Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Shining

I learned the other day that my ghost writer, Joe, had written the “ghost story” about his late father-in-law Jack while he and his wife Lynn were attending a “destination wedding” at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.

The name "Stanley Hotel” may not ring a bell, but there’s an awful lot about this place that will be familiar to you.

The hotel was originally built by Freelan O. Stanley (co-inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile) in 1909, and it catered to the rich and famous. Early guests included “the unsinkable” Molly Brown, John Phillips Souza, the emperor and empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities. In the more recent past, Stephen King stayed here.

The history of the place inspired him to write “The Shining”, which became a movie in 1980.

The 1997 mini-series of The Signing was filmed here, but the scenes for the original movie were primarily shot in at EMI studios in England, with a few exterior shots shot at Timberline Lodge in Oregon.

The ability to detect ghostly presences is called “shining”, a gift that Danny, the son of Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance, possesses.

If you traveled to The Stanley Hotel today, you’d learn that it’s best to avoid rooms 217,401, 407, and 418, since there have been a LOT of strange activities in those rooms.

The folks that have taken the guided “ghost tour” have sometimes found themselves face to face with Mr. Stanley himself, even though he departed from this earth way back in 1940, and a number of guests have heard Mrs. Stanley playing the piano in the hotel ballroom.

When Joe was writing his story at the hotel, he had to start over several times, because he kept writing “all work and no play makes Joe a dull boy” over and over again.

Just a coincidence?

Maybe, but there’s no time to talk about that now.

I think I hear Johnny knocking on the door.

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