Stephen King - 'Doctor Sleep' Released: 5 Of The Weirdest 'The Shining' Conspiracies

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Fans of Stephen King will be excited to learn that he has finally penned a follow-up to his 1977 horror novel, The Shining. Entitled Doctor Sleep, the new book will return to the characters of The Shining and will focus on Dan Torrance, now a middle-aged man.

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Fleeing his father's legacy, Dan eventually settles into working in a nursing home, providing comfort to the patients with his mental abilities. Dan becomes "Doctor Sleep" with the aid of a cat who can foresee the future, and he must save a 12 year-old girl from an evil travelling cult.


Viewed as one of the greatest horror movies of all time, Stanley Kubrick's 1980 psychological thriller still manages to chill viewers today, despite being nominated for a pair of Razzies at the time. However, a fair few conspiracies have emerged concerning the hidden purpose of and messages within the film. Some interesting, some creepily weird, and some laughable; here are five of our faves:

1) The Number 42

Someone noticed that the film has an unusual number of references to the number 42 hidden within the sets: 42 cars in the hotel's carpark, 42 on one of Danny's shirts and on the license plate of the rental car. Plus, If you multiply the numerals of Room 237 (2 x 3 x 7), you get 42. During the film, Wendy and Danny watch The Summer of '42 on television. Apparently, 42 references the year 1942, when the Nazis put their "Final Solution" into place, so it's suspected that there's a Holocaust link within the film.

The theory is supported (tenuously) further by Jack's German typewriter with the brand "Adler" on it which means "Eagle" in German: a potential reference to the Nazi emblem which is also seen on one of Jack's yellow T shirts.

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2) Hell/The Devil

There are plenty of theories pertaining to the idea that The Shining is an allegorical reference to hell. When Jack Torrance signs his employment contract, it's taken to be a Faustian pact with the devil. It was also noticed (by God knows who) that Jack's weird pose at the end of the film is eerily similar to the tarot card for The Devil. We're not talking about the terrifying frozen shot, we mean the "Overlook Hotel July 10th Ball" vintage photograph. Take a look...creepy.

3) It's All Jack's Dream

Bit of a cop-out this one, but would explain all the surreal happenings of the movie. Sometimes rooms move around, sometimes windows show the wrong view, ghosts and visions appear and nothing seems to make sense. Could the events be purely the result of a drunk and writers-blocked Jack?

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4) The CIA's Mind Control Metaphor

This year's The Shining conspiracy documentary, Room 237, focusses on an out of place ski poster that appears in one of the creepy, identical girls shots. The movie looks at a popular theory that the skier is actually a minotaur, which would match-up with the maze-like hotel and shots of Jack looking like he's about to charge.

However, another theory states that the word "monarch" that appears on the poster is a subtle reference to the US governement's purported 'behavioural engineering' experimentation project called MKUltra which supposedly aimed to break down minds with LSD. It could be perceived that the hotel is a metaphor for the CIA and Jack's creepy visions and spiralling madness is him losing his mind.

5) The Moon Landings

This one might just be our favourite: one conspiracy theory intertwined with another. Apparently, Kubrick was hired by NASA to help film a fake moon landing and The Shining is the director's way of making amends. Lots of 'Tang' can be observed in the pantry, which is the fruit drink powder used in space. When Jack starts typing "All work and no play..." on his typewriter, "All" looks like "A11" at first, i.e. Apollo 11.

Furthermore, Room 237 is said to be a reference to the Earth's distance from the Moon: 237,000 miles. The creepy sisters? They represent NASA's Gemini programme. Danny? He wears an Apollo 11 sweater. Spooked yet?

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There are so many more but we've picked these as the cream of the crop. A river of blood figure, the "twins" not actually being twins, the condemnation of the genocide of the Native Americans, the criticism of the US' abandonment of the gold standard. Someone's certainly got time to 'redrum'...


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Tags: Stephen King - Jack Nicholson - Stanley Kubrick

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