What is “The Shine” in “The Shining”? (Origin & Powers Explained)

Originally posted on April 13, 2022 @ 8:44 pm

Numerous people have watched The Shining (1980) to the conclusion and wondered, “What exactly was the shine?” What was that adorable little boy up to?”

Although the shine is significant enough to be the film’s title, it is possible to watch the entire film and still not understand what it means. This is due in part to the story’s mysterious nature, and in part to Stanley Kubrick’s deft withholding of details that would clarify the meaning of many of the film’s components.

According to Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), “shining” is fundamentally a fusion of telepathy and clairvoyance. Being able to shine entails being able to communicate with others via mental means and endows individuals with the ability to perceive events that have occurred in the past or will occur in the future.

Danny’s dazzling ability is responsible for bringing to light all of the hotel’s ghosts and visions. Danny visualizes past events and is able to communicate with Dick via the shine.

The Shining follows Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts an off-season caretaker position at the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Jack is accompanied by his wife Wendy and son Danny, but when they are cut off from the outside world by a snowstorm, the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel begin to cause Jack to lose his mind. Meanwhile, Danny struggles with his own issues as his abilities, dubbed “the shining,” awaken the hotel’s evil forces. Doctor Sleep reintroduced readers to Danny, now an adult still reeling from the trauma of that winter at the hotel, who meets another girl with “the shine” and a cult that thrives on the “steam” produced by those with “the shine” who die in agony.

The Shine’s Origins (Explained)

the shines origin

The origins of “the shine” have not been explored within The Shining or the Stephen King universe in general, but it is known that many people have a trace of it while others have the full package. This ability can be passed down through generations but based on the families known to possess it, “the shine” may skip a few generations. Dick Halloran revealed to Danny in The Shining that he and his grandmother communicated through it, and Abra’s great-grandmother also possessed the shine in Doctor Sleep. Regarding the shine’s origins outside this universe, Stephen King was working on a novel in 1972 about a psychic boy in a psychic amusement park; though he abandoned the project, he returned to the idea of a psychic boy while writing The Shining.

The Shine’s Powers (Explained)

shine power

“The shine” is a psychic ability that enables those who possess it to read minds and communicate with other shining users via the mind, as well as to see both past and future events. As previously stated, some people have a trace of it (such as Danny’s parents), while others have a highly developed “shine,” such as Danny and Abra. In Doctor Sleep, however, Danny uses his “shine” to comfort dying patients in a hospice, while Abra can use astral projection and deceive the True Knot with the assistance of Dan’s powers. It’s worth noting that Abra is a more powerful “shine” user than Danny, which means she may have developed even more abilities through “the shine” than other characters. At its core, “the shine” is a combination of telepathy and clairvoyance, and other abilities can be explored depending on who possesses them and how developed it is.


Parag Banerjee is an experienced Search Engine Optimizer. He has a wide knowledge of Google Updates, Analytics, and many others. He studied Computer Application from Techno India.

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