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"Some places are like people: some shine and some don't."
Dick Hallorann
Overlook Hotel
The Overlook Hotel
Category: Business
Continent: North America
Country: United States of America
State: Colorado
Points of interest: Room 237
Residents: Delbert Grady
Horace Derwent
Jack Torrance
Lloyd the bartender
Lorraine Massey
Roger the Dog Man
Appearances: The Shining
1st appearance: The Shining

The Overlook Hotel is a fictional hotel featured in The Shining multimedia franchise. It first appeared in the 1977 novel, The Shining, by famed horror author Stephen King. It was first brought to cinematic life in the 1980 feature film adaptation of The Shining, directed by Stanley Kubrick. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was the inspiration that King drew upon for this location and it was used for exterior shots of the hotel in the 1997 television movie, Stephen King's The Shining. The exteriors of the Overlook from the Kubrick film were actually shot at the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon.

History Edit

Developer Robert Townley Watson began construction on the Overlook Hotel in 1907 and it was completed in 1909. The site where the building was constructed was over top an ancient Native American burial ground. According to hotel manager Stuart Ullman, the construction crews had to fight off angry groups of Indians that would attack the site. It is possible that this desecration of Native American holy land paved the way for malefic supernatural forces to take root in the building, resulting in a history of scandal, corruption, and death. Until its destruction, many ghosts wandered the halls, rooms, and corridors of the Overlook Hotel.

In 1921, a July 4th celebration was held at the hotel. The summer caretaker at the time was included in a photograph that was later prominently displayed in the hotel lobby. It is possible that this man's soul may have been reincarnated into the form of Jack Torrance, who became the caretaker of the Overlook during a winter season in the late 1970s.

Throughout the remainder of the roaring '20s, the Overlook played host to a number of the world's jet-set. Automotive industrialist Henry Ford visited the hotel in 1927.

Dog man

Always something strange going on at the Overlook.

A grand party was held at the Overlook in 1945. A woman named Darla attended this function. A man named Roger dressed in a dog costume and was seen performing fellatio on another man.

From 1946 to 1952, the Overlook was owned by entrepreneur Horace M. Derwent. According to Stuart Ullman years later, Derwent "saved the Overlook from extinction". Derwent ultimately sold the hotel to a group of investors from California. Charles Grondin purchased the overlook in 1952.

High Country Investments purchased the Overlook Hotel in 1963. The spokesman for the company was Robert T. Leffing. Horace Derwent later re-invested himself into the hotel and gained controlling interest, and used it as a platform to conduct illicit operations involving members of organized crime. There were several mob hits that took place at the hotel in the 1960s. Gangster Vittorio Gienelli, as well as his two bodyguards, Victor T. Boorman and Roger Macassi were shot to death in a mob hit in June, 1966.

Horace Derwent eventually died, the manner of which is unclear, and his spirit became one of many that resided inside the estate. His widow, Sylvia Hunter Derwent, became the owner of the Overlook from 1967 until 1968.

The winter months were especially harsh in this area and the hotel closed down from October until May. During the coldest months of the year, the Overlook was completely cut off from all roads leading out towards nearby Sidewinder. The board of directors of the Overlook would hire a seasonal caretaker, who would reside at the hotel, along with his family, during these months.

It was around this time that Stuart Ullman became the manager of the hotel. Ullman was chosen by the board of directors not only for his deep reverence for the hotel itself, but also because of his ability to shield the outside world from the numerous scandals, suicides, murders, and ghostly sightings related to the Overlook. Bill Watson, grandson of the hotel's architect, was the caretaker during the busy seasons. Watson hated Ullman with a passion and called him every name in the book. One of Watson's primary responsibilities was to maintain the massive boiler in the building's basement. The safety valve did not work and Ullman was too cheap to have it replaced, so Watson had go down every night before bed to vent the boiler less the pressure would build up, resulting in a possible explosion.

During the time that Ullman was in charge of the Overlook, a woman named Lorraine Massey checked in as a guest who stayed in Room 217. Having been cheating on her husband, Lorraine was known for seducing young men, usually bellhops, into her room and having sex with them. She eventually committed suicide in the bathtub of her room by slitting her wrists. Her spirit joined the other ghosts that lingered on in the hotel.

Grady daughters dead

Here's what's left of the Grady daughters after Papa has his way with them.

In the mid 1970s, the winter caretaker of the Overlook was a middle-aged man named Delbert Grady. A blizzard cut the hotel off from the rest of the world, and Grady succumbed to cabin fever. He went insane and butcher his two daughters with an axe, killed his wife with a shotgun, and then put both barrels of the gun into his own mouth and pulled the trigger with his toe.

The following year, Ullman set out to find another winter caretaker. The board of a directors, over Ullman's opposition, decided to hire an alcoholic writer named Jack Torrance. One of Jack's AA friends had connections with the board, and pulled some strings to get him the job. Ullman wasted no time telling Jack what he thought of him, and inwardly, Jack felt the same, referring to Ullman as an "officious little prick". Jack was informed about the previous winters' tragedy involving Delbert Grady, but his need for a job outweighed any reservations he may have had over grisly historical events.

Jack moved into the Overlook with his wife, Wendy Torrance, and young son, Danny Torrance. Jack believed the isolation would enable him to work on a play that he had been trying to put together.

Jack's son, Danny, had a unique gift in that he could telepathically sense the thoughts of others, and gain psychic impressions of places or events. This was a gift shared by the Overlook's top chef, Dick Hallorann, who referred to it as "shining". Dick was well aware of the hotel's dark history and warned Danny to stay away from Room 237. He did not give any indication as to why this room was so dangerous.

