Nicole’s Ghost Stories: Stanley Hotel Edition

Boy, it’s been a good bit since I’ve posted on here! I’ve been a little busy starting a new job and obsessing over Dear Evan Hansen (I’m a little late to the party, I know.) I’ve also been spending a ridiculous amount of time watching YouTubers play with ouija boards and other paranormal games that are obviously totally authentic and not faked at all. No one lies on the internet! It’s put me in the mood to talk more about some of my spooky experiences, but I promise none of these involved any vlogging or overdramatic screaming.

For some reason, my family always ends up going to haunted places whenever we go on vacations. I think the only one we’ve been to that I will confirm is for real haunted is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. You may know it better as the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining. Yeah, it’s actually no joke.

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There she blows.

The first time we went, it was July and we got there in the mid-afternoon. That means it was stinking hot. Believe it or not, hundred year old buildings don’t have the greatest central air, so we had the ceiling fan on and were chilling on the bed for a bit. An important thing to remember: the fan generated a little air flow, but it really wasn’t powerful enough for us to feel a breeze laying on the bed beneath it.

As we’re watching Jay Leno talk about the Stanley Steamer on one of their looping channels, my mom suddenly goes, “my hair just moved.” She had watched as a chunk of her hair laying on her chest had been picked up, moved to the left, and dropped again. I was laying between her and my dad and can confirm that none of us had been moving. Moving generates too much heat, and we are not about that.

We tried to chalk it up to the fan at first, but the fan hardly had the power to make my frizzy ends flutter. My dad jumped up and put his hand by my mom’s head and the air was freezing cold in this one pocket. We followed it a couple feet away from her head before it disappeared which was a little weird in a room that was a little toasty.

I try to find an explanation before I chalk something up to the paranormal, but that one we couldn’t explain besides spirits have no concept of personal space. We decided to let the beyond have the run of the room for a bit and go get some lunch after that.

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Mr. Stanley himself if I remember right. Check that sick wallpaper. 

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Just needs a set of twins and a few gallons of red Kool-Aid, amirite?

The second time we went, my sister came along, so we decided to go on the hotel tour again. Our tour guide was a little quirky so when she said she was a medium, we were kinda like alright, whatever you say. At one point, she stood in the “vortex” at the bottom of a staircase (where the energy that’s collected as people go around the stairs for years is funneled I think) and waved her arm around trying to get a spirit to come out.

I was probably thinking something along the lines of “let’s move this along, crazy lady” when she told us there was a child there named KT. It was pretty chill until the bottom of her skirt started to cave in like a kid was standing there and you could see a little hand print on her skirt. Maybe that could be faked, I don’t know, but that was weird.

We were about to giddy up on the tour when she asked if anyone wanted to hold KT’s hand. My dad, the brave soul, volunteered for the job. She transferred KT to “the indian man’s” hand or whatever (my dad was wearing a Blackhawk’s jersey, and I guess ghost children don’t get the concept of names, so she dubbed him indian man) and he said his left hand and leg immediately went cold and staticy right where a little kid would be if they were leaning against you. That feeling stayed as we continued up to the next floor. Our guide asked if KT could pinch my dad’s hand, and he said the static intensified right in the middle of his hand in response.

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Our tour guide giving my dad KT’s hand. I like her nail color. 

At one point, he said that the feeling moved from his left hand and leg over to the right like KT had switched sides. Our guide looked back a little after that happened and actually commented on her moving over. That made more of a believer out of me right there.

After a while KT wandered off to do what ghost children do I guess and my dad didn’t feel the cold staticy sensation anymore. Just so we don’t think my dad was making things up, we all could feel it too when we put our hands where KT was supposed to be chillin with my pops. It was the same sensation that happened in my old house when we had the weird dousing rods experience, but you’ll have to read my last post on paranormal stuff for that!

I have a few more stories from The Stanley, but these are the most definitive for me. If nothing else, The Stanley is an incredibly beautiful hotel to visit. If you find yourself in Estes Park, I’d at least recommend you drive out towards it just to see if from afar!

That’s all I’ve got for you today! I’ll probably keep up the posts like this every once in a while since I am chock full of these kinds of stories. I don’t know about you, but I love to read about this kind of stuff regardless of whether I believe it actually happened to the person or not. Like the YouTube videos! I definitely don’t believe any of those “crazy ouija board gone wrong” videos are legit, but I still get a kick out of watching. Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

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We stayed in the room Stephen King actually stayed in and someone before us decided to leave this in a desk drawer.

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The pool wasn’t open in January for some reason. What a rip-off. 

Kittens in Their Natural Habitat

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Last time I was at home, my friend let me come over and play with their latest litter of kittens. Holy crap were they cute! I don’t know if you can tell, but this grey one was the only one that wasn’t totally freaked out by the sound of the shutter.

