All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
By The HorrorDame
Why just watch a flick when you can visit the inspiration behind it all?
Last week, when the opportunity presented itself to visit the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, I did just that. Opened in 1909, the hotel sits majestically at 7,500 feet above sea level. It boasts a commanding appearance in spite of the Rocky Mountain National Park which is only six miles away. Did I mention it’s the hotel that inspired The Shining?
I have a tendency to seek out cinematic inspirations anyway, but this hotel was always one of those bucket list type things. I managed to con my mother into going with me, by telling her all about the historic significance of the hotel and leaving out the creepier aspects of it – and what it inspired (sorry Mom.)
So, is it rumored to be haunted? You betcha. Did an alcoholic writer stay there throughout the off-season and go mad trying to chop up his beloved wife and child? Not exactly. Do I care? Not in the least.
The story goes that King stayed there just before the hotel was to undergo an extended closing. He began to think about the caretakers who would stay behind in the place and what internal factors like mania combined with external factors like alcohol and hauntings would do to a guy. Bing, bang, boom – a story is born – a story which has scared the pants off many of us for decades. A story which King himself admitted he didn’t love on screen.
The beauty and grandeur of the hotel was breathtaking on it’s own. The stories of phantom children lurking in the hallways, men frequenting the billiard room and others are enough to make it absolutely fascinating. As if you really needed any other reason to visit, the hotel runs an un-cut version of The Shining 24 hours a day on one of the hotel television channels. While I finally had to leave The Stanley, it’s rumored that some never did – Bwahh ha ha ha haaa.
So, where are we off to next? Amityville anyone?