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Fan Theories About The Shining That Change Everything

Fan Theories About The Shining That Change Everything


The Shining has attracted an almost cult-like
collective of fans who long to discover its secrets. What follows are our favorite fan theories
we’ve gathered up from internet forums, fan films and documentaries like Room 237, and
just putting the movie on repeat until we start coming up with our own kooky headcanons. Out of all the theories out there about the
true meaning of The Shining, one of the more plausible ones is that the film is an allegorical
tale about the genocide of Native Americans by white settlers. The most overt hint occurs when Stuart Ullman,
a smiling white guy who dresses in red, white, and blue, and has an American flag on his
desk, casually mentions that the Overlook is literally built over dead Native Americans. “The site is supposed to be located on an
Indian burial ground, and I believe they actually had to repel a few Indian attacks as they
were building it.” Throughout the hotel are depictions of Native
Americans and Native American art motifs, such as the enormous sand painting on the
wall of the Colorado Lounge. Jack even uses the phrase “White Man’s Burden,”
in a conversation with Lloyd, a reference to a poem by Rudyard Kipling that valorizes
the colonization of natives by white imperialists, Internet film scholar Kevin McLeod, who did
a commentary track for the home video release of the documentary Room 237, also claims that
the film features a pair of hidden symbols from another group of indigenous Americans,
the Maya. He asserts that in the iconic bright yellow
film poster for The Shining, the extra wide letter “T” in the title is actually a Mayan
symbol, and that a repeating pattern in the carpet of the Gold Room, a cross within a
square, is actually the symbol for “yellow.” There are also a handful of strange but compelling
parallels between the film and the real life founding of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. This was a horrific, bloody event with countless
Native Americans casualties, but perhaps the most famous Native person killed there was
Hokolesqua, also known as Chief Cornstalk. In 1777, Hokolesqua was killed by a mob seeking
revenge for an attack that he’d had no part of, and, of course, legend states that Hokolesqua’s
final words were a curse on the land that would leave it, quote, “paralyzed by the stain
of our blood.” “There are two things I know about white people:
They love Rachael Ray, and they are terrified of curses.” This statement has clear parallels to the
famous wave of blood from the film, but believe it or not, it’s not the biggest link between
the battle of Point Pleasant and The Shining. In 1909, the same year the fictional Overlook
Hotel was completed in the film, a real life monument in Point Pleasant was struck by lightning,
and the same thing happened again on July 4, 1921. As any true Shining fan knows, July 4, 1921,
is the date on the old photograph of Jack from the final shot of the film. Before we go any further, let’s get one thing
straight. The moon landing wasn’t faked. Mythbusters did a whole episode about it.. Go watch Hidden Figures. Educate yourself. However, there has been a conspiracy theory
circulating since before The Shining came out that the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked,
and that Stanley Kubrick was the one hired by the government to shoot it. It would obviously be nearly impossible to
carry a secret like that without letting it out somewhere, so could The Shining actually
be Kubrick’s covert confession? “I don’t think that’s true.” Well, no. but let’s run down the conspiracy’s favorite
evidence. There’s Tang in the Overlook pantry, a product
popularized through its association with the space program. In one scene, Danny is wearing a handmade
sweater famously depicting Apollo 11 and the Saturn V rocket. Also, during the adaptation from the book
to the film, the most haunted room in the hotel changed room numbers, from 217 to 237,
and according to Shining conspiracy theorists, the distance to the moon is about 237,000
miles away. In truth, it’s more like 238,900 miles away
on average, but we didn’t know this until the late ’60s. Maybe Kubrick was looking at an old textbook
with out of date information when he and NASA were trying to fool the entire world by faking
the most documented news story of all time. This could all be intentional, though. By 1980, Kubrick was most likely aware of
the conspiracy theory, since it sprung up after he directed 2001: A Space Odyssey in
1968, and he also knew how closely people analyzed his films for hidden meanings. Maybe he decided to just mess with them a
little for fun. We all know what happens when it’s all work
and no play. One of the most subtly haunting elements of
the Overlook Hotel is that its layout constantly seems to be shifting. The bright exterior window in Ullman’s office
is completely nonsensical, because his office is in the middle of the building. And during a conversation between Wendy and
Jack in the Colorado Lounge, a chair in the background keeps appearing and disappearing
again between shots. And when Hallorann is giving a tour to Wendy
and Danny, they step into one giant freezer, but then exit from a different freezer across
the room. Kubrick was a notoriously meticulous filmmaker,
so it seems unlikely that these strange occurrences are just mistakes. What else might they signify? Maybe the Overlook isn’t actually the Overlook
at all. Instead, it’s Hell, where Jack must continually
repeat the last winter of his life forever. It’s not that big of a stretch, as we already
know the hotel has at least one other imprisoned, killer ghost in the form of Grady, who sometimes
doesn’t seem to remember killing his family. With this reading, many of the film’s more
puzzling lines suddenly become meaningful, like Jack having an odd familiarity with the
Overlook before he even arrives. “When I came up here for my interview, it
was as though I’d been here before.” Later, Grady tells him that he’s always been
the caretaker, and maybe that eternity at the hotel is his reward for the sins of his
life. Remember, unlike Wendy and Danny, Jack is
only ever seen in the Overlook or on the road that leads up to it. Whenever you’re watching The Shining, Jack
is always the caretaker. There are a lot of continuity errors and geographical
