The Real 'Shining' Hotel Dug Up A Pet Cemetery
The famous exterior shots of the hotel in the 1980 movie The Shining showed footage of the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. Most of the movie was shot in a studio, however, and the Timberline doesn't sell itself as "the Shining hotel." Fearing the movie would frighten off potential guests, the place even successfully asked the movie to shift the story's spookiest elements to Room 237 rather than Room 217, because the real Timberline has a room 217 but no 237.
No, the Timberline doesn't call itself the Shining hotel—it's just a fun ski lodge. If you want to go to the "real" Shining hotel, you have to visit Colorado's Stanley Hotel, which was where Stephen King spent a night, dreamed of a firehose chasing his toddler son down a hallway, and got inspired to write the novel.
The Stanley now advertises itself as haunted because it knows ghosts actually attract guests. Even if you do believe in ghosts, the place had no history of being haunted before the book, and King didn't have any paranormal experience here, just a nightmare, but no matter, the place calls itself haunted now. It does share at least one spooky bit of history worthy of Dick Hallorann coming to the rescue, though. In 1911, it suffered a gas explosion, despite claiming to have no gas connection and running totally on electricity.
In 2013, the Stanley realized it needed more space for weddings and corporate retreats (both natural fits for axe murder hotels). So they announced plans to dig up a nearby area, a pet cemetery. They'd unearth the dead animals' remains and rebury them in a new spot across from a pond, said the Stanley, and would hire local workers for this most desirable job. This pet cemetery did not inspire King's Pet Sematary—a different one in Maine did, so this was just a coincidence, supposedly.
The Stanley never had a history of haunted activity, but this cemetery did, claimed fans of the paranormal. We'd joke that the hotel was unintentionally courting doom with evil spirits by desecrating the animals' final resting place. But knowing how much the place has tried to capitalize on the King connection, it's possible that any resulting hauntings, real or imagined, were entirely intentional on their part.
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For more on the Shining, check out:
The Shining Originally Ended With The Hotel Manager Adopting Jack Nicholson's Family
The Layout Of The Hotel In The Shining Is Deliberately Confusing And Impossible
The Kid Didn't Know It Was a Horror Movie
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