Ghost Adventures encountered a number of ghostly personalities as they investigated Colorado’s infamous Stanley Hotel which provided the inspiration for horror novelist Stephen King’s book “The Shining”.
Founded by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley steamer automobile fame, the 100-year-old structure sits on quarts and limestone bedrock. Both quartz and limestone are widely believed to enhance paranormal activity. Rough hewn stone was visible when Zak checked out the basement during walk through with the Stanley’s resident professional paranormal investigator Callea Seck.
A brick tunnel once connected the basement to the staff quarters. An unlucky worker was killed when the tunnel collapsed on him. His ghost is believed to be one among the many that inhabit the Stanley Hotel.
The Stanley Hotel employs a resident psychic, an elderly woman who calls herself Madame Vera. She had a pleasant, centered energy but didn’t tell Zak and Nick much other than they had already had a paranormal experience early on in the visit. Nick confirmed this saying he had been on his cell talking to Zak when he heard a loud bang. Shortly thereafter he saw something fiddling with the security chain in his hotel room. Nick felt someone unseen walking around his room and avoided looking at the bathroom door because he could sense someone standing there and he didn’t want to know. Zak also noted he felt uncomfortably watched as he walked the halls of the hotel. Vera attributed that to Zak’s strong presence and assured him that he would “…attract what you are looking for…” Not a surprising result in one of the most densely haunted hotels in America.
GAC brought in two exceptional eyewitnesses, two-time heart transplant survivor Connor Randall and psychic kid Bailey Kramer. Connor had several near death experiences under his belt and Bailey wasted no time in making friends with the ghost of a girl named Katie. I wish more of Connor’s story was shared, but his interview with Zak was mostly taken up with Zak talking about being naked in his hotel room and telling any nearby ghosts to avert their eyes. I can assure readers from my experience at Waverly Hills most of GAC’s female fans wouldn’t look away. Okay, we know Zak is a sex symbol, can we move on?
Zak did a good job interviewing Bailey who I think would have held her own even if he hadn’t been easy on her. She talked a bit about what it was like to be a psychic kid. Bailey said spirits of murdered people or the spirits of murders often came to her room at night, asking for help. She shared her experience while staying at the Stanley, with the ghost of Katie, a girl close to her in age.
Bailey had crawled into bed for the night and dozed off when she felt someone tickling her feet. One on her hands was hanging off the bed a bit. While half awake she felt a warm hand take hers. At first she thought her Mom was holding her hand. However when she turned over the warm clasp and feeling of the weight of a hand disappeared.
Katie’s ghost was clear to me. I asked Katie’s spirit why she had held Bailey’s hand. Katie’s ghost replied, “ …(I) wanted her to like me” because Katie often found herself lonely in the hotel. Katie also told me she wanted to protect Bailey from an aggressive male spirit nearby. I got a glimpse of this toxic male ghost. He was dressed in clothing from the 1970’s. He wore brown bell bottoms and a striped velour shirt. He was Caucasian with thinning hair and a broad expanse of belly.
When I asked Katie more about this male ghost she told me he had murdered her in 1976 when she was 12 years-old. He was a friend of her fathers who kidnapped her and then strangled her once he had her secreted in a room. Katie’s ghost tried to defend him telling me “he didn’t mean to” strangle her, that it had been an accident. Katie didn’t want to talk about what else he did to her. She wasn’t interested in moving on because she wanted to be there to protect other young living guests from him just as she chose to protect Bailey. Every time and place has child molesters, but it is so sad that Katie remains afraid of her killer even after death.
The best part of Zak’s interview with Bailey was her comment that the ghost of the original land owner, Lord Dunraven didn’t like her much because she provoked him. She was absolutely right. When I asked Lord Dunraven’s ghost why he didn’t like Bailey he told me he found her “impudent”. Furthermore he believed children should be seen and not heard. In fact, he didn’t like children in general, distastefully calling them, “messy”.
Zak asked Bailey if her friends thought she was spooky for the things she picked up on. She replied, “I don’t think any of my friends know.” They do now. Zak tried to reassure Bailey that nothing about her was weird and that she was an important part of letting people know about the existence of the paranormal just like GAC. Bailey was easy to like and was definitely a psychic kid but Zak’s questions were leading and the whole thing was just a bit too much of an orchestrated Hallmark moment.
