The Overlook Hotel was a secluded hotel located in the Rocky Mountains. During its history, it was the site of many unsavory 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 Hoteel 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 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.