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  • Writer's pictureSidney Reetz

Ghost hunting at the Stanley Hotel and the Hotel Colorado


Last week I got to knock a major item off my bucket list: staying at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The bonus part was that this trip was with my sisters Kira Shay and Megan Vaughn and spanned over my birthday. I couldn't have asked for more or for better company.

It was a wonderful week that began with a beautiful scenic drive up to Glenwood Springs, Co and a stay at the historic Hotel Colorado. (This is the hotel where Theodore Roosevelt had the Teddy Bear named after him.) Though the hotel itself was grand and glorious, stuffed to the brim with history and stories, I can't say that the stay at this hotel was comfortable. The rooms were stuffy and it was humid when we arrived. (Not humid for the locals, but this Arizona gal was uncomfortable.) I sweated the whole night and didn't sleep very well.

It was a small blessing though, as I was awake enough to experience my second run in with the paranormal in my life. As I drifted in and out of dozing, I kept feeling the sheets being pulled from me in bed. At first I thought a breeze from the window had blown under the sheets - but no - the sheets kept being pulled from the corner tip of the fabric just under my arm. This happened two or three times throughout the night. I wasn't afraid when this happened though; it was more an annoyance.

The next morning when Kira woke up I asked her, "So did our friend visit you last night too?"

"Yeah," she said. "What did he do to you?"

"You first." (Because I'm a chicken like that. . .)

Kira said that she heard a heavily assented male voice muttering over her bad all night. She told me it felt like he was leaning over her, but she couldn't make out what he was saying at all.

We both asked Megan and Matt about their experience, but apparently they had no activity in their side of the suite that night.

For the next two nights we stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Sadly, we didn't know that the Stanley was more than just the main hotel. They have a brand new hotel just down the road called the Aspire as well as multiple condos you can book. (When we booked our stay we thought the Aspire was just the name of the Suite type we selected. We didn't know it was a separate building.)

We ended up in a Suite in the Aspire. Though we were bummed we didn't get to stay in the main hotel, it all worked out in the end. As guest, we still got to go and explore the main hotel and grab a ton of photos.

On our second night, we got to go on the 8pm haunted Stanley tour with our tour guild Leigh. (AKA Dead-Leigh) She was an amazing tour guild who knew how to get her tours energy up and kept everything entertaining for an hour and half. I highly recommend her if you get to take this tour.

The first room she took us into was the Music Room which was set up for a banquet in the morning. (Apparently Honda bought out the main hotel for the weekend we were there.) We sat down and Leigh told us the stories about this particular room and then released us to take photos and explore.

I stepped up to the long mirror over the fire place and took a photo. Something in it caught my eye after I snapped it and I had to scan back to the photo on my camera really quick. The dark figure next to my arm seemed to have a spot on him and I was afraid my camera was malfunctioning.

However, when I looked at the photo on my LED screen, it didn't seem quite - right.

I glanced behind me to see who the man was that I caught in the photo. He was probably moving, which caused the blur. But there was no one near the window. Now, between the time I snapped the photo and when I turned to look, maybe 3 seconds had passed. Right? No big deal, he probably moved on exploring the room and I didn't see him walk away.

At least that was my thinking as I scanned everyone in our tour group. The only person in full black was our tour guide Leigh and she was slender with bright blond hair. It clearly was not her in the photo.

I stood there glancing back and forth between the photo and the window, meanwhile people were looking at me like I was lost or missing a few marbles.

I showed the photo to Kira and Megan in a, "Am I crazy or do you see what I see?" move.

As we left and went on to the Ballroom, I was very confused but didn't want to say anything unless I was looked at like a nut for "catching" nothing. It was Megan who pulled Leigh over and asked me to show her the picture. After looking at it, Leigh smiled and told me, "Yep, you caught someone who wasn't on the tour."

After getting home and loading the photo onto my laptop, I zoomed in on this image. The Shadow Man, as I call him, is completely blacked out. I can't see any features or variations to his skin or clothing.

(I should also note here that it was evening with an overcast sky. So there wasn't bright, direct light coming through the window to justifiably silhouette anyone like this.)

Now, most of the photo is clear but some of the other people are blurred as well. (Just not nearly as much as Shadow Man.) Even still, you can make out skin tones and clothing variations in these people. So I'm convinced that Shadow Man wasn't a person moving around in the room like the rest of us.

There is also the fact that the upper portion of the shoulder and head seem to be separated from the rest of the body. What is seen between these two halves is the scenery behind him. How or why this happened, I don't know. That part is a mystery to me that I can't fathom a reason for.

I'll leave it up to you to decide on this, but I know for sure no one was standing there when I snapped this photo. Still, I'd love to hear your theories and feedback on this one:

A few orbs also appeared in my photos from that night. I know others get excited for these, but I'm a huge skeptic on the orb phenomenon. To me when they appear, 99.9999999% of the time it's just dust caught in the flashes light. But I'll post these here for any of you who think otherwise:


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