In case you didn't know, Stephen King writes horror stories, and his novels contain a lot of awful events described in great detail. There's pain and suffering without a lot of joy in his books. With the abundance of nightmarish scenarios in Stephen King books, fans have no shortage of literary demons.
From little kids having their arms bitten off by clowns to attempted human sacrifices in the supermarket, there's something terrifying for anyone and everyone. King's use of dark themes and scenarios is often sickening and enthralling at the same time. It disgusts you as a reader, but you can't look away, and that's what makes King one of the best writers ever.
Check out the list below to relive some of the horrible things in Stephen King novels, and maybe you'll walk away from this list feeling slightly more traumatized.
Mrs. Massey Reveals Her True FormPhoto: The Shining/ABC
In The Shining, no room is more feared than 217, and for good reason. In the novel, Jack Torrance enters the room and encounters a beautiful woman taking a bath. Jack, rapidly losing his mind, is enthralled, but things go south pretty quickly.
Before his eyes, the ghost known as Mrs. Massey morphs into a rotting corpse that cackles a spine-chilling laugh that causes Jack to flee the room.
Danny Sees The Woman From 217 AgainPhoto: The Shining/Warner Bros
The woman from Room 217 was there, as he had known she would be. She was sitting naked on the toilet with her legs spread and her pallid thighs bulging. Her greenish breasts hung down like deflated balloons. The patch of hair below her stomach was gray. Her eyes were also gray, like steel mirrors. She saw him, and her lips stretched back in a grin.
Stephen King's Doctor Sleep is the decades-later sequel to The Shining, and judging by the opening few pages, it's every bit as terrifying. To be presented with such a horrific image right off the bat is a sign that the book you're reading will most likely traumatize you. In Doctor Sleep's case, that's entirely accurate.
Cujo Descends Into Rabid MadnessPhoto: Cujo/Warner Bros.
Cujo got back up. His muzzle was bloody. His eyes seemed wandering, vacuous again... The dog made as if to walk away, suddenly snapped viciously at its own flank as if stung, whirled, and sprang at Donna's window. It struck right in front of Donna's face with another tremendous dull thud. Blood sprayed across the glass, and a long silver crack appeared. Tad shrieked and clapped his hands to his face, pulling his cheeks down, harrowing them with his fingernails.
The scariest part about Cujo is how down-to-earth everything is. It's not some interstellar space clown bent on consuming the souls of children, it's a dog slowly driven mad by rabies. Stephen King is such a master of his craft that he makes you simultaneously sad about Cujo's transformation, but also horrified that this dog is going to maul Donna and Tad.
Henry Carves Ben's StomachPhoto: It/ABC
It is filled with violent moments, but one of the most disturbing is Henry’s actions toward the overweight Ben. Most bullies like to give swirlies or massive wedgies, but Henry goes further than that. After Ben refuses to let Henry cheat off him on a test, Henry tracks him down and sets out to carve his name into Ben’s stomach with a knife.
Fortunately, Henry only carves the H before Ben escapes, but it's a scar that remains with him for the rest of his life.