Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Overlook Hotel

If you love reading novels, you no doubt like a good thriller every now and then. And there’s no one better at writing thrillers than the king of scary, Stephen King. (See what I did there, I made a joke.) You may have read some of his later works like the Cell series, but if you’re a true fan you’ve read the book that put him on the map; The Shining. And if you want to understand the insane and demented that is his book, you need to visit the place that inspired King’s greatest work.

The Overlook Hotel firstly is a fictional place. Actually known as the Stanley Hotel, this renowned building is claimed to be the most popular hotel in all of the Rockies. A 138-room Georgian in Estes Park, Colorado, its construction is responsible by Freelan O. Stanley of the famous Stanley Steamer Company.

Opened in 1909, its rooms have hosted countless numbers of celebrities including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. The Stanley Hotel is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While still a prestigious hotel, since The Shining’s releasing it has incorporated its newfound stardom into its everyday workings. For a simple fee of $15.00 per person, a group of 25 can be guided through the building’s seasoned halls looking for remnants of a world long gone. You will even be led into the book’s acclaimed Room 217 where the novel first takes off and the core of the book’s plot was created. However, you must be 5 years of age or older to enter.

Did you know?- The hotel shows the uncut R-rated version of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining continuously on Channel 42 on guest room televisions.

The notion of the hotel being haunted is not just founded in King’s work, but in the history of the surrounding land. Stanley built his masterpiece on land purchased from the English Earl, Lord Dunraven. Dunraven came to the area in 1872 while on a hunting trip. During his stay he built a hunting lodge, cabin, and hotel for his guests. He also illegally homesteaded up to 15,000 acres in an unsuccessful attempt to create a private hunting preserve. The Earl was finally run out of the area after trying to swindle folks out of their land and money.

Throughout the hotel’s one hundred year history, many supernatural happenings have been reported. Workers and guests have commented on hearing the piano in the Ballroom being played when no one is present. Employees believe that it is Mr. Stanley’s wife playing.

Although Room 217 is thought of as the epicenter of the appearances, rooms 407 and 418 have shown the most supernatural activity. Room 407 is said to sometimes be occupied by Lord Dunraven himself. Reportedly, he likes to stand in the corner of the room near the bathroom door. While Room 418 occupants have reported seeing a man standing in their room and then running into the closet. Others have said they saw someone standing in the middle of there room and then just disappearing.

Supposedly this pictures shows a boy standing at the window when the room was vacant.

In fact, it is believed the entire 4th floor is haunted with the sound of children playing in the halls being heard on a few occasions even though there were no children present

Did you know?- The Stanley Hotel has been the scene for many a Hollywood movies, most notably as "Hotel Danbury" in my favorite comedy of all time, Dumb and Dumber.

I want to know…Do you believe in the supernatural? Or perhaps just ghosts or spirits? Leave a comment below and TRY TO KEEP RELIGION OUT OF IT!

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