Stanley Hotel: History and Ghosts, too

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Rachel Faulkner writes, The year: 1909.

The year: 1909. The man: F.O. Stanley. The story: The most haunted hotel in the west. What am I talking about? The Stanley Hotel, of course! For those of you who don’t know, the Stanley Hotel is a beautiful building up in Estas that has, for almost a hundred years, provided the people of Estas Park with enough ghost stories to last a lifetime. First of all, the historical facts: F.O. Stanley lived in New York with his wife Flora when suddenly, Stanley was given four months to live in the polluted air. It was reccomended that he move out west to Colorado and the high, clean mountain air. Stanley, an immensley wealthy man, moved to Estas Park, Colorado and built a fancy hotel which he named after himself. Perched high on a hilltop, the Stanley will be celebrating it’s hundredth year anniversary in 2009. I was sincerely privleged enough to take the tour of the hotel, which is open to the public and available several times a day. We began by moving outside to look at the outside of room 217, which is supposedly the most haunted room in the entire hotel. It is said that the spirit of a housekeeper lives on in this room, and that many people have reported odd things happening in this room. This is the room Steven King stayed at when he got his inspiration for his book, The Shining, which takes place in the Stanley Hotel. Apparently, King was wandering around the hotel, which was closed at the time, when he saw two children playing in the hallway. And that was enough to create the book, and later the movie. Next came the Music Room. In the room there is a piano, played by Flora Stanley. It has survived all these years, and in some photographs, tourists have reported seeing a dark shadow sitting at the piano bench, stroking the keys. In one picture, a tourist saw a photograph of the wall in the room, and on the wall was a woman’s face. It is unknown whether this is true or not, but many locals staunchly believe that Flora Stanley lives on in the Music Room. The second-most haunted place is the fourth floor, apparently. This was the floor for the children. Our guide said that there is reason to believe that children may have died here, but their deaths were never recorded. Anyway, guests have reported hearing children running and laughing in the middle of the night, but no one has been there. Also, there is a staircase leading to the bell tower which is kept locked at all times, but people out on the lawn have observed children playing up on the roof, and once, the locked trapdoor was put under speculation when a tour heard pounding on the roof. Spooky! Our last haunted place was the tunnel under the hotel. This is where all the pipes are. When we were there, two of the pipes started rattling! We hope that this was a test of the water systems by a maitenence worker, and not a “ghostie”, as our guide called them. If you have ever been to the Stanley, you will remember it the rest of your life. It was frighteningly fascinating, and I know for certain that I will never forget it.