Special Ed's First And Last Trip To The Stanley Hotel

It is a very common fact that Stephen King is one of Special Ed's favorite authors. In June, he was able to travel to beautiful Estes Park, CO for a work meeting. The venue was the Stanley Hotel, the same hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. As soon as he learned of the meeting, he immediately booked himself into Room 217, the same room that Stephen King stayed in, and one with a very haunted history. Doing this may have been a mistake.

I arrived in Estes Park on June 25th. The ride up from DIA was very beautiful and I had some really fun conversations with some of my colleagues. I was very much looking forward to arriving at the Stanley. Although I had read all of the haunted tales of the hotel, I arrived there as a skeptic. Human emotion, paranoia, and fear can cause people to perceive things that don't exist and electronic sleight of hand can take care of a number of other experiences. I showed up to the hotel, checked in, and eagerly headed up to my room for the next 2 nights.

The minute that I crossed the threshold into the room, it felt wrong. I know it sounds silly, but you could feel a difference in the energy of the room. I began to unpack my stuff and laid my clothes out on an ironing bored in the closet located off of the bathroom. As soon as I stepped into the closet, it felt even worse. Something in the whole area felt really out of place. I finished unpacking and decided to head downstairs.

Upon opening my door, it was immediately rushed by tourists wanting to look inside. The hotel does ghost tours and my room was part of the tour. Many times during my stay, I would experience the same thing, with people shoving their cameras in the room to take pictures. I got past the tourists and headed to the 4th floor to make a quick round of the other haunted rooms. As I was walking through the halls, a door behind me inexplicably slammed itself shut from the inside. This was be beginning of a number of strange encounters.

I went to the day's first portion of the meeting and then to dinner with the group. At this point, I was a little spooked, but confident that I was just building things up in my head. We decided to have a few drinks in the courtyard to kill time. I sat out there with the group, with everyone pitying me and feeding me Maker's Mark. While sitting in the courtyard, there were a number of rooms on the upper level that I felt like I was being watched from. I kept nervously glancing up to the same three spots all night long and couldn't make any sense of it.

I would show members of my team my room as everyone was interested in it. Almost everyone was creeped out as soon as they walked into the room. There were a couple of psychics/ghost hunters that saw the door open and asked to come in. As soon as they came in, they said that the room was wrong and asked me not to stay there. They said that it wasn't safe. They took a couple of group pictures and were upset upon seeing them. They showed me one, which shows something materializing out of the wall and reaching for me. I went downstairs, had a couple of more drinks, and had to get to bed.

I took a bath in the infamous claw foot tub. The whole time, I was scared, looking into the closet, and expecting the worst. I took some Nyquil to ensure some sleep, opened the windows so that I could jump out if I became trapped in the room, and got 4 hours of sleep.

The ghost that haunts my room is known for cleaning up after good guests. As I was getting ready the next morning, things started moving on the counter top, lining themselves up in an orderly manner. I was the only one in the room and the containers were all plastic, so they could not have been influenced by magnets. I got the hell of out the room and ran downstairs to the meeting.

During the day, one of my team wanted to come up and take pictures of the room for his niece. I used the bathroom and found myself locked in from the inside. I fought with the door and as it opened, found Dave all of the way across the room. There's no way that he could have been holding it shut. He then told me that he was taking pictures of the room and they should something coming out of the wall and headed toward the bathroom. I told him that I didn't want to see it. Multiple times during the day, I'd head upstairs during breaks and lunches, throw my stuff on the desk, use the bathroom, and come back to find it all neatly organized where I left it. It was very very creepy. I finished up the meeting and went to dinner with everyone.

That night, we decided to have a few more drinks outside. We were a bit loud the night before, so the security guard offered to take us on his rounds so that he could keep an eye on us and avoid guest complaints. The first area that he took everyone was the tunnels underneath the buildings that were used by servants. I chose not to go as I heard this area was particularly active. The group was gone for a while and all came back with crazy pictures of unexplainable things. I joined up with them as he took us through the Manor House and the Music House. Things felt creepy in both areas, but we did not see or experience anything directly. He had to go check on the Steamer house but would not take anyone with him there. He said that there are a number of inexplicable accidents that occur there and that the staff doesn't enter any longer due to these. He suggested that we stay as far away as possible from it. He made his rounds and then left us to do our own thing.

Of course, some of the group went over to the Steamer house while I headed back to the main building. At this point, I had seen and experienced things that I could not explain and did not want to sleep in 217 any longer. I planned on borrowing a truck and sleeping in the back of it somewhere off the property. I considered this and then decided to move to one of the non haunted rooms in the least haunted buildings .I made 2 people come up to my room with me to ensure that I did not become locked in. They took a couple of pictures, I grabbed my stuff and got out.

I got up in the morning and discovered that my sunglasses were missing. I went to the front desk and asked for keys to 217 so that I could look for them. It was 8am and maid service had not started yet. When I opened the door, the first thing that I saw was that the bed was made. I had pulled the sheets back the day before anticipating that I was going to be staying there. Nothing else in the room had been touched. My sunglasses weren't there and I got out.

We wrapped up our last half day meeting and I went back to the 4th floor for a few last pictures. The door that slammed shut the first day did the same thing to me again. I walked back down to it, opened it all of the way into the hotel, and made sure that it was not moving. As I walked away, I heard it slam shut. I turned around. When I did, the door handle unlatched and the door slowly opened itself back into the same position that I had placed it. I headed over to room 401 and took some pictures pointing down the hall. An hour later, I was reviewing them and found inexplicable things in the pics. I called it good and headed down to the airport to fly back to Phoenix.

I arrived at the hotel a skeptic and went home a believer. That hotel is haunted and I hope I never have to go there again.

The exterior of the Stanley Hotel.
The Stanley Hotel.
The interior of Room 217.
Room 217.
A dark and creepy closet.
Creepiest closet ever.
A tv channel list on a nightstand.
They keep The Shining on a constant loop on channel 42.
A view of the mountains from room 217.
Looking out from 217.
A fire valve on the wall in the hallway.
The fire valve that inspired the hose chasing scene.
A bottle of Room 217 beer.
Room 217 beer.
A hallway with an open door at the end of it.
The door that kept shutting on me.
A plaque commemorating Lord Dunraven.
Lord Dunraven.
A ghostly image in the hallway.
Now you see it...
The same hallway with the ghostly image now gone.
...Now you don't.
Special Ed standing in front of Room 217.
Quick picture outside of my room before leaving.