• Andy Hitch

The Haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado

Updated: Apr 8

Owning and operating an ATV rental business in Estes Park, customers are always asking about the Stanley Hotel. "Is it true. Is it really haunted?"

We all know the story. Author Stephen King stayed at the Stanley once. Evidently, he had an experience, which in turn inspired his famous book and movie "The Shinning". There have been many well known experiences by others. The movie "Dumb and Dumber" had a scene filmed at the Stanley. It is said that Jim Carey stayed in room 217. He demanded to leave in the early morning hours and was taken to the Holiday Inn. It's not an experience he likes to talk about.


Personally, I've never been much of a believer in Ghosts. Maybe I'm one of those people who needs to see to believe. However, I'm going to tell you my stories now.


Years ago, I was on a flight to Miami, leaving from Denver. Me and the guys I was with were sitting right behind first class. Turns out, the celebrities and film crew for the TV show "Ghost Hunters" were right in front of us. Long story short, we were drinking, they were drinking, and stories were told. They told us it was their 13th visit to the Stanley Hotel and only one other place in America was more haunted.


When we asked what kind of experiences they had, they told us: "Things we're not allowed to put on TV."

"What do you mean", we asked.

"Clear as day apparitions. So clear the network won't allow it."

Evidently it had something to do with not wanting to seam too extreme or mess with people's religious beliefs. I'm not sure what that means. Then again, we didn't get many details.


Back in 2013, my wife and I booked a ghost tour. We thought it would be fun for our daughter. Basically, it was just something to do for the day. The history was cool. Our guide however, was 5 beers short of a 6 pack. Every 10 feet along the tour she kept mentioning these two ghost children that were following her. Evidently they were hanging out with her as our tour was happening. I thought she was a nut job to be honest.


About 30 minutes into the tour, we were at the end of a hallway. We were standing next to a service set of stairs (staff only) heading up. Our guide stopped and was talking about something, I don't know what really. My daughter and I weren't really paying attention anymore. Next thing I know, everyone in the tour group was taking pictures of her skirt. My daughter and I were the only ones standing behind her.


The lady said, "See, Tristan is pulling on my skirt."


That caught my ear, so I began paying attention. My daughter however, was board out of her mind and staring up the entry way stairs. Then, out of nowhere, the lady turns around, looks straight at my daughter, who's long blonde hair was standing straight up. First, I looked at the lady. She had an odd look on her face. Then I looked at my daughter. I was quite taken back by how high her hair was standing. It literally looked like she stuck her finger in a light socket.


The lady then said, "Tristan likes you." to my daughter.


While my daughter is looking at her, wondering what she's talking about. I'm looking at my daughter trying to figure out why her damn hair is standing 12" above her head.


I can't remember much of what the lady said to my daughter. I know it had something to do with what the ghost kid "Tristan" wanted to say to my daughter. Meanwhile, I'm checking outlets, trying to find exposed wiring, something, anything to explain this shit. Then, like a light switch, her hair dropped down back to normal. Only nothing happened. Nobody moved, nobody did anything. Later, the lady told my wife and I that our daughter has a special gift. Basically, my wife and I were like, "Yeah, whatever."


However, I couldn't for the life of me, with my logical brain, figure out why her hair stood up like that. So, my wife booked room 403 for us and our daughter a few weeks later. 403 and 217 are the two really haunted rooms supposedly. Neither of us being believers, we didn't pay it much attention and went to bed around 1am. Up until that time, we'd been hanging out in the hallway on that 4th floor. It was quite active with ghost hunter people. They had all kinds of equipment and lots of booze. It was fun.


We all slept in the king bed together. I couldn't sleep for some reason. Normally I can sleep at the drop of a hat. Not so on this night. But I didn't think into it at all.


At 3am exactly, my wife popped out of bed like a 3" spider was crawling up her leg (she HATES spiders). It startled me big time.


I'm yelling, "What, what, what's going on, what is it?" Thinking it was a spider. Wouldn't have been the first time I seen her jump out of bed like that over one. This was just a little over the top though.


"I swear to GOD someone just sat on the bed right next to me." She said.


Let me tell you something. I've been with my wife 30 years. In those 30 years I have NEVER seen that look on her face. Also, it's not that my wife is shallow, but in 30 years of marriage, she has never talked about ghosts or even her thoughts on them. It's just not on her radar. She only booked the room because I asked her too. She loves to just get out of our cabin and stay somewhere else.


That was enough to scare the holy hell out of me. "Pack your shit, we're out of here." I yelled.


Surprisingly, and also uncharacteristic of my wife, she was on it like stink on shit. 30 years of marriage and that woman NEVER gets her crap together that quick. I'm always waiting around, pacing back and forth while she fumbles through bags, her purse, and god knows what else.


We were out of there in like 30 seconds. While our daughter was still asleep. I carried her to the truck. I'll be honest, I don't know what the hell happened. Although I may not believe in ghosts, I do believe in my wife.


I know one thing, something isn't right about that place.

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BUSINESS HOURS

8am - 5pm

Monday - Sunday

LOCATION

1851 North Lake Ave

Estes Park, Co 80517

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