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Monday, June 17, 2024

The Shining Tour At Stanley Hotel In Estes Park, CO

 

Check out The Shining Tour at Stanley Hotel when you are in the area visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.

If you are making this trip in your RV, read this post before you start packing - 10 Items You Should Have On Your Camping List.



My daughter, Lisa, called us as we were driving from Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO to Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, CO. I had given her a copy of our itinerary before we left on our cross-country road trip. She knew exactly where we were and was excited to tell us that Stanley Hotel was in Estes Park and had The Shining Tour if we had time to do it. Yes! We would love to do it. Me and my sister Sandie got on our phones and ordered tickets for the four of us for that very night!

We got to LaVern M. Johnson State Park early. This is where we would be staying for the next three days. We ate a quick dinner and headed out to the iconic Stanley Hotel.


The Shining Tour was just introduced 3 weeks earlier and we were very excited to be one of the first 
to go on it. We started the tour waiting for our guide in a room filled with The Shining artifacts.


The first thing we found out was that the movie wasn't filmed inside the hotel although the exterior shots of The Shining's Overlook Hotel was that of the Stanley Hotel. So almost everything we saw on the tour was replicated, one of them being this maze.


The coolest thing we learned on our tour was that Stephen King got the inspiration for his film when he was a hotel guest at Stanley Hotel. He checked in on the last day of the season and was actually the only guest. While he was there, he went to the bar and met Grady, the bartender, who told him stories of spirits living in the hotel. That night Stephen King had a nightmare about his son, Owen, running down the hotel halls and getting chased by and tangled in a fire hose. The next morning he had The Shining written in his head in the five minutes it took him to smoke a cigarette on the balcony of Room 217, the most asked for room of people wanting to stay at the hotel.


It was a little disappointing to find out that The Shining was not filmed here, but the hotel has it's own history of ghostly activity and is amazing anyway. We learned about some of the regularly appearing spirits of the hotel, one of them being Cassy, the ghost dog that haunts The Lodge. The guide told us that Cassy brings newspapers to guests and leaves them outside their door and then picks her favorite guest to sleep with. I would not want to be that guest. Then, if that story was not creepy enough, our guide told us he was bringing us to the cemetery where she is buried. Thanks, but no thanks. But my choices were to just go with the group or walk around in the dark by myself. So I didn't really have a choice. I heard rustling in the bushes behind the gravestones or was it just my imagination.


Part of the tour took us to the Caretaker's Cottage. It was built in 1909 and recently renovated. 


We listened to stories about the family that lived here and then had a chance to walk through the rooms.


Then it was time to head upstairs where we toured the three rooms dedicated to the movie, one of them being The Shining Suite. It's here that you can see the re-created bathroom where one of the scariest scenes of the movie occurred. 


The twins bedroom was another room we found upstairs.


We saw one of the actual axes used in the movie in one of the rooms.


And a portrait of Stephen King himself. Wait a minute! He looks kind of familiar! (Soko's real name is Stephen. Hmm...)


The scariest part of the tour for me was when our guide took us to an abandoned building that once housed workers that were helping to build the hotel. We walked in and sat down in the front room where a replica of this famous door stood. "Here's Johnny!" (JT's real name is John. Yikes...)


From here we walked down a very dark hallway into a back room. Our guide asked, a couple of times, if any of us felt a cool breeze on us, meaning that a ghost was passing by. I didn't but I was very on edge thinking that I possibly would feel it. 

None of us felt that cool breeze but on our way back to the campground we were looking at the pictures we took at Stanley Hotel and I almost had a heart attack when I saw this one!


All of us were positive that there was no one standing next to my brother-in-law JT in that back room but this picture tells a different story!! It definitely looks like something or someone was staring right at him!! A ghostly gorilla or a ghost in a gorilla mask! And was it trying to pat him on the shoulder?! Me and Sandie were screaming in the back seat of the car when we saw it! What do you think?

Read all about what else we did in this area.



Have you been to Stanley Hotel? Did you do The Shining or any of the other tours? Please tell us about your tour in comments!







18 comments:

  1. ...the Stanley Hotel is a grand place. I have never been there, but I thank you for taking me along for the tour.

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  2. That sounds like such a fun night!

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  3. Wow! So interesting! No, I have never been to the Stanley Hotel, but I've been to Estes Park and loved seeing about 100 elk just outside town at a lake. Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Will Blog for Comments #40 linkup. We hope to see you next week at #41. Have a great week!

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    1. You are so lucky! We were hoping to see the elk but they didn't show up the day we were there!

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  4. Just finished watching Doctor Sleep (the sequel to the Shining) yesterday, and now I'm virtually exploring the Stanley Hotel. Those creepy hotel vibes are strong! Thanks for sharing this eerie adventure.

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    1. I've never seen Doctor Sleep. Now that you mention it, I will have to watch it one day soon! Thank you for coming on the tour with us!

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  5. Very cool. What a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes. One of those places that turn out to be much more fun than you were expecting!

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  6. Oh my, it does certainly look like a gorilla is standing next to him. It sounds like you had so much fun, my husband would love to visit this hotel, he’s a huge fan of The Shining. The green bathroom, oh my! So disturbing… I’m so glad I was able to see your pics Cathy.

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    1. Thanks for joining us on the tour Cara! I really hope you and your husband get to go one day. I would love to hear what you thought of the tour and if you caught sight of any ghosts!

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  7. What a fun place to visit. Thanks for sharing about your tour at the Stanley Hotel.

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  8. What a great tour, thanks for sharing, and yes, that looks like a ghost! And yes, Soko looks like SK (even had the green tee shirt on!). It's been almost 50 yrs since I was in Estes Park and Rocky Mtn Natl Park. I don't recall anything of the Stanley Hotel being famous. Even though the book was written in 1977, the movie wasn't made until 1980. That may explain it. Great stop!

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    1. Glad you liked the virtual tour! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. You and Soko are braver than I am! And what an amazing resemblance Soko has to Stephen King!! Sounds like an excellent tour and I really enjoyed reading about it. Thank you for sharing with Hearth and Soul.

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    1. Thank you for taking the virtual tour with us April and thank you so much for hosting your party!

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