The Stanley Hotel

Review of the Stanley Hotel ghost tour

Looking for some thrills and chills in Colorado this month? While you won’t find any elevators gushing out blood or creepy twins asking you to come play with them, you will find a great ghost tour at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – the setting that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining.


I’m happy to say I’ve done the ghost tour at the Stanley a few times and it’s always fun. If you’re heading up to Estes Park and need a spooky nighttime activity, be sure to book the ghost tour at this iconic hotel in the Rockies. Continue reading our review of the Stanley Hotel ghost tour to see what it entails and costs!

The night spirit tour

I’ve done the tour with believers and non-believers and have had fun each time. Even if you don’t believe, the history of the hotel and stories the guides share are fun, informative, and engaging.

On the Stanley Hotel night spirit tour, you hear about:
  • F.O. and Flora Stanley and their appearances over the years
  • The helpful maid in room 217
  • The ghost children still playing on the fourth floor
  • The paranormal activity happening at the Lodge (liquor disappearing, clothes being packed, suitcases moving, etc.)
  • The spirits residing in the basement of the Concert Hall
  • The dark entity that lived in the storage area
  • The orbs and ghostly figures in the tunnels under the hotel

One year, a group of friends and I stayed overnight and took the tour. In one of the rooms we stop in, there are a ton of mirrors and many guests have caught photos of the ghosts or orbs in this room and a guy in our group snapped a picture and then upon closer inspection, saw a face in the mirror that definitely didn’t match anyone in our tour group. We also went into the basement of the Concert Hall and one of my girlfriends, who is a non-believer but good sport, suddenly grabbed my arm while we were sitting in the dark waiting for an appearance. She freaked out when she realized I wasn’t messing with her and moving the zipper on her sweater.

After our tour, we went back to our suite (we were staying in the Lodge), and I was the last to bed. I turned out the lights in the main room and started walking to the bedroom. A girlfriend of mine asked me to turn off the lights. I turned around and the lights were back on. I took a step back toward the main room and the lights switched off. I quickly ran to the safety of my friends in the bedroom and proceeded to fall asleep while The Shining played on a continuous loop.

Tour guides

The tour guides have all been great and definitely get into it. Some ask you to download ghost hunting apps and others have their own ways of finding paranormal activity. They’re all excellent storytellers and make sure that everyone can hear them before giving us plenty of time to explore the haunted rooms on our own. They encourage photographs and have a great sense of humor.


The pace is easy and comfortable, we’re never rushing from one room to another or from one building to another. It is a walking tour, but all on the same property.

Stanley Hotel property
The concert hall


The cost is a bit high for the experience at $28 per adult ($25 if you’re an overnight guest at the hotel). The tour is 75 minutes and the groups are kept at a decent size.

Overall, I think the tour is definitely a fun way to spend an evening in Estes Park! Be sure to hit up the Whiskey Bar before for some liquid courage or after the tour to calm your nerves. Even if you don’t believe, you’ll still have fun learning about Estes Park’s history and the Stanleys, and if that doesn’t get you, you can always pop into the bar where they filmed a scene for Dumb & Dumber.

Another option for horror fans is to attend the annual Shining Ball at the Stanley Hotel in October. This themed event has music from the 1920s, character actors, photo booths, dancing, and a costume contest!

Looking for other things to do in Estes Park? Check out our blog: 24 hours in Estes Park!

What’s your favorite haunted hotel? Tell us in the comments below or share your thoughts on Facebook!

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Hey, I'm Stephanie! I'm a copywriter living in beautiful Denver with my husband Rick, and our dog Rocco. I love traveling, writing, reading, and being outside as much as possible - unless I'm on the couch binge watching Stranger Things with a glass of wine! Thanks for reading and being a part of the adventure with Back to the Passport! ❤️

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