The spooky Stanley Hotel celebrates the 30th anniversary of ‘The Shining’

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
Everyone knows Stephen King’s The Shining as a terrifying tale of isolation and horror, and Kubrick’s epic interpretation featuring creepy twins and the freakiest Jack Nicholson moments of all time (so far), but did you know that the novel which inspired the film was actually based on The Stanley Hotel overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park (above)? This legendary Colorado hotel, located about an hour from Denver, was built in 1909 and openly boasts the presence of “otherworldly residents.”

“Flora Stanley, the first owner’s long-deceased wife, can still be seen and heard, late at night, either tinkling the piano keys in the music room or wandering around the lobby. Plus, the entire fourth floor (once the servants’ quarters) teems with strange after-dark commotion: if you stay in room 418, you might hear children playing outside your door, but find nary a soul in the hallway. For the ultimate scare (or inspiration), stay in room 217 — where [Stephen] King himself laid his head.”

Room 217 at The Stanley HotelThe Shining was released 30 years ago, and to celebrate, you can take a Historic Ghost Tour at The Stanley Hotel for $15 per person. You’ll visit the hotel’s most haunted places (like room 217, right), hear tales of actual sightings and the connection to The Shining, and take a tour of the hotel’s spooky underground tunnel (reservations required, call 970-577-4110).

For the more adventurous thrill-seekers, the hotel also employs a professional paranormal investigation staff, and for $50 you can join them on a five-hour ghost hunt using all the equipment you see the pros use on TV: K2 meters, cell sensors, real time EVP recorders, a spirit box and a laser grid. Now that’s a Halloween plan.

Rates for those brave enough to stay at The Stanley Hotel start at $199 through October 31, then drop to $99 per night for the off-season.

Let us know if you find out what was up with that bear suit.