How Stephen King Will Mess With Your Head

Happy April 1 -- April fools day.  Did Stephen get you today (

Reposted from November, 2009.

Whenever I start to get immersed in a Stephen King book, I have to be ready for my head to be messed with. As a teen reading the Stand, I got a little freaked out by old people coughing in church. "super flu," I'd whisper to my sister.

Under The Dome is no exception. My wife and I took a long drive to the next town over so we could listen for a while. But I kept driving slower, and slower as I listened. Why am I driving so slow, I asked myself. Then I realized: I don't want to hit that invisible wall too hard!

IT has caused more than one person to hate clowns. But I hated them before I read IT. Clowns are freaks, I'm glad King messed them up officially. Of course, IT messed with my head in other ways, too.talkstephenking
And cell phones, do I even go there? I don't even carry my cell phone. King's fault? Probably not. I really don't like talking on the phone. But I might as well blame it on King.

The Tommyknockers makes it impossible for me to just leave stuff in the ground. I have to dig it up. So far, no space ships, though.

And if you think King doesn't mess with people's heads, why do you think you can't pick up a copy of Rage at the bookstore? Because it messed with someone a little too much, and they went Craig Toomey.

this is good. . .

Last year our church did a Christmas program. Part of the program involved a mother saying goodnight to her child -- both obviously missing the deployed father. It was a touching scene.  So the corner of the stage was set up like a bedroom.

Of course, the stage was cleared to do this. But the walls of the church were not. So there it was: A child's bedroom scene. But towering over the bed was the cross on the church wall! Normally the cross is not a freaky site, but with the bed right under the cross -- I suddenly had visions of Carrie White! Thanks Steve.

Tell me, how has Stephen King messed with your puny mind?


  1. I once dreamed I was running down the stair of my high school being chased by Pennywise! In my dream, I never turn around to see him, but I know it's It (he makes the familiar sounds I've come to associate with the character).


  2. When I was 15 the first SK book I read was Salem's Lot--on account of the killer Tobe Hooper made-for-TV movie.

    The scenes of the kid vampire scratching at the that really creeped me out. Then the scene at the Marsten House, where (is it Hubie? Hubert?) old man Marsten is hung from a noose, when suddenly his eyes pop wide open. That scared me, and stuck with me.

    Of course towards the end of Salem's Lot, things get uber terrifying, what with all the townsfolk waking slowly up from their root cellars . . . yeah, that book really gave me the creeps. So it was love at first sight, with SK.

    The Shining came next. Same thing, just one terrifying scene after: the fire hose serpent . . . the animal topiary . . . in particular, that scene that Kubrick left out of the movie for God knows what reason, where young Danny crawls into the pipe amid the leaves and darkness . . . and then what about the scene of Danny being barked at by a grown man in a doggie suit. . . that is scary stuff for impressionable young minds.

    The Boogey Man from Night Shift got me so terrified while reading it alone in my bedroom at night, that I couldn't turn the lights off or keep the door open! I kept imagining those claws scraping along the stairs bannister up towards my room on the second floor.... I can't recall if I actually had any nightmares from these delicious reading terrors, and that's probably for the best.