Located in Estes Park, Colorado, the historic Stanley Hotel is well known for for its distinctive Georgian architecture, beautiful views of the Rocky mountains, and haunted Room 217.
Through decades of story telling, the room has transcended its status from just another hotel suite in Stanley Hotel to become a symbol of the paranormal. Till date, it has continue to captivate the imaginations of visitors, paranormal enthusiasts, and literature fans from around the world.
But what actually happened in Room 217 in Stanley Hotel? Let’s find out.
Haunted History of Room 217
The story of the haunted Room 217 dates back to 1911 when Stanley Hotel suffered from an electrical outage.
Several chambermaids, including Elizabeth Wilson, was tasked to light up the lanterns in the guest rooms while waiting for power to be restored to the building.
When Elizabeth stepped into Stanley Hotel‘s Presidential Suite (Room 217) with a lit candle, a massive explosion occurred. The blast caused Elizabeth to fling down the railing to the MacGregor Dining Room located right below.
Fortunately, Elizabeth survived the explosion and recovered from two broken ankles and other minor injuries. She returned to Stanley Hotel after two months of recovery.
An investigation into the explosion revealed that there was a gas leak in Room 217, which led to the explosion as Elizabeth had entered the room with a lit lantern.
Elizabeth continued working for Stanley Hotel till her late 50s when she retired. She is said to have passed away in the 1950s from an unknown illness.
After her passing, it is said that the ghost of chambermaid Elizabeth now haunts the hotel, particularly Room 217.
Guests who have stayed in the now famous room reported paranormal activities such as weeping sounds, items being moved and clothings being folded and put away. Some have also felt a comforting presence in the room, which they attributed to the kind-hearted Elizabeth.
Room 217 is said to the inspiration behind author Stephen King’s iconic horror novel “The Shining”. King reportedly spent a night with his wife in June 1947, unbeknown that the room was haunted.
Through their stay, the couple experienced several paranormal incidents including light flickering, knocks on the door, and voices of children floating reverberating through the hallways. Three years later in 1977, King published his third and most popular novel “The Shining”.
Room 217 has since been renamed to Stephen King Suite 217.
Rates of Stephen King Suite 217
As of Dec 2023, the rates for the Stephen King Suite 217 starts from $569. The room spans 340 square-feet large and can accommodate up to three adults. The high price-point is due to the fact that Room 217 is a presidential suite and is the most sought room in the entire hotel.
Due to the higher price range of Room 217, management of Stanley Hotel have noted that a longer stay or special package booking may be required during the peak seasons to secure the reservation.
Guests who are unable to book Stanley Hotel may also consider the other guest rooms and suites, many of which are also historically significant and have their own unique history.
For comparison, the Stanley Classic Queen room (185 square-feet large and accommodates 2 adults) cost $339 while the Traditional Suite (295 square-feet large and accommodates 4 adults) is priced at $399 a night. The rates will vary depending on the time of year, as well as other factors such as availability and demand.
Booking the Suite
Due to the popularity of the room, Stephen King Suite 217 is not available for online booking. Visitors who interested in spending a night at the haunted room must contact Stanley Hotel directly to make a reservation. The number is 970-577-4000.
Much like the haunted Room 3327 in Hotel del Coronado or Room 545 in Grove Park Inn, guests are suggested to make reservation months in advance as the room is very popular, especially during the summer and winter season.
If you do get to spend a night at the Stephen King Suite, be mentally prepared for hordes of tourists that will drop by for a glimpse of the room. Don’t be afraid if hear an occasional knock on the door.
Apart from the famous presidential suite (Room 217), Room 401, 407, 418 and 428 are also highly sought after due to the frequent paranormal activities reported by previous guests. Similarly, you should make your booking request months in advance to secure the rooms.
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Other Hauntings at Stanley Hotel
Apart from chambermaid Elizabeth Wilson, several ghost figures have also rose to become prominent ‘figures’ among all the sightings. These includes the ghosts of the founder Freelan Oscar Stanley, his wife Flora, Lord Dunraven (the original owner of the piece of land).
Guests and staff have reported seeing apparitions resembling the couple throughout the hotel, particularly in the lobby, ballroom, and the bar area.
The apparition of a young girl in a white dress was also frequently spotted along the stairs and corridor of Stanley Hotel. Additionally, it is said that Flora Stanley, who was a pianist, can sometimes be heard playing the piano in the hotel’s music room.
It is also worth noting that while some rooms are more popular than others, paranormal activities have been reported in almost every room in Stanley Hotel. From flickering lights and creaking doors to elusive shadowy figures and hysterical laughters, Stanley Hotel is without a doubt the ultimate haunting spot for ghost hunters and thrill seekers.
To top it all off, you don’t have to be spend the night to experience all these! Stanley Hotel has embraced its paranormal legacy and now runs the Stanley Hotel Historic Day Tour to give tourists a glimpse into the history of the infamous hotel.
The tour cost $25 for adults and $20 for children between the age of 8 and 17. Hotel guests and individuals with AAA members get a discounted rate of $23. Each tour last approximately 60 minutes and runs several times a day
Its history, coupled with the ghostly tales of Elizabeth Wilson and the inspiration it provided to Stephen King, makes it a fascinating destination for those interested in the supernatural and the story behind one of the most famous horror novels of all time.