…makes Jack a dull boy.
– Stephen King
In 1995, I traveled from our home in Misiones, Argentina, to Buenos Aires, so that I could take my college entrance exams at Lincoln, an international school in the North End. While staying at the MK dorm, I happened across a copy of The Shining and read it cover to cover in one night. It is still one of my favorite books.
So, imagine my excitement at visiting the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. It is also known as the Overlook, and provided both the inspiration for King’s novel, and the location for the 1997 Steven Weber television remake of the film (by far the better of the two). Founded in 1909 by F.O. Stanley (also co-owner of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, which produced the Stanley Steamer), the hotel has a haunted history in its own right, centering around the infamous Room 217 and the entirety of the fourth floor. After one night in the place, King was inspired to produce what is arguably his most famous book.
And there, on the patio, was Jack Torrance himself (sort of). He was one hell of an impersonator: there was little doubt in my mind that, if he caught me snapping his picture, I’d take a hatchet to the back of the head…
This is me, one more ghost in a parade of spirits, lurking in the shadows. How I managed to pull off this photo without anyone else in the frame is a mystery: it was a fairly busy day at the Overlook (erm…I mean, the Stanley), and I’m amazed that none of the other visitors made an appearance here. Unless…maybe…?
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dump the boiler before the place goes up. Spooky travels, my friends!!