The Stanley Hotel
Built in the early 1900s, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has hosted many guests, including the master of horror, Stephen King. While staying in room 217, King was inspired to write The Shining, about a grand hotel in the Rocky Mountains that possesses its guests. Though most of King's inspiration came from his own twisted imagination, the Stanley is home to a few spirits.
The most notable ghost is the original owner, F.O. Stanley, who has been spotted in the lobby and the billiard room. His wife, Flora, who once entertained guests with her skillful piano playing in the ballroom, still plays to this day. Hotel staff have heard music coming from that room, and have even seen the piano keys moving—though the music stops abruptly once they enter.
The greatest activity, however, is said to take place on the fourth floor, especially in room 418. When the room is empty, strange noises emanate from behind the doors. Guests often report hearing children's laughter in the hallway at night. The staff has even seen an imprint on the bed, although no one had been sleeping there.
Rooms start at $179 during high season, but rates drop in low season (November 1 through April 30) to $99 per night. Plus, you can save 20 percent more with the hotel's "Screaming Midweek Special," which is good for stays Sunday through Thursday. You can also take a guided ghost and history tour of the hotel for $15. Or, if you really want to get your supernatural feet wet, the hotel also offers a ghost hunt with a staff ghost hunter. Tickets cost $50 per person, and advance reservations are absolutely necessary for both the tour and the hunt.
(Photo: The Stanley Hotel)