August 9, 2020

Ghost Tour at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado


Ghost Tour at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 9, 2020

I'm spreading our vacation photos across several blog posts for a couple of reasons.  The first is we took over 1000 photos on this trip and there's a lot of good stuff I want to share that won't fit into 1 or 2 posts.  Second is due to the virus, I'm thinking we won't have too much excitement to share for the rest of August.  This photo was from our first day in Estes Park after we went horseback riding.  We journeyed into downtown to check things out.

Since going into shops during a pandemic wasn't really high on our priority list, we settled for getting a beer on the Patio of the Wheel Bar.  Nice place!

Eventually we headed over to the location for our evening entertainment, the Stanley Hotel.  It was one of our only indoor activities for the whole trip so we all made sure to mask-up.  The guide from our horse-back riding trip told us the Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted places in the United States, so I was excited we signed up for the night tour which was also known as the "Ghost Tour".  Seemed pretty scary.

Of course, we had to snap some photos with the majestic mountains behind us.  Glad I don't live here otherwise we'd be constantly snapping away.

Krazy Kory and Harli were also up for some fun photo taking.  They're good friends like that.

The Stanley Hotel opened in 1909 and has a rich history.  This is a 1910 "Stanley Steamer Car" that sits in the lobby.  The car was created and built by Freelan Stanley who was an inventor who also built the hotel.  Supposedly his ghost is still around there, but I didn't see him during my visit.

Probably the thing that makes the Stanley Hotel the most famous is the fact that it served as the inspiration for Stephen King's book, The Shining.  Despite popular belief, the movie did not film here, but filming for a re-made miniseries on TV was.  I'm not sure if this typewriter was left over from that or someone else felt the need to type over and over that "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

They tried to include creepy touches throughout the tour, but I guess I wasn't in the proper mood to be scared.  I just kept thinking, this is just a silly old Raggedy Ann doll.  Even when the head came to life and bit a chunk out of Avery's flesh, it just didn't really scare me.  

I'm sure this tour is much scarier when we're not in the middle of virus restrictions.  They couldn't take us to any of the locations actually visited by current guests so our tour was relegated to some of the lesser used areas of the hotel.

Harli had an app on her phone that supposedly can visualize ghosts in the area and translate some of their energy into sounds so you can hear them.  The app was going off like crazy, but I'm still not sure I was buying it's accuracy.

The guide spent a lot of time with us before we headed into the basement explaining that she didn't like going in this part of the hotel because she constantly felt a presence in there and it creeps her out so much.  She said we could go downstairs and look in this mirror.  She said if we took pictures of it, there was a good chance we'd see some kind of spirit or something looking back at us.  We took a whole bunch of photos and I didn't see anything except maybe some mirror dirt.  It was at this point that I started thinking this "Ghost Tour" might just be a tourist trap.  I wasn't completely sure yet, though.

They then took us into a large room where they told us we should hold these suckers while she turned out the lights.  She said we should call out to her if we had anything unusual happen with the candy like it moved in our hands or something.  After a few minutes of no movement, I started asking myself how much we paid for this tour and if we might have been able to spend that money in a better way for the first night of our vacation.
I asked the boys if they had any ghost activity with their lollipops and am sad to say that none of our group were provoked during our experiment.  Maybe the ghosts are also social distancing during this time?  Tough to say for sure.

Our tour ended in some kind of basement where they said scary things were known to occur.  Once again she turned off the light and asked us to call out if we saw or felt anything unusual.  I called out to her that I suspected something might be up in this part of the room, but she wasn't too willing to crawl up there and check it out for me.  Maybe next time we'll be able to capture a ghost on film.  This time all we got was a bunch of suckers.

No comments:

Post a Comment