Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Stanley Hotel

Most people know of the Stanley Hotel as the place where Stephen King wrote The Shining.  It is a destination on the lists of many ghost hunters.  I have the privilege of saying that I've been there a couple of times.

In 1903, F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, were instructed by a doctor to visit Estes Park, Colorado.  The doctor suggested the mountain air would be good for F.O.'s tuberculosis, so the Stanley's headed west.  They stayed in a cabin and immediately fell in love with Estes Park.  F.O. Stanley purchased a good piece of land from the Earl of Dunraven in order to build a place he and his wife could enjoy and entertain in. In 1909, the Stanley Hotel was opened.

Many tales of otherworldly activities have been told with regards to the Stanley Hotel.  A lot of those tales are said to center around a former housekeeper for the hotel.  On June 25, 1911, an electrical storm occurred.  The lights went out, and Ms. Elizabeth Wilson was walking around, lighting lanterns to see by.  When she was at the spot where room 217 now is, there was an explosion.   Ms. Wilson was shot down from the second floor to the first floor, where the MacGregor Room now sits.  She was not killed in the accident, but she did break both ankles.  Since her death in the 1950s, people have benefited from extra housekeeping, such as beds being turned down, being tucked into bed, and having luggage unpacked.  On my trips to the hotel, I have not run into Ms. Wilson.  I can say that I have had a number of experiences though, most of which happened on the fourth floor. 

The fourth floor used to be the children's floor, so a lot of running around, playing and what-not occurred up there.  On the ghost tours, it is common for the group to sing songs, such as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on the children's floor.  Sometimes ghosts will make their presences known while the song goes on.  Twice I've been on the tour when ghostly activity, in the form of cold spots, surrounded me. 

I've also had my pants leg tugged on.  When it happened, I had a sense of a child playing hide and seek.  Of course I looked down to see if my pants could have brushed up on something.  There was nothing near my leg when the experience happened. 

I have also had the privilege of going into the closet of Dunraven's room.  It was said that he used to take the nannies in there and do nefarious things with them.  While in the closet, I saw the image of a face hovering just inches in front of mine.

 I was also able to spend the night in the hotel once, as a gift from my husband.  While there, my son (then three years old) and I went to explore the hotel.  We went up to the fourth floor, and my son backed us into a corner.  He had us kneel down on the floor.  We stayed there for a number of minutes and then I asked him if we could go back to the room.  My son told me we had to stay where we were.  When asked why, his whisper to me was "The people will see us."  There was no one to be seen in the hallway with us.

Have you been to the Stanley Hotel?  Did you have any otherworldly experiences?  I'd love to hear of them!

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