October 30, 2013

The Overlook Hotel

When I think of things that scare me at Halloween,
it's not werewolves or masked psychos under the high school bleachers
or even the freakishly calm Norman Bates wielding a knife in the shower.

It's Jack I think of.  Jack and The Overlook Hotel.

The Overlook....also known as the hotel in The Shining.
The book by Stephen King that scared the #*;% out of me when I was in high school.
I loved scary books and horror movies back then.
Not so much anymore.
I can tell you that the memories of those books and movies have stuck with me
and still elicit a few chills down my spine when they come to mind.

Who wasn't terrified by Jack Nicholson?
He was the King of Bat Sh*t Crazy as Jack Torrance.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.
Do you remember that scene?
When Wendy looks at his typewriter and manuscript?
The stark way it was filmed was so creepy...and annoying.  Like fluorescent lights annoying.

The sequel, Doctor Sleep, was recently released.  
Now that weird little Danny Torrance has grown up, we get to read about what's been happening in his life.
Do we want to know?
Did Wendy ever recover from that experience?
Does Danny still do that creepy talking thing with his finger?
Are the twins coming back?
Does Danny still have the shining?
Do I want to know?

The Shining is the scariest book I've ever read.
Stephen King books have a way of lingering way back in your mind...in those dark places that you unlock 
when you are all alone in the house and your heart is racing so hard that you can hear it in your ears.
Yes, those nights.
I think about Misery, Thinner and Christine.
I think about Pet Cemetary.
Those words have staying power far stronger than the visual images of the movies.
My imagination ran wild with terrifying images that I'd created in my own mind.
I can still remember the moment that I read the bathroom scene in Room 237.
I was scared...really, really scared.
I bolted from my bed and jumped in with my mom.
I think I was about 15.

Are you going to read it???

Looks like Jack has answered that for me.

Here's a final look at crazy pants.
Will you think of Jack, too?
Will you be bundled up with a big bowl of popcorn watching a favorite scary movie?
Do tell.

Happy Halloween.
I'll be dumping Milk Duds into my popcorn.


  1. Ahhh! The Shining was a very scary book and I read it in high school too. Scared me to death. I got to go to that hotel in Colorado a few years ago. Gave me the creeps even then!! I did not know the sequel was out and I haven't read a King book in years. I'll probably read it though...how could I not?? Happy Halloween to you too!

  2. I remember back in the 70s when a co-worker said he had just read the scariest book about vampires, and I thought that was the silliest thing I'd ever heard. Then I read it for myself...Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot...and it scared out of my wits. So much for silly.

  3. such a great halloween post, tina! i really need to read the shining now:) LOVE jack in anything! happy halloween, you dear scaredy cat!

  4. Now that's one creepy looking Jack! Happy Halloween Tina-have fun:@)

  5. For the love of God did you have to do this to me on Halloween? You are wicked, wicked I say.

  6. We were newlyweds when the movie came out. We were camping in a tent (the one and only time) and it started raining, so we decided to drive into town and watch a movie. What movie do you think we watched? The Shining! Where do you think we slept that night? The car. hehe

    I've read almost all of Stephen King's novels, but Salem's Lot was the first one I read when I was in high school. I would jump at every little noise when I was reading that book!!!

  7. I don't know. I laid in bed and watched Ghost Hunters until 11pm last night, Finding Bigfoot before that. Then I turned out the lights and laid there, eyes wide open, hearing stuff that probably wasn't there. Not sure I can take a Shining revisit.

  8. I am probably one of the few that haven't either seen The Shining or read it. I'm not sure I want to. :-) Horror and scary movies are not my usual cup of tea. But my husband likes them.

  9. My ex-fiance had me reading Stephen King in 1980--before that, I wasn't reading popular fiction. I haven't read one of his books in years--Pet Cemetary freaked me out too much.

  10. My ex-fiance introduced me to Mr. King in 1980 with his copy of "Night Shift." After that, he was my "go-to" author for awhile, but I probably haven't read one of his books in over 10 years. Not sure I want to read another.

  11. I have never read one of his books….however I HAVE seen some of the movies. Jack is always a creepy guy….actually, even when he's trying to be nice, he's still a little creepy.

  12. The Shining is a classic!
    Happy Halloween!

  13. I have 2 favorite authors: Diana Gabaldon and Stephen King. I LOVE King. I haven't read the Shining in years, but I WILL be reading Dr. Sleep. In fact, my next-door cube-mate at work just bought it, which means she'll be passing it along to me to read any day now. Desperation was my first King experience. Scared the crap out of me.


  14. Tina,
    never read the book or any Stephen King, Dean Koontz is as scary a read as I get, love him! My sister loves and has read most of Stephen's books. Did see the movie with Jack, creeped me out! Will Not be catching up on any scary King novels, will leave that to YOU!

  15. Dear God - why did I pick tonight to come visit?????
    That movie stayed with me like forevah and now I see him coming at me with an axe............
    The book IT was the one that finished my reading scary novels lol - totally did me in - can't look at clowns the same way since then - they all look like murdering sickos to me now.

  16. The Shining also scared the crap out of me!

    I have been to the Grand Canyon a few times. The El Tovar restaurant/bar overlooking the canyon totally reminds me of The Overlook Hotel!


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