Boogeyman

Stephen King’s work doesn’t lack in terrible parents, but Lester Billings in the Night Shift short “The Boogeyman” might actually be one of the most terribly relatable.

The Mangler

"The Mangler" is not a terribly great story. The characters are boilerplate and the thinly-plotted police procedural is limp. Yet the story has a through current that is prescient and terrifying.

Night Surf

“Night Surf” was one of Stephen King’s earliest published works, and even at this early stage it shows a writer interested in exploring the character dimensions of horror. It’s a small tale, but it set the stage for one of King’s most expansive works, The Stand.

Graveyard Shift

Stephen King is one of the most aggressively blue collar authors ever. Despite also being one of the most successful authors ever, King protects his image as a lucky bastard milltown boy with everything he can muster. Nowhere is this more present than in his short fiction, which often centers on fish out of water college educated characters in blue collar worlds. “Graveyard Shift” from the 1977 shot collection Night Shift is perhaps the quintessential example.

Jerusalem's Lot

The first short in Stephen King’s 1977 story collection Night Shift, “Jerusalem’s Lot” is a play on the formula of Dracula that takes the former novel’s dread and ramps it up to 11.

Mike Hanlon, Dick Hallorann, and Stephen King's Magical Negroes

When most of his white writer contemporaries were completely ignoring the black experience, Stephen King made several valiant attempts to include color in his novels. Black characters play major roles in The Shining, The Stand, The Talisman, and It, which, though still infrequent, far surpass many of his white contemporaries. Yet, he too often falls into the “Magical Negro” stereotype with his early black characters.

The Shining

The Shining represents a huge step forward for King, both in the level of mastery on display and in the multi-layered story. If there were fears that Carrie and ‘Salem’s Lot were flukes, The Shining put those to bed.

Slenderman

Slenderman isn’t a good movie, but it does several things surprisingly well, and for its genre, it’s an impressive leap forward for smashing the Bechdel Test.

The Ritual

The Ritual may not be the most original horror film to come out this year, but it makes up for that with great acting, tension, and a final creature that is one for the ages.

Everybody Has An Annie Wilkes

One of the things that makes King so great is the constant what if question that we as readers are provoked by his prose to ask ourselves:What if this happened to my favorite author? Or wait, worse still — what if this were to happen to me? What if I were the prisoner?

An Education in Horror

Every horror fan has an origin story, that moment when they realize they’ve found something truly special. Mine began with Aliens, and I’ve continued my horror education throughout my life. Here are the five films that have most affected me.

Poetry by Robert Beveridge

Gotta get up every morning and go to work just like everyone else. Gotta get the food on the table, pay the bills, feed the longpig. Keep the threat of war from our shores with ritual after ritual, martyr after martyr, never found. Horror poetry by Robert Beveridge.

Rage

Over the course of 50 year career that has included killer clowns, rape, spousal abuse, and devil worship, Stephen King’s third published novel Rage is arguably is most controversial…and it wasn’t even released under his name.

Stephen Gammell's Nightmare Factory

In October of 1981, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was released on an unsuspecting adolescent public. Much praise has been heaped on Schwartz, and rightly so. In assembling the collection, he pulled no punches, pushing the boundaries of what was possible in a children’s book. But, Schwartz doesn’t deserve all the credit. Without a doubt, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has transcended all other comers to become the pinnacle of children’s horror because of the surreal, macabre pen and ink drawings of Stephen Gammell.

Exploring the Darkness

Many books have been filled with scary stories that did not go on to achieve the cult-like status of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. To understand the fascination with, and distrust of, the book, it is helpful to examine the era that created it.