The Haunted Stanley Hotel – Our Ghost Story

We don’t have many ghost stories to tell and actually our Stanley Hotel ghost story is our only one. But…what you are about to read about our stay at the Stanley Hotel is a TRUE story. NO kidding. NO exaggerations. ONL­­­­­­Y the truth.

 Ghosts at The Stanley Hotel?


Front of Haunted  Stanley Hotel Estes Park Co

Haunted Stanley Hotel Estes Park Co

Is The Stanley Hotel haunted? We think so. What is haunting the hotel and why we don’t know. But there were strange, unexplainable things going on the night we stayed there. And, after staying at the hotel for just one night we were convinced it was haunted. The Stanley Hotel ghosts were very active the night we were guests there.

Where is the Stanley Hotel?


Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado The Shining Hotel

Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado The Shining Hotel

The Stanley Hotel is located in Estes Park, Colorado less than 6 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park. Built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley of the Stanley Steamer car fame, it is where horror novelist Stephen King and his wife Tabitha were guests when he was inspired to write the novel “The Shining“. Staying in Room 217 they were the only guests at the hotel that night. It is also the location where scenes from the mini series of the same name were filmed. Hauntings and ghosts sightings have been reported at the hotel for years. Some refer to it as The Shining Hotel.

We Arrive at The Stanley Hotel


Stanley Hotel Front Entrance Where Dumb and Dumber was Filmed

Stanley Hotel Entrance Where Dumb and Dumber was Filmed

Our stay at the Stanley Hotel was in celebration of our son’s graduation. It was a surprise gift to him as he was a fan of the movie Dumb and Dumber staring Jim Carrey and many of the scenes from the movie were filmed throughout the hotel. Before leaving Denver, on our way to Estes Park, we watched the movie The Shining, just to get us in the mood! Our son of course didn’t know what the connection between watching The Shining and our upcoming trip to Estes Park was but he would soon find out.

The Shining Hotel


Lobby Stanley Hotel Stanley Steamer Car

Lobby Stanley Hotel Stanley Steamer Car

In the lobby of the Stanley Hotel there was a Stanley Steamer Car on exhibit that was really cool to see. After arriving at the hotel our son of course was excited to check out the hotel and some of the locations where scenes from Dumb and Dumber were filmed. And now he knew we were also at the hotel where Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining. He had no idea, and neither did we, what kind of night we had in store for us!

Stanley Hotel Staircase Looking Down to Lobby

Stanley Hotel Staircase Looking Down to Lobby

We checked into the Stanley Hotel and went up the staircase to our room on the second floor. The hotel was beautiful and so was our room. We noticed the window in our room was partially opened to let the breeze in. Due to the location on the 2nd floor we thought it would be ok so we left it open – bad choice.

Our Stanley Hotel Ghost Story


After dinner we drove to a nearby market to purchase drinks and snacks for our evening at what we were now calling the Shining Hotel. We watched TV, ate our snacks and retired for the evening. NOT! I don’t think any of us slept much that night. I closed my eyes and the closet door, which had been closed all evening, suddenly POPPED open with a creaking sound that startled us all. My husband closed the closet door, climbed back into bed and the door POPPED open again. OK, we’ll just leave the closet door open. No problem. Back to bed – again. No one is sleeping of course and now our ROOM door starts rattling!

Oh, my, God! We can’t believe this. We check and no one is at the door but it continues to rattle periodically like someone is trying to get in. By now we are all in quite a panic but calling the front desk at a hotel that is supposedly haunted is NOT going to get us much sympathy!

I don’t recall what time of night it was but apparently some of us had managed to doze off. By now my daughter and I had taken some of the blankets and pillows and we were sleeping on the floor beneath the open window. I don’t know why! Is this night ever going to end? Remind me please to NEVER watch The Shining before staying at the Stanley Hotel! Whose idea was this anyway?

Things Seem to be Calming Down (but not for long…)


Everything seemed to have calmed down but there was an eerie howling sound coming through the window. The hotel, located at the base of the mountains must get a lot of wind current blown over it daily. The wind was slowly blowing the thin white curtains up in the air, which was casting shadows all over the walls from the full moon light outside. The shadows looked very weird especially playing against the old wall paper. It was a very strange setting, but nothing else had changed so everyone eventually fell asleep.

Our son explained to us that while sleeping he had a sense of something extremely close to his face. When he opened his eyes he saw his right arm fully extended toward the closet door that had sprung open earlier. He quickly yanked back his arm and got out of bed and lay down under the table near the rest of us. This was when in his mind he had seen enough. He covered himself up with blankets but within a minutes time he began to hear noises. But this time they seemed to be coming from right above him on top of the table that he just laid down under. IMPOSSIBLE is what he said he was thinking. The sounds continued and sounded like bags crunching, but they were loud enough that there was no mistaking that they were there in the room with us. About 30 seconds later, a bag of chips fell off the table and hit our son in the face. The only small part he actually had exposed from under the covers. He leaped up to confront whatever the heck was there in the room with us….