As the weeks wore on, the influence of the dark forces of the hotel began to infect Jack, just as it did Delbert Grady. He became more belligerent towards Wendy and his alcohol cravings began to peak.

Danny meanwhile, began to see visions of the ghosts that occupied the building via his imaginary friend, Tony. He saw the dead Grady daughters in a hallway and saw the eerie naked woman from Room 237. Frightened, Danny complained to his mother that the woman in the room had attacked him, but Wendy, knowing that there was supposed to be nobody else in the hotel, believed that Jack had hurt him - just as he did months earlier when in a drunken rage had broken Danny's arm. Danny sent out a telepathic S.O.S. to Dick Hallorann, who had been vacationing in Florida over the holidays. Knowing that Danny was in trouble, Dick dropped everything and booked a flight to Colorado.

By this point, Jack Torrance had fully succumbed to the terrors of the hotel. He began having visions of the hotel alive and well in its heyday, and even enjoyed drinks at the lounge courtesy of a bartender named Lloyd.

Having been visited by the ghost of Delbert Grady, Jack was convinced that Wendy and Danny needed to be "corrected", which meant that he had to kill them. He began stalking them through the hotel and Wendy and Danny tried desperately to escape from him. Dick Hallorann arrived, but Jack put an end to him by driving an axe into his chest (film only).

Wendy and Danny managed to get outside and escaped from the hotel by way of a Snowcat that Dick Hallorann had used to get to the Overlook. Jack Torrance perished, unable to satisfy his all-consuming need to murder his family.

Points of Interest Edit

Presidential suite
The presidential suite was located on the third floor of the Overlook Hotel and was one of the larger, more luxurious rooms on the site. Four U.S. presidents stayed in the suite including Warren G. Harding, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D> Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. Bill Watson recounted that even Stuart Ullman never bragged about having Nixon at the hotel.
Room 217
This was one of the guest rooms on the second floor. In the mind-1970s, a woman named Lorraine Massey stayed in this room as a guest (novel only). Massey was known for seducing young men, usually bellhops, into her room and having sex with them. She eventually committed suicide in the bathtub of her room by slitting her wrists.
Room 237
Room 237 is where Lorraine Massey committed suicide (Kubrick film). Her ghost appeared in varying visualizations, either as a young woman or as an old hag. Danny Torrance was traumatized by seeing an image of old, dead Lorraine creeping after him. Jack Torrance later went into room 237 where he was seduced by an image of a younger, more attractive Lorraine.

Films that feature the Overlook Hotel Edit

Books that feature the Overlook Hotel Edit

Residents of the Overlook Hotel Edit

Notes Edit

General notes Edit

Overlook Hotel - Miniseries

The Overlook from The Shining mini-series.

  • In the 1997 TV movie, it is stated that the Overlook has 110 rooms.
  • The Kubrick film presents a lot of Native American imagery in the Overlook in terms of style and decor. The grandest examples of this can be seen in the lobby sequences. This characteristic is unique to the film and supports the notion that the Overlook is built atop a Native American burial ground. Even the name, "Overlook", may be a reference to the near extermination of native tribes in the area. The King novel has no references to Native American culture at all.
  • In the novel and the 1997 movie, the Overlook Hotel is destroyed when Jack Torrance neglects to vent the boiler in the basement and it explodes. In the Kubrick film, no such scene takes place.
  • Bill Watson, the summer caretaker prior to Jack Torrance was the grandson of Robert Townley Watson, who built the Overlook Hotel.
  • In the novel, Jack Torrance chased Danny around the hotel with a croquet mallet. In the movie, he chased him around with an axe - possibly even the same axe that Delbert Grady used to "correct" his daughters.
  • One of the highlights of the hotel presented in the TV miniseries is Denver Croquet. It was developed by Horace Derwent and is basically regular croquet, except that the balls and mallet are much larger. According to Stuart Ullman, this actually makes the game more challenging. Jack Torrance sees some guests playing Denver Croquet when he has his first meeting with Ullman.

Landscaping Edit

  • In the novel, one of the most celebrated attractions of the Overlook was its impressive topiary, which had been carved to resemble different animals such as lions. These were represented in the miniseries as well. Upon first arriving at the Overlook, Danny was taken aback by the fearsome imagery. This fear escalated later on when the topiary came to life and stalked him.
  • For the Stanley Kubrick film, the technology and budget was unavailable to satisfactorily create living topiary. Instead, an impressive hedge maze was created and served as a primary setting for the climax of the film. Wendy and Torrance escape outside and Danny runs into the maze. Jack chases after him, but Danny disguises his footprints in the snow, which causes Jack to overshoot the mark in his search for him. Danny escapes, and Jack gets lost in the maze, ultimately freezing to death.

Other guests Edit

  • Famed author Truman Capote visited the Overlook at one point.
  • U.S. President Warren G. Harding was a guest at the Overlook in 1922.
  • U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was a guest at the hotel.
  • Actress Jean Harlow was a guest at the Overlook in 1930.
  • Actress Carole Lombard visited the Overlook Hotel.
  • Model and actress Marilyn Monroe and her then-husband, playwright Arthur Miller both visited the Overlook.
  • Banking tycoon Nelson Rockefeller visited the Overlook Hotel in the year 1950.
  • Darryl F. Zanuck stayed at the hotel in 1956.
  • A fashion designer named Corbat Stani stayed at the Overlook Hotel in 1957.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit


Stephen King logo
This article relates to the works of Stephen King.
Shining logo
This article relates to The Shining film franchise.
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