In The Shining (1980), does Danny's ability to "shine" have any connection to Jack's insanity and the events that occur in the hotel? If Danny's shining is what brings the hotel back to life, does this mean that all the previous "Jacks" had a son or daughter with the shining too?

  • I cannot find it currently but somewhere on YouTube is a video of a guy alleging that Danny is the VILLAIN of the shining, and the visions that Jack sees are because Danny is (unintentionally) putting them in his head, and Jack also has the shining but has never known it, making him very susceptible to Danny's projections. I don't find it all that compelling, there doesn't seem to be any basis for that theory in the novel (that I recall), and sometimes a haunted house is just a haunted house, but it's a theory.
    – moviegique
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


The shining did not cause the events at the hotel, as it does not "bring things to life." However, the events at the hotel happened because Danny had the shining. Simply put, the hotel wanted Danny dead so his spirit could be added to the hotel, which would give it more shining. The shining is a set of abilities that include interacting with spirits, perceiving events anachronistically, and telepathic communication.

Likewise, Jack's insanity was caused by the spirits trying their best to kill Danny and add him to the hotel's collection of shining. He was simply a weapon the hotel was trying to use to get Danny's spirit. Danny attempted to use the shining to protect Jack, but ultimately failed. We do know, however, that the shining is also hereditary, and that Danny's grandmother also had the shining.

It is probable that there are a lot of family members with the shining would be in this family's history, include offspring of previous "Jacks" that could have existed, but this not explicitly stated, just implied.

  • 4
    1+ because as King fan I know you are right, but it would help if you could add sources/references to show the King-verse (or the DT multiverse) semantics and/or Shinning mythology. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 14:36
  • 2
    If that's the case, how did Dick Hallorann (who worked at the hotel) last so long and remain cheerful and grounded? Wouldn't the hotel want to kill him / capture his spirit too, but have a lot more opportunity?
    – komodosp
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 9:30

The events of the sequel Doctor Sleep which is also a book by King shows that Jack's son Danny takes to alcohol much like Jack does. We're also told the reason Danny does this is to dull his Shining and therefore the noises in his head. He finally gives up alcohol and gives a speech saying his father once tried to be where he is, but he couldn't.

In The Shining, we know there is a discontinuity about how long Jack has been sober. In the Overlook Hotel, Jack is locked away from many months without alcohol. Just like for Danny (in Doctor Sleep), Jack's Shining would have returned. The Overlook is known to feed on people with special powers (shown in Doctor Sleep). Jack becoming the primary target could indicate that his ability to shine was the reason for his insanity.

Although never directly confirmed in the movie or book, the logical answer is – Yes. However, Jack didn’t have a mentor, nor could he understand or control his powers. Over the years, he thought he was losing his mind and his Shining made him take to alcohol, and the Overlook Hotel claimed him because of his Shine.

Source - The Shining analysis

From the canon material, there is more suggestion to Jack going crazy from his own Shining rather than Danny's

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