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What Happened At Stanley Hotel Room 217?

By Molly Weinfurter


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The Stanley Hotel room 217 is a famous destination because it’s the place Stephen King’s The Shining was based off of. This hotel, which is located in Estes Park, Colorado, is famous for being haunted. Many guests have claimed to experience paranormal events while staying in certain rooms, and the hotel’s staff members aren’t afraid to advertise the hotel as “spirited.”

If you’re brave enough to consider staying at Stanley room 217, then here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Stanley Hotel?

What Happened At Stanley Hotel Room 217

The Stanley Hotel is an iconic and historic hotel that most people now know as “The Shining Hotel.” Stephen King and his wife stayed at the hotel in 1974. While King was at the hotel, he learned about stories of the hotel’s eerie history from the staff members. King stayed in room 217, which is one of the most well-known rooms at the hotel for being haunted. It’s also a presidential suite.

After waking up from a nightmare while stayed in room 217, King had come up with the plot for a new book that would later become The Shining. Even though most people know this hotel for that reason, it has a lot of history leading up to that moment.

Stanley Hotel History

In 1903, an inventor named Freelan Oscar Stanley stayed in Estes Park, Colorado, when he was weak and underweight. After staying in the area for only a short amount of time, he felt healthier than ever, so he grew fond of the town. He and his wife built the Stanley Hotel in that spot in 1909 so people could visit and enjoy the town as he did.

However, the hotel didn’t always stay in the best shape. After a lack of funds and care, along with some eerie ghost sightings, the hotel was at risk of being torn down in the 1970s. Yet, after King visited the hotel and wrote a story based on it, the business became a hit once again. Today, the hotel is a popular place to spend the night and take a tour, especially for those fascinated by the paranormal. 

What Happened at the Stanley Hotel Room 217?

Stanley Hotel Room 217

Room 217’s spooky history started in 1911 when a maid named Elizabeth Wilson entered the room with a candle. There was an unexpected gas leak in the room, so the flames caused an explosion. Wilson flew across the hotel but survived the tragedy with a few broken bones. She continued working in the hotel after that.

Wilson passed away in the 1950s, supposedly from an illness. People now believe that her ghost haunts room 217. People who have stayed in the room have experienced lots of bizarre activities, such as sounds of a woman crying and clothes being folded while the guests are asleep. The room is commonly called “The Shining hotel room.”

Is the Stanley Hotel Haunted?

Many people believe that the Stanley Hotel is haunted, and some have even captured photos of ghostly figures as evidence. Wilson’s ghost isn’t the only one that regularly makes an appearance. Two girls in white dresses are often seen on the stairs, similar to the twins featured in The Shining. Some people have also claimed to see the ghost of Lord Dunraven, the man who owned the land before the Stanleys. A man who’s only a torso sometimes makes appearances in the billiard rooms.

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley also make appearances, according to the staff members. Rachael Thomas, who gives tours at the facility, said Mr. Stanley’s ghost often helps guide lost children back to their families. Mrs. Stanley’s ghost sometimes plays the piano in the music room. Even when the piano isn’t playing, people claim they see her ghost sitting in front of the piano, and she’s often associated with a rose scent.

People who have witnessed ghosts of the Stanley Hotel have heard noises, seen figures, found items in different spots, and been touched when no one else was around. 

What Rooms are Haunted?

The Stanley Hotel has several “spirited” rooms that guests can stay at. Those rooms are the ones with the most paranormal activity, and most of them are located on the 4th floor. In fact, some people feel uneasy just walking down the 4th floor’s hallway. 

Besides the 217 room, the other notoriously haunted rooms are 401, 407, 418, and 428. Those rooms are often the most-requested, so they book up the fastest and often have higher rates. So, if you’re interested in staying at one of the most haunted rooms at the Stanley Hotel, you’ll need to book your stay far in advance.

Haunted Tours at the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel hosts a lot of tours, many of which focus on the creepy side of the structure. The Spirited Night Tour is a popular walking tour that allows guests to learn about the hotel’s history after dark. Many visitors have claimed to witness ghosts and other unexplainable experiences during the tour. Some have even had ghostly figures appear in their photographs when they didn’t see anyone while taking the photos.

Sometimes, the hotel also offers “The Shining Tour,” which is an indoor and outdoor walking tour that covers the hotel’s history related to Stephen King’s The Shining. Guests on the tour will also get to see inside a historic cottage known as the the Shining Suite.

There are also day tours available, but they focus more on the general history of the hotel rather than paranormal encounters. Plus, you’re less likely to spot a ghost during the daytime tours. To find out which tours are currently offered when you visit, you should contact the Stanley Hotel for the most up-to-date list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Stanley Hotel

If you’re thinking about staying at the Stanley Hotel, here are some things you might be wondering.

How Much Does it Cost to Stay at Room 217?

Room 217 starts at $569 per night, and it often sells for even more. It regularly sells out because so many people request it, so you’ll need to book far in advance if you want to stay in it. Other haunted rooms are easier to book, but they’ll start at $529 per night. Regular suites range from $339 to $489 per night.

How Long is the Stanley Hotel Room 217 Waiting List?

Room 217 Stanley Hotel is usually booked out at least months in advance, but potentially longer. You may be able to snag the room on short notice if there’s a cancellation.

How Much Does the Stanley Hotel Tour Cost?

The Spirited Tours typically cost $30 per person. A regular day tour costs $25 per adult, $23 per adult hotel guest, and $20 per child. So, you don’t have to stay at the hotel to book a tour.

Was The Shining Filmed at the Stanley Hotel?

No, The Shining wasn’t filmed at the Stanley Hotel. The hotel inspired the novel, but the film didn’t use it at all. Instead, the building’s exterior in the film is the Timberline Lodge in Oregon.

Visit the Stanley Hotel

If you’re a horror fan, then visiting the Stanley Hotel should be on your bucket list. You can book a tour, spend the night, or both, and you might see ghosts during your visit. However, if you’re hoping to stay in a haunted room, you should get your room booked as soon as you can before the paranormal rooms get taken. 

The Stanley Hotel is just one of many haunted destinations in the United States. If you’re interested in touring other spooky destinations, consider visiting the Biltmore Estate and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. You might get to witness some paranormal activities first-hand, so these destinations aren’t for the faint of heart.

About Molly Weinfurter

Molly Weinfurter is a freelance writer and editor that specializes in family, travel, and animal-related topics.

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