Inside the creepy haunted hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining
Halloween is almost upon us and spooky season has plenty of Brits looking for ways to scare their socks off.
The world is littered with tales of ghostly apparitions from headless horsemen to hell hounds.
Hotels are often reported to be filled with paranormal activity – especially older buildings.
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There’s one particular old hotel that’s so famous for its haunted history that it inspired Stephen King for his terrifying novel The Shining – and the subsequent hit film directed by Stanley Kubrick.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, US, reportedly inspired Stephen King to write the horror as well as its sequel, Doctor Sleep.
Hidden in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the Stanley Hotel looks like somewhere you’d want to stay the night at first glance.
But, upon entering the old colonial building you may just change your mind and pack your bags.
Ghosts are said to walk the halls of the 20th century lodgings, with guests adamant that they’ve heard haunting screams in the night.
Stephen King claimed to dream of his son wailing as he endured a restless sleep at the hotel.
On his website, the author recalled: “In late September of 1974, Tabby and I spent a night at a grand old hotel in Estes Park, the Stanley.
“We were the only guests as it turned out; the following day they were going to close the place down for the winter.
“Wandering through its corridors, I thought that it seemed the perfect—maybe the archetypical—setting for a ghost story.”
He added: “That night I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming.
“He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed.
“I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in the chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”
Stephen’s experienced caused him to write The Shining in 1977 – a horror set in the fictional Overlook Hotel.
He’s not the only one to be freaked out during a visit to The Stanley Hotel.
Henry Yau took a panoramic photo of the interior of the building with no people in the shot.
He didn't notice a spectral figure at the top of the stairs…
It was later on, while looking at his picture of the grand staircase in the lobby that he spotted the eerie figure.
When I took it, I didn't notice anything. Overnight, I felt strangely sick and queasy and had stomach problems," he told the Mail Online.
"The thing is, I rarely get sick.
"It wasn't until the next morning that I saw the figure in my pic."
The image went viral on Facebook as people noted the creature must be a ghost.
It’s no surprise considering the history of the old building.
Freelan Oscar Stanley, an inventor, opened the Stanley hotel to guests in 1909.
The 48-room grand building catered to the moderately wealthy, who enjoyed evenings in its dazzling ballroom.
But in a story that’s been passed through generations, spine-tingling occurrences started taking place at the location after a storm struck in 1911.
After the power went out, housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson checked in on guests and attempted to illuminate their rooms.
As she lit a lantern behind the door of 217, a gas leak caused a fiery eruption.
In the inferno, the cleaner suffered two broken ankles.
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Even though Elizabeth didn’t die at the hotel, her ghost is said to haunt room 217.
Ghost hunters claim Mrs Wilson has moved their clothes around and meddled with light switches.
Many have also felt a cold presence in the room, with some couples reporting they’ve felt an obstruction between them.
Conspiracy theorists believe the spectre takes revenge on unmarried guests who reside together due to its old fashioned values.
Some believe the ghost of Flora Stanley – a hotel founder – plays the piano in the room.
Handyman Paul is another ghoul that’s been spotted in the room.
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