What could possibly go wrong?
September 27, 2013 8:32 PM   Subscribe

The Stanley Hotel, inspiration for the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's 1977 novel The Shining, has announced plans to dig up the pet cemetery on its grounds.

The announcement came just two days after the release of Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining.

It is unknown whether the hotel plans to relocate the actual remains or simply move the headstones. Previously
posted by Lou Stuells (45 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Move the headstones, but not the bodies?! I've never HEARD of such a thing!.
posted by alex_skazat at 8:38 PM on September 27, 2013


Hey gang, Room 237 is on Netflix streaming and I am on the edge of my seat watching it.

This news will additionally fuel my nightmares.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:41 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


The disturbed pets will draw their deceased owners if the graves are disturbed?

Could be ugly. As many critters as I've interred in the back, if anybody disturbs them and they draw me after I've gone to the great barn in the sky, I'll never get a chance to lie down.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:43 PM on September 27, 2013


Nothing can possibligh go wrong.
posted by Gin and Comics at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


Joe Hill better write a book about a writer named Stephen King who wrote a book about about a pet cemetery and an evil hotel that both got turned into movies.

Writer Stephen King remains obsessed with the hotel and after many years he is drawn back by the news that oddly, a pet cemetery is being moved..

After a pet cemetary is disturbed things go horribly awry. Zombie cats roam the halls casually knocking over water glasses and sleeping on guest's faces.

Writer Stephen king must battle the cats by using devices he builds from descriptions in an unpublished version of one of his books. Descriptions he had subtly altered for the published version because somehow he always knew they were real. Devices of seemingly alien origin.

The final twist is that the the narrator is an alien dressed as a clown riding a monorail in the an alternate universe know as The Territories, just passing the time. The Hotel is actually the Black Hotel and Joe Hill is actually Jack Sawyer.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:52 PM on September 27, 2013 [33 favorites]


Move the headstones, but not the bodies?! I've never HEARD of such a thing!.

Poor Craig T. Nelson.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:56 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've got a good feeling about this
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:57 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


So long as they leave the transdimensional gate locked, they should be okaOH SHIT RUN FOR IT
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:00 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just reading the fpp made me laugh enthusiastically.
posted by _paegan_ at 9:02 PM on September 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wasn't the cemetery which brought the dead to life next to the pet cemetery, and not the pet cemetery itself? Wasn't there a whole thing about what an excursion it was from the pet cemetery to the magic/cursed cemetery?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:05 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there are two cemeteries. One a garden variety pet cemetery used by local children and another ancient burial ground. Everyone kind of knows about the secret cemetery but as is typical in Stephen King books the local adults have somewhat suppressed their own knowledge of the supernatural as part of becoming adults. Children in Stephen King books are always in touch with the supernatural but lose it as they age.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:17 PM on September 27, 2013


I am intrigued by Doctor Sleep. People seem to be giving it good reviews. I think I'll start it this weekend.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:27 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I'll read Doctor Sleep. I just read Joyland. It was readable.

Seconding Room 237 on netflix as well.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:31 PM on September 27, 2013


/Rearranges canned goods significantly.
posted by Artw at 9:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Room 237 got a lot of its stuff from Rob Ager, whose comprehensive Shining analysis will lead you down a rabbit hole for hours and hours and hours.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:51 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


MINOTAUR.
posted by Artw at 9:54 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Room 237 was 80% total fucking bullshit, but it was entertaining, interesting bullshit. I do kind of, sort of buy the Native American genocide theme theory, though, at least as something Kubrick might have had in mind when making the film, although a lot of stuff is probably also coincidence. The other stuff? Bullshit. But fun.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:56 PM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


you mean the apollo 11 sweater was coincidence?

Why would Kubrick have faked the moon landing and then put that sweater in the movie unless he wanted us to know.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:00 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like the way all the theories start out very level and reasonable sounding and then as they get into they get stranger and stranger and make more and more leaps of logic until finally you're all "oh right, this is a crazy person" - and it's all crazy people.

I like the music too.
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


All work and no play make Jack a good boy. Good boy, Jack, good boy!
posted by sexyrobot at 10:10 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for reminding me about the music. It is on spotify. I am listening to it right now while I watch The Shining looking for proof Kubrick faked the JFK assassination.

To Keep from Falling Off is my favorite. Very sinister. You can tell anything that is happening while this plays is bad.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:12 PM on September 27, 2013


Under the arc of weather stained boards,
Ancient goblins, and warlords,
Come out of the ground, not making a sound,
The smell of death is all around,

And the night when the cold wind blows,
No one cares, nobody knows.

