The film tells the story of a writer, Jack Torrance, who accepts the job of the winter caretaker at a hotel which always gets snowed in during the winter. While his family looks around the hotel during closing day, the psychic hotel cook discovers the psychic abilities of Jack's son Danny, and Danny's ability to detect ghostly presences in the hotel. In the cook's family, this ability is called "shining". When the hotel becomes snowbound, Jack Torrance is driven crazy by the ghosts in the hotel, and he tries to murder his wife and son.

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