If all things spooky and chilling are up your alley, don’t miss the Stanley Film Festival!

Since 2013, Estes Park has been home to a festival celebrating the cinematic horror genre and independent films. The festival runs over four days, this year April 30 – May 3, and includes films from new and established filmmakers, Q&A sessions, panels, a competition for student filmmakers, the “Stanley Dean’s Cup,” and various events for artists and film enthusiasts alike.

Last year’s Stanley Film Festival honored Spectrevision, a leader in horror film production, and one of its founders, Elijah Wood, with the Stanley Film Fest Visionary Award. This year’s opening night film on Thursday, April 30, will be one of Spectrevision’s new films, Cooties, staring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson. The festival will also include a 40th Anniversary showing of the iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show with opening remarks by the film’s director, Jim Sherman.

Festival passes begin at $95 for the Horror Marathon pass that offers access to film screenings and panels. The Redrum pass is $295 and provides admission to all film screenings, panels the opening and closing night parties, tours of the Stanley Hotel, and select food and beverage events.

The Stanley Hotel and its resident ghosts are the perfect hosts for this haunting festival. Contrary to the creepy feeling the festival provides, the ghosts at the Stanley Hotel are friendly and even playful. Some guests have heard children playing and running in the upstairs hallways and some have even met the very first owner and his wife, F.O. and Flora Stanley.

This is not the Stanley Hotel’s first foray into the film industry. The Stanley Hotel and its beautiful architecture and surroundings were the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. Though the original film was not filmed here, the second iteration of the story was.

A film in the 90s, Dumb and Dumber, was filmed on-site utilizing the property’s iconic facade and indoor architecture to represent the great state of Colorado.

If you love films, hauntings, and visiting our beautiful town of Estes Park, you can’t miss The Stanley Film Festival. You may purchase a festival pass online and then find the perfect cabin to return to once you’ve had your fill of thrills and chills!

What’s your favorite movie that’s been filmed in Estes Park? Tell us on our Facebook page!