book and the film acclimations.

Stephen King is notorious for his pictorial characters, and complex plot lines, and for eliciting the fears and anxieties of his compendiums. His jotting honors include the World Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the National Book Award. He also entered the National Book Foundation Medal for Outstanding Contribution to American Literature in 2003.

One of King’s most famous and recognizable compositions is “The Shining”. Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film and 1997 television drama were both based on the novel. The book was praised for its expert use of psychological horror and suspense and its exploration of themes such as addiction, dysfunctional families, and paranormal influence.

4. Famous Guests who lived Here

The Stanley Hotel has played host to many famous guests throughout its history. Some of them are:-

4.1. Stephen King

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King and his wife Tabitha stayed in Room 217 in 1974, making them arguably the most renowned visitors to have stayed at the Stanley Hotel. King was inspired to write “The Shining,” a horror book that has since become a classic, with the hotel’s eerie atmosphere and remote location.

4.2. President Theodore Roosevelt

While close on a hunting trip, President Roosevelt stopped by the Stanley Hotel in 1905. He was so happy with the amenities and location that he wrote a positive comment in the hotel’s guest book.

4.3. John Philip Sousa

The well-known composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa is rumored to have written the march “Queen of the Sea” while residing at the Stanley Hotel in 1923.

4.4. Molly Brown

Molly Brown, a socialite, and donor who survived the Titanic disaster, frequented the Stanley Hotel in the early 20th century. She was renowned for appreciating the hotel’s splendor and breathtaking surroundings.

4.5. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey, a pantomime and funnyman, stayed at the Stanley Hotel in 1994 while “Dumb and Dumber” was being mugged. According to reports, he participated in a room with Stephen King and also had some nipping hassles.

4.6. Johnny Cash

The Ditty of the Shining, a song about his adventures there, was written about Johnny Cash’s stay at the Stanley Hotel in the 1970s.

All of these well- known callers have amended the Stanley Hotel’s long history and artistic significance. The hostel is still a well- liked position for excursionists and suckers of horror moment, and trippers from all over the world come to witness its iconic armature and creepy character.
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5. Had Any Movie Shot At The Stanley Hotel?

Yes, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, USA, has been used to shoot a number of movies and television shows. The 1997 TV miniseries “The Shining,” which was based on Stephen King’s novel and was a more faithful adaptation of Stanley Kubrick’s well-known film, was one of the most well-known movies to use the hotel as a filming site.

Mick Garris was the director of the miniseries, which featured Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay. Numerous scenes were shot in Estes Park, a neighboring town, as well as the hotel’s lobby, hallways, and guest rooms. It also has panoramic views of that area.

The hotel served as the backdrop for the 2018 horror picture “Doctor Sleep,” based on Stephen King’s follow-up to “The Shining.” Ewan McGregor played the lead in the Mike Flanagan-helmed movie. A number of scenes were shot at the hotel, including one in the well-known Room 217, which served as the model for King’s book.

The 1994 comedy “Dumb and Dumber,” starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, featured several scenes shot in the hotel’s lobby and exterior. The 2011 horror movie “Red Riding Hood,” starring Amanda Seyfried and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, also utilized the Hotel Stanley as a filming site. The hotel’s gardens and patio were used for the filming of several “Red Riding Hood” scenes.

The Stanley Hotel has appeared in a number of TV programs, including “Hotel Hell,” “Ghost Adventures,” and “Ghost Hunters,” in addition to movies. The paranormal notoriety of the hotel and its relationship to Stephen King’s book have both been explored in these shows.

The Stanley Hotel has become a popular option for filmmakers and TV producers looking to create a haunting or spooky setting thanks to its distinctive architecture, historic appeal, and eerie atmosphere. The hotel’s staff works arduously to uphold its status as a warm and welcoming location for visitors despite the fact that it is also a well-liked tourist attraction and wedding venue.

6. Is the Stanley Hotel Open Now?

The Stanley Hotel usually welcomes guests throughout the year, but it’s best to confirm availability by contacting the hotel directly or visiting their website. Visitors can make reservations at the hotel or stop by for a walk off the grounds. There are guided tours that explain the history of the hotel, how it relates to Stephen King’s book and any alleged paranormal activity on the premises.

In terms of costs, the Stanley Hotel’s room rates can change based on the kind of apartment and the season. Prices can vary from $300 to $1100 per night on average, with higher costs during busy times like the summer and holiday seasons. For a fee, guided tours are offered; the average cost per individual is between $25 and $50. There are a lot of restaurants near the hotel instead of restaurants that are also there in the hotel itself.

Couples can work with the hotel’s skilled wedding coordinators to design the wedding of their dreams and select the ideal location. They provide several individualized wedding packages, some of which can include food, bar service, and lodging for the bridal party and visitors.

The expense of a wedding at the Stanley Hotel can differ based on the number of guests, the season, and the particular wedding package selected. It is advised to get in touch with the hotel’s wedding staff to arrange a site visit to view the wedding venues and go over your choices as well as for more thorough pricing information.

For couples searching for a historical and picturesque setting for their special day, the Stanley Hotel provides an exceptional and unforgettable wedding experience.

In conclusion, it is best to check with the Stanley Hotel directly or through their website for the most recent information on availability and rates.


Due to its reputation as a haunted location, the hotel is now a well-liked vacation spot for tourists and paranormal aficionados. A lot of visitors have mentioned having strange experiences while staying at the hotel, which offers narrated ghost excursions. The Stanley Hotel is well-known for its stunning surroundings and opulent amenities despite its eerie notoriety. Fine eating, spa services, and outdoor pursuits like skiing and hiking are available to guests.

Overall, the Stanley Hotel is a distinctive and intriguing location that combines history, luxury, and eerie mystery.

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