IMG_1599IMG_1603I just thought I’d share a few photos of these cuties with you. I told my friend I felt like I was a National Geographic photographer as I was laying on her driveway taking these. Only the pictures were much lower quality than National Geographic’s and I wasn’t afraid that my subjects would kill me.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for you! I hope you have a nice day, and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

 

 

 

Ghost Stories from My House

Today the house I grew up in is officially no longer our house. I went and visited for the last time this past weekend and oh boy, it was a bit of a bummer. We moved in almost exactly 16 years ago when I was 5 years old, so I don’t remember much about living anywhere else.

We (I say we, but I really mean my parents) more or less rebuilt the whole house in the time we were there. Over the summer before fifth grade, we had to move out of the house, jack up the top of the house, and demolish the basement and foundation. I ended up moving my room into the basement in sixth grade when we were all rebuilt, and that’s when weird things started up.

The first and most ridiculous story comes from not too long after I moved into my new room. It was just me and my sister that night, and I was in bed with my back to the door and the rest of my room. I’d been in bed a couple minutes when I heard a man’s voice right next to me say “Tojo.” I thought maybe my dad had come home and snuck into my room somehow so I rolled over, but there was no one there. I then heard the same voice say something like “toe” and I turned on my radio, hid beneath the covers, and furiously tried to go to sleep.

Ridiculous, right? Our house was pretty secluded in the woods, and you could barely see our neighbors, so I knew it wasn’t someone outside messing with me. I asked my mom the next morning what time they’d gotten home. It turned out the Tojo incident had happened hours before they got back. I told her what happened, but we were both kinda like eh, it was probably my imagination.

Things just kept happening, though. We would hear full on conversations from other parts of the house when we were alone. I would hear a man and a woman when I was alone, Tojo and his lady friends, if you will. My sister was house sitting while we were away one time and she heard a man speak right behind her in the kitchen. No TV on, nothing.

The creepiest one for me was when my mom was sleeping on the couch one night and woke up to someone screaming “you could be dead” in her ear. I mean, it’s true, but that’s not something you want to wake up to.

There was also the time when my family was around for my sister’s wedding that we broke out the dowsing rods. If you don’t know what they are, they’re these metal rods you hold that spirits are supposed to be able to manipulate. Google it. I don’t know how much I believe in it, but this incident was weird.

My dad was messing around with them to show my aunt and uncle how they worked. He asked if the rods would point at me. One pointed at me, and the other pointed at my brother-in-law. We have very similar names, so it was like they were covering their bases. My dad got some serious goosebumps and told us to feel the air around his hands. I kid you not, there was a definite temperature change right around my dad’s hands. The air felt almost staticy. I’ve only ever felt that at the Stanley Hotel one time, and that place is what inspired Stephen King to write The Shining.

It went away after probably 30 seconds, but that was incredibly weird. We put the dowsing rods away after that.

I don’t know that I’d say my house was haunted. We would go a while without hearing from Tojo or his pals, and then something else weird would happen. I do know that after eight years of weird things happening to everyone in my family, it’s really hard to say that there isn’t something unexplainable. Nothing bad ever happened, and we’d get a little spooked every once in a while, but it didn’t bother us.

I believe in ghosts, but if you don’t, that’s totally cool. I hope you were at least entertained by my stories! If you’re interested in hearing more, I have plenty from not only my house, but a bunch of other supposedly haunted places I’ve visited with my family. Let me know what you think down in the comments, and maybe I’ll do another one of these. Also, if you have any possible explanations for what I’ve listed above, let me know! We’ve tried but failed so far.

Man, I just scrolled up, and this is a hefty post. Seriously, thanks for reading if you make it here! I hope you have a nice day, and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

The Rain’s Against Me

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The flowers have been here since February, but I guess April hasn’t gotten the message yet with all this rain! I got the car tsunami treatment today while walking around on campus. Not a great time.

I made a video today about all the games I’d rather be playing while staying out of the downpour. If you’d like to take a peek, you can click right here and it’ll take ya to my video. Or not, whatever works!

I need to get back to working on finals stuff. This was a quick break that turned into a most of the day break, whoops! Looks like Sunday is going to be a nothing but study day for ya girl here. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you when I see you. Have a good one!

–Nicole

Kansas City Views

So this weekend I took a quick trip to Kansas City with some of my friends. I thought I’d share some of the better photos I took in the little time we were there! It was supposed to be a grey and rainy day, but the sky smiled down upon us and said “nah, not today folks!” Anyway, that’s all I’ve got, so I’ll see you when I see you! Have a nice day.

