The Shining Axe Sells at Auction for $175K

A big fan of The Shining who had some money to burn will be able to recreate the famous ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene with the actual axe used in the film.

Warner Bros.

One of horror movie history’s most iconic props was just sold for a hefty price at auction. This would be the axe wielded by Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel that was released in 1980. Per TMZ, GottaHaveRockandRoll auction house sold the prop axe for a whopping $175K to a big fan and “successful businessman” who beat out 12 prospective buyers.

That’s a high price for a fake axe that’s actually made out of foam and resin, but its value comes from its place in horror history. It is the same prop used for the famous scene in the film where Jack uses the axe to smash his way through a door before announcing, “Here’s Johnny!” The scene has been referenced and featured in promotional materials so often over the years that many people who haven’t seen the film are still very familiar with that moment. The axe prop was also used for the death scene when Jack murders Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers).


The Shining has some differences from the novel it’s based on, but the gist of the story is similar. It follows an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a job as caretaker of an isolated hotel in the Colorado Rockies during the off-season. His family, Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and Danny (Danny Lloyd), come along for the stay. Isolation takes its toll on Jack, and the malevolent spirits in the hotel only proceed to further push him off the deep end, leaving his family fighting for their lives when the patriarch finally snaps.

Related: These Are Some of the Elevated Horror Films Which Helped Make Horror So Hot

The Shining Was Initially Met With Bad Reviews

Warner Bros.

Stephen King has said he’s not quite the biggest fan of Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, based on a lot of the creative differences that were made for the movie. Be that as it may, The Shining has since become widely accepted as one of the all-time greatest horror films. It was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2018. It also inspired the 2019 sequel, Doctor Sleep, which was critically acclaimed as well.

When The Shining was first released, however, it wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms by critics. It had even gotten Kubrick a nomination at the first-ever Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Director. Shelley Duvall was also nominated for Worst Actress for her role in the film, but that nomination was just recently rescinded by the creators of the Razzies. They cited the treatment Duvall is said to have endured on the set from Kubrick during production as a reason why she shouldn’t be nominated.

“We have since discovered that Duvall’s performance was impacted by Stanley Kubrick’s treatment of her throughout the production. We would like to take this opportunity to rescind that nomination as well,” they said.

Of course, when we have superfans of the film spending $175K just to own a single prop that was used for filming, it goes to show how beloved The Shining really has become over the past forty years.


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About The Author

Jeremy Dick
(5622 Articles Published)

Jeremy Dick has been a writer and editor since 2014. He is a self-professed horror expert, pop culture enthusiast, and Bob Saget fanatic.

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