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I am a Denver-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Ghost Hunting at the Stanley Hotel

Sitting in a stall in the women’s lavatory in the Stanley Hotel’s Concert Hall made me question my sanity. I never thought I’d be where I was, particularly with a dozen strangers surrounding me. Yet, there I was, on the toilet in the dark room calling out to the ghosts who are said to reside in that part of the building.
Stifling a laugh, I thought of Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle. It was quite comical, the idea of a ghost living in a toilet and diving down a U-bend to hide. But, these ghosts in the Stanley Hotel weren’t quite like that – they were real people who had strong attachments to the hotel in life. And with their deaths, neither Lucy nor Paul seemed to have left.
“If you’re Lucy,” I called out, “please come toward this green light on the device I’m holding in my hand.”
Nothing happened.
“If you’re Paul, please come toward the light. It won’t hurt you. It will just cause other lights to come on and let us know you’re here.”
There was a pause and nothing happened. And then it flickered. The K-11 meter in my left hand lit up.
“Are you Paul?” I asked.
It lit up again, but quickly stopped.
“Did you hear that?” someone else in the group asked.
A chorus of confirmations followed with another noise. Not only were footsteps falling on the concert hall floor above us, but something that sounded like a small pebble bouncing three times off the metal stall partitions also attracted the group’s attention.
“Hang on, let me see if anyone is upstairs,” said Karl Pfeiffer, the winner of the first Ghost Hunters Academy show. He was leading this part of our hunt and wanted to see if the other group, presently at the Stanley Hotel’s Manor House, was walking around above us in the Concert Hall.
They weren’t.
The other group was still at the Manor House conducting their ghost hunt. We were there only an hour beforehand and, at that time, I had my first experience of the night while sitting in room 1302. Callie, the other group leader, told us there had possibly been a terrible fight in that room over a poker game when single men stayed there. They were separated from the ladies in the main hotel for reasons of decorum. Thinking back to the poker fight, I agreed the separation was more than justifiable.
The wind fiercly beat on the sides of the Manor House as rain lightly fell, setting the appropriate mood for the hunt. Unfortunately, though, the noise of the storm audibly contaminated the setting and made it impossible for us to hear anything happening in the room. So, we pulled out a pair of electronic instruments to assist with communication.
Callie, the group leader, used a PX meter while I heled the K-11 meter and used an app on my phone called Ghost Radar. It seemed silly to think my phone could detect ghosts in the room or help me communicate with them. I only ever thought of my phone as just that, a phone. Sure, it can run other apps, but talk with ghosts? No way.
Storm.
“What was that? What did it say?” asked Callie.
“Storm,” I said matter-of-factly. “It said storm.”
Did a ghost just speak with me through my phone? I blushed at the possibility, but it was also highly unlikely that this app spit out the word storm at such an opportune moment. This wasn’t the only time such an event occurred with the phone, though.
Shortly after downloading the Ghost Radar application, I decided to test it out in my own home. I was sitting on the couch watching a hockey game when I opened the program for the first time.
Ice.
Effort.
For the first time I heard its computer-generated voice speaking to me. It was a chilling occurrence. Did a ghost, through this special app, really say ice and effort to me while I was watching a hockey game?
“Is someone here?” I asked. “I’ve lived here for six years now, so you should know my name if someone is here. Can you tell me what my name is, please?”
Jimmy, it immediately answered.
“No, my name isn’t Jimmy. It is Jason. Is your name Jimmy?”
It didn’t respond directly to my question, but instead went on to say things like hay and wagon. Perhaps it was trying to tell me something. Perhaps there was a spirit living in my home and it was actually trying to tell me my name; there are a limited number of words programmed into the application, so maybe it was unable to answer directly with my name and instead called me Jimmy, choosing another name beginning with the same letter.