–Nicole

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Check Out My Cat

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Look at this cute little jerk! She’s been singing the song of her people in the early hours of the morning more than usual, but at least she’s pretty. Aly’s going be 14 this summer and has somehow she’s become the oldest pet we’ve had in our family. Maybe her extra weight cushioned her organs to keep them safe and youthful? That’s probably a no, but I’m still impressed she’s held out this long.

The semester is on it’s way out, so that means I’ve got to slog through the last minute projects and exams my professors didn’t work in earlier in the semester. Unless inspiration strikes suddenly or I feel the intense desire to procrastinate even more, I don’t think I’ll be posting on here for the next few weeks. I do have some quick videos planned though, so you can check my YouTube channel if you want to see my face sometime between now and May.

That’s about all I’ve got for today. I hope you have a nice day and I’ll see you when I see you!

–Nicole

 

Books? Books!

Hey everybody! I’m back at it with some books reviews (kind of) today. If that’s you thing, read on. If not, today’s not your day.

PPZPride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith– I’m taking a zombie lit class this semester, so I’ve been consuming a lot of zombie works. Some have been great! Some have not. PPZ falls in between. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice back in my junior year of high school, and I ended up ditching it about halfway through just because I ran out of time/patience for all their pride and prejudices. The zombies made it a little more interesting for me, if only because some of the lines add humor in the context of nineteenth century England. I don’t know how strong of a writer Grahame-Smith really is, his voice tends to stand out from Austen’s, but I liked seeing how he thought a zombie menace would go over in Elizabeth Bennett’s England.

ZONE ONEZone One by Colson Whitehead– This one’s another that I had to read in my zombie class. I know Whitehead is a pretty respected author, but I absolutely hated this book. Don’t get me wrong, there were some parts that were amazing! But for the most part, I felt like it was Whitehead showing his prowess with big words. It felt like it was mostly just a slog through overwritten description that went off on tangents I had trouble relating back to the main idea. I felt like the narrative voice didn’t align with how exceedingly average we’re told our main character is supposed to be. The description of his thought processes is way too high falutin for someone that’s supposed to be the celebrated B-student/citizen. From what I’ve seen, Zone One received a lot of praise, so some people out there like it! There are good insights into society and work practices, but the writing made it hard for me to think about anything besides how much I hated what I was reading. In short, if you like super wordy description and post-apocalyptic New York City, you might like Zone One.

PJThe Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan– Okay this one was a reread, but I still love it! It’s also the second in the Heroes of Olympus series and I didn’t reread the first one before it for some reason. I started the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books back when I was 10. Now I’m 20 and I still own all of them because it’s just a phenomenal series. As someone that has always been interested in mythology, these books were exactly my thing! The Heroes of Olympus books were great because Percy and his friends had kind of aged with the original audience, so it was still relevant to me. I think they’re all about 16, and if I remember right, I was in that mid-teen range when they were coming out. Whatever, I highly suggest any Percy Jackson books if you like Greek mythology and spunky characters.

That’s about all I’ve got! I haven’t been reading much lately, but I’m trying to read more things in whatever free time I get. If you want to see what I’m reading, you can follow my Goodreads here!I try to keep my currently reading list updated. Anyway, I’ll see you when I see you. Have a nice day!

–Nicole

P.S. I just posted a new YouTube video today. If you’d be interested in seeing my face, click right here to go to my newest video. Okay, that’s actually all I’ve got.

 

March Music Suggestions

Hey there everybody! Some months I’m super into music and some months I’m just mildly super into music. This month is one of those super months. As such, I thought I’d share with you some of what I’ve been listening to! Here’s a short list because I’m too lazy to type up paragraphs. Don’t worry, I’ll still add my two cents in.

Albums:

  • Divide – Ed Sheeran (!!!)
  • Silhouettes – Aquilo
  • Oxenfree Original Soundtrack – scntfc (This one’s a video game soundtrack that’s great for homework music. I highly recommend the game, too! Just came out for IOS)
  • Western Expansion- Jared & the Mill (It gets a little twangy, but there are some good ones. I suggest Breathe Me In and Messengers in particular)
  • Night in the Woods – Alec Holowka (This is another video game soundtrack. Again, great game, great homework jams!)

Some Individual Songs:

  • All I Want- Echos
  • Say Yes- Johnny Gr4ves
  • Believer- Imagine Dragons
  • Ooh – Jon Bellion
  • home – morgxn
  • Higher – Linney

That’s a good list, I think. Let me know if you have an opinion on any of these or if you have a suggestion for me. I seriously love finding new music. If you want to keep up with what I’m listening to, check out my Spotify account here! I’ve got a playlist going where I continually add good stuff I find.

I also just made a video about some of my favorite artists this month on my YouTube channel! It’s stop motion, who doesn’t like a good stop motion? You can check that out here if you’re interested in seeing my face.

That’s about all I’ve got! I’ll be seeing you when I see you, and I hope you have a nice day!

