Opened on July 4th, 1909, the Stanley Hotel is widely known for its magnificent architecture and surroundings. It is located in Estes Park, Colorado and is very close to the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
The 420-room Colonial Revival hotel has been featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels and was the main inspiration for the novel The Shining written by Stephen King.
The hotel was built by the inventor Freelan Oscar Stanley who also built the Stanley Steamer. Stanley’s poor health forced him to move West because he needed the mountain fresh air to get better. Once his health was restored he purchased 160 acres from Lord Dunraven and built the first main building of the hotel.
The structure was completed in 1909 and featured running water supplied by the Black Canyon Creek, elevator, a telephone and dual electric and gas lighting. Until 1983, the hotel was closed every winter because it was not equipped with heat.
He built a whole complex of buildings including the main hotel, a concert hall, carriage house, and The Lodge. A hydroelectric power plant was built for the hotel which brought electricity to Estes Park for the first time.
The whole complex is in the Colonial Revival architectural style and it was Stanley’s first choice because of its popularity in New England. Today, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are a lot of stories about paranormal activity on the site. There are ghost tours for visitors through which they can learn about the history of the hotel and understand the reason for the mysterious activities. Many people believe that the ghosts of the owners are still around and the sound of children playing in the halls is common. The most famous room in the hotel is the room 217. It is the room where Stephen King and his wife spent one night while they were on vacation.
According to Wikipedia, King had the strangest dream about his 3-year old son running through the corridors, scared and screaming being chased by a fire-hose.
When he woke up he lit a cigarette and by the time the cigarette was done he had the main bones for the novel firmly set in his mind.