In 1974, author Stephen King stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. That evening, King had a strange dream, which became the inspiration for The Shining. The rest is history.

The legendary Rocky Mountain retreat has been a popular destination for curiosity seekers and paranormal experts ever since. It was recently ranked by Thrillist among the Most Haunted Places in America.

Oddly enough, the story of the Stanley Hotel begins with saving a life, not taking one. In 1903, Freelan Stanley, the inventor of the Stanley Steamer, had taken ill. His doctors recommended a dry climate to help treat tuberculosis.

After spending a summer in Colorado, Stanley's health improved. He returned to the area every summer, helping to establish the town of Estes Park and lobbying for the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park.

In 1908, construction began on the 42-room Colonial Revival, which catered to the prominent businessman's wealthy east coast friends. The following year, Stanley added a lodge and concert hall.

The resort went through several owners over the years. In 1980, King returned with director Stanley Kubrick to film the screen adaptation of the novel. Widely considered among the greatest horror movies of all time, The Shining helped breathe new life in the grand old resort. Every year, guests come from all over the world to face their fears in the infamous Room 217.


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