Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ghost Week: Failure at the Stanley Hotel

Posted by: R.L. Naquin

The Stanley Hotel
In August, my husband and I went to Denver. While we were there, we took a little side trip an hour-and-a-half north to a beautiful little town called Estes Park. The air grew thinner as we drove into the Rockies, but the drive on the way up was gorgeous, even if we couldn’t breathe. Estes Park was a cozy, touristy town filled with quaint shops, a surprising amount of people walking dogs, and a sparkling lake.

And looking down on it all was our destination: The Stanley Hotel.

In case you’re not familiar, the Stanley Hotel is where Stephen King wrote The Shining. The Overlook Hotel in the story is based on the Stanley’s ghostly history. Stephen King famously stayed in room 217, which is purported to be haunted.

 But we had reservations for the most haunted room in the entire place: room 401.

We were pretty excited. And nervous. Also, exhausted, after driving over nine hours to get there and
The famous hedge maze in the movie is not so big in real life.
not having quite as much oxygen as we were accustomed to, so we decided to forgo the hour-long walking tour of the ginormous hotel and opted, instead, for drinks and an early dinner in the bar. Seriously, the Colorado Mule Kick was fabulous.

No worries about missing the tour! Every two hours, the tour stopped right in front of our hotel room. We heard every word. Lord Dunraven, whose picture was outside our door, was a womanizer, even in the afterlife. Women who took off their wedding rings would find them missing the next morning. The staff always found the rings in the bathtub drain. Men would find their wallets in the toilet. And women who went into the closet would get pinched.

Spotted this in the tour office. All work and no play...
I took a million pictures in that room. Not so much as a single orb showed up. We heard no ghostly children playing in the halls. The antique elevator never acted up.

I don’t take my wedding ring off unless I’m make meatloaf or piecrust, so that was never an issue. But I just got my husband a cool "Agents of Shield" leather wallet for Father’s Day, so I stuck it in my purse to confuse the womanizing ghost. I guess it worked, because it was still there the next day.

Every single time I went to the closet to take pictures, I knocked first. “Hey, Lord Dunraven? I’m coming in to take a picture, please.” He never pinched me.

Maybe that makes it sound like we were cool cookies, waiting fearlessly for something to happen. But I’m going to be honest. We didn’t sleep very well. I totally psyched myself out. Every time I woke up, I imagined the earl would be standing over our bed watching us sleep.

I woke up a lot.
Colorado Mule Kick. Tasty!

Somewhere around 3:30 AM, the fear passed—though the expectation of a ghostly peeping Tom did
not. I didn’t care. I was so damn tired, if Lord Dunraven wanted to watch me sleep, fine, as long as he let me get some rest.

So, what did we learn? My husband and I really aren’t cut out for ghost hunting. We were totally unprepared, having not brought along any sort of EVP recorder, thermal cam, or night-vision goggles. We failed to ask the ghosts to communicate with us. And honestly, we went out of our way to be polite and not provoke him/them. We kind of sucked.

But it wasn’t a waste. It was an adventure, regardless of results.

And that Colorado Mule Kick was delicious.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

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  1. Thanks for taking the risks on behalf of all of us LOL. Maybe if you went back in the dead of winter.....

  2. Ha! So THAT'S what we did wrong. Next time, we'll wait until it's closed for renovation and buried in snow.

    Or maybe we'll just to to Disney World instead. ;-)


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