I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again
I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again


I follow Victor to the sacred place
This ain't a dream, I can't escape
Molars and fangs, the clicking of bones
Spirits moaning among the tombstones

And the night, when the moon is bright
Someone cries, something ain't right

I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again
I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again, oh

The moon is full, the air is still
All of a sudden I feel a chill
Victor is grinning, flesh is rotting away
Skeletons dance, I curse this day

And the night when the wolves cry out
Listen close and you can hear me shout

I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again
I don't want to be buried in a pet sematary
I don't want to live my life again

Ooh no, oh, I don't want to live my life not again
Oh no no no I don't want to live my life not again
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:18 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Aw, they should be fine. Nothing bad happens if you dig *up* the pet cemetery. It's just putting things *down* that's bad.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:19 PM on September 27, 2013


What could go wrong?
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:21 PM on September 27, 2013


...and I just read the title. Derp.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:23 PM on September 27, 2013


From the USA Today link: "The graves at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park are to be moved to the other side of a small pond, making way for wedding and corporate retreat pavilion."

♫ I don't want to be married in a pet semetary ... ♫
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [13 favorites]


Well, sure, if you want to be stuck in an old photo of a bunch of undead dogs and cats.
posted by planetesimal at 10:35 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


On my 17th birthday, my friends thought they would take me to see Pet Semetary. We had just gotten 12 inches of snow, despite it being May, for chrissakes, and it took like 3 hours for the bus to get to the mall where the show was playing. After the ordeal of getting everyone together, getting on the bus, dealing with crosstown-post-wintertime traffic ... the fucking asshat at the ticket counter wouldn't take my pictureless drivers license (under 18 licenses back then didn't have a photo) as prove of age and refused to let me in.

I hope his nuts have since shriveled up and fallen off.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:36 PM on September 27, 2013


I was listening to the CBC a few days ago, driving around doing errands in the car. It was an interview with the books columnist, reviewing Doctor Sleep in the context of The Shining. They went on to play Instant Karma by John Lennon, supposedly where the title of The Shining came from.

Listening to it in that context gave it the King-style instantly creepy, distorted, italicised-text feeling to the lyrics in the song when considered in that context.

We all shine on Danny

Well, I just happened to glance up at the street sign that I was passing as the chorus was ringing 'we all shine on...' for the first time and the street name stood out in all caps:

CARRIE ST.

Holy fuck did that scare the shit out of me.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:07 PM on September 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lloyd told me there's nothing to worry about
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:42 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Room 237 - the idea that ultra meticulous film maker Kubrick might have thrown in some deliberate discontinuity and other errors and made the layout of the hotel not make sense to mess with the viewers' head is kinda reasonable... the rest of the theories? Not so reasonable.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:47 AM on September 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just finished Doctor Sleep; it was quite enjoyable, but not as good as The Shining. I feel like the dark things have gotten a bit rounder and not as terrifying in King's writing as he's aged. Or maybe I'm just more jaded now than I was when I first read his books as a twelve-year old.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:14 AM on September 28, 2013


Some publicity stunts are masterful and nobody questions them.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:22 AM on September 28, 2013


My review after being like 1/2 way through Dr. Sleep (no significant spoilers):
The good:
Man, King can write about being a drunk. And it makes, of course, a huge amount of sense that Dan turns out to be a drunk. Dan dealing with his drinking is some pretty good writing.
The villain (or group of villains) are very good, with some motivations that both make a lot of narrative sense and also well maybe not generate sympathy, the reader can totally be: okay, that is a non-insane reason to do *this horrible thing* meanwhile being scared as shit of them.
King can keep the tension going even in some of his worse books, so good on that front. I kinda got the feeling (I'm writing this soon after getting 1/3 into Lisey's Story and just giving up because, come on King, there's lots of stupid shit in there) that King stepped up his game a bit because The Shining is part of his legacy. Or maybe his editors/publishers made a difference.

The bad:
Oh, God, King, just -- do not write the dialogue of not fully articulate children, ever. It has this cutie-cute vibe to it that makes me somewhat gaggy and it goes on like King is on some grandfatherly kick or something, I dunno. It was in Under the Dome, too, and although I liked that book (except for the ending) every time Alice Appelbaum spoke up I wanted to shoot the book.

