The mystery of room 217: What is hidden in the haunted hotel that inspired “The Shining”?
Stephen King, the undisputed master of horror novels, got the idea for his masterpiece, The Shining, in 1974, when he spent a night with his wife Tabitha in the isolated Stanley Hotel in Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains.
King had terrifying dreams at the time, and three years later he wrote a book based on them that brought him world fame. Namely, he booked a hotel in the autumn, just before the end of the season, and he and his wife were the only guests in the hotel, so everything seemed quite spooky.
He wandered the empty corridors, and the dream he had haunted him – his little son was being chased by a fire hose through the same corridors… He woke up in a sweat, went to smoke a cigarette, and halfway through he already had the idea for “The Shining”.
In 1980, director Stanley Kubrick made a film of the same name based on Stephen King’s novel, which is considered one of the best horror films of all time. It follows a family who moves into a hotel in Colorado for the winter, which only seems idyllic at first glance.
The leading roles were played by Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, and there are many facts about the place that was built in 1909 by American businessman Freelan Oscar Stanley.
For example, room 217, in which Stephen King stayed, has an interesting history. In 1911, the maid, Elizabeth Wilson, tried to light a lantern in that room, which exploded by coincidence, and she fell through to the floor below. Mr. Stanley did everything he could to cover up the incident, so he paid for her medical expenses, offered her a higher salary, and so on.
Elizabeth continued to work for him for forty years after that unfortunate event. Later, there was much discussion about the paranormal, both from guests and staff. Allegedly, guests claim that her spirit returns to the room and cleans it, and if a couple is not married, she separates them.
They often reported hearing strange noises, lights turning on and off by themselves, and the like. Thus, the building became one of the most haunted in America.
Also, this room is reserved months in advance and it is not easy to get to it because there is a lot of interest.
Since 2013, a film festival called Stanley has been held there, which shows independent horror films as part of its regular repertoire.
During Halloween, the most frightening night of the year, the hotel becomes identical to the one from The Shining, because then it becomes the place where a ball is held, attended by an enormous number of people.
What is also interesting is the fact that the hotel has a professional paranormal investigator, even though Kubrick’s film was not shot in it, but in Timberline Lodge, which in reality does not cause horror to visitors, but only enthusiasm.
By the way, it is precisely because of this advertisement that the hotel has a large number of visitors.