The 13th Floor

Does This Creepy Photo Prove THE SHINING’s Stanley Hotel is Really Haunted?

Since you’re here, we’re going to assume that you’re a horror fan, and if you’re a horror fan, then we’ll also assume that you’re quite familiar with THE SHINING — whether it be Stephen King’s classic novel, Stanley Kubrick’s epic 1980 film, or even the 1997 miniseries which King produced.

You probably also know that the inspiration for King’s original tale was a real-life location with an infamously haunted reputation: The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.


We’ve written about the Stanley in previous articles (including a list of The World’s Most Haunted Hotels, and the story of a recent plan to transform the property into a horror museum), but since the 1970s, the hotel’s alleged paranormal occupants have mainly been described in secondhand accounts.

Now, one of the Stanley’s recent guests claims to have photographic evidence that the hotel is truly haunted.

Henry Yau, public relations director for the Houston Children’s Museum, took a tour of the building while staying there for a weekend, and photographed various locations with his iPhone. One of those images revealed something chilling.

After snapping a panoramic photo of the hotel’s grand stairwell, which Yau stated was completely empty of people at the time, he suddenly began to feel strange… and then he saw something eerie in the image: the faint figure of a woman at the top of the stairs.

Image Credit: Henry Yau
Image Credit: Henry Yau

“When I took [the photo], I didn’t notice anything,” Yau told the Daily Mail. “Overnight, I felt strangely sick and queasy and had stomach problems. The thing is, I rarely get sick. It wasn’t until the next morning that I saw the figure in my pic.”

When he posted the photo to Facebook, the web went wild, and theories started flying fast and furious. It wasn’t long before paranormal experts examined the image… and after running it through several filters, one of them found something even more unsettling: there appear to be two figures at the top of the stairs.

Image Credit: Henry Yau
Image Credit: Henry Yau

“When we blew up the picture, we immediately saw a second anomaly just to the left of the first figure,” said Kevin Sampron of SPIRIT Paranormal Investigations, speaking to Denver’s Channel 9 News. “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. You see the child’s head clearly outlined over the top of the stair railing.”