Friday, September 25, 2009

The Stanley Hotel

Ok, once we finished up Central City, we head north to Estes Park and one of our most anticipated stops -- the Stanley Hotel. Not only does this old hotel have a long and wonderful history, but it is allegedly one of the most haunted hotels in the American West.

The hotel was built in the early 1900's by F.O. Stanley, who created the Stanley Steam Engine -- a steam powered horseless carriage. The majestic Georgian style hotel opened in 1909, catering to the rich and famous. Arriving in Colorado in 1903, Freelan Oscar Stanley (F.O.) and his wife Flora had been sent West by F.O. Stanley’s doctor to seek the fresh mountain air.

Stanley, who suffered tuberculosis, had been advised to not make plans beyond six months. The doctor arranged for the couple to stay in a friend’s cabin in Estes Park for the summer. Immediately, they fell in love with the area and F.O.’s health began to dramatically improve. In 1906, F.O. Stanley began construction on the Stanley Hotel and in 1909, the luxury hotel was complete, with no expense spared. Equipped with running water, electricity and telephones, the only amenity the hotel lacked was heat, as the hotel was designed as a summer resort.

The Stanley Hotel has hosted many “famous” guests including The Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities. And, of course, the Stanley Hotel hosted Stephen King, whose experience inspired his book, “The Shining.”

In addition to its regular guests, the Stanley Hotel is also said to play host to a number of other worldly visitors. The most notable is F.O. Stanley himself who is most often seen in the lobby and the Billiard Room, which was his favorite room when he was still alive. On one such occasion, he was said to have appeared during a tour group’s visit to the Billiard Room, materializing behind a member of the tour. Bartenders at the old hotel also report having seen F.O. stroll through the bar, disappearing when they try to cut him off at the kitchen. Not to be left out, Flora Stanley also haunts the hotel, continuing to entertain guests with her piano playing in the ballroom.

Today, the historic Stanley Hotel is said to continue to host not only the Stanleys, but also a number of other ghosts within its majestic walls. Though we didn't seem to capture any apparitions in our photos on our tour, we did have a few funny feelings as we went along the "ghost tour." That having been said, our readers have often found anomolies in our photos that we didn't at first see, so perhaps, there is something there.

For more on the Stanley Hotel, click HERE. And, stay tuned, as we will be adding a whole lot more of the hotel's history and hauntings on Legends of America.

In the meantime, Dave has written a play-by-play of our ghost tour, which provides a whole lot more information about what the hotel has to say about its history and hauntings. Coming up next HERE.


Anonymous said...

We just were at the Stanley Hotel a couple of days ago. The Hotel has nothing to do with the movie, "The Shining," starring Jack Nicholson. Stephen King spent one night in the hotel and went back to Boulder and finished his book. Not one frame of the movie was filmed at this hotel. The hotel is a fine place to visit but if you think you are going to see and/or hear about the movie don't waste your time.
We could have spent the whole day in Rocky Mt. National Park rather than waste our vacation time on something that is so misleading.
We felt like it was nothing more than a tourist trap making money on misrepresentation!

Dave Alexander said...

Oops "Anonymous". Guess you should have read my blog after this one about the Ghost Tour and the real story with Stephen King. You also need to see the late 90's movie produced by King and filmed at the hotel. And by the way, the book gets A LOT from the hotel and King's personal experience there during that one night. Too bad you missed the story, it would have made your stay worth it.

Laura John said...

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