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Colorado - Estes Park: The Stanley Hotel | by wallyg
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Colorado - Estes Park: The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, located at 333 Wonder View Avenue within sight of the Rocky Mountain National Park, was built and designed by Freelan O. Stanley and opened on July 4, 1909. Forced by poor health to move West, F.O. Stanley, co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, arrived in Estes Park in 1903. In 1907, he purchased 160 acres of land from Lord Dunraven and began construction on the Main Building of the hotel, one of 11 in the original complex, with timber cut from the Bear Lake burn in 1900 from land now known as Rocky Mountain National Park. The hotel, which initially included an ice pond, a water reservoir, and a 9-hole golf course, catered to the rich and famous, including early guests like Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Today, the neoclassical hotel sits on 55 acres of property with 138 guest rooms. The Stanley Hotel is most iconic for serving as the inspiration for the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's novel, The Shining. King conceived the idea for his third novel while staying at an empty Stanley at the end of a season with his wife. Contrary to information sometimes published, King was living in Boulder at the time and did not actually write the novel at the hotel. The Shining tells the story of a writer with a wife and son who accept the job of off-season caretaker at an isolated hotel, and after a paralyzing storm becomes influenced by the supernatural presence and descends into madness. The 1997 ABC television miniseries, The Shining, was filmed at the Stanley, although Mount Hood, Oregon's Timberline Lodge, stood in as the Overlook for Stanley Kubrick's cinematic version, which is played on a continous loop on Channel 42 on guest room televisions. Many believe that the Stanley's haunted history is not relegated to the fictional realm. It is believed that Flora, Stanley's wife, continues to play the Steinway Grand Piano, still located in the ballroom, that he bought her for the grand opening in 1901. People have reported hearing piano music, and seeing the piano keys move but someone crosses the threshold of the ballroom, the music stops. F.O. Stanley is believed to haunt the Billiard Room and Lobby. Lord Dunraven reportedly can be spotted in room 407, where he turns the lights off and on and makes strange noises. The fourth floor hallways are said to be haunted by ghost children. Kitchen staff have reported hearing a party going on in the ballroom, only to find it empty. In one guest room, people claim to have seen a man standing over the bed before running into the cupboard. This same apparition is allegedly responsible for stealing guests' jewellery, watches, and luggage. National Register #85001256 (1985)

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Taken on August 21, 2010