I stayed in Colorado’s most ‘haunted’ hotel and quickly learned why it inspired Stephen King to write ‘The Shining’

I stayed in Colorado’s most ‘haunted’ hotel and quickly learned why it inspired Stephen King to write ‘The Shining’

It’s the famed Stanley Hotel. Built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley, the hotel is considered one of the most “haunted” hotels in the US.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The Stanley Hotel’s main building.


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Source: Insider

According to a guide who took me on a tour of the hotel, King claims he was “haunted” by a possessed fire hose during his stay. The tour guide also shared accounts of doors slamming, beds shaking, lights flickering, and the voices of children floating through the hallways.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The entrance to the Stanley Hotel.


Monica Humphries/Insider



Stepping inside the hotel felt like traveling back in time. Patterned carpet fills the reception area, dark oak paneling covers the walls, and a grand staircase leads guests upstairs.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The reception area of the hotel, which has a classic, dark interior.


Monica Humphries/Insider



I wasn’t the only one eager to begin my stay. As the 4 p.m. check-in time approached, a line stretched the entire length of the first floor.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

A line formed on the first floor when the check-in window officially opened.


Monica Humphries/Insider



Instead of waiting in line, I toured the hotel’s property. Outside, I navigated through the hotel’s hedge maze, which was built in 2015. A maze is a key element in “The Shining,” and after years of guests inquiring about it, the hotel finally added one.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The hotel added a maze to the grounds in 2015.


Monica Humphries/Insider



The property is comprised of four main buildings, including a concert hall built by Freelan Oscar Stanley for his wife. Today, it’s one of the hotel’s most “haunted” buildings, the tour guide said.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The concert hall was built for FO Stanley’s wife, Flora Stanley.


Monica Humphries/Insider



Back inside the main building, there’s a classic grand ballroom, named the McGregor Ballroom.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The MacGregor Ballroom.


Monica Humphries/Insider



Of course, I wasn’t paying $359 a night for a lavish room — I was on the lookout for a potential ghost sighting. So as the sun set and only hotel guests remained, I explored the empty hotel.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado, where Stephen King was inspired to write "The Shining."

The Stanley Hotel at night.


Monica Humphries/Insider



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