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Stephen King's Scariest Characters, Ranked

Updated March 5, 2020 12.8k votes 1.1k voters 15k views22 items

List RulesVote up the creepiest/scariest/most memorable characters from the master of horror.

As the master of horror, Stephen King has penned some of the scariest characters in history. From psycho clowns to demented children and more, his characters are always extremely unique and incredibly original.

But while King is known for creating memorable characters, his best villains are scary in a variety of ways: Pennywise (It) is a supernatural being, Jack Torrance (The Shining) is a troubled man driven into insanity, and Ace Merrill (Stand by Me) is a sadistic young bully with a penchant for evil. What makes these characters so scary is how driven they are. King has a knack for having his characters do whatever it takes to get what they want, and these characters often stop at nothing to achieve their goals. 

Vote up the scariest Stephen King characters and add anyone you think shouldn't be missing from this list!

  • 1

    Powers & AbilitiesPartial invisibility, Psychokinesis, Shapeshifting, Mind Control, Quick regeneration

    Pennywise the Dancing Clown is a fictional character from the 1990 film and TV series It....  more
  • 2

    Margaret White

    Carrie, Carrie
    643
    193
    Margaret White is a fictional character created by Stephen King in his first published novel, Carrie, where she is the main antagonist. She is the domineering, abusive, insane and fanatically...  more
  • 3

    Carrie White

    Carrie, Carrie
    618
    197

    Powers & AbilitiesTelepathy

    Carietta N. "Carrie" White is the title character and the protagonist of Stephen King's novel Carrie. In every adaptation and portrayal of Carrie, she is portrayed as high school outcast, loathed,...  more
  • 4

    Jack Torrance

    Terror in the Aisles, The Shining
    545
    186

    Powers & AbilitiesTelepathy

    John Daniel "Jack" Torrance is a fictional character in the 1977 novel The Shining by Stephen King. He was portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the 1980 movie adaptation of the novel, and by Steven Weber...  more
  • 5

    Gage Creed

    Pet Sematary
    399
    223
    Gage Creed is a fictional character from the 1989 film Pet Sematary....  more
  • 6

    Cujo

    Cujo
    343
    195

    Cujo is a fictional dog from the Stephen King book and film Cujo.

    Cujo is a fictional character from the 1979 TV movie The Ordeal of Patty Hearst....  more
  • 7

    Isaac Chroner

    Children of the Corn, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return
    306
    172
    Isaac Chroner was born, according to the age of the movie provided, September 19, 1973. As a young child, he developed a highly advanced vocabulary, was taught by the church how to preach, and stayed...  more
  • 8

    Randall Flagg

    The Stand, The Stand
    306
    184

    Powers & AbilitiesMagic in Harry Potter

    Randall Flagg is a fictional character created by Stephen King. Flagg has appeared in at least nine of King's novels, either as a major or very minor character. He has a variety of names, usually...  more
  • 9

    Ace Merrill

    Stand by Me
    294
    182
    Ace Merrill is a fictional character from Stand by Me....  more
  • 10
    607
    445
    Anne Marie Wilkes Dugan, usually known as Annie Wilkes, is a character in the 1987 novel Misery, by Stephen King. In the 1990 film adaptation of the novel, Annie Wilkes was portrayed by Kathy Bates,...  more
  • 11

    'Wild Bill' Wharton

    The Green Mile
    498
    394
    'Wild Bill' Wharton is a fictional character from the 1999 film The Green Mile....  more
  • 12
    4002087 added

    grady twins

    The Shining
    83
    62

    Powers & Abilitiesreally scary like wth

  • 13
    Goopus added

    Percy Wetmore

    The Green Mile
    21
    14
    Percy Wetmore is a fictional character from the 1999 film The Green Mile....
  • 14
    265
    429
    Henry Bowers: Henry Bowers is a sadistic, crazed bully who is the son of his equally crazy father, Oscar "Butch" Bowers. Like his father, Bowers is intolerant of all ethnic groups along with being...  more
  • 15

    Kurt Barlow

    'Salem's Lot
    174
    296
    Kurt Barlow is a fictional character and main antagonist of Stephen King's 1975 horror novel, 'Salem's Lot. The character is a master vampire, who terrorizes the small Maine town of Jerusalem's Lot....  more
  • 16

    Leland Gaunt

    Needful Things
    178
    333

    Leland Gaunt is a fictional character from the 1993 film Needful Things

  • 17

    Arnie Cunningham

    Christine
    185
    451
    Arnie Cunningham is a fictional character from the 1983 film Christine....
  • 18

    Johnny Smith

    The Dead Zone
    171
    426
  • 19

    Reverend Lowe

    Silver Bullet
    112
    357
    Reverend Lowe is a fictional character from the 1985 film Silver Bullet....  more
  • 20
    87
    358
    Kurt Dussander is a fictional character from 1998 the film "Apt Pupil"....  more
  • 21

    Warwick

    Graveyard Shift
    88
    377
    Warwick is a fictional character from the 1990 film Graveyard Shift....
  • 22

    Damon Killian

    The Running Man
    83
    392
    Damon Killian is a fictional character from The Running Man....  more
not on the list?add item #23add new item
List Rules: Vote up the creepiest/scariest/most memorable characters from the master of horror.