The real name of the Overlook is the Stanley Hotel, and it's located in Estes Park, Colorado, a town of about 12,000 that coincidentally finds itself newly isolated with winter fast approaching. (Two of the three roads connecting the town to the rest of civilization have been washed away.)
Founded in 1909 by F.O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame, the Georgian-style establishment is now considered one of the more haunted hotels in the nation. The hotel plays up its spooky reputation, though it puts a gentle spin on it: The notorious Room 217, for instance, is supposedly haunted by a benevolent housekeeper. As she lit lanterns in 1911, an explosion blasted Ms. Elizabeth Wilson from what is now Room 217 down into the story below, breaking her ankles. Guests now sometimes find themselves the recipients of "extra housekeeping services, including having their things put away or unpacked," according to the hotel. And "if you stay on the fourth floor, you just might get to hear the children of long ago running up and down the halls, laughing and giggling." Some guests are even tucked in at night by apparitions.
King wrote "The Shining" after staying in Room 217 in the mostly deserted off-season.[Click here to go to a slideshow of the Stanley Hotel, aka the Overlook.]
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