Now that Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor has been out for over a week, giving many a chance to watch most or all of the 9-episode series, let’s quickly dive back into the first episode, “A Great Good Place,” and take a peek at the fun Stephen King/Shining nod that flashes by pretty quickly.
Of course, it totally fits that director Mike Flanagan would toss in a King reference, and a Shining one at that, considering how he’s adapted King novels Gerald’s Game and Doctor Sleep – the latter of which was a sequel to both the King’s The Shining book and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining movie, which contains some of the most iconic horror cinema images of all time.
At the start of Bly Manor, Victoria Pedretti’s Dani, who’ll soon move into Bly Manor, is staying in a London hostel – in Room 217. Better known to king fans as the room with the wicked old naked woman ghost in the bathtub in The Shining. That phantom, and the tub too, actually return with much prominence in Doctor Sleep.
Of course, in Kubrick’s film, which contains a ton of changes to the King’s original material, the room that haunts both Jack and Danny Torrance is Room 237. But in the book it’s Room 217. Here’s Dani returning to her room…
Here’s a bit of backstory on the reason for the room number change. The hotel that stood in for the exterior of The Shining’s “Overlook” in the movie, The Timberland Lodge, posted the following detail on their site:
Kubrick was asked not to depict Room 217 (featured in the book) in The Shining, because future guests at the Lodge might be afraid to stay there. So a nonexistent room, Room 237, was substituted in the film. Curiously, and somewhat ironically, Room 217 is requested more often than any other room at Timberline.
Naturally, Flanagan used the original room number from the book for this fun little tip of the hat.
But that’s not the only detail lurking in the background of The Haunting of Bly Manor. We’ve clocked over 50 hidden ghosts hiding in the shadows of the series – check it out!
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Plus, if you’ve finished the series and want a rundown, and an explanation, of the ending, head here.
You can also read our full review of Bly Manor.