I suppose the interview was a nod to or maybe an attempt to copy Chip Coffey’s “Psychic Kids” which has the season premiere this coming Sunday, October 16, 2010. I love that show, but they deal in much more honest, daily aspects of growing up psychic. I hope someone teaches Bailey how to set boundaries so the dead do not bother her at night.
Resident Paranormal Investigator Callea Seck showed GAC around some of the more notorious rooms at the Stanley Hotel. She recounted an experience she had when leading a ghost hunting group on the fourth floor. Calle stayed in room 407. She had gotten into her PJ’s and climbed into bed when she heard heavy footsteps coming down the hall that stopped at her door. The unseen presence behind the footsteps entered room 407 and sat on the edge of her bed, leaving the indentation of their weight as if a solid, living person was sitting on the bed rather than a ghost.
Room 217 is famous for the experiences novelist Stephen King had while staying at the Stanley Hotel in the early 1970’s. Aaron commented that actor Jim Carrey had lasted three hours in room 217 before he needed to return to the lobby.
The night before lockdown Zak, Nick and Aaron each stayed in one of the more notoriously haunted rooms with DVR cameras filming their sleep all night.
Aaron was assigned room 428 where the wife of a couple sleeping in the room woke up to see the ghost of a faintly translucent cowboy pacing the room. The ghost then leaned over her in the bed and kissed her forehead. Her husband was awake and witnessed the apparition as well. It is a good thing Aaron has a great sense of humor because he was sent into room 428 in a red wig and instructed to impersonate the wife of the couple.
Zak took room 401, notable for being Lord Dunraven’s suite. I don’t think Dunraven actually stayed there, it just happens to be the part of the building he haunts, likely from an earlier structure in the same area.
Nick stayed in room 412 where a past female guest had been utterly undone following attendance at the annual Halloween “Shining Ball”. She woke up to the bed levitating. She freaked out so badly local police were called in to escort her from the hotel.
The moment Zak entered room 401 he experienced chills and goose-bumps. Zak heard someone walking around his room in the wee hours at which time he captured an EVP of a young girls voice saying, “… somebody’s coming…” I think it was the ghost of Katie feeling protective again. Zak must be a deep sleeper because after being abruptly woken up his speech sounded slurred. I have family members like that, an entire conversation can be held with them apparently awake, but they can’t find words and they don’t remember any of it.
Later as Zak was tossing and turning his DVR picked up an EVP warning him that, “…that was a shadow…” Although sleeping, Zak seemed to respond to the EVP turning over and clutching his pillow more securely. He speculated that the voice might have been that of Lord Dunraven. I disagree. Zak turning in his sleep may well have been a response to the EVP because the entity behind the EVP was in Zak’s body. I think it was doing its typical job of trying to freak Zak out. Each episode I hope to see Zak’s unhealthy hitchhiker from Bobby Mackey’s has gone. So far it is still with him. Perhaps a chat with Bishop Long is in order?
Nick felt watched and that someone or something was in room 412 with him. Eventually he managed to fall asleep.
While Nick was sound asleep in room 412 his DVR captured an EVP of a male voice threatening, “… you better start talking…” Nick’s camera picked up a blur of white mist that traveled right to left across the bed towards Nick’s DVR. Zak’s voiceover speculated that the male ghost was trying to provoke Nick. I disagree. That voice was an imprint, a holdover from a strong-arm situation among three men that took place in the past. One man was the victim, held to the floor with his arm behind his back, one man was the muscle and the voice Nick caught was the man threatening the guy who was held to the floor. I did agree with Zak that the white mist was likely a partial manifestation of the spirit whose comment was recorded.
The second EVP captured in Nick’s room seemed to be the comment of a ghost, “…they’re up late…”
Aaron snores. This fact seemed to annoy the ghosts in room 428 with him. Aaron’s DVR picked up an EVP saying, “…. Hey, come on….” Zak thought maybe a ghost was trying to get out of room 412 when Aaron’s second EVP asked someone to, “…pass the key…”
Aaron and Zak arrived for lockdown in a completely tricked out Goth hearse. They spent lockdown in the old Carriage House. Originally built to service Stanley steam-powered automobiles it had also been used as a morgue and was converted into a motel in the 1970’s. The building has been largely abandoned, used as extra storage for the last couple decades.
