The Creepy Hotel That Inspired ‘The Shining’ to Become a Horror Museum

See those long, empty corridors that spooked even Stephen King.


The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado rose to icon status after serving as the inspiration for Stephen King’s seminal 1977 horror novel The Shining, and the owners of the lodge are looking to capitalize on that fame by turning the property into a museum. But not just any museum—an immersive, sure-to-be-terrifying ode to the thriller. If they can get approval from the state of Colorado, that is.

The hotel is requesting $11.5 million in state tourism funds to contribute to the estimated $24 million it will take to complete the tourist destination, according to a report in Time. The proposed museum will also house a film production studio and archive along with a 599-seat auditorium and space for rotating exhibitions on the horror genre. A decision from the Colorado state government regarding the proposed Stanley Film Center is expected in December.

“At 109 years old, the story of the Stanley Hotel is just beginning,” hotel owner John Cullen told Inquisitr. “The Stanley Film Center is my chance to give back to the millions of horror fans around the world who have supported Estes Park and the hotel for so many years.”

A  still from the 1980 film The Shining.  Photo: YouTube.

A still from the 1980 film.
Photo: YouTube.

King was inspired to pen The Shining after spending a night in the establishment with his wife Tabitha in 1974 in which they were the only overnight guests.

“They were just getting ready to close for the season, and we found ourselves the only guests in the place—with all those long, empty corridors,” King told George Beahm in the 1998 book Stephen King: America’s Best-Loved Boogeyman. “I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire-hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind.”

We can only imagine the bone-chilling Instagram photos that would result from an #EmptyMuseum event in this place.

Interestingly, it was a point of contention between King and Stanley Kubrick, who directed the novel’s famed film adaptation in 1980, that Kubrick chose not to film at the Stanley. Instead, Kubrick’s exterior shots were supplied by Timberline Lodge in Oregon, while inspiration for the interior shots was drawn from the 1927 Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

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