The Shining’s Hotel Is Hoping To Build Its Own Horror Museum 


Stephen King was famously inspired by the Stanley Hotel of Estes Park, Colorado, and now, the hotel is looking to add on to their heritage as a horror destination: by adding on a museum dedicated to horror. The hotel was the inspiration for the Outlook Hotel in the novel, “The Shining.”

According to the LA Times, the hotel has issued plans to build a horror museum onto the premise, which would bring in traveling exhibits, and add on an auditorium and sound stage. The founding board for the museum includes some celebrities, such as Elijah Woods (Lord of the Rings) and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead / Star Trek).

Before this happens, the state of Colorado must first grant the hotel $11.5 million from its tourism funds to help with the construction of the facility, which is expected to cost upwards of $24 million. The museum will operate as a nonprofit public-private partnership.

King stayed in room 217 in 1974, which helped to inspire him to write his famous novel The Shining, and serves as inspiration for the Overlook Hotel. The novel and subsequent movie adaptation have helped transform the hotel in to a tourist destination for horror fans. The hotel offers tours and hosts horror writers for workshops.


Ghost hunters trying to scare themselves in the Stanley Hotel.

According to King in later interviews, the Stanley served as his model for the Overlook Hotel, the ominous setting of The Shining, his third major work after Salem’s Lot (1975) and Carrie (1974). The hotel in King’s book is an evil entity haunted by its many victims. The main characters – Jack and Wendy Torrence and their young son Danny – are employed as winter caretakers. As the winter wears on, the hotel begins to exert its influence upon Jack, urging him to murder his family. Danny’s clairvoyant abilities – referred to in the novel as “the shine” – lend the book its title.

In 1980, the novel became the basis for an iconic film adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick’s vision for the movie differed from King’s significantly in many ways, including the portrayal of the Overlook Hotel. The exteriors of Kubrick’s Overlook were supplied by the Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Inspiration for the interior sets (erected at Elstree Studios in England) came from the 1927 Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.

Timberline Lodge located at Mt. Hood, Oregon. Exterior shots in the movie “The Shining.”

hotel timberline vv

Wild location for a hotel.

hotel timberline1

The famous maze in the movie was a studio construct.

hotel shining

There are no mazes at either the Stanley Hotel or Timberline Lodge. The maze was inside a studio in the U.K.


The set design for the interior scenes of the Overlook Hotel was modeled in large parts on the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, California. Seen here is the Ahwahnee’s Great Lounge, which was recreated on the Elstree Studios set as the Colorado Lounge. Where ‘All work and no play make Jack a Dull Boy.’


hotel shining1

The Stanley Hotel that inspired Stephen King to write “The Shining” is said to have many ghosts being labelled a 5 Star haunt.

The place is spooky looking:


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