Is a Particular Colorado Hotel the Reason You’re Afraid of Hotel Rooms?
Stephen King single-handedly made a generation afraid of clowns—but he also did something else: he struck the fear of hotels in our hearts.
Xenodochiophobia—that’s the term for it—and one particular Stephen King novel go hand in hand.
Fear of Hotels
People have all kinds of weird phobias. From fearing germs and clowns to spiders, it’s a long list. And for some of us, it’s hotels. While most of these phobias emanate from deep-set personal trauma or insecurity, it’s interesting to note that the fear of hotels is courtesy of two pieces of media: a Stephen King novel—and a Stanley Kubrick adaptation of it.
The Overlook Hotel
In King’s now-iconic story, Jack Torrance (played to perfection by Jack Nicholson) and family travel to a secluded hotel in a snowy hill station. Since it’s a Stephen King story, there’s a gifted kid, a concerned mother, and a father who’s talking to nonexistent bartenders. It’s a ghost story—and a good one—as is evident by its effects being felt to this day.
Here’s a fun fact: the fictional Overlook Hotel is based on a very real Colorado hotel, situated in Estes Park, Denver. It’s the Stanley Hotel—but by now, people just call it the “Shining” hotel.
Why Do People Feel Afraid in Hotels?
Interestingly, King wasn’t just relying on pure imagination when he wrote The Shining. Popular myth entails that hotels often pop up in “haunted” location lists. One famous example is that of the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles—where Richard Ramirez (the “Night Stalker”) enjoyed a murder spree, among other things.
The setting is perfect, to be honest, for such a myth to propagate and perpetuate: a massive building with hundreds of rooms, long corridors, and silence. Who wouldn’t freak out?
And then, of course, there’s The Shining. If you’ve read that book or seen that movie, you’re probably scared of hotels too!
Traveling to Denver, Colorado?
Denver is in Colorado, but it’s still far enough from the now ill-famous Colorado Rocks hotel that haunts Stephen King/Stanley Kubrick fans.
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