The Stanley Hotel: Ghost Reportedly Captured In A Photo Taken At Hotel That Inspired Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’

A guest visiting the Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King was inspired to write his horror classic The Shining, seems to have captured a ghost — or ghosts — in a photograph he took in the lobby of the hotel.

While Timberline Lodge in Oregon was the location for the film version of Stephen King’s The Shining, the prolific novelist actually drew inspiration for his novel during a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

There have been a plethora of reports of ghoulish encounters in the hotel, and it seems a recent guest may have stumbled upon an apparition himself — at least in a photograph.

Earlier this week, Henry Yau took a panorama shot of the Stanley Hotel’s famous lobby, including the grand stairwell. According to Yau, no one was standing on the stairs when he took the photo. He later posted the photo to Instagram.

While he says there was no one on the staircase, his camera seems to have captured something entirely different and, seemingly, very real.

“When I took it, I didn’t notice anything,” Yau, director of public relations at the Children’s Museum of Houston, told

Actually, according to a paranormal expert for the site, there are two ghosts in the photo: The woman in black on the stairs, and a child to her left.

On his official website, King wrote about how he got the idea for The Shining while staying at the hotel in 1974.

“In late September of 1974, Tabby and I spent a night at a grand old hotel in Estes Park, the Stanley. We were the only guests as it turned out; the following day they were going to close the place down for the winter. Wandering through its corridors, I thought that it seemed the perfect—maybe the archetypical—setting for a ghost story. That night I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in the chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”

Creepy encounters are the norm at this famous hotel in the mountains of Colorado. The Stanley Hotel even has a haunted history section on the hotel’s website and offers nightly ghost tours.

“After a century of collecting spirits, the hotel has become renowned by specialists and experts in the field of paranormal investigation as one of the nation’s most active sites.”

According to the site, some of the Stanley Hotel’s lingering, ghostly residents include the original founders of the establishment, F.O. and Flora Stanley, who reportedly continue to move about the premises as if they were still alive. Reports of hearing Flora’s antique Steinway playing in the dead of night are frequent, and Stanley’s ghost has also been captured in photographs from the Billiards Room, which is said to have been his favorite place on the grounds.

Do you think it’s a real ghost captured in Henry Yau’s photo taken at The Stanley Hotel?

[Image via Instagram/Henry Yau]

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