In the book The Shining it's made clear to the readers that the Overlook Hotel wants to possess Danny Torrance so it can use his powerful telepathic power (his 'shine'). It does this by possessing his vulnerable father, Jack Torrance and using him as a puppet to hopefully kill Danny.

However, very early on in the book we meet Dick Hallorann, the head Chef of the Overlook. It's revealed that Dick also has the 'shine' and while he's not nearly as powerful as Danny, his shine is still nothing to scoff at.

My question is, if the Overlook Hotel is trying to become more powerful and can only do so by claiming people with the 'shine', why hasn't the hotel tried to claim Dick Hallorann?

  • Maybe it has, but had yet to be successful. Until he dies there, that is.
    – Kai Qing
    Sep 27, 2017 at 16:23
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    @KaiQing It's possible, he does tell Danny that he has encountered things in the Hotel before (even warning Danny to stay out of room 217). So, it's possible the Hotel has been trying to claim Hallorann and thus far has been unable to do so, though no one occasion stands out... Though, unlike the movie, Hallorann survives the events at the Overlook.
    – onewho
    Sep 27, 2017 at 16:39
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    He dies in the Kubrick version, true. The book and the mini-series he escapes. His survival could also be attributed to maturity. He may have encountered the overlook at an age where he would be less open to gullibility or the general lures of the hotel, and that perhaps there's nothing particularly unusual to him about places that have a "past." Which would support the idea that Hallorann isn't intimidated by the hotel, but believes a small boy like Danny could be.
    – Kai Qing
    Sep 27, 2017 at 17:43
  • Hotel did try to use him close to the end of the book, it was like it's final action before it was completely destroyed. It didn't try earlier because it wasn't that active.
    – Mithoron
    Sep 27, 2017 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


My thought as to why the Overlook Hotel did not claim Dick Hallorann is because he was far too strong and a good a soul for the hotel to corrupt and manipulate, like it did Jack. Jack came to the hotel very very emotionally and mentally weak and vulnerable. The evil of the hotel that repeats itself time and time again, ever since it was constructed on top of Native American burial grounds (and was likely cursed since then), of course took full advantage of his state.

Some fans reason that Hallorann truly loved Danny and cared about him, and I'd have a tendency to strongly agree. Dick was the only character to truly care for Danny's wellbeing apart from his mother Wendy. Apart from Danny knowing Hallorann can shine like he does, there is also a strong level of trust, hence Danny telepathically calling Dick who is in Florida for help when he realizes what the hotel intends to do with Jack as its instrument.

But, getting back to Hallorann and his apparent immunity against the evil of the hotel, which he keenly senses is there, but is spiritually stronger than: Everything is energy in our world/universe, whether one believes in the supernatural or not. Jack came with a very bad energy to a place which was already supernaturally/spiritually condemned and was teeming with a highly malevolent energy.

Any medium or seer, even if they weren't energetically sensitive in the way Danny was specifically, would have felt/sensed this about the hotel and advised anyone sensitive to its energies to steer clear. But Hallorann, who I think basically amounts to Danny's guardian angel, even though he was murdered in the hotel by Jack, I believe was such a pure and good soul with a strong center, the hotel was simply not able to inherit his shine for its own evil purposes. Dick was untouchable. It is a kind of where-there-is-light-there-can-be-no-darkness kind of thing.

And also, Danny's shine was far stronger, even though because he was just a tiny little boy, he had not yet learned how to harness and control it. The hotel obviously wanted Danny's shine far more than Hallorann's. And it craftily knew a very young child, with little awareness of the world, would be fresh meat on the grill for the taking. Evil. Just absolutely hellishly evil. But this is King's genius.

  • You said he was a good soul and far too strong at the beginning, but than at the end you say Danny was stronger, so the strong part seems not to matter, but Danny was a Child and therefore a good soul too... So that doesn't matter either, what you said just made no difference between those two characters. Apr 4, 2023 at 22:11

Dick isn't as powerful as Danny. Dick has never met anyone as powerful as Danny. The overlook wants Danny's power for itself.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. You could improve this answer by editing it to include some evidence (such as one or more relevant excerpts from the book) and/or reasoning to support these assertions. Aug 3, 2022 at 0:19

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