OMG…there is something in our room, on the table, dragging our bag of dinner rolls off with it! It jumps onto the windowsill of the open window and drags the bag of rolls with it.  It then jumps out the window onto the ledge outside of our room -in the dark of the night. WHAT THE HECK? IT’S A RACCOON!

A raccoon had been in our room, walking around, (while we were sleeping on the floor) eating our food and now he’s sitting on the ledge outside our window eating what’s left of our bag of rolls RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! Ok, now this is getting funny…he not only took our rolls with him but he had been sitting on our table eating our Lemon Meringue Pie while we slept. THEIF!


Stanley Hotel Courtyard rear back

Stanley Hotel Courtyard rear back

I don’t know how, but we somehow made it through that night. Dismayed as we were about our closet door springing open again and again and our room door rattling repeatedly like someone was trying to get in, it was the raccoon that topped that night off at The Stanley Hotel!

The Raccoon Thief at the Stanley Hotel!


Raccoon Thief Outside Our Room Stanley Hotel

Raccoon Thief Outside Our Room Stanley Hotel

Well the front desk is certainly going to hear about this in the morning! Explaining about our little intruder and how he entered our open window on the 2nd floor in the middle of the night and made off with our bag of dinner rolls giving us all a fright…well let’s put it this way, it seems the Stanley Hotel hears ghost stories much more bizarre than ours!

Needless to say this surprise celebration of our son’s graduation turned out to be one our family will never forget and one that we love to share with others. I hope you enjoyed reading about it and that you will check out The Stanley Hotel when you visit Estes Park in Colorado. It’s a fabulous hotel and one well deserving of its reputation!


For more information on the Stanley Hotel visit their website:

To watch “The Stanley Hotel Tours Video” on Vimeo: 

Anyone can leave a comment below.

Do you have a ghost story to share?

Have you stayed at The Stanley Hotel?

Did you experience any unusual happenings while you were there?

Also, if you have your own blog don’t forget to check the box below named “CommentLuv” to get a link to one of your more recent blog posts in the comment section.


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  1. I love it ! The ghost story is really !

  2. I stayed there 3 weeks ago and saw Elvis

  3. diane weise

    2006 stayed on second floor,during the nite, went to the bathroom and positively turned out the bathroom lite , this was 5:30 in the morning,
    when we woke at 7:30, the light was on and my husband swore he had not
    gotten up and used the bathroom. i felt like someone had been in our room
    it was so hot and this was Feb. none of us slept well that night, especially our son and wife and new baby. she cried all night. This was
    our anniversary present from our son. We didn’t stay another nite.

    • There are so many unexplained things going on at The Stanley Hotel as you and I have both experienced; it definitely all contributes to this famous hotel having a very haunted reputation!!

  4. Aldrin

    I would love to have my honeymoon at that hotel. :) Pleasure plus a little bit of a spooky sensation 😀

  5. Pat Walsh

    My husband and I stayed at the Stanley three years ago, stopping there on a trip from Denver up into the Rockies and Breckenridge. We were given a room in the smaller annexe. After dinner my husband went on ahead to the room, and I followed about two minutes later. As I was walking along the second floor corridor, parallel to the front of the building, I smelled burning – a really strong smell of woodsmoke. There are no windows in the corridor, so it wasn’t coming in from outside, and it wasn’t someone having a sneaky cigarette – definitely wasn’t cig smoke. The smell disappeared when I turned the corner into the corridor leading to our room. I told my husband about it, as it seemed really odd at the time. We went back together to check that the hotel wasn’t on fire, but the smell had gone. There was no trace of it, though it had been very strong only a few minutes before. I didn’t smell it again. I still find it strange and though there may well be some very ordinary explanation for the smoky smell, I don’t know what it is.

  6. I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time. After watching The Shining, I probably would have run out screaming.

    • So true, it wasn’t funny at the time and watching the Shining just before we stayed at the Stanley Hotel just compounded the spookiness…lol

  7. Thomas

    I think ghost are real

  8. LOL! What a great haunted hotel story! I love horror movies and you really tell a tale well! Well raccoon or not, am sure this is one story to tell for years to come:) Great shots!

    • Thank you so much, ciki! As scary as it was for us that night we do indeed have a tale to tell for years to come. Welcome to the site!

  9. What a night!! I stayed in a haunted hotel in Eureka Springs, AR once and it was quite the experience…
    Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted…The Sanctuary Resort at Koh Pha Ngan, ThailandMy Profile

    • It was a memorable night that’s for sure, and one we will not be forgetting. Val, I’d love to hear about your experience at the haunted hotel in Eureka Springs, AR!

    • Quinn McVey

      Are you referring to The Crescent Hotel? I tried to tall my sister, niece, and nephew into staying there but they didn’t go for it. It is beautiful and eerie at the same time.

  10. Scary story, not sure I’d be brave enough to stay!

    • Funny you should say that, Becky…after our stay there I don’t think I’m brave enough to stay again either!

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