The Overlook Hotel is a major antagonist of the Stephen King multiverse.
It serves as the main antagonist of The Shining and it's 1980 film adaptation of the same name, one of the two posthumous overarching antagonists (alongside Jack Torrance) of it's sequel Doctor Sleep, a major antagonist of it's 2019 film adaptation of the same name, and a minor antagonist of Billy Summers. It is also a mentioned in Misery, Castle Rock TV Series, and The Stand miniseries.
It was a secluded hotel located in the Rocky Mountains during its history, it was the site of many unsavoury activities, including suicides, gangland hits, and many suspicious changes of ownership, yet the hotel remained a luxurious destination known for its sumptuous grounds and spectacular mountain view.
In the novel, The Shining, the Overlook was destroyed when the hotel's winter caretaker, Jack Torrance, allowed the outmoded boiler to go untended until it exploded, burning the Overlook to the ground. Jack’s wife Wendy, his son Danny and Dick Hallorann were the only three survivors.
Years later, Andrew Pomeroy, an amateur painter, was employed by a magazine to sketch the ruins of the hotel. Pomeroy disappeared during the assignment. Later on, in 1982, his body was found inside the ruins of the hotel, no one knowing how it was possible.
In the film The Shining, the Overlook Hotel's exterior is represented by Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood in Oregon. The interiors of the Overlook are based heavily on the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite. The film's Colorado Lounge is a near copy of the Grand Lounge at Ahwahnee. The elevators and Lobby of both are also nearly identical. It has been noticed that from scene to scene the layout of the Overlook changes. There are several impossible shots in the film.
In the Doctor Sleep movie, The Hotel returns once again, and it is confirmed the hotel closed down after the events with the Torrances and was left to rot. Danny and Abra Stone go to the Overlook and kill Rose the Hat. However, Danny goes mad thanks to the ghosts of the hotel and tries to kill Abra like Jack did with Danny. Abra eventually escapes and the Overlook boiler explodes, killing Danny and completely destroying the Overlook, similar to the original book.
The Shining (novel)
In The Shining, Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy and son Danny arrive at the Overlook Hotel just as everyone is checking out. They are given a grand tour by Mr Ullman. Danny is told by Halloran, the hotel's chef, that the hotel has a bad history and warns him to stay out of Room 217. The Torrances watch everyone leave the hotel, until the last person leaves, and they are alone in the hotel.
At first, the hotel seems to be a blessing to Wendy and Jack and Wendy claims this is the happiest she has ever been. But Danny is hiding dark secrets, and soon starts to see terrifying visions and ghosts.
Danny enters Room 217 one day and finds a dead corpse in the bath, which smiles at him before capturing him and attempting to strangle him. He is found by Wendy, who blames Jack. However, Danny tells Wendy that it was Miss Massey and Jack enters the room. He finds nothing, but hears the footsteps of Miss Massey coming towards him. Jack flees the room, frightened, and the room is not entered again.
Danny starts seeing more terrifying visions and the topiary animals come to life. Jack Torrance slowly starts to go crazy and the ghost of the previous caretaker convinced him to kill his wife and son, so that the hotel can inherit Danny's power. Danny calls to Halloran for help with his Shining, and he comes. The hotel finally starts to show its evil power and the ghosts come alive around Wendy, Danny and Halloran. The hotel manages to murder Jack by brutally chopping his face off with the roque mallet. Wendy, Danny and Halloran escape the hotel just as the boiler explodes, destroying the hotel.
The Shining (1980)
Jack Torrance arrives at the Overlook Hotel for an interview applying for position of winter caretaker. He meets Stuart Ullman, Bill Watson and Ullman's secretary Susie. Ullman warns Jack of the isolation that him and his family will face and tells Jack that in 1970, the winter caretaker Delbert Grady killed his family and then himself, which Jack shrugs off. Meanwhile, Danny has terrifying visions of the Overlook and passes out. Wendy calls a nurse, who reassures her that Danny should be fine at the Overlook.
On Closing Day, Jack, Wendy and Danny arrive as the staff and cleaners are preparing to leave. Ullman and Watson give Jack and Wendy a tour of the Overlook. They then meet Dick Hallorann, who takes Wendy and Danny on a tour of the kitchen. Dick telepathically asks Danny if he wants ice cream and while Jack and Wendy tour the basement with Ullman and Watson, Dick tells Danny that he should be fine at the Overlook and warns him to stay out of Room 237.
A month passes and the Torrances are settled in. Wendy and Danny explore the Overlook while Jack works on his play. However, Jack's writing project is going nowhere and his behaviour becomes aggressive. As well as that, Danny has more terrifying visions and even meets the twin girls who were murdered by their father. Eventually, Danny is lured into Room 237 and is strangled by the ghost who lives in there. Wendy panics, believing that Jack strangled Danny.
Jack is served a drink in The Gold Ballroom by Lloyd. Wendy runs in panicking, saying that a woman strangled Danny. Jack goes to investigate and is seduced by the ghost in there, who later scares him. However, Jack tells Wendy he saw nothing in the room. Wendy tells Jack that they should get Danny out of the Overlook, which angers Jack who leaves their quarters in a fury. He encounters a ghostly party in The Gold Ballroom and meets Delbert Grady, who tells Jack to correct his family. While this is happening, Danny telepathically calls Hallorann for help.
Wendy goes down to The Colorado Lounge and is taunted by a possessed Jack. Wendy knocks Jack unconscious with a baseball bat and drags him into the pantry, where she locks him in. However, Delbert Grady lets Jack out, who grabs an axe and tries to kill Wendy. Danny escapes by sliding out the window and hides in the Overlook.
Hallorann arrives and is killed by Jack, which Danny witnesses. Jack chases Danny into the hedge maze while Wendy encounters several ghosts, skeletons in the lobby and blood coming out of an elevator. Danny is able to escape the hedge maze and meets Wendy outside the hedge maze and the two escape in Hallorann's snowcat, while Jack freezes to death in the hedge maze.
In a photo in The Gold Ballroom, a July 4th ball is being held in The Gold Ballroom in 1921. Jack is in the photo at the front, smiling a large smile among all the other partygoers, who were most likely killed at the Overlook and now haunt the place.
- The Shining (novel), film, miniseries
- Misery - mentioned
- Doctor Sleep - mentioned
- Castle Rock (TV Series) - mentioned
- Doctor Sleep (2019 adaptation)
- The Stand (miniseries) sign mentioning The Overlook in Boulder
- "Billy Summers" - mentioned
- While Overlook is still just a building, it is written as a character with wants and purposes. Because it has a purpose, it differentiates itself from other haunted locations.
- Overlook's role in The Shining is more as the overarching antagonist, as it was the one who possessed Delbert Grady, and Jack Torrance on wanting to kill there families in the first place.
- The Overlook Hotel is one of the few villains not to be a human, (along with Christine).