The Stanley Hotel~ Estes Park Colorado

By: Karen Fon

As a Paranormal Investigator, I thought The Stanley would be a great place to go for vacation.  Not to mention that it is a gorgeous hotel in a beautiful area!  So, my friend, Susie and I decided to go there for a girls vacation!


First, a little bit about the fourth floor and our room….. Back in the day the fourth floor was the nannies floor.  Children’s nannies stayed up there with the children.  Which probably is why it’s been reported that children can often be heard running up and down the halls, laughing and a red ball being seen rolling around.  They say the fourth floor is the most active floor in the hotel.

Second, our room 401, was once the nannies lounge.  It’s where they would congregate and socialize.  Room 401 is where Jason Hawes from TAPS slept on during their investigation where the closet door opened and closed and he heard thumping and banging coming from the closet.  He also had a glass on the night table break for no reason from the inside out.  I specifically requested this room and were thrilled that we got it!

Day One- Thursday February 21,

Approximately 8:00 PM~

I went to look for ice and walked the entire fourth floor.  I think we were the only ones on the fourth floor that night.  It was dead quiet and not a sound from any other room.

The floors are very loud and creaky in the halls.  Not even thinking about anything happening, I went down what turned out to be a dead end with no ice machine.  When I turned around and came back towards our room, I realized I thought I heard creaking footsteps behind me.  I stopped walking and heard what I sounded like two or three creaks and footsteps behind me after I stopped and then they stopped.  It may have been nothing, but it got me wondering.



Approximately 8:30-9:00 PM~
I went on another ice run on the 3rd floor.  While I was gone, Susie heard a lot of thumps and what sounded like stomping up and down the halls and a “clinking” noise.  She said she also heard sounds from directly above our room and figured it was people in the room above ours.  The thing is… the attic is above our room and has not been used for YEARS. Hmmmm….



Approximately 11:00 PM~

Susie was asleep.  I was awake unpacking and straightening up the room.  I heard noises that sounded like they were clearly coming from the closet.  I stopped and got my DVR (Digital Voice Recorder) and went to put it in the closet.  When I was almost to the closet, I heard a few little noises that abruptly stopped as I approached.  I put the DVR in there and left it on,  I didn’t hear anymore noises after about 45 minutes; so I took it out and settled in for bed.  I figured I’d just analyze it in the morning.  When I got it out of the closet, I made SURE to close the door all the way so it latched. (Which you can only do by turning the knob and pushing the door closed all the way).   I kept hearing noises from the hall and from above, but nothing that I could pin point as to where exactly it was coming from and what it was.   Exhausted, I went to sleep about midnight.


Day One/Two- Approximately 2:15 AM~

Susie and I woke up and laid there and talked for a few minutes and at about the same time, looked over and realized the closet door was about halfway open.  I had made CERTAIN to close it all the way and it WAS closed when I went to sleep.  Yet now, it was open.  I got up and closed, which I wish I hadn’t have done.   From then on, neither of us sleep much at all.  We kept hearing all kinds of odd noises from the closet, hall and from above.  The noises continued, but in brief spurts until about 5:30am.  From then on it was pretty quiet.


Day Two- Friday February, 22, 

Approximately 9:00 AM~



When we first arrived to our room the night before, it was almost 80 degrees in the room.  The rooms in The Stanley have no air conditioning, so we had opened the bathroom window.  There are old aluminum blinds on it.  We were so tired from our long day of travel that neither of us cared that we had opened them at a sloppy angle and just left them that way.  About 9:00 that morning, with the window still open, I realized that the blinds were perfectly straight about an inch above the bottom of the ornate window sill.  I asked Susie if she had straightened them and she hadn’t.  She thought I had.  Nope!  So there is NO logical explanation for HOW or WHO straightened them and WHEN!  Neither of us noticed them after the “door incident” or when either of us had gone in and used the bathroom.  So we are unsure as to when that was done.


That morning, I listened to the DVR recordings made from the closet that night and was kind of shocked to hear A LOT of different unexplainable noises.  I didn’t hear anything from the closet the whole time I had the DVR in there.  I had placed the recorder in the closet on a tripod and closed the door, walked away and didn’t hear anything.  Yet, on the recorder about 10 seconds (if that) after I had closed the door, which you can hear me do, you hear this weird almost amplified thumping IN the closet.  Like a deliberate thumping 11 times on a wall.  There are many thumps and bumps, some loud and some not so loud.  Some that were debunked as the elevator (which is on the other side of the wall in the closet), but many that could not be.  The door knob makes a very distinct squeaking sound when turned.  Twice on there, you can hear what sounds exactly like the knob being turned and door opened, which it didn’t do while the DVR was in there.  If I had, I would have seen it and heard it. At one point you hear what sounds to us like china clanking. ???? Both of us, without knowing what the other was thinking, thought it sounded like; if you have a china cup of tea or something and you stir it, clinking the spoon on the inside of the cup and then tapping the spoon on the rim.  Several times you can also hear what sounds like the wooden hangers moving.  There are other strange sounds that I can’t decipher, but those were the main things.  Other people who listened to it throughout the weekend, thought the same thing about the sound of china.  At one point you can hear what is a male voice!  But I cannot tell if it’s just a murmur or a word, but it’s definitely male!

