Photo of the Week: The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO

This week’s photo is of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Built by Freelan Oscar Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame, the hotel opened its doors on July 4, 1909, and was host to a number of high-profile guests including the RMS Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities. But the Stanley Hotel is probably best-known for being the inspiration for “The Shining” by Stephen King. King stayed in room 217 just before the hotel was shut down for the season, and had heard tales of the hotel being haunted. King’s book definitely fueled the ghostly tales at the Stanley. Eventually, paranormal TV shows investigated the location, including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, which only boosted the legends in the eyes of the public.

To this day, the hotel offers haunted tours and other paranormal events for guests interested in the supernatural. In 2010, our own Laura Pennace visited the hotel to see what she could find. Unfortunately, the only paranormal activity she witnessed during her stay was completely faked by tour guides and employees of the hotel. This is not to say the hotel isn’t haunted, but be very wary any time you pay money to a location where their main source of revenue comes from their haunted reputation.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes park, Colorado, made famous by Stephen King and believed to be haunted

All photos in our Photo of the Week feature are taken by New York Paranormal Society team member Laura Pennace, who is a New York City wedding photographer specializing in city hall and courthouse weddings, as well as engagement and proposal shoots. You can see more of Laura’s work at Pennace Photography (

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