The Odd Blog – A Tour Through The Stanley Hotel – by Kirin Johnson

A Tour Through The Stanley Hotel

When you think of The Stanley Hotel, you probably think of the movie The Shining. In addition to being a tourist attraction, it is also a place where paranormal investigators hunt for signs of paranormal activity. Many believe The Stanley Hotel is haunted with spirits of deceased visitors, employees and owners, Freelan Oscar and Flora Stanley. The high number of reported ghost sightings convinced horror author Stephen King to stay over night. The next morning, he already had the outline for his successful horror novel The Shining.

Freelan Oscar Stanley (June 1, 1849 – October 2, 1940) was an inventor, businessman and the man who built The Stanley Hotel. The gorgeous 420-room hotel opened on July 4, 1909. Although it was originally catered to the rich and famous, today it is open to the public.

Stanley History & Ghost Tour
On March 2, 2017, I took my first tour through The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. Before all the fun started, our tour guide stressed that she doesn’t like to refer to the deceased as “ghosts.” She said that she likes referring to them as “intelligent spirits,” or “orbs.”

When it comes to the belief in spirits, I have been a skeptic all of my life. Regardless of my skepticism, I came to this tour with an open mind. After we viewed an interesting video on claims of supernatural activity at The Stanley, it was time to take a tour through one of the most haunted hotels in America.

Before I went to the second floor of the hotel, I passed by the ballroom. Due to an event that was about to take place, I could not go in. I really wanted to take a look because there have been many reported ghost sightings of Flora Stanley continuously playing the piano in the ballroom. Well, at least I was able to get an image (below) from the outside of the room.

The Vortex

The “vortex” is what they call the two staircases that are located on each side of the hotel. Both staircases wrap around as they connect to all four floors. It is reported that the energy from the Earth, along with energy from supernatural forces within the hotel, create a powerful surge of energy that you can feel with your hand.

We were encouraged to take many pictures while looking up from the 1st floor, as well as when we were on the 4th floor looking down. It was reported that many people have witnessed what appears to be spirits, usually children.

In addition to the sounds of children playing, balls bouncing, toilets flushing, doors slamming and Flora playing the piano, long-term employees of The Stanley have reported sightings of four specific spirits that roam the hotel on a regular basis. They have seen the spirits roaming the halls and some of the rooms.

The Four Spirits


Paul was an employee at the hotel from 1995-2005. A heart attack took his life while he was on his way to the emergency room. Paul was the man who was responsible for enforcing an 11 p.m. curfew for the hotel. There are claims of Paul telling guests to “get out” when it’s past curfew.


When Eddie first started haunting The Stanley Hotel a few years ago, his presence was said to bring an unpleasant odor. Hence, the smell eventually earned him the nickname “Stinky Man.” Since Eddie didn’t like his nickname, he chose to later release a smell that was much more pleasant than before. Perhaps the other reason he wanted to smell much better was because he wanted to impress the women who come and visit the hotel. In addition to being known as the “resident prankster,” Eddie is also a ladies’ man. Based on various claims from hotel visitors, he has been known to kiss the cheeks and stroke the hair of female guests.

Eddie’s spirit at the hotel remains a mystery. He has no connections to the hotel property.


Lucy is another spirit with no known connection to The Stanley. Her hangout area in the hotel is the Concert Hall. Lucy likes humming and communicating with staff and parapsychologists using flashlights. There has been speculation that she may have been a runaway or homeless woman who used the hotel for a place to stay.

Elizabeth Wilson: A Visitor In Room 217

Elizabeth Wilson was the chief housekeeper at The Stanley Hotel. In the summer of 1911, she was in a serious accident. While she was lighting acetylene lanterns in room 217, there was a gas leak. The leak lead to an explosion that sent her through the floor. She was buried under two floors of rubble. Luckily, Wilson survived and was found with just two broken ankles.

Although Wilson died in the 1950s, many reports from guests suggest that her spirit comes and stops by room 217. If you ever stay in this room, make sure you keep track of your belongings. According to guests who have visited this room, they have claimed to have had their luggage unpacked, their items moved around the room and the lights turned on and off. There have also been reports of unmarried couples experiencing a force between them when laying in bed (assuming something is attempting to keep them apart).

Even me being a skeptic, I must admit that during the tour of the hotel, the closer I got to room 217, the more intense the energy felt. Although I have yet to stay a night in this particular room, it would be quite interesting to see what kind of paranormal experience I might have.

Stephen King’s Experience In Room 217

Even Stephen King stayed a night in room 217. There were no children in the building at the time. However, according to the official website for The Stanley Hotel, King encountered a child. The sighting left him spooked.

Jim Carrey’s Experience In Room 217

While filming the movie Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey decided to stay the night in room 217. According to our tour guide, all it took was a few hours for him to become beyond spooked.

Carrey chose to leave the hotel, demanding to get a room elsewhere immediately. He was said to be so scared, he did not want to be left alone. To this day, Carrey has yet to explain what he experienced while he was alone in room 217.

Room 428 : Home To An Elusive Cowboy

Interestingly, one ghost that is not mentioned on The Stanley Hotel website is the spirit in room 428. The tour guide said there are reports of a shadow figure wearing a cowboy hat in this particular room.

The man is said to only appear just before guests fall asleep. Whenever one attempts to take a picture of him, he immediately vanishes. The weird thing is that no one knows who this ghost is, or where he came from. Whenever paranormal investigators visit room 428, the cowboy never appears.

If you ever take a trip to Estes Park, Colorado, you will want to pay a visit to The Stanley Hotel. Whether you stay the night, or simply stop by and take a guided Ghost Tour, you don’t want to miss out on this exciting adventure. With all of its fascinating history and reported paranormal activity, it is one experience you will never forget. Despite having to book in advance, I know that on my first night at The Stanley Hotel, I will be staying in room 217.