The Stanley


  1. the process of being stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
  2. the drawing in of breath


Was it the smell of the lobby, or the touch of the old linens? Did it take sleeping in a specifically numbered room or did inspiration start to come immediately?IMG_0865

What was it about the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park CO that inspired Stephen King to write the book “the Shining”? Was it something that I might be able to feel or sense too?

The movie “the Shining” was the work of another famous and brilliant S.K…Stanley Kubrick. But his vision, his inspiration, was to take the original tale entirely away from Stephen King and run hard and fast in a completely different direction, forever locking and blurring the two concepts in the minds of “the Shining” audience into one.IMG_0524 The documentary “Room 237” breaks down Kubrick’s version leaving you with even more possibilities and questions.

Visiting the Stanley has sat firmly on the top level of my bucket list now for years.

The reservations for my night tour of the Stanley had been made for me as a surprise and told to me less than a week before my arrival. My entire trip to Colorado seemed to magically happen, a series of random events landing me there. I had very little to do with planning any of the trip, a fact that seemed to be completely working in my favor.

Would this majestic old hotel be willing to offer up even the tiniest bit of pure inspiration to me? Is it safe or even wise to seek that type of creativity? Or would I be so overwhelmed with ideas that it takes me screaming down an entirely new path all together?

Millions of visitors come seeking something from the Stanley’s history laden walls at all hours of the day and night. Would the Stanley have any energy left for me?

Our tour was at 6 pm.

Our guide was Dee Dee.

From the minute she started her introductions, respect towards both the hotel and the guests was obvious and a personality trait I found highly endearing. DeeDee’s energy and spirit picks up on the smallest of changes in her environment. Her consideration for everyone and their inner most feelings and beliefs from the start allowed all of us to relax, and let our guards down to have fun. DeeDee seemed to truly be a welcomed friend of the Stanley. I believe her when she says she has had personal experiences through the course of giving so many tours.

As DeeDee led us through the main floor ballrooms she explained how we could play simple games designed to welcome any energy of the hotel that wanted to or could follow along. We learned about the people who built the hotel and their lives all the while opening the very real possibility that one of the many past residents associated with the history of the building could be listening in on the tour.IMG_0846

A few of us were given lollipops to hold out as an offer to any younger or playful energy that wanted to hang around with us. I held my hand as flat as I could. Trying to control my excited breathing, desperately sending energy out to pick me!!! Inside, my soul was frantically waving my hands in the air! “OVER HERE!!!” Jumping up and down screaming “Come play with ME!!”

Desperation is not attractive…to the living or otherwise…I was avoided like the plague.

Towards the far right of our group stood a young girl of maybe twelve (?) was holding her hand out perfectly still. I watched with my own eyes her as her dum dum lolipop jerk backwards, then upright, then to the side. She was not the focus of our group’s attention and only a few of us were even looking in her direction at the time. The look on her face told me she had no idea how that happened and it wasn’t her doing it.

The Stanley, you now have my complete attention.

My bf Laura had developed a decent headache when we arrived at the hotel and I was worried it could get worse. Often places with high energy, altitude or certain mineral deposits can trigger headaches. But Laura is that pure loving type of soul that surprises someone she loves with reservations to a destination on their bucket list…she was not going to let a throbbing headache ruin this trip.

Good souls seem to attract more good.

One of the games to encourage younger, fun-loving energies to be around us involved pencils. I saw a real, not faked, reaction on Laura’s face as her pencils moved without any help and had to be forcibly pushed back together. Call them parlor tricks. Who cares. Did you feel something or giggle because it made no sense? Yes.

And with that Laura’s headache was gone.

I came to the Stanley in hopes of being inspired, not to debunk and find fault in a guided tour. I came open and enjoyed every minute of it.

When the tour ended I hugged DeeDee with my sincere thanks. She had done a fantastic job.

The Stanley, Estes Park CO.


Take a deep breath and hold…