This Is What It’s Like At The First-Ever Horror Film Festival At The “Shining” Hotel

You know that infamous mistake in the opening scene of The Shining, where you can see the shadow of a helicopter following the car carrying the Torrance family up to the Overlook Hotel? All I could think today as I made my trek to the Timberline Lodge on Oregon’s Mt. Hood — which stood in for the exterior of the Overlook in The Shining — was how much I wish I were being carried to the top by helicopter. Turns out, I did not heed warnings to dress for snowy conditions — and I was shivering.

I’d made the 12-hour plane-cab-bus journey to the Timberline for the first-ever Overlook Film Festival, a four-day horror festival with film screenings, panels, and an emphasis on immersive experiences designed to scare the crap out of you. I snagged my pass as a horror fan and a longtime devotee of The Shining; to be honest, I don’t need an excuse to hole up in a hotel for a few days and watch a dozen horror movies in a row, but it’s always nice to have a little added incentive.

A clue.

My room at the Timberline is lovely and cozy (and not in that euphemistic way that just means small). There’s even a fireplace I plan on figuring out how to use before I leave. What struck me upon entering was a piece of paper on my bedside table with some weird symbols drawn on it. Ah, yes, I remembered. The game. Before I arrived here, I had signed up for an all-weekend interactive game — and the festival organizers clearly wasted no time getting that started.

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