10 of the best horror movie locations

From the town that inspires Stephen King to Hannibal Lecter’s stamping grounds, or the eeriest of Essex islands, here’s our pick of 10 frighteningly good real-life film sets

A huge colonial revival hotel on the outskirts of the Rocky Mountain national park, this building was the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s novel The Shining, and Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation. King spent a night here with his wife in the 1970s, and began to form the plot after they discovered they were the only guests in the 142-room hotel, eating alone in an empty dining room and wandering through empty corridors. Though the hotel (which now offers ghost tours) featured in the 1997 TV series The Shining, it didn’t appear in Kubrick’s production: in the film version, exterior shots of the Overlook were of Timberline Lodge in north Oregon, while the interiors were shot at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. It was anxious management at Timberline Lodge – a year-round ski resort and popular tourist destination in its own right – that persuaded Kubrick to change the haunted room number from 217 (as it is in the book) to 237 (which the hotel doesn’t have) for fear guests would never want to stay in it.

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