'Doctor Sleep' Ending Explained: What Happened at the End and Is There a Post-credits Scene?

Doctor Sleep is now in cinemas across the world, bringing another chapter to The Shining story. The ending of the sequel pays tribute to the iconic setting of the 1980 original, bringing the story to a new generation by ending the chapter of one character and continuing through the eyes of another. However, the lack of an after-credits scene suggests that this might not be a sequel set-up.

What happened at the end of Doctor Sleep?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the entirety of Doctor Sleep

The final scene of Doctor Sleep comes after the climactic battle at the Overlook Hotel and looks like a trope seen multiple times in the film, as Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) and Abra Stone talk to each other (Kyliegh Curran), seemingly through their "shining."

the shining references doctor sleep
The twins from "The Shining" return in "Doctor Sleep." Warner Bros.

However, it is then revealed that Danny has actually died and Abra is using her gifts to speak to his spirit. This is not the first time we have seen this happen in the film, as Danny himself communicates with the spirit of Hallorann (Carl Lumbly in Doctor Sleep, Scatman Crothers in The Shining), despite the fact that he died in the 1980 film.

With the scene, the movie makes Abra the natural successor to Danny. Hopefully she'll be better adjusted to her gifts than Danny, who throughout the early section of Doctor Sleep uses alcohol and drugs to mask his trauma.

Prior to Danny appearing to Abra, we saw him sacrifice himself to end the life of Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) and save Abra in the Overlook. To do this, he unleashed all of the malevolent ghosts from the hotel from the mental boxes he had trapped them in. For Shining fans, this army of phantoms included many iconic characters from the Stanley Kubrick film, including the sinister twins, the decaying woman in the bath and the bleeding tuxedo man who always talks about the "great party."

However, once they had all feasted on the body of Rose, they were still hungry and locked on Danny, who allowed them to also attack him, turning him evil. Though he still maintained enough of his faculties to fight the spirits, their influence over him made him chase down Abra with an ax, in scenes designed to pay homage to Jack Torrance's (Jack Nicholson) own chasing down of Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and a young Danny (Danny Lloyd) in The Shining.

Danny's possession, however, turns out to be part of his plan. His first move when he arrived at the Overlook was to turn on the power in the boiler room. Though it seemed like he had just done this to turn the lights on, it soon becomes clear that he has deliberately done this to overload the power, causing the boiler to explode and start a fire that will kill the demons of the Overlook for once and for all.

Does Doctor Sleep have a post-credits scene?

Though viewers may hope to see some ideas of what Abra will do next, there is no after-credits scene at the end of the movie, meaning that for now the story of her battle against The True Knot is over⁠—though as there was a nearly 40-year gap between The Shining and Doctor Sleep, it could be sometime before we get another sequel.

Doctor Sleep is in cinemas now.