The Shining, Hallway, Stanley Hotel

Bear channeling Danny Torrance shines his way into The Stanley Hotel

Contributed by
Aug 24, 2018

All work and no play makes for some very dull bears, but don’t tell that to this big fella, who went diligently looking for hibernation fuel, or perhaps for Jack Nicholson himself, inside the infamous Stanley Hotel, aka the Overlook Hotel, aka The Shining hotel.

Featured prominently in Stanley Kubrick’s chilling take on Stephen King’s classic The Shining, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, sits high up in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by national parks and forests. As such, it gets its fair share of furry guests, but most of them don’t check in. 

Well, that nearly changed this week as a hotel employee captured stunning footage of a good-sized black bear wandering through the Stanley’s lobby, testing out the furniture, and then approaching the front desk before making his way out of the famous hotel. 

 “We think that he actually was able to unlatch one of the doors and make his way in,” said Reed Rowley, the hotel’s general manager (via CBS Denver). “The bear actually came in on his own, and it left on his own, and that’s the way we prefer it.”

Fortunately, this all happened late at night, so there wasn’t a gaggle of guests for the bear to haunt at the time, just the hotel clerk, whose first inclination seems to have been to start filming, although Rowley says the hotel immediately notified Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

Regardless of whether the clerk started filming before or after calling the authorities, perhaps we’re not dealing with the brightest hotel clerk, as the videographer in question should definitely have had a different reaction than to gleefully film a wild animal who, with fall coming fast in the Rocky Mountains, might very well be hungry, and probably doesn’t view that front desk as much of an impediment.

Or perhaps the clerk just had a momentrary lapse of reason, perhaps due to the effects of the confines itself. Perhaps the Overlook just invites that chaos. If you’ll recall, in Kubrick’s chilling masterpiece, Dick Halloran (Scatman Crothers) has a mind-to-mind with Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), a fellow shiner, but one cooped up with a dad who’s a burgeoning madman, who hinted at the hotel's powers. 

When Danny asks if the old man is scared of the hotel, Mr. Hallorann says, "No. Scared -- there's nothin' here. It's just that, you know, some places are like people. Some 'shine' and some don't. I guess you could say the Overlook Hotel here has somethin' almost like 'shining.'"

Or, maybe, just maybe, this bear’s got his own pesky case of the shining! Think about it, he can probably hold entire conversations without ever opening his mouth, just like Mr. Hallorann used to do with his grandmother. Let’s just hope the voices inside this bear’s head don’t veer too redrummy, or lead him to Room 237.