The Shining: The mystery behind the real life Overlook Hotel in Oregon

MT. HOOD, OR - Timberline Lodge (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
MT. HOOD, OR - Timberline Lodge (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

The Shining turns 40 this year, so we decided to take a look at the real-life Overlook Hotel in Oregon and a mystery surrounding vintage photos of the Timberline Lodge.

The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece interpretation of Stephen King’s book of the same name turns 40 this year. Many people know that King was inspired to create his story after staying with his wife Tabitha at the Stanley, in Estes Park, Colorado in 1974.

However, the Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood in the beautiful state of Oregon was actually the face of the majestic Overlook Hotel. The director used it for exterior shots of the fictional inn.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the National Historic Landmark on Sept. 28, 1937. Since then, the Timberline has been a very popular destination for those that love to ski and snowboard. With views to die for and pristine surroundings who wouldn’t want to get lost for a week or two at this stunning location?

 Last December, On Set Cinema held a special screening of The Shining at the Oregon vacation hotspot where fans could enjoy roaming the grounds as well as exploring the interior which includes four eateries, gift shop, game room and more. What is interesting to note is that recently, some rare vintage photos have surfaced of this incredible structure but there is a question about the dates.

The Shining
MT. HOOD, OR – Timberline Lodge (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) /

Apparently, all of the images (which can be seen here) have been timestamped July ’21. All are notated “The Overlook Hotel,” with a name that looks suspiciously like J. Torrance. No one can explain why the Timberline is called Overlook. Another anomaly is that, as we stated above, this lodge didn’t open until the 1930’s.

Could it be that the photos were developed to look as if they came from that time period? Did someone on Kubrick’s staff alter the pictures with the idea of using them in The Shining somehow?

Next. THE SHINING. dark

Let us know your theory on the Timberline Lodge photos in the comments.