The Stanley Hotel
Estes Park, CO
Most people know something about the Stanley Hotel. It was where Stephen King was inspired to write “The Shining” his wildly popular novel. It is where the TV miniseries “The Shining” was filmed in the 1990s. It’s known for its paranormal happenings. It’s the site of a yearly paranormal conference. What most don’t know is that the hotel was built by F. O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile in the early 1900s. He came to the Rocky Mountains for his health, and lived another 40 years. The hotel was built to stimulate the local economy and provide a place where his wealthy colleagues from back East could play for the summer. According to many visitors, Stanley and his wife Flora are still in the hotel, as are many others. The 4th floor was original designed as the servants’ quarters and the children’s area. The hotel has changed much over the years, but its elegance remains.
OPI attended the conference. This year the seminar leaders included Britt Griffith, Amy Bruni, and Adam Berry from TAPS; Adam Blai, demonologist; Ben Hansen and Bill Murphy from “Fact or Faked;” John Tenney, Chip Coffey, and Mike Brody. They shared their experiences, knowledge, and opinions with us, and then lead public investigations. As a fundraiser there was a silent auction. OPI wrangled the private investigation with Britt and Adam Blai. Before and after the seminars and investigations, we were free to roam and investigate at will. Since we were snowed in due to a major snowstorm, we had an extra two days to do that! We found lots of evidence that the hotel is indeed haunted. Our room had ghosts, too, not surprisingly!
We investigated our room first, and found a presence that told me he was an animal. I communicated with him through the flashlight method. He answered “yes/no“ questions by turning off the light or leaving it on or turning it back on. He said he had been here for a long time. Another spirit was a child who told us she came from town. A third ghost was a woman who had been a friend of the Stanley family, she said. We used the ovilus, flashlight, and spirit box to communicate.
We also investigated the hallways and common areas on our own. On the 4th floor, we encountered a female who told us she was a nanny, but didn’t like children. She only did it for the money. Eventually she married, but had no children of her own. We captured some compelling photos in the doorways of the halls, reflected in the windows. One shows a man dressed in 1920s style with a mustaches and dark hair leaning out of a doorway, with his hand in his pocket. Another shows a tall shadow with a cap and puffy sleeves, looking like a servant in the early 1900s. In the picture is a face that looks much like F. O. Stanley himself.
During the public investigations, we started in the music Hall with Adam Berry, then went to a room in the former Bachelor Quarters with Ben Hansen, Room 217 with Bill Murphy, “The Tunnels” with John Tenney, and finally the 4th floor with Adam Blai. The Music Hall is where a woman who called herself Lucy froze to death. We asked if she was in the room with us, to please close the door. The door slammed! We were thrilled. We then put on the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” which is thought to be her favorite. We had a flashlight, and the light blinked in time to the music! Although the room with Ben Hansen is reportedly active, we weren’t getting much activity, so OPI sat in the parlor. We used our flashlight to communicate with a ghost who claimed to be a guest from the early days of the hotel. He said he liked sports. He shook the lamp behind the couch I was sitting on. I tried to duplicate it, but couldn’t. Room 217 was the room King stayed in when he came up with the idea for his novel. It was also the room of the hotel housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson. She is rumored to have been more than friends with Mr. Stanley. We asked her if they had a romantic relationship. “Never!” was her annoyed retort. “Were you and Mrs. Stanley friends?” we asked. “I think so”, came her thoughtful answer. In “The Tunnels” we again employed the flashlight and encountered a spirit who said it was his birthday. John joked a bit and the flashlight would go on and off during those moments, as if he were joining in the conversation. We all sang “Happy Birthday” to him and he turned on the flashlight for us while we sang. Then it went off, and it seemed he left. We couldn’t get any more activity. We spent some time in Lord Dunraven’s room on the 4th floor, but didn’t get much evidence there. At the end of the night, came one of our highlights, the private investigation with Britt Griffith and Adam Blai. Mike Brody came along as did Lisa, from the hotel staff. Ben Hansen stopped by, too. We were in “The Tunnels” under the hotel, not open to the public. As we sat in the dark, we all heard what sounded like a little girl calling for help! Her cries went on and on. Britt went upstairs to see if anyone was making noise, but it was quiet. Adam and I went over to where it seemed the sound was coming from, but we heard nothing there. The others said they continued to hear her! We also have a shadow figure, small enough to be a child, crossing over the pathway twice! Our EVP session with the spirit box was fascinating. The entity there told us he didn’t like Lisa, which wasn’t a surprise to her. Her hair was pulled, and when we asked, “Did you pull her hair?” we heard a male say, “”Pull it!” The pop can on the rock behind moved, although nobody was near it. It was our most active session!
When we first got to the hotel, we had to walk through the rear courtyard to get to our room. I felt like I had been there before. The courtyard seemed familiar. During one of our EVP sessions, a woman’s voice said to me, “Look at me! You know me!” It was a bit disconcerting! Was I there in another life, or did I just look like someone else? It’s an intriguing question for me.