The movie "The Shining" is a psychological horror, in genre. So there should not be any supernatural activity going on in the film.

In one scene towards the climax, Jack was locked in the store room by his wife and the door of the store room was locked from outside. While he was talking with Grady, after their conversation, the door was unlocked and let Jack flee from the store room. The question is who opened the door? There were only three people at the hotel including Jack, his wife and son. Since there is no ghostly activity shown in the movie (except for some hallucinations), what is the most probable description of it?

  • 19
    Several supernatural elements are clearly evident in this film.
    – Walt
    Oct 30, 2016 at 15:36

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure your premise "there should not be any supernatural activity going on in the film" is correct.

Why couldn't it have been a ghost who opened the door? There are several other examples of supernatural activity in the film, such as:

  • Danny's and Halloran's ability to communicate via "shining"

  • Danny's visions of the murdered girls, which he had no way of knowing about

  • Wendy's sighting of the man in the bear costume and his tuxedoed friend

  • Jack's appearance in the photo in the film's closing shot

  • 13
    Danny was also physically attacked by whatever he saw in room 237, so the ghosts are probably able to open a door.
    – Walt
    Oct 30, 2016 at 15:42
  • 8
    ^ The Shining by Stephen King doesn't even have this ambiguity, The whole damn building is alive. There are so many ghosts a firehose tries to strangle Danny.
    – Dannie
    Oct 30, 2016 at 17:42
  • 2
    Not to mention the whole hotel was built in an Indian burial ground so.....there’s that. Sep 14, 2020 at 16:20
  • @Walt If one is determined to interpret it naturalistically, one can say it was a hallucination. Sep 14, 2020 at 23:07
  • @Walt: If that attack can be hallucinated, then all bets are off for anything you see in the movie. The argument defeats the question's premise entirely.
    – Flater
    Sep 15, 2020 at 23:23

One theory which is strongly supported by the visuals in the film is that there's a hidden secondary door to the storage room. It's behind the shelf with Calumet cans.

In the scene where Doc is giving them a tour of the storage room you can clearly see that before they enter the store room they turn around a corner - with another door leading into which could only possibly be the same storage room.

The storage room probably had 2 entries originally, but when they needed more space they just put up a shelf covering one of the doors.

After Jack gets some sleep next to this shelf, he finds the second door and discovers that it can be opened from the inside.


This is quite simple if you think about it…

Obviously it was not Wendy, as she was the one who locked him in there, and she also remained sane throughout the entire movie (ultimately escaping with Danny in the end). After she locks him in there the next scene shows her and Danny in the room and Danny screaming REDRUM over and over again.

It is my belief that Danny was possessed by his alter ego friend Tony, who forced him to unlock the door. This can be deduced by numerous factors and reasons.

If somebody else was locked in the building along with the Torrance family, most likely it would have been by accident and they would have crossed paths. But this never happened, so we can conclude that there were only three people in the Hotel.

Also, this is a psychological thriller; everything that happened in the movie was all psychological delusions, and there were no physical manifestations being manipulated by supernatural manifestations.

Tony seems to be good and bad for Danny. First being that Tony forced Danny to unlock the door, and then began talking to him — letting him know that there was going to be something bad happening when he was screaming to his mom in the room right after the door was unlatched.

Yes, Jack was talking to Grady prior to the door opening, however there could have been a time lapse that was not explicitly shown, so this does not mean it was strictly a supernatural being or a ghost in the hotel who was able to move things.

Remember Jack was also simply crazy, and he was warned in the beginning. Everything in Jack's head was all delusional because of the warning he initially got when he was applying for the job, everything else that happened thereafter was all delusions in Jack's head. Grady killed his children also, in Jack's crazy head he thought that Grady did this because they were bad, but if you remember in the beginning Grady (the original caretaker) simply went nuts and wiped out his entire family.

Danny was exceptional yes, but more of a prophetic intuitive psychic type person slightly with multiple personality disorder.

I think way too many have overanalyzed this aspect of the movie, keep it simple and you will see now after watching the movie again how this simply applies — most of the movie is delusional.

Note also, that once Jack escaped, Danny went back to being his regular self again, and remained sane until the end when he and his mother escaped in the snowcat machine.


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