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Fan Theories About 'The Shining' We Can't Stop Thinking About

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Is The Sixth Sense set in the same universe as The Shining? Is Danny the real villain of the storyOver the years, fans of Stanley Kubrick's horror masterpiece have offered interesting speculations on the Overlook Hotel and its many visitors. Here are a few takes on possible theories regarding The Shining. Vote up the most cutting fan theories.

  • 9

    The Dead Body In The Elevator Was Grady's Wife

    DPosted by u/FreedomTrain1:

    The horror classic The Shining is hailed of some of Stanley Kubrick's finest work. Although critically panned at the time of it's release (with Kubrick nominated for a worst director Razzie Award and Shelley Duvall nominated for a worst actress Razzie), The Shining has since become a trademark in the horror film genre. Since it's release, has always had small themes that, if you really focus, you can notice it.

    One of these is the theme of "cabin fever," which causes a person to go insane when trapped in a secluded place for an extended period of time. In the movie, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), winter caretaker of the Overlook Hotel succumbs to cabin fever and tries to murder his family, freezing to death before he could do so. But, before he was hired for the job, he was warned that cabin fever has plagued the Overlook before, as a caretaker before him Delbert Grady/Charles Grady, tried and succeeded to kill his family also before killing himself. Grady's family included his two daughters, who still haunt the hotel, and his wife, who remains unnamed.

    In the famous "Blood Elevator" sequence. People have noticed, since its 1980 release, that there's something that falls out of the elevator along with the blood. Majority of people who see it claim it a dead body. Well, here's where we get to the theory. The "dead body" that falls out of the elevator with the blood coming out is Delbert Grady's wife. It's a bit of a stretch but no one else has made theories about it.

    She was murdered in the hotel (I'm assuming there's only a few who hold that distinction, the whole Grady clan being in it). It could also be symbolism for how she was murdered. She was coming down in the elevator when the door opens. Delbert goes over to kill her, and she falls on the strike of the axe, thus making it a "bloodbath."

    Heeeere's Johnny?
  • 10

    Tony Is A Real Person Who Can Also Shine

    Posted by u/alex-minecraft-qc:

    I really doubt that this is something Stanley Kubrick intended in his version of The Shining. But after watching Doctor Sleep, I think that there is a case to be made about Tony actually being another human who can also Shine.

    In Doctor Sleep, we can see Danny and Abra helping each other by talking inside each other's head and showing things to each other. Just like Tony in the first movie. 

    On the other hand, there is a scene were Danny says to Abra that he used to think that he had an imaginary friend but it turns out it was just his Shine, which kinda pokes a hole in my theory. But a couple scenes later, Danny is desperate and doesn’t know what to do, so he call for Tony's help. Why would he try to talk with Tony if he knows he is not real? And why would Tony not answer? If Tony is Danny’s Shining, then he should still be able to talk to him. I think the reason Danny cannot talk to Tony anymore is perhaps because Tony is dead. 

    Heeeere's Johnny?
  • 11

    All Members Of The Torrance Family Can Shine


    Posted by u/CB2001:

    Think about it like this: Jack went nuts because he has the ability, but he never truly realizes he has it, which as a result, he ends up going insane because he's in tune to the horrors of the Overlook. But his abilities don't awaken until he goes to the Overlook and stays there for a long period of time, whereas Danny's ability seems to have been with him for a longer timeframe.

    One of the most common factors about those who Shine is that they are victims of violence (Danny has his ability, which is said to start after the "accident" with Jack. Dick Hallorann, according to the novel, was a victim of child abuse). And when it comes to Jack, with the fact he's an alcoholic and the novel has him afraid of being like his father, there may be a chance that Jack himself may have also been a victim of abuse, thus himself has the Shine but isn't fully aware of it.

    Now, Wendy may have it, but it's much more suppressed than Jack or Danny's level of reading. But what sets it off and for her to be able to see the ghosts in the third act is the amount of fear she was suffering at that moment. Fear can cause the body to have certain biological reactions. Maybe the fact that the fear level caused by Jack finally going nuts and trying to kill her wakes up the Shine in her, even if it was just for that one particular moment.

    From what I've been told, the book states that most mothers usually have some small amount of Shine to them. And seeing she has had to deal with Jack when he was drunk, there may be a chance that she may have also been abused as well and her Shine isn't as strong as Jacks or Danny's (thus part of the reason why it took her so long to start seeing things).

    Heeeere's Johnny?
  • 12

    Lloyd The Bartender Is Actually Jack's Father

    Posted by u/cscopeland79:

    Just had a thought after watching Doctor Sleep... Perhaps if one is (ALWAYS) the caretaker of the Overlook, one's abusive alcoholic parent is ALWAYS the bartender there to facilitate one's descent into Bananatown? Maybe it's a reference to how such problems are often passed down to children?

    Heeeere's Johnny?