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Man staying at hotel that inspired ‘The Shining’ says he captured photo of ghostly figure

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ESTES PARK, Colo. – A man who was visiting the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s horror classic “The Shining” says he captured a ghostly image when he took a photo of the stairwell and lobby.

Henry Yau told KPRC that he was using the panoramic feature on his cellphone to capture a photo of the grand stairwell in the lobby of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.

“When I took it, I didn’t notice anything,” Henry Yau said.

Yau says he noticed the figure in the photo the next day.

He uploaded the picture to social media captioning it, “By golly! I think I may have captured a #ghost at #StanleyHotel. #EstesPark.”

By golly! I think I may have captured a #ghost at #StanleyHotel. #EstesPark

A post shared by Henry Yau (@ares415) on

A paranormal expert in Denver says the image does not appear to be tampered with or Photoshopped.

In fact, he says there may be two ghosts in the picture.

“When we blew up the picture, we immediately saw a second anomaly just to the left of the first figure,” Kevin Sampron told KUSA. “To us it looks like the first figure is a lady dressed in black and to the left of her it looks like a child.”

The hotel gained a reputation of being haunted in the 1970s, the hotel’s website states.

After a century of collecting spirits, the hotel has become renowned by specialists and experts in the field of paranormal investigation as one of the nation’s most active sites. Chief amongst the hotel’s eternal guests are F.O.[Freelan Oscar Stanley] and Flora Stanley who continue to go about the business of running their beloved establishment as though they were still alive; Flora’s antique Steinway can be heard playing in the dead of night and Mr. Stanley has been captured in photographs surveying the goings-on in the Billiards Room, once his favorite place.

Stephen King says he was inspired to write “The Shining” after staying at the Stanley Hotel in 1974.

In late September of 1974, Tabby and I spent a night at a grand old hotel in Estes Park, the Stanley.  We were the only guests as it turned out; the following day they were going to close the place down for the winter. Wandering through its corridors, I thought that it seemed the perfect—maybe the archetypical—setting for a ghost story.  That night 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 the 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.