Walk Through the Stanley Hotel, the Inspiration for The Shining

1 min

Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick broke the horror mold with the release of The Shining in the summer of 1980, but at the time, critics didn’t agree.

The Shining opened in the box offices with a slow start and negative comments from critics didn’t help. Variety magazine published:

With everything to work with, … Kubrick has teamed with jumpy Jack Nicholson to destroy all that was so terrifying about Stephen King’s bestseller.


The New York Times was impressed with Jack Nicholson’s acting and loved the Overlook Hotel as the setting, but wrote:

The supernatural story knows frustratingly little rhyme or reason … Even the film’s most startling horrific images seem overbearing and perhaps even irrelevant.


In case you have been under a rock for the last forty years and haven’t seen The Shining, you should. And what better time to now, as it deals with isolation, something we all know too well during the pandemic that is ravaging the globe.

IMDB summarizes the film as:

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.


If you asked me what I enjoyed most about the movie, it would be Jack Nicholson, the famous bloody hallway scene and the hotel itself. You can read more about the history of the hotel if you are interested. Keep in mind was too small to see it back in the day and only watched it for the first time a few years ago.

The Overlook Hotel in King’s book that was published in 1977, is actually based upon the Stanley Hotel located in Estes Park in Colorado, USA. Back in 1973, King and his wife actually spent the night at The Stanley and strangely, they were the only guests that night. The visit prompted him to write The Shining.

Thanks to technology, you can actually take a virtual walking tour of The Stanley and see first hand what inspired Stephen King.

Location: The Stanley Hotel, 333 Wonderview Avenue Estes Park, Colorado, United States.

The Stanley Hotel   |   333 Wonderview Avenue Estes Park, CO 80517

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Erin Chapman

Erin is the host of the weekly YouTube show Morbid Planet. She resides in Vancouver, Canada with her two turtles.