(The 3 top windows in the middle under the steeple in the center were our room)


9:15 PM~

We were watching a movie on my portable DVD player when my FULLY CHARGED battery died after about an hour of watching it.  Which it should NOT have done.  It should last for 6 hours.  It is said that spirits gather energy from batteries in equipment.  So, who knows!?!  But that was very strange!  Before going to sleep, I put my DVR in the closet and left it on. 
2:00 AM approximately~

I woke up and was laying in bed for a few minutes when I noticed that once again, the closet door was open.  This time, instead of getting up to close it I left it open.  I laid there for quite a while listening to strange sounds before falling back to sleep. When I was almost asleep, I heard a noise that I couldn’t make out.  I looked up and THE CLOSET DOOR WAS CLOSED!!!

I was so excited that I had left my DVR on there and figured I had to have caught all that on audio.  Since it should record for 4 hours, I figured it would be perfect! Well…. when I got it out that morning, it had recorded for 1 hour and 12 seconds.  It “turned it’s self off” and powered down.  I probably turned it on about midnight. So that could correspond with whenever the door was opened as to when it shut it’s self off.  The thing is, it does NOT turn it’s self off!  I had put in brand new batteries before I put it in there and the batteries were fine this morning!  So that in it’s self s pretty strange.  There’s no reason it should have done that.

We took the hotel tour Saturday morning.  It was really interesting.  We met two other women on our tour, Felecia and Wendi and we really hit it off.  We ended up hanging out with them for the rest of the trip.

They had met a guy named Preston who was there doing an investigation for SciFi Internet that was airing live on the internet that night.  We went to his room for a while.  He was staying in room 418.  418 is supposed to be THE most active room in the hotel.  (401 is the second most active)  But with what I’d heard about it, I did NOT want that room!  One of the stories is….. A few years ago a woman was in that room and awoke during the night screaming and hysterical.  She couldn’t be calmed down.  An ambulance had to be called to take her to the hospital and it took several grown men to get her out and into the ambulance.  They SAY it was some sort of possession or something.  I’d heard that and being in the room, there’s just an uncomfortable heaviness in there and almost a feeling of dread.  From being in there for a few minutes, I agree with that 100%!  There really was a heaviness you could just feel in there.  It was really uncomfortable.  I’m very glad we decided on 401 instead of 418!  Preston said that his closet door had been opened during the night as well.  Strange!  And his bed had moved/shook a little during the night.

Early evening or so, Preston knocked on our door and asked us if we wanted to go to the music hall and look around, which had not been available on our tour.  So we jumped at the chance!  With no one at all in there, we were able to go in an area not open to anyone.  Felecia, Wendi and I went into a room in the basement that has a tunnel area off of it.  Yes, it’s winter but the first thing you notice is that it’s probably a good 10 degrees colder in the opening of the tunnel than the room it’s right off of.  It’s pitch black in there.  You literally can’t even see your hand in front of your face.  I could slap myself, but we left the room in such a hurry I left my camera and DVR in the room.  I took Wendi’s camera and climbed over and under pipes to get further back into the tunnel.  It’s like mountain climbing over rocks and gullies in there.  I was probably a good 50 feet away from Wendi and Felecia when I felt a tug on my hair!!!!!  I thought one of them had come up behind me without my knowing it.  Since I couldn’t see anything at all in the dark, I said something and heard Wendi respond, “What?” from way back at the opening.  They were not behind me!  It was all rock to my left that was arm length away because I was steadying myself on it, open space to my right and all rock on the “ceiling” about 10 feet above me.  What tugged on my hair, I have no idea!!!  But I do know there was nothing around me it could have gotten snagged on.  I was SO excited by that!  I really do think it was something on the paranormal side.  I don’t have any doubts about that.


Later that night, Wendi went out and ventured a little on her own.  She went into the music room.  This is the room where Flora Stanley is said to be heard playing her piano.  She said she faintly heard what she thought was the piano being played. A little bit afterwards, some people we’d seen on the tour came in there and asked her if she’d been playing the piano.  It is said that if you sit on her piano bench, you can sometimes feel uncomfortable and a feeling of needing to get off of it.  She said she sat on it and felt that very feelig.  So, I thought that was pretty interesting.

Nothing strange happened in our room that night. No closet door opening or anything.  We were a little disappointed.  But had had MANY great experiences there!

We had THE BEST time at The Stanley!!!  Nothing about it was a disappointment! It went above and beyond our expectations!  Without a doubt! Between the the beautiful architecture, the gorgeous scenery, the friendly courteous staff, closet door, the EVP’s from the closet, the blinds in the bathroom, noises in the hall and from above and the highlight of my trip, the hair tug- it was absolutely incredible!  I can’t wait to back another time and really do some investigating!

One Response to The Stanley Hotel~ Estes Park Colorado

  1. Chris Malcheski

    Had Shaggy and Scooby been present, this entire investigation would have been a slam dunk! It all would have turned out as “…and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!”

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