The Haunting of the Stanley Hotel

This post is almost a year too late as I visited the Stanley Hotel last December! I figure since tours are cancelled at the moment, I would share with you guys my experience specifically around the EPIC Ghost Tour. Happy Halloweekend, everyone!

What a perfect time to tell y’all about the ghost tour during my weekend at the Stanley Hotel!

Disclaimer: This story is retold based on information I have heard. There are many variations of this exact story and I am sharing what I know to be as close to the truth as possible. Everything that I experienced was from my stay at a condo owned by the hotel from December 6- 8, 2019.

This is the sign at the entry way of the Stanley Hotel grounds! Let me know in the comments if you want to see where we stayed and what other activities we did while in Estes Park!

Located at the heart of Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel is one of the states main attractions known for its views, summertime activities, and ghost presence. While this post only features one of the many stories behind ghosts at this hotel, the town of Estes Park has many attractions that also claim to be haunted.

Room 217

To me, the greatest stories are those of the workers who just loved their jobs at the hotel and are now said to be ghosts. My favorites is that of the chambermaid Elizabeth Wilson and the room 217 (who’s seen the Shining?)!

 **her last name is questionable, I guess, and I can’t exactly recall from the tour**

People were actually staying in this iconic room when we were doing the ghost tour, so the group stayed in the main hallway and the few of us willing to go near the room took turns taking pictures.

In 1911 a storm shut off the power throughout the hotel and guests were ushered out of their rooms while employees were sent to light lanterns in each room.

As Ms. Wilson entered the presidential suite, 217, to light the lantern, there was an immediate explosion. This was later identified as an explosion due to a gas leak and the fact that she had been carrying an open flame.

This explosion caused extreme damage to the west wing of the hotel. But the force of the explosion sent  Ms. Wilson through the ground of the second floor!

One might think that the injuries sustained would be fatal, but she actually made a full recovery with the Stanley’s covering her medical expenses and vowing to pay her for employment until the day she died.

Well, Ms. Wilson had other plans and went back to work as soon as she was able and worked for the hotel until she passed in the 50’s at over 90 years old!

They reconstructed the west wing of the hotel and were able to get make it look like nothing ever happened with matching decor and restorations! The room is now 2 separate rooms and both are in high demand when booking a stay at the hotel.

It is said that Ms. Elizabeth Wilson haunts room 217 and might do such things as folding guests clothing or making their bed. Such stories have even been told that she attempts to separate unwed couples while in the bed in 217 as she was a very conservative woman.

Publicity? Or Reality?

During our tour, I was having an awesome time learning the history and would sort of laugh off the ghost stories because I thought it was mostly just a publicity stunt. For example, Jim Carey refusing to stay in the hotel during filming of Dumb and Dumber seems to be a dramatic ploy to add to the hype of a “haunted” hotel. I could see a publicist thinking of how great it would be to get a big-name actor to dramatize the experience at hotel known for its haunting.

However, I did get put in my place while we were near the former employee tunnels. While most of the stories of haunting seem to be special effects or could be manufactured, the pictures we took below the hotel on our own devices could not have been.

I asked my brother to take a picture of me near one of the collapsed tunnels and my phone glitched and shut off. He then took pictures on his phone and, man, they were creepy! I can’t really explain, but you all can see for yourself!

I am not completely sure on the history of the collapse of this tunnel, but it was so interesting to see this area! You can see the foundation of the hotel (or lack thereof) as the hotel was built just on top of the ground. Again, I am not sure of the specifics, but the hotel moves for this reason which is why you might see a lot of renovation during the off season.

Other things I thought were doctored: the flickering lights on the stair case between the lobby and the bathrooms, the many areas with a cold breeze, and the creaking of the floor right as you were near a “haunted” destination.

Recommendation

Although it’s not for everyone, I did have such a wonderful time on this tour and highly recommend to anyone! So, when the world becomes normal again, take the ghost tour at night at the Stanley Hotel and let me know what you think of the haunting of this historic venue!

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have ever been and what you see in these pictures! Do you believe in haunting? Or are you a skeptic like me?

Happy Halloweekend!

XO,

Sonja

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18 thoughts on “The Haunting of the Stanley Hotel

  1. Thank you sharing your experience at Stanley Hotel. As you say, one does not know how much is a publicity gag and how much is true but it seems to make for a really entertaining tour. As well, it helps to recall the history of the hotel. If I ever go to Colorado, I might just look for the hotel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure! I love Colorado history and find it very fascinating. They do make it very entertaining mixing in these tails with the history of the hotel and town of Estes Park.

      Like

    1. I’m not a fan of the haunted house thing either. I don’t want people jumping out at me without a scary costume! I find these stories, fascinating, too!

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    1. Thank you so much! I think you are the first person to read this that has actually been (outside my family)! Do you stay in the actual hotel or the condos off the main building?

      Like

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