oddities in The Shining, but maybe that’s because Jack and his family are hallucinating
throughout their stay at the Overlook. In fact, maybe they’re the subject of a government-run
science experiment. According to this theory, Jack’s employment
at the Overlook is a front so that the US government can test out mind control techniques
on isolated test subjects, and all the supernatural visions the Torrances experience are actually
the results of these experiments. It’s a fun theory, but there’s not much evidence
to back it up, apart from a single incongruous poster in the game room. It’s an image of a skier above the word “Monarch,”
which is the first time Danny sees the Grady girls in the hotel. However, during Jack’s interview, Ullman claims
that there’s no skiing in the area, so why would they advertise it in the game room? And what is “Monarch?” Well, it’s actually Monarch Mountain, a ski
resort that’s been open in Colorado since 1939, but according to conspiracy theorists,
Monarch was the name of a real-world CIA project that attempted to discover the secrets of
mind control. In this reading of the film, the character
Bill Watson, who seems like Stuart Ullman’s assistant, is actually the brains of the operation,
a high-ranking government agent. Notice that Watson is called into Ullman’s
office when Jack arrives, and yet he doesn’t get a job title, and he doesn’t ask Jack any
questions. In fact, he doesn’t have any dialogue at all
other than a blunt “hi” later on. He just sits there, watching as Ullman tells
Jack about Grady and the Overlook’s creepy history, planting those ideas in Jack’s head. Later, when Ullman tells Watson to transport
some luggage, Watson almost seems annoyed, like he’s not used to taking orders. And when Ullman gives Jack a tour, Watson
trails behind, watching everything and saying nothing. One unusual interpretation of The Shining
is that it’s less of an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel and actually a modern day retelling
of the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Just like the labyrinth that houses the Minotaur
in the myth, the Overlook has its hedge maze where the movie hits its climax. As Jack chases him, Danny escapes the maze
by retracing his steps, just as Theseus escapes the labyrinth by following back a ball of
twine that he’d been unwinding as he walked. Could this be a second meaning to the sign
outside the Gold Room that advertises “the Unwinding Hours”? At several points in the film, Jack stares
into the distance with a lowered head, but with eyes pointed up, in the classic “Kubrick
stare,” a pose that’s very evocative of a bull getting ready to charge. Some theorists even cite the “Monarch” poster
in the game room, which again is for a real-life ski resort you can go to, because the skier
is a silhouette with strange proportions. It’s a stretch, but the mythical Minotaur
was the descendant of a royal bloodline, which leads to another oddly convincing connection. In the original story, the Minotaur was the
product of a union between a human and a beast, and, well, the audience and Wendy definitely
see something along those disturbing lines. Something is up with this movie and mirrors. Danny’s first vision occurs in front of a
mirror. Jack recognizes the woman he’s kissing in
Room 237 is a corpse by looking into a mirror. There’s a long scene of Jack talking to Wendy
that takes place entirely in a reflection. Danny’s creepy “redrum” graffiti can only
be read correctly when mirrored. The Grady girls are mirror images of each
other. The film even opens with a shot of a reflective
lake, mirroring the scenery above it. Perhaps the Overlook itself is a mirror, in
that it’s only torturing guests with the evil that they bring with them. That would explain why Jack, an alcoholic
with a history of abusing his son, was corrupted by the hotel, while Danny and Wendy were not. Whether it’s the true meaning of the movie
or not, the use of mirrors is definitely an intentional illustration of one of The Shining’s
deeper themes. The idea of finding truth through looking
backwards through history or looking into mirrors occurs all throughout the movie, from
the reveal of “redrum” as a terrifying warning to Danny escaping his father in the hedge
maze by retracing his steps. By looking backwards, Danny avoids becoming
a victim like the Grady children. This idea of finding truth by turning backwards
has led to some fans to try playing two projections of The Shining on the same screen at the same
time, one playing forwards and one playing backwards to see if this finally reveals the
movie’s many secrets. It might not have led to any deeper truths,
but it has created some awesomely creepy imagery. Then again, maybe this movie is the real mirror,
and these fan theories say more about us than they do about the film. Not all Shining theories are deadly serious
or profoundly deep, and some of them are so wild that they’re worth talking about for
just how weird they are. For example, writer and journalist Mary Katharine
Ham has a theory that the story of the Shining has been retold more recently…as Disney’s
Frozen. Before the story begins, our tortured protagonist
has a dark chapter in their past that looms over their present, where they inadvertently
injured an innocent young family member. Then, that volatile character is put in charge
of running a big castle in the snowy mountains. Meanwhile, their innocent young family member
is locked out of a forbidden room, and passes the time by playing with toys in the hallway,
and when things go bad, a wide-eyed, cheerful character with prominent teeth tries to protect
them. Eventually, the pressure of this new job causes
our dark and tortured protagonist to snap and turn against their family. The family is in over their heads, so it’s
up to an experienced expert at navigating the snowy wastes to climb aboard their faithful
mount to come to their rescue. In the end, both movies end with a character
getting frozen. In one case, it’s temporary, and in another,
it’s permanent, but you have to admit that while everything might not line up, there’s
enough there to have some goofy fun with. It’s a weird, ridiculous, and truly wild “theory,”
but for some reason we just can’t…let it go. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
movies are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

