Truth is stranger — and much more interesting — than fiction. If you’re a Stephen King fan, or were spooked by The Shining, it might interest you to know that it was inspired by a real-life hotel. And even more interesting, there has been a recent ghost sighting at that very hotel.
The 100-year-old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is known for its paranormal activity. In fact, the hotel offers night ghost tours to those who stay there that explore the purportedly haunted basement rooms and a creepy tunnel.
Most recently, a Houston man, Henry Yau, traveled to the hotel because he learned that it was the inspiration for The Shining. He took a picture of the lobby, just to capture the ambience. He told click2houston.com, “When I took it, I didn’t notice anything.” (Check out Yau’s picture here.) However, when he looked at the image later, he could make out a figure coming down the stairs dressed in what looks like period clothing.
Stephen King writes about the hotel on his web site:
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.
And you thought The Shining was fiction!