Jack Torrance's son, Danny, has ESP and has had a terrifying premonition about the hotel. Jack's wife, Wendy, tells a visiting doctor that Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony, and that Jack has given up drinking because he had broke Danny's arm following a binge. The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour. The African-American chef Dick Hallorann surprises Danny by telepathically offering him ice cream. He explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared this telepathic ability, which he calls "shining". Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel itself has a "shine" to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He also tells Danny to stay out of Room 237. A month passes; while Jack's writing project goes nowhere, Danny and Wendy explore the hotel's hedge maze. Wendy becomes concerned about the phone lines being out due to the heavy snowfall and Danny has more frightening visions. Jack, increasingly frustrated, starts acting strangely and becomes prone to violent outbursts. Danny's curiosity about Room 237 gets the better of him when he sees the room's door open. Later, Wendy finds Jack, asleep at his typewriter, screaming while in the midst of a horrifying nightmare. After she awakens him, he says he dreamed that he had killed her and Danny. Danny then shows up with a bruise on his neck and visibly traumatized, causing Wendy to accuse Jack of abusing Danny. Jack wanders into the hotel's Gold Room where he meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd. Lloyd serves him bourbon on the rocks while Jack complains to him about his marriage. Wendy later tells Jack that Danny told her that a "crazy woman in one of the rooms" tried to strangle him. Jack investigates Room 237, where he encounters and eventually kisses the ghost of a dead woman, but tells Wendy he saw nothing. Wendy and Jack argue about whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and a furious Jack returns to the Gold Room, now filled with ghosts having a costume party. Here, he meets the ghost of the previous caretaker, Grady, who tells Jack that he must "correct" his wife and child, and that Danny has reached out to Hallorann somehow. Meanwhile, in Florida, Hallorann has a premonition that something is wrong at the hotel and takes a flight back to Colorado to investigate. Danny starts calling out "redrum" frantically and goes into a trance, now referring to himself as "Tony". While searching for Jack, Wendy discovers his typewriter; he has been typing endless pages of manuscript repeating "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" in different layouts. She is confronted by Jack, who threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat. She manages to drag him into the kitchen and lock him in the pantry, but this does not solve her larger problem; she and Danny are trapped at the hotel since Jack has sabotaged the hotel's two-way radio and snowcat. Later, Jack converses through the pantry door with Grady, who then unlocks the door, releasing him. Danny writes "REDRUM" in lipstick on the bathroom door. When Wendy sees this in the bedroom mirror, the letters spell out "MURDER". Jack begins to chop through the door leading to his family's living quarters with a fire axe. Wendy frantically sends Danny out through the bathroom window, but it will not open sufficiently for her to fit through it herself. Jack then starts chopping through the bathroom door as Wendy screams in horror. He leers through the hole he has made, shouting "Here's Johnny!", but backs off after Wendy slashes his hand with a razor blade. Hearing the engine of the snowcat Hallorann has borrowed to get up the mountain, Jack leaves the room and head down into the main lobby. He kills Hallorann in the lobby with his axe. This act in turn cause Danny (Who was hiding in one of the kitchen shelves.) to scream which alerts Jack to his presence. Jack spots Danny from a distance and proceeds to chase him into the hedge maze. Danny in the mist of the chase proceeds to walk backwards and cover up his show prints in order to mislead Jack. Meanwhile Wendy on the run from Jack encounters the dead body of Hallorann as well as many frighting visions of ghosts in the hotel. This ends with her witnessing a river of blood gushing from the lobby elevators. After Danny successfully flees from Jack in the maze he is reunited with Wendy by the Snowcat used by Hallorann which they use to flee the hotel.
Wendy briefly appears at the beginning of Dr. Sleep in the prologue. She dies before the main events of the story, and is mentioned several times.