The overly wise child. Dan, as Dr. Sleep, must save Abra, a child who, mid-book at least, is maybe 12? It just feels like he can't write kids anymore. It could be just because the kid sex scene from It is burned into my brain like a bad experience, but it feels at times like he's sexualizing a 12 year old. There's also a scene between Dick Hallorann and Dan (when Dan is maybe 8-12) where Dick goes on graphically about his sexual abuser. It isn't needed to support the narrative, and I was just like King, WTF when Dick starts telling a child about how his sexual abuser shows up dead with a rotting cock. The rotting cock part bit? Telling that to a kid? Another moment where I'm like, King, what is it with you not getting writing about kids right.
posted by angrycat at 5:02 AM on September 28, 2013


"corporate retreat pavilion"

GNIDLIUB MAET
GNIDLIUB MAET
posted by argonauta at 5:10 AM on September 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


"Sometimes dead is better" -- Fred Gwynne, who should certainly know by now.
posted by Optamystic at 6:04 AM on September 28, 2013


If a guy with sandalwood handled revolvers shows up... don't hang around, things are going to get intense.

But seriously, I'm scared to jump into Doctor Sleep, high hopes combined with low expectations. But that's been my SK take since oh about 10 + years ago.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:23 AM on September 28, 2013


Is Doctor Sleep actually a sequel in that it follows up on the events of The Shining i.e. what's actually wrong with the hotel and what happened to Jack? Or is it simply another book that happens to have Danny in it?

Because I'll totally read it if it's the former, but if it's the latter, well, the box I keep not-yet-read books in is already pretty full.
posted by rifflesby at 9:42 AM on September 28, 2013


But seriously, I'm scared to jump into Doctor Sleep, high hopes combined with low expectations. But that's been my SK take since oh about 10 + years ago.

11/22/63 was a great yarn. The very end seemed a bit abrupt, but still, great yarn.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:56 AM on September 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I started Doctor Sleep today and it's pretty damn awesome so far.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:46 PM on September 28, 2013


fearfulsymmetry: "Room 237 - the idea that ultra meticulous film maker Kubrick might have thrown in some deliberate discontinuity and other errors and made the layout of the hotel not make sense to mess with the viewers' head is kinda reasonable..."

Eponysterical.

And yes, I found that part very believable too, and one of the reasons I enjoyed the documentary, because although I'd heard about that before, it was very interesting to have it visually illustrated with clips from the film, etc.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:21 PM on September 28, 2013


Ugh, okay, I take back my rec for Dr. Sleep

The thing that makes me upset in terms of *writing that could be good but went off the fucking rails* with King is that, give him a simple idea, even if it's wacky (murderous washing machine/ giant rats in the basement/ alien possessed hand with alien eyeballs/ haunted cemetery/ haunted house/ dome that covers a town/ rabid dog/ possessed car/ preventing the Kennedy assassination) and King can work with that without getting distracted by too much folksiness (which he can write, but it's irritating in larger doses) or trying for comic notes, which I think King consistently fails at.

So here's the thing with Dr. Sleep: as long as it extends the thread of The Shining (i.e., The Overlook and Dan trying to get over it) it's pretty good. As long as the bad guys are doing the really bad thing they do, it is good. But there isn't enough of it. I'm maybe 2/3 through it and thinking of giving up on it.

Because it becomes one of King's rambling novels (like Lisey's Story, which made me actively angry because, although I enjoyed Rose Madder, the protagonist in Lisey's story is like a woman written by a guy who is really clueless when it comes to writing women. It's not like Hemingway, whose one-note women are unfortunate. It's like King aspires to represent this woman's life, and the woman's life revolves completely around her husband (whether the husband is alive or dead). Unless there's something redeeming Lisey's Story in the last third, which I didn't get to, that book really made me think, okay, I'm stopping King now.

So Dr. Sleep makes some mistakes: 1) The narrative, as soon as Dan becomes one of a company of characters, gets really diffuse, flabby, and loses tension 2) the adolescent girl that, next to Dan, is the most important character, seems to me to be an interesting but poorly written character 3) the bad guys do a bad thing that, historically, they do often, but for narrative reasons, they only do once in the action of the book. It is really scary, and given that it is horrible things done to a child, it is narrated deftly in a way that really gets at the horror w/o being, I don't know, gratuitous, perhaps? But it only happens once. I'm not saying yay kid pain, I'm saying the only thing that really scared me is in one scene.

I will say that any cultural appropriation of 9/11 has pissed me off, from Cloverfield to The Avengers, and King done some really really clumsy 9/11 stuff, but in this book it's actually pretty good.

King fascinates me. It makes me think of Raymond Carver, whose work benefited so much with heavy editing. My theory, based on speculation, is that King could write anything and it would sell in airports, and maybe his ego gets in the way, and maybe his editors/publishers can't really touch him because he's an 800 lb gorilla. I don't know.