I recalled the brief exchange in my home while I sat in the dark in the Stanley Hotel’s Manor House. Hearing the phone speak storm, during a storm, made me wonder if the program really did work; it is an amazing coincidence, nonetheless.
We left the lady’s restroom shortly after the group heard the metallic noise and the footsteps upstairs. Nothing else seemed to be happening in the room, but we had some positive occurrences and exchanges through the various electronic equipment we were employing. Hopeful we would elicit more reactions, we continued on to visit Lucy and Paul’s rooms.
Lucy didn’t actually live in the room when she stayed in the hall after running away from home, upset with her parents over a boy. When she was discovered living in the basement, she was turned away. She was later found frozen to death in the streets of Estes Park. As the Concert Hall was renovated, a powder room of sorts was cut from the building’s foundations. It is now believed that Lucy’s ghost occasionally resides in that room.
“We were in here one night, Callie and me,” Karl began to explain. “While we were sitting there in the dark the door closed all by itself. It did it once, and then twice, and then again and again. After sitting in the room for several hours, it had done it a total of eighteen times. And that is just not something it can do on its own.”
Karl stood by the door and demonstrated how it can stick on the ground. He explained how it would actually take some energy to close the door. It just couldn’t do it on its own. Yet, that night, it happened repeatedly.
Our group sat around the floor, our backs against the wall. We asked for Lucy or Paul to come and join us, for them to close the door, but nothing happened in the room. We also didn’t have any substantial experiences while in Paul’s room, another room must down the hallway. Paul was apparently working in the room as a maintenance man when he began to have a heart attack. He tried to drive to the hospital, but died en route. Now, years later, his spirit still works in the Concert Hall as both maintenance man and security guard, another duty in which he was employed.
“Paul doesn’t like me for some reason,” Callie explained. “He likes to call me the B-word. I think that is because he knows I bring people here late at night past the eleven o’clock curfew. No matter why, I don’t come down in this hallway alone any longer.”
Callie went on to explain how two men who were on the ghost hunt one night, coerced by their wives, rolled their eyes at this thought. One of them, though, brave enough to walk into the hallway and the room alone later in the evening, was met with a frightful noise – Get out! The man certainaly did that, according to Callie, as he ran back upstairs to the main concert hall and his group. He refused to return on his own, now better understanding what she had explained.
As our complete group of thirty sat in the actual concert hall, Callie told the story of how one night a contractor was doing some work on the stage. It was late at night and he was by himself when he felt someone grab him around the waist from behind and lift him up. The man sprinted from the building, refusing to return, since no one was in the building with him. He was so spooked that he returned the portion of his payment for his unfinished work.
Later in the evening we were allowed to wander on our own throughout the Concert Hall. I returned to Lucy’s room and the lady’s bathroom, but did not have another significant experience. The K-11 meter lit up briefly again, but it was not enough to keep my attention in either room. Since everyone was downstairs exploring those rooms, I decided to head upstairs to the balcony overlooking the concert hall.
Earlier my group had a few brief experiences there, but nothing substantial. I wanted to try again, though, so I returned and sat talking with myself in an attempt to elicit a response. And once again, I questioned my sanity. After all, there I was, although not in the lady’s lavatory, talking to myself on the balcony of a concert hall in an attempt to get a ghost to speak with me.
A small group of two or three people were doing the same just across the hall on the left side of the stage. They obviously grew bored with the lack of action, as they got up and walked across the front of the stage and down the back staircase leading to Paul’s and Lucy’s rooms. I was growing anxious, too, since nothing was happening, so I decided I would leave momentarily if nothing happened. And then, from that same back staircase, a man walked, crossing in front of the stage and going up the short staircase in the middle of it. He stopped at the top step and sat down on the edge of the stage.
Alright, I thought, this is ridiculous. Nothing is happening up here, so I’m going to sit with that person and see if they’ve had anything else happen.
I leaned against the stage for a few moments, experiencing and feeling nothing. And then the thought struck me. It wasn’t possible, though. Yet, in my mind, there could be no other explanation. But, I had to be sure, so I ran down the back staircase and poked my head into Paul’s room. A small group was collected on the floor conducting their investigation. When I questioned if any of them had just returned from upstairs, they all answered no. The same was true in Lucy’s room, in the small downstairs foyer, and in the women’s restroom. No one had been upstairs and no one had walked by them to leave.
Unless my eyes were deceiving me, there was no other explanation – I saw Paul’s shadow figure walk up and sit on the stage.

Was it because he was annoyed with everyone downstairs? Did he just want to get away from them? Or was it something else playing tricks on my eyes? I thought about it, but that wasn’t possible; the blinds to the room were all drawn, so there was no light contamination. The wind still howled outside, but that wouldn’t affect what I saw, only what I heard – which was nothing. There was no one else in the concert hall with me and simply no other explanation.
I left, as I did on my first visit to the Stanley Hotel, curious about my experiences. I knew I saw something and I believed no one in my group was upstairs; what could it have been? The same could be asked of the words and exchanges I experienced with my telephone’s app, the K-11 meter, and the sounds we all heard as a group in the restroom. I didn’t have an explanation for any of it, nor would I, but there was no doubt that I was one shadow figure closer to believing in ghosts.
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2 Comments on “Ghost Hunting at the Stanley Hotel”

  1. Deana Morss August 5, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Googling this tonight because my family just returned from Estes today. Lucy closed the door for us not once but twice, and on the second time gave it a nice little rattlle for emphasis. I am totally convinced that SOMEthing is going on at that site, whether it be ghosts or magnetic fields or what. But there certainly is something.

  2. Kat March 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    This is all so fake……ghosts are not real……..

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