“I Took the Overlook Hotel Gig Because I Love a Challenge” by Jack Torrance


Hi there, my name is Jack, Jack Torrance. If you’re reading this, I guess you already know who I am, but for those newcomers who might be interested, here is some backstory. Almost 40 years ago, I interviewed for and then took the job of Hotel Overlook Grounds Manager for the off season. At the time, I had no idea the effect that this small decision would have on my life and that it would ultimately lead to the end of it. However, I’m not writing about that today. No, today I am here to set the record straight and say, clearly and in a loud voice, that I did this all because I like a challenge and my soul won’t rest until you understand that.


Let me explain what I mean. In the portrayal of my life you are most likely familiar with, Stanley Kubrick ignored all subtleties of my character and went straight for crazy guy. He also made is seem as if I had no idea what I was getting into. In reality, I had been a student of the Overlook for years and was just itching for an opportunity to prove my worth. To myself, to my family, and ultimately to the world.


I knew that managing that haunted, spooky-ass hotel as going to be difficult, but like I said, I never back down from a challenge. In fact, I often seek them out.


So when I watch ‘The Shining’ or whatever that crackpot King called it, I get reasonably mad. Or at least that’s what I tell myself, it might be unreasonable, I’ll admit that. But nowhere in this movie does it indicate I fought back, that I was in the battle of my life with this hotel. I never wanted to become the monster you see within the first five minutes of that movie. I wanted to challenge the crazy within me and win.


Sadly, that wasn’t the case. In fact, by the end you might even say that I was enjoying myself, but that’s beside the point. Up until that moment, that fateful moment where I gave it all up, I was attempting to challenge my destiny. I ended up giving in, something I will always regret, but only after looking that hatred in the face and saying ‘Not today.’


I encourage you all to go out into your life, find what makes you afraid, and try your best to kill it. Not everyone will succeed, but what a way to make a name for yourself, am I right?





This was written by Nathan Ellwood, the man, the myth, the worm king. Follow him @NPEllwood.


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