Yvette had mentioned a nearby hotel to me that she thought I might like to visit, and when I found that it was the original inspiration for Stephen King’s book, and later movie and TV mini-series, “The Shining”, I insisted that we change plans, and go there for the tour.
It would be cutting things a little close, but it would be well worth it, I thought. We drove for an hour or so into the mountains, through more beautiful scenery, and eventually came to The Stanley Hotel, at an altitude of 7,500 feet in Estes Park.
The place was in a spectacular location, but did not seem at all familiar from the movie. We had booked in for the informative ghost tour, and I soon found out why! The hotel was the original inspiration for Stephen King’s book, and was later used as the location for the 1997 TV miniseries, but was not used for the better-known 1980 movie by Stanley Kubric, which starred Jack Nicholson in one of his most chilling roles.
Apparently King had not liked the movie version of his book, which was inspired by his ghostly visit to The Stanley Hotel in 1973, and decided to re-film the story later, using the original location, and staying more faithful to the book.
When King stayed here on October 31st 1973, he and his wife booked into haunted Room 217, just as the hotel was closing down for the winter. His wife Tabitha experience ghostly “Mrs Wilson”, who haunts the room, while King himself had several ghostly experiences, including seeing an old fashioned dance in the main ballroom, when nobody was there.
Apparently Jim Carrey also stayed in Room 217 when filming Dumb and Dumber, and only managed to spend three hours there before leaving and refusing to set foot in the hotel again!
The tour, led by our enthusiastic guide Tyler, was very interesting, and I am now very keen to see The Shining TV series that was filmed there. Tyler encouraged us to take many photographs in one particular location, explaining that many people found unusual shadows, or strange balls of light, called orbs, in their pictures, and many cameras clicked.
Being the open-minded sceptic that I am, (read more about my earlier ghostly experiences-or-not on my Haunted House goal here), I was interested to find a couple of pictures with unusual lights on them. The middle picture below is the best one, and shows a faint ball of light at the bottom of the stairs. Dust on the lens? A reflection caused by someone else’s flash? Or ghostly energy? You decide! For me, the jury is still out, but I have never noticed my camera produce this type of effect anywhere else, but it did so a couple of times here! Oooooo!!!
After returning to Yvette’s home in Boulder, I hurriedly packed my bag, while Yvette very kindly gave the RV a quick vacuum – much needed because the carpet was still full of salt from the Bonneville Salt Flats. Thanks again to Yvette for being a wonderful Colorado host.
I made a quick dash across to Denver International Airport, where I left the RV in long term parking, and caught the direct overnight flight to London, enjoying an interesting chat with my fellow passengers Jim and Betty, off to visit family in Norway.
It is quite surreal to be suddenly back in the familiar surroundings of my brother’s house in London again, after many weeks of travel, and I am struggling to adjust to the 7 hour difference in time zones. My body has no idea now of when it should be awake and when it should be asleep. I am typing the last of this blog, wide awake at 5am London-time, the equivalent of 10pm yesterday in Denver!
I hope I get properly adjusted by the time of the big jump on Sunday afternoon. “Flying” takes place for me from 1pm on Sunday afternoon at Worthing Pier for anyone that wants to come along.