The Stanley was built in 1919 by F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora. They were school teachers by trade but F.O. was always inventing things - he and his brother invented faster developing film for photography in the late 1800's/early 1900's (their patent bought by Kodak - ch-ching!) and also eventually invented the Stanley Steamer car (right before the Model T was invented). The brothers were worth over $12 million dollars - back then $12 million dollars was, as our tour guide called it, "Oprah money". So around the age of 53 F.O started getting sick - he lost weight and started coughing up blood. Tuberculosis. A death sentence in those days. His doctor said to get out west where the air was cleaner. He and Flora moved out to Estes Park and eventually settled in what was basically a log cabin with a dirt floor. Not so fancy. F.O. started feeling better - so much better in fact he started climbing mountains. And he actually didn't die til the age of 93! F.O. and Flora got lonely for their East coast pals so they decided to build a hotel for them. 138 rooms and 2 years after construction started the Stanley Hotel stood in Estes Park. First hotel on this side of the Mississippi to have running water and electricity. They didn't actually put heat in until the 80's and there still is no AC. :)
Now nothing violent has ever happened here - no one has died here. The belief is the ghosts haunt the hotel because it was a happy place for them. We're staying on the 4th floor - the most active floor. Our room is directly across the hall from room 401. Lord Dunraven haunts that room. He likes the ladies. Word is he will pat you on the butt or play with your hair. The closet door opens and closes all night too. Just as we were going down to dinner tonight we heard some commotion in the hall - when we went out to the hallway the people in from 401 were standing in the hall with their door open just looking inside the room looking flabbergasted. I said "Ghost stuff already?" and they said "YES". Apparently their clock wasn't working (like dead not working) and when they came back upstairs from dinner the clock was on and set to the right time. That freaked them out. The other thing that happens on the 4th floor is children playing. Back in the day when the rich peeps stayed here they sent the nannies with the kids to the 4th floor to hang out. To this day between the hours of 12 and 4 am people report hearing kids running and playing out in the halls.
I downloaded an EVP app on my iPhone. EVP is electronic voice phenomenon - the belief is ghosts can communicate at a different frequency we can't hear. While it spits out some random words it did say "Dangerous" while the tour guide was telling us about the original 1909 live wires down in the tunnels.
Ok - enough of my blabbing. Here are some pictures:
View from our room
A dollhouse rendering of the Stanley with Flat Spinely (our work version of Flat Stanley posing).
Looking into the main lobby from the staircase - that's a Stanley Steamer car.
The McGregor room - it was used as a dining room when first built. The stage was added later to be featured in the miniseries The Shining.
Our room - its small - these rooms on the 4th floor were only for kids and their nannies so they basically housed a couple bunk beds.
Room 401 - our neighbors.
This is the dude who haunts it:
Room 217 - the room Stephen King stayed in that inspired The Shining.
Lucas sitting a couch in the hallway of the 4th floor - people leave treats here for the kids. Today it was a chocolate chip cookie and a peep - tis the season I guess. :)
We enjoyed some "Shining" beer brewed right here in Estes Park.
And now we're watching The Shining (they play it 24/7 on channel 42) waiting to see if some ghost kids will show up tonight. PS: Did you know the movie The Shining was NOT filmed here at the Stanley. The director didn't like the location. But the 1990 something miniseries was filmed here.