15 Ghost Stories From People Who Visited The Hotel That Inspired 'The Shining'

Voting Rules
Vote up the Stanley Hotel ghost stories you find the creepiest.

It's said that Stephen King once spent a night in room 217 of the Stanley Hotel, and it was so creepy, he was inspired to write The Shining. The room he stayed in even appears in the story (although it was altered to Stanley Hotel room 237 for the Kubrick film adaptation). Years later, he returned to the hotel to use it as the primary shooting location for his miniseries based off the book. From then on, its visage has been known to horror and King fans alike as that of the haunted Overlook Hotel.

But are there really ghosts at Stanley Hotel? Its guests certainly seem to believe so. So we've gathered ghost stories from those who visited the hotel to find out. Scroll through, vote up the creepiest ones, and decide for yourself if you'd dare to spend a night at this eerie place!

Photo: TheMuuj / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

  • 1
    323 VOTES

    Objects And Doors Move On Their Own

    Posted by u/sscarecrow:

    About five years ago, I had the pleasure of staying at the Stanley Hotel... I went on the ghost tour.

    The first parts of it were pretty uneventful. The tour guide tried to summon some ghost of a little girl or something, but nothing happened. As we were leaving the room, my dad and some other guy were walking at the back of the group, me in front of them. All of a sudden, the door slammed shut behind us. They went to investigate, but found no way the door could have closed on its own. Cheesy, right?

    After [the tour] ended, it was pretty late, so my dad and I went back to our hotel room. We fell asleep pretty quickly. However, I was woken up by a huge crashing noise... I had thought I dreamed it and brushed it off, but my eyes were drawn towards the bathroom door. I sh*t you not, the door was opening by itself. I whispered to wake my dad up as the door continued to open slowly, but he didn’t wake. So I was just lying there by myself, frozen as I watched this door open completely by itself. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep for the rest of the night.

    In the morning, the first thing I did was head for the bathroom. I stopped in the doorway. All the shampoo bottles and soaps had fallen into the tub. Literally all of them. There’s no way the air conditioner could have knocked them all over. 

    323 votes
  • 2
    259 VOTES

    Even The Grounds Around The Hotel Are Haunted

    Posted by u/Thiek:

    I stayed there a few years ago when my friend got married on the grounds. I didn't have any experiences in the hotel, but the building where they had the reception was straight up haunted. Me and another groomsman wandered around the building and there were crazy cold spots and footsteps right by us. But the craziest thing was when me and the groom's dad were taking a leak in the bathroom in the reception building before the service started. We were at urinals next to each other and the only ones in the restroom, suddenly one of the faucets behind us turned on. We looked at each other and then back and sure enough we watched the faucets on the other sink turn on too.

    Not ashamed to say I didn't wash my hands........

    259 votes
  • 3
    448 VOTES

    Guest Meets Their Own Mrs. Massey

    Posted by u/filmguerilla:

    I stayed in that room [Room 217]... I'm pretty sure I know what happened to Stephen King while staying there, too (he never talks about it, so there's no way to confirm it, though).

    About 2am I woke up to hear what sounded like a woman talking in the room, but it stopped when I actually jerked awake and up in the bed. After listening intently for about fifteen minutes, I dozed back off. Then, about 4am or so, I heard the woman again--but this time she kept going after I woke up (but I also didn't jerk up in the bed this time). It sounded like she was mumbling something over and over (maybe two or three lines) and then there was a little laugh and it stopped.

    I turned on the light and, remembering the movie, went and checked out the bathroom. All was clear, but I won't lie, it was spooky!

    448 votes
  • 4
    277 VOTES

    A Bartender's Bottles Go Haywire

    Posted by u/[deleted]:

    Well, I live here during the season - so I tend to ignore things as they come up. However, on my first night closing by myself, I was walking by the whiskeys (anyone who’s seen the bar at the Stanley knows they have a massive scotch/whiskey selection) and all of a sudden, the corks started popping out of the bottles randomly all over the place. I can’t explain it as none of them are carbonated and it scared the sh*t out of me.

    277 votes
  • 5
    276 VOTES

    Paranormal Activity Makes An Employee Quit

    Posted by u/artsy7fartsy:

    I had an ex who was the head of room service there for a while. He quit, said he just couldn’t handle it anymore. He wouldn’t ever go back in the building after that... It was in the late 80s (dear God I’m old) and he didn’t really like to talk about specific things - he felt like talking about it would make it worse. (or maybe made it more real).

    I do know that they would often get room service calls from rooms that weren’t occupied (they had an old school switchboard system) and swore they had conversations with voices on the line. There were also specific rooms that servers refused to go to so he would have to.

    He and the other servers also often talked about a woman - I don’t think she was connected to a specific room, but she wore a long black dress and a large hat. She would often be seen on the stairs and seemingly turn a corner then no one would be there. He even swore he saw her in the piano room (main floor in the front) one day when it was busy and full of people.

    There was also an employee floor that he lived in for a very short amount of time - and then refused to live there anymore. They also swore that there was another building outside of the main hotel that was actually a worse place to go than the hotel itself, I think they used it for banquet storage.

    276 votes
  • 6
    352 VOTES

    Strange Anomalies Appear In Photos

    Posted by u/namethem819:

    My husband and I, and our daughter, who was three years old at the time, stayed here in the summer of 2013. I'd always wanted to visit, due to it being the inspiration for The Shining. We were excited to find that our room was on the fourth floor... My daughter and I were in our room while my husband got our bags from the car. I took a few pictures of her in the room, and they showed up in sepia tone, even though I had my camera on the normal setting. Only the photos inside our room were like this, and only when my husband wasn't with us.

    That evening we were walking outside exploring and I took some pics of our daughter. We were in the courtyard area, where I think they have outdoor weddings. The pictures I took show white ghostly looking arms grabbing at my daughter. It was terrifying when I reviewed the pictures later.

    Photos I took in the hallway show a white floating profile of a man's head up near the lights by the ceiling. It might have been some sort of reflection from the lights, but was enough to seriously freak me out. It had detail that made it seem like it wasn't just a trick of light. I also found it weird that we never saw other people in the fourth floor hallway - except for once when we opened the door to get out on our floor and a Jack Nicholson impersonator, who could have been Jack's twin, was waiting to get into the elevator. My reaction was pretty hilarious, since I was already on edge. Kudos to him for roaming the hotel and adding to the ambiance.

    I didn't look at my pictures until we got home from the trip because I was worried about what I would see and didn't want to scare myself out of sleeping there. I ended up having weird sleeping experiences anyway. I kept feeling like someone was pressing the covers down on top of me, like I was trapped underneath them. I barely slept. My husband didn't have any odd experiences... Also, several times the bottom of the curtains of our room looked like they were being pulled up, and also bumped out like someone was behind them.

    352 votes