In Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel invites guests just five miles away from the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. The historical site provided the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s 1977 bestselling novel, The Shining.
The hotel seems to be dishing out real-life horrors. A recent photo, captured during a ghost tour by John Mausling, shows what is speculated to be a real-life ghost caught on camera. Ben Hansen, host of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, who also happens to be a retired FBI agent, combed through the photo but could not turn up any signs of photo manipulation.
Hensen said: “I really like this photo. Assuming that it’s not doctored, it ranks up there as one of the best photos of possible paranormal evidence I’ve seen. If it is faked, I’ve got to hand it to them for their level of detail and creativity because there’s usually enough easy signs to suggest hoaxing.”
It’s hard to notice, but the photo also features a second figure on the opposite end of the staircase. Hensen also regarded this as a mystery, as it has the same motion blur as the rest of the people around, but he found that the second blur had no bottom half, adding to the mystery. As for the Mauslings, John and his wife don’t necessarily believe in ghosts but are open to the idea. The guests at the hotel could not recount if there were any little girls in nightgowns in their tour party.
This isn’t the only speculated ‘haunted’ photo taken recently at the hotel either. Last year, this photo was captured of the front lobby and it made headlines. It features a similar looking apparition at the top of the staircase.
In 1974, Stephen King and his wife Tabatha were the only guests staying at the Stanley Hotel close to its closure for the winter. King recounts about the inspiration for his book The Shining, on his website: “That night I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in the chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”
To this day, it’s clear how the Stanley Hotel could be inspiring to an author like King. You can book a tour on the hotel’s website, and if you’re brave enough, you’ll book a room to stay the night!
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