We’ve seen lists of the scariest movies based on the works of Stephen King, but what are the author’s scariest novels? Are they the same? The folks at WhatCulture have just released the video below: The 10 Scariest Stephen King Novels! It’s an interesting examination, as each novel does indeed have a film counterpart.
Although this wasn’t the point of the list, it’s interesting to note that the oldest novel on the list is Gerald’s Game, released in 1992. Does that mean King has been off his game for over 25 years? In the past few decades, King has transitioned from pure horror into fantasy (the Dark Tower series) and hard-boiled detective sagas like Mr. Mercedes.
Related Article: Stephen King Heaps Massive Praises on “A Quiet Place”
Is King finished with hardcore horror? Would you like to see a new novel from the Master of Horror that goes back to his fearsome roots? Lots to think about here.
Anyway, if you’ve read King’s books, do you agree with this list below? And do you think the movie counterparts to these stories are equally terrifying? Let’s discuss in the Comments section!
Official Synopsis: They don’t call him the King of horror for nothing.
Official Synopsis: Christine is a horror novel written by Stephen King, published in 1983. It tells the story of a 1958 Plymouth Fury apparently possessed by supernatural forces.
Gerald’s Game (1992)
Official Synopsis: Gerald’s Game is a 1992 suspense novel by American writer Stephen King. The story is about a woman whose husband dies of a heart attack while she is handcuffed to a bed, and, following the subsequent realization that she is trapped with little hope of rescue, begins to let the voices inside her head take over.
‘Salem’s Lot (1975)
Official Synopsis: ‘Salem’s Lot is a 1975 horror novel by American author Stephen King. It was his second published novel. The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town of Jerusalem’s Lot (or ‘Salem’s Lot for short) in Maine, where he had lived from the age of five through nine, only to discover that the residents are becoming vampires. The town is revisited in the short stories “Jerusalem’s Lot” and “One for the Road”, both from King’s story collection Night Shift (1978). The novel was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 1976, and the Locus Award for the All-Time Best Fantasy Novel in 1987
Official Synopsis: Carrie is a novel by American author Stephen King. It was his first published novel, released on April 5, 1974, with an approximate first print-run of 30,000 copies. Set primarily in the then-future year of 1979, it revolves around the eponymous Carrie White, a misfit and bullied high school girl who uses her newly discovered telekinetic powers to exact revenge on those who torment her. While in this process, she causes one of the worst local disasters the town has ever had. King has commented that he finds the work to be “raw” and “with a surprising power to hurt and horrify.” It is one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools. Much of the book uses newspaper clippings, magazine articles, letters, and excerpts from books to tell how Carrie destroyed the fictional town of Chamberlain, Maine while exacting revenge on her sadistic classmates and her own mother Margaret.
Official Synopsis: Cujo is a 1981 psychological horror novel by American writer Stephen King, about a rabid dog. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1982 and was made into a film in 1983.
Official Synopsis: The novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. One day he is rescued from a car crash by crazed fan Annie Wilkes, who transports him to her house and, once finding out what he has done to Misery in his latest book, forces him to write a new book modifying the story – no matter what it takes.
The Stand (1978)
Official Synopsis: The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story “Night Surf” and outlines the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic which kills off the majority of the world’s human population.
The Shining (1977)
Official Synopsis: The Shining centers on the life of Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family accompanies him on this job, including his young son Danny Torrance, who possesses “the shining”, an array of psychic abilities that allow Danny to see the hotel’s horrific past. Soon, after a winter storm leaves them snowbound, the supernatural forces inhabiting the hotel influence Jack’s sanity, leaving his wife and son in incredible danger.
Official Synopsis: The novel is told through narratives alternating between two periods and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes that eventually became King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma and its recurrent echoes in adulthood, the ugliness lurking behind a façade of small-town quaintness, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice.
Pet Sematary (1983)
Official Synopsis: When young Gage is run down and killed by a truck in the road one day, Louis decides to make another trip to the Indian burial ground. Jud implores him not to and tells him the story of another grieving father who once buried his son beyond the Pet Sematary. The boy returned as an evil creature.