–Nicole

 

Expectations Suck

Hey there! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. School, you know?

I just spent the last four hours working on a video for my YouTube channel. This idea came to me that I thought would be doable given my skill level and the materials available, so I went for it. I’ve been piecing together the part I have for the past while, and I’m not super happy with it. Which sucks.

It’s not bad! It’s good enough. The thing is, I know I can do better. But since I just spent my afternoon working on it instead of doing homework, I feel like I need to upload it anyway once I get the rest filmed.

I realize that it really isn’t any sort of deal. I doubt my two whole subscribers will bat an eye, but it’s frustrating to see anything you devote your time to come out as less than you had envisioned. There’s no way I’m going to try to recreate what I did (I don’t have the patience, light, or spare time to do that) so I’m going to have to work with what I’ve got I suppose.

I guess this turned into a complaining session today? I’ve been working on coming up with more ideas for videos on my channel, and I was super excited when I came up with this one. Obviously, I’m a little less enthused now. Oh well! I’m sure this is really enticing you to go check out my channel.

Anyway, I promise the next time I post it won’t be quite so complainy! What’s more cathartic than typing away my woes into the void? If you do by some chance want to go check out my channel, you can click here!  I’ll see you when I see you. I hope you have a nice day today and thanks for reading through my whiny mess.

–Nicole

 

Top Travel Tips I’ve Learned So Far

Hey there everybody! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about traveling recently. I want to study abroad next year, so now’s the time to start thinking about applying and arranging my schedule for it and all that terrifying/exciting business.

I thought today I’d leave some of my travel tips here for you to peruse. I’ve been coast to coast, North to South, and even abroad, so I’ve gone on a trip or two in my time. Wow that sounds pretentious, I’m just going to get into it. Let’s do this!

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New York, New York

When I went to France, I sat next to this mom and daughter from my group on the long flight. It was an airbus, and those suckers are big, so obviously it took a good while to fill up. They didn’t have the plane on as everyone was getting on, so it was pretty warm. These two would not stop moaning and groaning about how hot it was, and all I could think was man, you are on a plane to France! Calm down! The moral of this story is don’t sweat the small stuff! Things are going to go wrong, or at least not how you expected, but that’s just part of the adventure. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and hope that the air conditioning comes on soon!

 

 

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Nîmes, France

I’m one of those people that doesn’t do their packing until 10:00 the night before they leave. Questionable tactic, I know. Now I don’t endorse my packing strategy, but I do think you should wait to do your packing until two to three days before you leave if it’s a trip that lasts five days or less. My theory is if you do your packing closer to your departure date, you’re going to have a better idea of what you’ve got in your bag and what you’re missing. If you do it a week before (like my mom is always pestering me to do,) I feel like you have a better chance of forgetting those items you have to pack later like chargers or straighteners. Also, if you’re like me, you might not be able to last that long clothes-wise if they’re all packed up a week before.

 

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Paris, France

There are four things that I always brings with me: band-aids, chapstick, ibuprofen, and headphones. Of course, you can always get these at the drug store or the airport, but I can never really justify buying these when I know I have multiples of them sitting around at home. I also suggest either bringing or buying a water bottle that you know won’t leak. Seriously, check the quality of the cap before you buy one. The last time I flew, I got a big water bottle from the airport then discovered a damp surprise in my purse mid-flight. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated when you’re on the go, but your possessions don’t need the same treatment!

 

 

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Gulf Shores, Alabama

If you’re bringing a camera with you, bring an extra SD card. Or two! Those things are slippery. If you just plan on using a device to take pictures, I would take some time either before you leave or on your way to free up some space in your device’s memory! You don’t want to whip out your phone to snap a photo of the crazy huge rat on the tracks in the metro just to find out you’ve used up all available space.

 

 

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Chicago, Illinois

Take a second before you leave to get some apps that will make your life easier. I suggest Uber, Google Maps, and Venmo for starters. If you have any other good ones, please let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

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Estes Park, Colorado

This is my last, and arguably most important, nugget of wisdom! Just say yes. Even if you’re not sure if it sounds like something you’d usually be interested in, just do it! Obvious caveat here is if it’s dangerous/illegal. In that case you have my blessing to say no. I had to apply to go on the New York trip I just got back from, and I almost said no to it for various reasons. But this has been my philosophy since I hit college, and I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t go, so I agreed to go without knowing anyone on the trip. Thank goodness I did, because I gained some new friends, saw parts of New York I’ve never visited, ate some amaaazing food, and got some job insight that has already helped narrow my idea of what I want to do with my life. Saying yes can be scary, but sometimes you just have to go for it.

So that’s all I’ve got for today! If you have any good travel tips leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear some more. I’ll see you when I see you, and I hope you have a nice day!

–Nicole