One of the concepts that intrigued me most about the Stanley Hotel was the idea that the ghosts on the premises weren’t simply from visitors who’d died at the hotel–that instead many of the ghosts actually migrated there with guests and were then left behind. That idea was the conceptual spark for my story, Murder Box.
Along with that, I found three physical locations that inspired me to write the story (click any image for full-res version). The most important spot is the tale’s namesake:
1) THE MURDER BOX
I found this creepy place while exploring the grounds with Sephera Giron. I was trying to find a place to do some bouldering, so we wandered out into the wilderness behind the hotel. We followed a trail past some boulders and found this little gem:
2) THE HEDGE MAZE
Like many visitors, I had envisioned the maze would be a mammoth structure, only to find that it instead a less-than-imposing (although artfully crafted) labyrinth:
Still, despite its diminutive stature, the maze had potential. I wanted to find a way to make it scary. It occurred to me that if someone was down on the ground and severely restrained, the maze could suddenly become a very intimidating place, with its jagged edged tiles and limited sight lines.Plus, I loved the view of the hotel at night, seen from inside the maze:
Finally, I spent a lot of time at the Stanley roaming the halls. I loved that how no matter the time of day or night–no matter how bright the sun was shining–the hallways remained dim. It was like the hotel consumed all the sunlight.
I hope you enjoy Murder Box. I’ve included a few more reference photos below.
THANKS for reading!
Rob E. Boley