Inside the Haunted Hotels That Inspired ‘The Shining’
All of the hotels that inspired the iconic spots in the book and movie are still functioning and open for your haunted stay.
The Shining stands as one of the most beloved horror properties, but fans of the haunted Colorado hotel known as the Overlook are often torn between Stephen King’s original 1977 novel and Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation starring Jack Nicholson as the deranged caretaker Jack Torrance. King himself famously detested Kubrick’s creative liberties with his source material while the director all but reveled in them.
While the Overlook itself is fantasy, it’s based on a real-life hotel in Colorado, represented in the film by a ski resort in Oregon, and modeled inside after a lodge in Yosemite National Park, all of which you can still stay at.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, marks the original inspiration for King’s novel. Living in nearby Boulder, he was referred to the hotel’s real-life pet cemetery (which would also be the inspiration for his 1983 novel Pet Sematary). Checking in on the final day of the season, Halloween 1973, he and his wife, Tabitha, found themselves the only overnight guests. At the time, the property was run-down and in poor repair. Staying in the fateful room 217, King claimed to cross ghostly children playing in the halls and a haunted dinner party in the ballroom.