42: The Number That Haunts The Shining’s Overlook Hotel

Stanley Kubrick's horror classic, The Shining, has such a cult following that even over 30 years after the film was released, the film's details are still being discussed.

But even amateur scholars of the movie might not have noticed this small detail that adds another twist of the screw to this already mind-bending movie.

In case you haven't seen The Shining, we'll explain: based on a Stephen King novel by the same name, viewers follow the Torrance family — Jack, Wendy, and their son, Danny — who has agreed to spend a winter taking care of The Overlook Hotel. With how bad the winters are, and how secluded the hotel is, the Torrance family will be alone in the hotel and stranded until spring.

Kubrick's Love Affair With Recurring Numerology

From the beginning of the movie, though, the isolated setting isn't the only unsettling detail. In the opening scene of the movie, Kubrick used the real-life Timberline Lodge in Oregon where keen-eyed views have counted 42 cars in the parking lot. In another scene, Wendy and Danny are watching The Summer of 42 on television. $42 million also comes up in a later scene.

If that isn't enough, Kubrick altered the room number where the main characters stay from 217 to 237. Multiply those numbers together as (2x3x7), and you'll get, you guessed it: 42.

But why the number shows up so often in the movie is as much as a mystery as what the number means. Some theorize Kubrick had been borrowing from Freud's idea that recurring numbers can be quite disturbing. Others believe it has a more sinister connection to the year 1942, and the dark themes surrounding World War II and Nazism.

But if you look at numerology, 42 is actually positive. The number is related to themes of family and community, we're supposed to believe Jack was motivated to find at the beginning of the film.

In numerology 42, the number primarily focused on individuals, family, and community, will play perfectly into who Jack Torrance is, at least in the beginning. This number will ring true in The Shining as the Torrance's settle into the Overlook Hotel. As Jack becomes increasingly disillusioned by the hotel's ghostly intentions, that family-centered individual started to target his family, and the numerological anthems behind the number 42 will disintegrate.

Social Media Chimes In

One user commented, “Neither hotel had a room 237, and both claim it was changed for them, so maybe it's true.”

Another poster said, “This is like that number 28 movie with Jim Carey.”

A third commenter noted, “Humans are masters at recognizing patterns, so much that we tend to create patterns where none are.

Once you start fixating on a certain thing, you will notice it everywhere.

It works with all the things.”

Kubrick's Genius

While Kubrick won only one Oscar for Best Director, and it wasn't for The Shining, he created some notable movies in his time. The Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dr. Strangelove owe are all other amazing Kubrick films that inspire conspiracy, controversy, and discussion.

This thread inspired this post.

This article is produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.