The Stanley Hotel decorated for the Masquerade Ball. Courtesy photo

Do Halloween Big at the Stanley Hotel


You can feel it when you walk through the door. There’s something in the air here.

Some say it’s paranormal energy. Others chalk it up to creative inspiration; after all, Stephen King was inspired by this 109-year-old historic building to write his horror story, “The Shining.”

And that very story comes to life every October, when the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park sets out to throw Colorado’s biggest and best Halloween parties. Yes, plural.

Decorations at the Shining Ball. Courtesy photo

The most famous of its three Halloween celebrations is the annual Shining Ball, a costume-required, elaborate party inspired by the ball in the book and movie. It’s set for Oct. 21 this year, in the ballroom of the hotel. People dress as characters in the story. You’ll see “REDRUM” scrolled across mirrors. Between the decor, the mood and the characters, you’ll feel like you’ve authentically stepped inside the pages of King’s book.

That’s not a claim any other Halloween party can own. There truly is no ball like the Shining Ball.

The exterior of the Shining Ball. Courtesy photo

Most party-goers also stay the night at the hotel, so the spooks and festivities continue long after the live music stops playing. (This year, it’s the well-loved Colorado band, The Gasoline Lollipops.)

The Shining Ball is wildly popular among costume lovers, as well as book nerds and film fans, so if you can’t score a ticket to this bash, the Stanley has two other equally as exciting, yet different, events.

A table at the Stanley’s Murder Mystery dinner. Courtesy photo

For an interactive, sit-down celebration, get a ticket to the Stanley’s 1920s-themed Murder Mystery dinner in the Victorian-style MacGregor Ballroom. Guests will get clues to try to solve a (pretend, of course) mafia crime, while they dine on a four-course, elegant dinner.

A woman at the Stanley’s Masquerade Ball. Courtesy photo

And on Oct. 28, the Stanley’s celebrations culminate with the Masquerade Ball, more of a traditional Halloween costume party with live music, dancing and more.

Get tickets to all events at

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