When I was a child, I loved ghost stories. I would head to the local library at least once a week and check out a new book or two… and regardless of how hard my mom tried to steer my to a new section of the library, I always left with at least one ghost story in hand. My husband probably likes ghost stories even more than I do. (Another reason that he’s my perfect match?) In fact, whichever one of us dies first, we will likely haunt the other one for the remainder of their days just for ghostly giggles. So when my husband booked us for a weekend getaway at the most haunted hotel in America – The Historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – I was all about it!Parenthood and Passports - Most Haunted Hotel in America

The Most Haunted Hotel in America

If you have never heard of The Stanley Hotel, you have probably at least heard stories about it. The hotel was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s horror novel-turned-movie, “The Shining”. Did anyone else just get a shiver up their spine? Seriously, that movie is CU-REE-PEE-creepy! Seriously, I’m approaching my mid-30s and still haven’t been able to watch it all the way through.

The first time I tried to watch that movie, was Halloween night when I was in the 6th grade. My best friend had a TV in her room (I was so jealous), and her mom let us rent a VHS tape from the video store (I’m showing my age, right?). Why that mother let two 12-year-old girls rent “The Shining” is beyond me. But I digress… We made it about a third of the way through the movie before we were screaming, with our heads under the covers until one of us got brave enough to run over to the TV and hit the stop button. (I guess this was before VHS players had remote controls, too. — geez, I’m old.)

“The Shining”

Anyway, for all of you youngin’s who have never seen the 1980 film starring Jack Nicholson, it’s about a guy who becomes a winter caretaker at an old hotel and moves his family there. The guy goes crazy and his psychic son starts seeing disturbing visions as a demonic presence starts interfering with their lives. The movie plays on a loop on Channel 42 in the hotel. (Side note: the movie was not filmed at The Stanley. It was just the inspiration for the story.)Parenthood and Passports - Most Haunted Hotel in America

Actual Ghost Stories at the Stanley Hotel

Despite it’s reputation, the hotel doesn’t have a particularly dark past. But after the Stephen King book was published, countless stories of hauntings have surfaced. People have reported hearing someone playing the piano in the middle of the night or seeing apparitions in their rooms. The hotel, in a great PR move, capitalized on it and now offers ghost tours in the haunted hotel.

Our experience in the Most Haunted Hotel?

I wasn’t spooked. No scary little girls were walking the halls says “RED-RUM”. (Movie reference). No random figures lurked in the corner of our room. No unexplained footsteps, music or giggles.

We stayed on the 4th floor, which supposedly has the most paranormal activity. But no ghosts decided to visit that weekend. (Well, that’s my story.) My husband will tell you he woke up feeling like someone was sitting on his chest. I personally think he just had heartburn from the fast food we ate earlier that night. The picture below is a print out of some of the ghost reports people have experienced on the 4th floor.Parenthood and Passports - Most Haunted Hotel in America

Haunted or not, the hotel is cool. It has an old-fashioned charm to it, and is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States.

If you’re looking for things to do in Estes Park check out Pages of Travel.

Our room seemed a bit outdated and dingy. I think they could keep the historic feel and still touch up the rooms (and add air-conditioning). The room did not justify the price tag that came with it. But it is worth an experience. You can visit the hotel and take one of the paranormal tours without actually staying in the hotel. But if you love a good ghost hunt, put The Stanley Hotel on your list!

Parenthood and Passports - Most Haunted Hotel in America

13 thoughts on “Most Haunted Hotel in America”

  1. I couldn’t finish the book much less see the movie. So I will not be staying at the hotel. There is also a haunted hotel in San Antonio.

    1. The funny thing about the hotel is that it was never thought to be haunted until the book came out. Stephen King stayed there the day before the place was going to shut down for the season. He and his wife were the only guests in the entire hotel. That night he had a nightmare and came up with the idea for the book. So, I really don’t think it is haunted… maybe I should have called this post the most “unhaunted” hotel in America. 🙂

  2. Hey,

    I’m definitely not a massive ghost buff, but I would say I’m curious. What I would do if I ever saw anything is beyond me… but from your review I think I’d be pretty safe there.

    Are you on a mission now to actually find/stay somewhere that is haunted?

    1. No way! I’m like you, I don’t know what I would do if I actually had a real ghost experience. LOL. I love a good ghost story, but I don’t know how much I really believe in them. I guess that’s why I wasn’t scared to stay at this hotel.

  3. You are so brave and you are right. Why would anyone let 12 year old girls rent “The Shining.” When I read the paper in the photo about Room 408 I would have screamed. I hate scary things and you are so brave for doing this!

  4. I always tell my husband I’m going to haunt him if I go first and keep tabs on how he is spending my life insurance lol I had no idea The Shining was inspired by a real hotel. I used to read a lot of Stephen King in days gone by.

  5. I’m such a scaredy cat that my husband didn’t tell me about the paranormal activity at this hotel until we were getting into bed!!! Yikes! We had a very young baby at the time, who was up in the night still, and I was so worried I’d hear something! Thankfully, the ghosts picked on someone else that night.

  6. I don’t mind hearing stories of haunted hotels, castles, etc., but the minute it is associated with a Stephen King movie, count me out! Such a chicken and the visual of Jack Nicholson in that classic post just makes my neck hair stand on end. A very cool find though- the most haunted hotel of all!

  7. OMG! Never heard about it before, and although I appreciate your post, I don’t think I never will since that looks super scary 🙂

    I’m the one that spends all night awake and imagining shadows everywhere after an horror film… can’t handle it very good…
    In any case, looks like a nice experience for someone found of these kind of things!

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