A boo boo!
In the spirit of Halloween I'm going to share some tales of horror and blood curdling terror. Terror, I tell you. Terror. You will run screaming to your mommies. You will turn all the lights on in the house. And then the electricity bill will be even more horrifying than any ghost story and you'll forget all about this one.
But until then, prepare to be frightened. Or at least mildly startled.
This is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. It was built in the early 1900s by F.O. Stanley who was known for creating the Stanley Steam Engine; a steam powered, horseless carriage. Although horror fans will know the hotel instantly as the setting for Stephen King's "The Shining."
Growing up in Estes, I actually had my Brownie/girl scout meetings at the Stanley. Looking back now, I realize that is kind of a cool thing to be able to boast. At the time, it was just what we did. You were a Brownie and meetings were held at the haunted hotel made famous by a horror novel. We were oblivious to all that, busily making turkeys out of pine cones and other assorted crafts, learning campfire songs. In later school years we had our choir and band performances there. And unfortunately, I never saw any of the reported ghosts. I do recall hearing the piano play one time we were there and supposedly there was no one playing it, but I can't be certain that it wasn't the overactive imaginations of a gaggle of giggling girls.
However, it is reported that for the grand opening of the hotel in 1901, F.O. Stanley presented his wife Flora, with a Steinway Grand piano. The same piano still graces the hotel's grand ballroom and apparently Mrs. Stanley still stops by in her ghostly state to play a little piano now and then. People have seen the piano keys moving, but there is never anyone there. On further investigation, it always stops.
Her husband, F.O. Stanley, is also said to haunt the hotel. It is reported that he prefers the Billiard room, but has also been seen in the lobby. Bartenders have reported seeing him behind the bar, but he always vanishes before he can be approached.
The 4th floor, which was the former servant quarters, is also said to have a lot of ghostly visitors. A Lord Dunraven is said to haunt room 407 and likes to switch lights on and off. People have claimed to have seen a face looking out that window, even though it was not occupied at the time. Room 418 seems to host several child ghosts. Past guests have checked out early because they were unable to sleep due to all the children playing in the hallway and then on closer investigation, found that there were no children checked into the hotel at the time. Stephen King himself apparently saw one of the child ghosts; a small boy calling for his nanny. Impressions are said to appear on freshly made beds and there are reports of strange sounds that come from the room.
(Taken at the Stanley, picture found on www.hauntedamericatours.com)
Ooo...spooky, dontcha think?? Want to book a room?