It was a beautiful spring day, and my friend was coming for a visit. We decided to go to Estes Park for the weekend. We talked as we drove up the mountain, he asked if this was where “The Shining” was filmed. It was a glorious day - blue sky, beautiful scenery and a perfect way to begin our trip.
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
The Stanley Hotel - A Ghost Story
As we approached the overlook of Estes Park with the Rocky Mountains rising up in the background it was a spectacular sight. We drove toward town and noticed a striking building on the hill. Neither of us knew what it was, so we decided to investigate.
As we drove closer, we marveled at the perfectly manicured grounds and then saw the sign “The Stanley Hotel”. We agreed that we had to see this but that it would be too expensive to stay there.
As we entered the property, the massive white gates opened to a large patio. The lobby was beautifully decorated with leather chairs surrounding stone fireplaces, antique tables with fresh flowers brightened every corner, it was warm and inviting. We inquired about the rates and were surprised they had a special price for the night, so we decided to stay.
After checking in, the desk clerk informed us that the hotel was haunted and that they had ghost tours in the basement after dark. We thought it was amusing and a good tourist attraction but declined.
As we climbed the stairs, we noticed the air changing, it became heavy and dense. The brightness of the lobby faded as we walked toward our room. We opened the door and immediately were struck with the closeness of the space. Not only was it very small but there seemed to be no air circulating.
We decided immediately that this would not be comfortable and asked to change rooms. They moved us to a large, beautifully appointed suite with a great view of the mountains.
We enjoyed a luxurious meal at the restaurant and continued to marvel at the wonderful surroundings. We planned on going into town later and do some sightseeing, but we never left the hotel.
Throughout the evening, several people approached me saying I looked like someone they knew. When I went downstairs to the restroom, I felt a chill in the air. The entire time I was there I felt as though I was being watched, it made me very uneasy, and I hurried back to our table. My friend laughed when I told him and reminded me about the ghost tours. I thought it was funny, and quickly put it aside.
It was getting late so we decided to go back up to the room. As we talked, I felt a sudden draft of cold air and looked to see where it was coming from. I saw an apparition of a man step through one of the doorways and disappear.
Just then, my friend asked if someone was behind him. Standing over his shoulder I could see the faint outline of a young girl. We both were stunned, not sure what was happening. Slowly we began to speak, this felt like a child’s spirit nothing malevolent or frightening.
Suddenly, the energy changed dramatically, the room filled with cold air and a bright light flashed across the room and splashed on the bureau mirror. It felt as though dozens of very angry people were trying to get into the room.
It was 2:00 a.m. and seemed strange to check out in the middle of the night but we could not stay. We were relieved to see a friendly night clerk at the desk. She informed us that this was a regular occurrence and that she had seen some extraordinary things herself.
We talked to her for some time and then she said she was not surprised that I had a bad experience. She told me I looked very much like a woman who passed away many years ago.
We drove back down the mountain in silence; years later I still think about what we encountered in that strange and dark place. I have never returned to the Stanley or to Estes Park.