What is there scarier about a horror movie than reading that “based on true events” label at the end? It’s what blurs the line between fiction and reality and lets you with an uneasy feeling after saying, “It’s just a movie…”
Well, if you agree with this, then buckle up: Stephen King’s “The Shining,” one of the classics of horror literature and cinema depicting an old hotel caretaker’s supernaturally-influenced descent into madness and murderous mayhem, is based on a real location: the Stanley Hotel, in Colorado.
Even though the events themselves of the novel and movie are fiction, the Stanley has many creepy stories on its own.
Built by the discreet and wealthy businessman Freelan Oscar Stanley in 1909, it has the reputation of presenting paranormal occurrences in every one of his rooms, the hallways, and, more recently, the lobby.
Join us as we explore the ten creepiest facts about this stately hotel, set in the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado.
10 An Almost Phantom Hotel
After a shining start (get it?) and a few decades of having nearly no vacancies (to a reasonable extent because it was also used as a sanatorium for those with tuberculosis), by the 1970s, the Stanley Hotel was nearly a phantom itself.
According to Stanley’s website, “the hotel’s splendor had faded and it had gained a reputation for being haunted. It might have continued to fade and eventually have succumbed to the wrecking ball, if not for a fortuitous visit by author Stephen King.”
9 King, Stephen; Room 217
This visit, however, wasn’t ‘fortuitous’ at all. In later interviews, King explained how he was struggling with a novel set in an amusement park when he saw an ad for a hotel in the Colorado mountains and decided to stay and write there.
He and his wife Tabitha arrived at the hotel as the last guests of the season, as it prepared to close for the winter due to the low affluence and snow risks.
The setting, the nightmares, and probably some of the eerie experiences that later guests have had, gave him the material to write one of his most famous novels.
However, these experiences aren’t quite like twin girls in the halls and bloated corpses in the bathtub.