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Probably one of the most infamous places in Colorado, the Stanley Hotel has played host to foreign kings and Hollywood royalty, but is perhaps best known as the inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel The Shining.

King was living in Boulder at the time, and spent the night at the hotel when it was mostly empty.  He got the idea to write a story and the rest, well, that’s pretty much history.  The novel was published in 1977 and a movie was made in 1980 – you may have caught it once or twice…

The hotel itself is in Estes Park Colorado and can be seen almost as soon as you come out of the mountains on the twisty, turny little highway that brings you in from Boulder.  It’s a white beacon on the hill with the Twin Owls behind it and the Rockies all around.

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I’ve never been inside, but I’ve considered it.  I’ve no idea what it costs to stay there these days but I do know that many people claim it’s haunted.  The ballroom is supposed to be particularly bad, and ghost kids run up and down the hallways playing though no one ever sees them.

The Ghost Hunters even investigated there a couple times and have inspired a new ‘Ghost Hunters Tour’ that takes you through all the haunted hot spots they encountered.  Obviously, the owners enjoy the added notoriety that comes with being haunted.  Heck, they even play The Shining on a continuous loop on one of the channels guests receive in their rooms.

There’s a gate with a guard on the approach up, so this shot was taken from the little frontage road.  I did go up to the gate but the guard said we had to turn around.  Ah well.