Located in Estes Park, Colorado, the historic Stanley Hotel is renown for for its distinctive Georgian architecture, beautiful views of the Rocky mountains, and also its alleged paranormal activity. Among the numerous ghost stories in the century old hotel, none is more famous than the haunted room 217.
The story dates back to 1911 when the 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. When Elizabeth stepped into Stanley Hotel‘s Presidential Suite (Room 217) with a lit candle, an unknown gas leak in the room caused a massive explosion. The explosion caused Elizabeth to fling down to the MacGregor Dining Room located below. Fortunately, Wilson survived the explosion and recovered from two broken ankles and other minor injuries after two months of recovery.
After the incident, Elizabeth continued working for Stanley Hotel till her 50s when she retired. She is said to have passed away in the 1950s from an unknown illness.
After her death, it is said that the ghost of chambermaid Elizabeth haunts the hotel, particularly Room 217. Visitors who have stayed in 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.
It is said that Room 217 was 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 novel “The Shining”.
Room 217 has since been renamed to Stephen King Suite 217
How Much Is It to Stay in Room 217?
As of Jan 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 justified by the fact that Room 217 is a presidential suite and is the most sought room in the entire hotel.
Also, note that due to the higher price range of Room 217, it may require a longer stay or special package booking in order to secure the reservation. It’s important to note that the Stanley Hotel offers a variety of other guest rooms and suites, many of which are also historically significant and have their own unique features and stories.
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.
Note that the rates will vary depending on the time of year, as well as other factors such as availability and demand.
How to Book Room 217 at Stanley Hotel?
Due to the popularity of the room, Stephen King Suite 217 is not available for online booking. Visitors interested in booking the highly requested room 217 must call the hotel directly to make a reservation.
You are advised to make your reservation months in advance as the room is very popular especially during the summer and winter season.
Be mentally prepared for hordes of tourists that will drop by for a glimpse of Room 217 and of course, to take a selfie! 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 that have occurred in these rooms. Similarly, you are advised to make your booking requests in advance to secure your booking.
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 nothing that while some rooms are more popular than others, paranormal activities have been reported in almost every room in the Stanley Hotel. From flickering lights and creaking doors to elusive shadowy figures and hysterical laughters, Stanley Hotel is without a doubt the ultimate haunting destination 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 several day and night tours to give tourists a glimpse into the history and architecture of the infamous hotel that have captivated people for decades.
Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the Stanley Hotel is a fascinating destination for those interested in history, architecture, and the supernatural.