TL, DR: if you have fond memories of The Shining, my recommendation is that you avoid Dr. Sleep.
posted by angrycat at 4:55 AM on September 29, 2013


I reread The Shining and read Doctor Sleep over the weekend because of this thread.

They are both good reads. Between the two of them, The Shining is the one I had to keep putting down because it was too intense. What I found interesting is that the intense stuff, the stuff I almost couldn't handle, centered directly around Jack's war with himself and the depravity of his character - not any of the supernatural stuff.

Doctor Sleep was fine but just not nearly as scary. King was just too soft on some stuff, tho the softness was wrapped into the plot very deftly, as he does.
posted by annathea at 9:40 AM on September 30, 2013


Doctor Sleep was fine but just not nearly as scary. King was just too soft on some stuff, tho the softness was wrapped into the plot very deftly, as he does.

... ever since getting sober and, later, being hit by a van.

if you have fond memories of The Shining, my recommendation is that you avoid Dr. Sleep.

MILD DARK TOWER SERIES SPOILER COMING UP.

*sigh* I didn't listen when SK himself interrupted DT7 and told me to stop reading and have since wished I had. Lesson learned. Guess I'll not read hold off on reading Doctor Sleep for a while.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:03 AM on September 30, 2013


(Sorry about the length here, but it's a story I've wanted to tell for decades.)

As a pre-teen in the 70s, I was a voracious reader. When I'd finish what books I'd checked out from the library, I'd grab whatever else was around the house. Some time in late 1977, my mom had checked out The Shining, but decided after a few chapters that she didn't like it and set it aside until it was due in a couple of weeks. I picked it up and read it straight through over the next few days. I thought it was creepy as hell, but was a blast to read. I was quickly on to other, books, though, and forgot about it.

Fast forward to early March 1978. My family of 6 took one of our spring break van vacations, this time to Colorado. We weren't skiers, so resorts weren't on our itinerary, but my parents liked to play it by ear and visit places that looked interesting. One of their other travel goals was to avoid eating or staying at chain establishments, in search of more authentic experiences.

We rolled up into Estes Park on a weekday, where the AAA guidebook had told my mom we'd find the historic old Stanley Hotel, and there it was, huge and white up on the hill. My dad's the kid of person who loves to improvise plans, so he thought we should try to stay there. He also ran a stone company and was a bit of a wheeler-dealer, so the facts that (a) the old stone front steps had seen better days, and (b) the huge hotel seemed to have almost no one else staying there, gave him a plot to hatch. He'd arrange to send them free sealant for their steps (I'm a little fuzzy on that part) for a cheap rate on a couple of rooms. The lack of business there was pretty obvious, as they hadn't officially opened for the spring season and there were lots of things draped with sheets or closed off. The deal clicked, and we went up to the rooms.

There were all kinds of old photos and notes around the place from its heyday, including one saying the piano in the dance salon had been played by J.P. Sousa. The halls were narrow and had frequent corners, so it was hard to see far ahead or behind you as you walked around. The grounds were mostly snow-covered, but out the windows you could see the shrubbery that seemed to form a maze.

My parents were charmed by the romance and history of the place. My sisters loved that they could ride luggage carts in the empty halls and play in the claw-foot bathtubs. Me? I was scared to death, and had no intention of being by myself for a minute there. We never did see any other guests, which was a good-news/bad-news situation. I'm not sure what I'd have done if I had run into a stranger coming around a corner or in an elevator. Mom & Dad kept tellling me to relax & enjoy the peace and quiet, and that we'd probably never stay in a place like this again. That's pretty much what I was afraid of - that I'd checked into a hotel that I'd never check out of. I kept telling them that it was really creepy, but I knew it'd sound crazy to say I felt like I'd walked into a nightmare from a novel, especially one they hadn't read. That didn't make any sense.

We checked out the next day, all still alive, and left Estes Park for our next wandering leg of the trip. I sort of forgot about it, but each time I saw the photos from that part of the vacation, I got a visceral chill. Several months later, I was reading articles in TV Guide (yeah, I was desperate) and I ran across an interview with Stephen King. Asked where he got the idea for The Shining, he replied that he'd been in Colorado and stayed at an old hotel called the Stanley during the off-season ...

I couldn't run fast enough to show that article to my parents and prove to them that I hadn't been nuts.

When the film version came out, I found it startling at the "gotcha" bits, but I didn't really feel the creeping dread that Kubrick intended. It did take me back and reminded me of what I'd felt back then. But the scenes on the screen paled in comparison to the movie I'd lived out in my head as I walked around that hotel myself, with no one (including myself) who understood why it was a more authentic experience than we could've imagined.
posted by NumberSix at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


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