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On October 30, 1974, horror novelist Stephen King and his wife Tabitha checked into the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The historic Colonial Revival, which dates back to 1909, was preparing to close for the season and King and his wife soon discovered they were the only guests staying the night.
They were assigned the Presidential Suite, Room 217, which is reportedly haunted by a former housekeeper. During the night, King awoke from a nightmare in which his son was being chased down one of the hotel’s long corridors. Startled by the image, he lit and cigarette and began outlining his novel, The Shining, which was later adapted into a feature film by Stanley Kubrick.
Forty-one years later, the Stanley Hotel continues to attract scare-seekers — so many, in fact, that the owners are hoping to turn it into a horror museum, featuring rotating exhibits, a film archive and state-of-the-art production studio.
The first-of-its-kind museum, which is expected to cost $24 million, has received backing from A-listers such as Elijah Wood, George A. Romero and Simon Pegg. The founders are asking for $11.5 million in tourism funding from the state. The Stanley will be run as a nonprofit, and plans for a partnership with the Colorado Film School are currently in the works.
“I would love to have a home for which we could constantly come year-round and celebrate with other fans from around the world,” said Elijah Wood in a news release. “There’s really no better place for there to be a permanent home for the celebration of horror as an art form than the Stanley Hotel. It was practically built for it.”
The state will decide whether or not The Stanley receives its much-needed tax credit on November 12th. If the project is given the go-ahead, the museum is expected to open in a year and a half.
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