91 comments on “Fan Theories About The Shining That Change Everything

  1. The Grady in the bathroom wasn’t same Grady mentioned in the interview. That’s his father. How hard is it to not understand that

  2. "The moon landing wasn't faked". Well, thanks for clearing that up for us, Looper Male Voice. I too get all my answers from Mythbusters.

  3. Come ón!! Not again?!! Jeezzz. Is this an American thing?🤪 It's a movie people. Just a movie. Kubrick is in tears laughing up there. 😀😂🤣

  4. Everytime a scene has continuity problem that's jack writing the story. and when the continuity problem is corrected , that's reality.

  5. The idea of The Overlook being Hell actually really fits with Dante’s Inferno. As a traitor against family, Jack Torrence would be in the frozen river Cocytus in the ninth circle of Hell, replaying his past sins over and over

  6. I LOOOVVVEEE THE MOVIE DOCTOR SLEEP!
    SO SCARY! AMAZING!
    I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!
    👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻😃😃😃🏆🏆🏆

  7. I'm just thinking… because of little tidbits all throughout this video, I'm thinking that the hotel might be the house from House of Leaves. Like it "only tortures people with the evil they bring with it", the nonsensical proportions of the building, the whole making people go insane thing. This definitely isn't what was intended or at all possible considering the fact that House of Leaves was published in 2000, but it's still interesting to think about!

  8. Great video! Also, found it entertaining how unnerved the narrator gets when talking about the moon landing conspiracies lol. All I know is, I'm 40 years old, and we haven't been in my lifetime.

  9. Some of the footage was faked I think, but that doesn't mean we didn't go. What if Kubrick did fmshoot the faked footage and we did go 🤔

  10. Rob Ager's gold bullion theory is very interesting. The fact that Kubrick let one of his daughter's shoot a supplementary video that shows two young girls that look remarkably like the Grady girls is quite interesting. In the photo of the July 4th ball, Jack is holding a folded piece of paper in his hand. These are just a few tidbits that gets one falling down the rabbit hole of the Shining.

  11. Kubrick layered up his movies, Marx, Freud, Darwin, Nietzsche – all get a hearing. There are also many allusions to Greek mythology, Beethoven, Kafka, pop science.

  12. Great art allows the person taking it in to interpret it through their own filter. A lot of the historic tie ins and Greek mythology certainly appear to have helped inspire the film. In the end, Kubrick was right not to explain too much. The fun of it is to make your own conclusions. Creating our own explanations that are unique to our own interpretations says more about us than it does about the movie. Great film makers understand this and exploit it to the fullest.

  13. These theorys are garbage. Expecially the one about its in hell. It's called continuity errors and even the best director is prone to them. This theory seems as a way to make sense of mistakes by a director that they think cannot make mistakes.

  14. The moon landing wasn’t faked… let us a YouTube channel tell you it happened now shut up and believe what your told or watch one or two documentaries we tell you to watch and make your mind up just by seeing them. Ffs

  15. It is about a writer who moved there with his family who writes a novel about the writer going crazy. All that we see is what he wrote in his novel. It is pretty established that this is what Kubrik did and why King hated it.

