Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ghost Girl at the Stanley Hotel?

Colorado's Stanley Hotel is famous for paranormal activity. In addition to many ghost sightings over the years, the hotel is also famous for inspiring the Stephen King novel The Shining. King and his wife stayed at the hotel at the very end of the season in 1974, and were the only guests in the place. That experience gave King the idea for the book. As with many other allegedly haunted sites, the Stanley Hotel hosts "spirit tours" in which guides recount various paranormal incidents while walking guests through a tour of the premises. It was on one of these tours that the the digital photo above was taken.

The Mausling family of Aurora, Colorado, participated in a “spirit tour” at the 108-year-old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park last month. After returning home, they noticed a photo taken by John “Jay” Mausling that seemed to show a young girl walking down the stairs.

John Mausling and his wife, Jessica Martinez-Mausling, told HuffPost via email that there were no young girls in their 11-member party or on the 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,” they wrote. “Nobody did. We do not remember seeing anything on the stairs when we took the picture.”

Ben Hansen, former FBI agent and host of “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files,” said a careful analysis of the photo turned up no obvious signs of trickery. “I really like this photo,” Hansen said. “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.”

So is this a ghost? My first thought is that it looks like some sort of artifact from a bad cell phone camera. There's blurring all over the photo, which suggests something like that might be what happened. However, it also is true that the girl looks a lot more blurry than anyone else in the picture. That could be because she was moving when the picture was taken, but according to witnesses there was no girl on the stairs at that time. If those witness accounts are accurate, we could be looking at something paranormal.

I will say that the picture doesn't look faked, but my guess is that there was someone coming up the stairs right when the picture was taken that the witnesses just don't remember. Memory is less reliable than we like to think. For that matter, it could have been a grown woman who just looks like a girl because of the blurring - so anybody asked if there was a girl present would honestly reply that there was not. Still, I could be wrong, and if I am this is one of the best paranormal photos that I've seen.

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