The 108-year-old Stanley Hotel is no stranger to the supernatural. Visitors to Estes Park, Colorado can even take a "spirit tour" of the historic hotel that inspired the bone-chilling Stephen King 1977 book "The Shining." Of course, the tour doesn’t guarantee any paranormal interactions, but the Mausling family of Aurora, Colorado may have had one without even realizing it.
Photography is encouraged during the tour of Colorado’s most haunted hotel, so John Mausling and his wife, Jessica Martinez-Mausling, took several snapshots along the way. Later on, while looking back at their pictures, the couple spotted what appears to be a young girl near the staircase on the lower right hand side in one of the pictures.
This typically wouldn’t be unusual—the tour is family-friendly after all—but the Mauslings don’t remember any young girls on the 11-person tour.
"At first we tried to be logical and think we somehow missed her, so we asked our kids, their girlfriends and our friend if they remembered seeing a little girl," the Mauslings told the Huffington Post in an e-mail. "Nobody did. We do not remember seeing anything on the stairs when we took the picture."
Unfortunately for those hoping this is all just a Halloween prank, Ben Hansen, a former FBI agent and host of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, says the photo doesn’t appear to be fake.
"I really like this photo," Hansen told HuffPost. "Assuming that it’s not doctored, it ranks up there as one of the best photos of possible paranormal evidence I’ve seen. If it is faked, I’ve got to hand it to them for their level of detail and creativity because there’s usually enough easy signs to suggest hoaxing."
As if one uninvited ghost wasn’t enough, the Mauslings point out that there could be a second one going up the staircase. At first glance, it appears to just be another blurred person, but the Mauslings claim there were only two people on the staircase when the photo was taken—and there’s another disturbing detail.
"Through the stair railing posts you should see the lower half of this person like you do the tour guide and the shoes of the person on the stairs… but I can’t make out any lower half," Hansen pointed out to HuffPost.
With encounters like this, it’s no surprise that Stephen King decided to set his famous ghost story at the hotel after staying there in 1974. Who knows, maybe you could write the next best-selling ghost story after booking a stay at the Stanley Hotel—or visiting one of these spooky small towns for Halloween.