Calle locked GAC down in the Carriage House. As soon as they got started Zak saw an unexplained light source the guys were unable to reproduce. Although it wasn’t caught on camera I saw it too. It came from the rear wall where the morgue freezers once stood.
The ghosts that dated from the morgue era were odd in that they all chose to manifest frozen solid. They were pale, bluish and had ice caked on them. However that didn’t keep them from walking around in spirit form. Most of the ghosts seemed unaware of the others, literally wrapped up in their own deaths and icy preservation. They were aware of GAC.
Zak started provoking in standard style, refusing to leave any time soon, threatening to tear down the carriage house. He got some response when his EMF meter went from 0.0 to .2.
The ghosts were listening to Zak but they didn’t get roused much until Calle let ghost gadget guru Bill Chappell into lockdown. The moment Bill entered the room he was mobbed by ghosts who found his array of scientific equipment fascinating. I heard a lot of whispering among the ghosts asking “Who is he?” or “What is he doing?”
Bill’s gear included a camera attached to an EMF meter that was set up to snap a picture when the magnetic field around it changed. He also had an interesting machine called a histogram which was the combination of a thermal sensor and sonar that took constant scans of Carriage House. In statistics a histogram is used to give a graphical representation of experimental data. Think of it as a preliminary results cruncher.
The histogram was put right to work. Zak and Nick felt a static charge and Zak complained about a bitterly cold spot that appeared next to him. I saw a frozen female ghost. The histogram recorded the thermal change Zak felt and the graph screen allowed Bill and Aaron to see something invisible to the naked eye literally walk through the Carriage House. The histogram also registered a white mist passing by Aaron and Bill.
Apparently the ghosts didn’t like being so closely observed because Zak captured an EVP saying, “… don’t trust ____…” I don’t know what that final word was, but for some reason I got the impression it wasn’t translated for a reason. That was strange because GAC normally shows and shares everything. Yet a feeling of secrecy persists. Go figure.
Zak continued provoking asking the ghosts around them if any had passed away on the stored death mattresses and if they regretted leaving that way. Bill recorded a 14 degree temperature change in response to Zak’s questions. Nick got an EVP in the back of the room saying, “…I’ll be right there.” I think that was an imprint EVP, not in response to what GAC was doing at the time.
Three former occupants of the “death mattresses” talked to me about their deaths at the Stanley Hotel. One had a heart attack, one died of a stroke and one claimed he was poisoned.
Zak and Nick moved toward the back of the building where they both smelled cigar smoke. The cigar smoke came from the ghost of a medical examiner who once worked on the previously frozen bodies in the morgue. The ME’s ghost told me cigar smoke “Helped kill the smell,” of working on thawed out cadavers. He elaborated that some of the bodies he worked on were in poor shape. He used imagery I picked up over 15 years ago when the real life ME of East Lewis County and the local cop formerly from LA decided to try to gross me out with their worst dead body stories. Gee thanks, I could have gone a few more decades without being reminded of those visuals. (Despite their best efforts I didn’t get sick, much to their disappointment.)
Zak nearly fell when climbing over a jumble of stored stuff. He was chatting with the ghosts telling them that, “I have something that tells me you are here.” He got an EVP in reply, “….that’s okay…” The ghost that replied was an easygoing teen boy.
Provocation continued with Zak talking about trying to communicate with those on the other side. I guess they ghosts around him wanted him to know he was on the right track as an EVP told him someone was, “….right here…”
Bill saw something walk in front of him. His camera sensitive to fluctuation in magnetic fields snapped a picture of a blur of light that seemed to shoot up then take an abrupt turn. Zak called the image a partial manifestation of a spirit. I think he was right because the ghost of the teen boy who was behind the “… that’s okay” EVP showed me he was lobbing balls of light at Bill. It was a test, sort of like buzzing the tower to see if Bill’s gear would pick up on the ghostly spit balls. It did.
Lynne Olson can be contacted for private readings via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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