  16. here's my theory: all of the supernatural/horror/shining stuff is not happening at all. they are all in jack's mind, particular, his novel. everyone is fine

  17. Lil Danny running for his life n being traumutized
    Older Danny is smart now n let won't let anything get his way n go through memories n spotted a girl

  18. had anyone felt like danny like as a kid doing marathons, running, n investigating mannnnnnn this took myyyyyyy like away i experienced it with myyyy cousins as a parallel world n upside waaaaay in St. Louis n Jacksonville im over it but still kinda t r a u m a t i z e d

  19. The original story from the book is about Stephen king himself. It’s about his alcohol and cocaine issues from the past and Jack portrays himself. That’s why he didn’t like the 1980 version and remade one in 1997 closer to the book. In the book he blows up the overlook hotel for example. He gets revenge on himself for his mistakes. But in the 1980 version he is just an evil monster who’s spirits will live on.

  20. I always found The Shining to be over rated. More a art house film than horror film. You can really tell why Stephen King didn’t like this movie adaptation. That being said, I still think it’s a decent movie

    I think it’s as simple as Kubrick intended the movie to have multi layers & theories for people to talk about for this long. Piecing together conspiracies/ideas that where topical for himself to concoct it. Kubrick always came across more as an artist than film director. Whatever he did, it worked 😂👍

  21. Yeah, cuz native Americans, Mayans, and Aztecs were all completely innocent and peaceful and never were violent against each other and foreigners…..🙄. Try some real history….

  22. When ever you’re watching the shining he’s always the care taker? Are you drunk? … nah bitch, I watched it last weak and it was Batman. Moron.

  23. On mirrors, right before Jack goes to the ballroom bar, he's walking down that hallway, and everytime he passes on of the mirrors, he throws his arms around and grunts and yells.

  24. Moon landing wasn't fake? Do your "OWN" research. Make your own conclusions. Think for yourself! We can't make it out of the Van Allen radiation belt. Nasa said it themselves!

  25. The color red pops up a lot as well. I cant help but wonder if there is any significance behind it or did the director just love red.

  26. Some of these theories are as crazy as the movie it's self. It's about a man who has Inner demons (mainly demon alcohol) who becomes a caretaker of a hotel for the winter. He & his family are isolated in the hotel that has its on share of demons. Gardy the caretaker, loyd the bar tender & the woman in 237. I'll buy that Jack is a reincarnation of gardy. Or that places with bad mojo attract people with bad karma. But these theories . WHOA. They are way out there. Come on people it's just a movie. Did you not read the book ?! Let's not get carried away .

  27. Stephen King compared The Shining to a beautiful limousine which, in spite of its beauty, didn't take anyone to anywhere. Stephen King replaced the limousine to the apollo 11 and did the very same thing.

  28. There's also the theory going around that because Dr. Sleep is doing so poorly at the box office large, well funded youtube channels are stepping in to help it out with a heaping dose of "member berries" 🤔😅

  29. He says go educate yourself and points you to a tv show and a movie… maybe educate yourself instead of believing everything you are told

  30. The moon landing WAS faked, and myth busters wouldn't get paid if they perpetuated that theory. Haven't we learned anything from our world of fake news?

  31. “The moon launch was not faked”? Says you….because an episode of Mythbusters, a show put on the the air by the same class of elitists who pulled off the fake moon landing claims so? Gee…do gullible people like you expect criminals to simply tell on themselves?

    Project Monarch is a conspiracy theory? You mean that declassified documents from the government itself makes something a conspiracy and not fact? Whatever….you are a shill.

  32. Check out the reflections on Jack's axe when it is striking through the door right at the camera. Looks like a creepy green goblin. Then look at Jack's face. It's a look of horror that seems to match the reflection of the axe.

  33. Favorite theory i saw was that Danny was actually controlling everything with his shining as a way to get revenge on his dad for abusing him. I read it in an article somewhere online. Makes a lot more sense than you would think.

  34. So, Apollo 11 was "the most documented new story of all time." Seriously, you're going to go with that as an argument? If you're using the phrase "most documented" as synonymous with proven, then that's not going to fly. There were no news teams present on the moon to report the event. Those who say it was a hoax weren't there either, but have a better position than those who unquestioningly believe every single official narrative, no matter how we know lies routinely are told by governments, no matter how fanciful and preposterous (e.g., the "three men in a tin can" tale sold to us by NASA).

  35. Great video, but I definitely don't think the Overlook represents hell. Kubrick stated that he didn't believe in hell and didn't want any imagery that would suggest that. This is one of the biggest differences from the book, and something King hated – among other things. To King, the Overlook represented hell, and that's why it burns down in the end. Kubrick's version has jack freeze to death, and it comes down to hot vs cold when looking at the difference between the two.

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