My first trip to Denver, CO had to include one thing, a ghost tour at The Stanley Hotel. Most people know The Stanley Hotel because it was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. Or, from the movie Dumb and Dumber. Yep, the stairs where Lloyd trips Mary is at The Stanley. Race you to the top!
The Stanley Hotel opened in 1909 and sits 7,500 feet in elevation, high up, in Estes Park (make sure you drink lots of water to avoid elevation sickness). It’s about an hour and a half drive from Denver through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. And definitely worth it. We even saw an elk on our way. It was amazing!
You can see The Stanley in the last picture from across the lake. Just wait until you see what's inside.
When we arrived the ghost tour was just about to begin. The tour group was maybe 15-20 of us and started off with a (cheesey) video. Which thankfully was the only part of the tour I didn't like.
The rest of the tour was really interesting and informative. The tour guide walked the group through the grounds of the hotel and explained the history and the ghost stories behind The Stanley. Don't worry, no spoilers.
We were encouraged to take pictures, ask questions, and be on the lookout for anything strange or unusual. The weirdest thing was my DSLR camera, that I use all the time and have never had a problem with. I didn't change any settings and sometimes the picture was clear, other times blurry. Even in the same room, or right next to each other.
On a specifically haunted part of the tour my camera just stopped working. None of the buttons did anything, even though I had a full battery. As soon as we left that area my camera started working again. I also got a couple strange orbs pictures.
The tour lasted a little over an hour and after that we did not want to leave. We were allowed to explore the grounds on our own.
We stopped for a drink at the whiskey bar, my friend had a delicious, smoky whiskey (which I didn't get a picture of because I'm dumb), before we headed to see Aiden Sinclair, "Illusions of the Passed: a Theatrical Seance".
The show was a little long after spending all day there but it was entertaining and I definitely would recommend. We still can’t figure out how he did some of the illusions. This show isn’t available right now at The Stanley, but if you can catch it on The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California do it!
The Stanley Hotel really inspired a lot of stories and artwork I'm working on now. My husband, Kyle Cheuvront: Composer for the Strange and Unusual, and I even made a Halloween song about our trip to this spooky hotel.
The Stanley Hotel is a must see for all ages. Especially for the spooky life enthusiast. If you want the most haunted experience, stay the night in room 217. If you are visiting the area in October check out The Shining Ball, October 20, 2018 or the Halloween Masquerade Party, October 27, 2018.