A Possible Inspiration for The Mist?

by Chris Calderon

I don't know what influenced Stephen King to write his much liked novella The Mist.  By his own word, the idea almost seemed to spring whole in his mind while he was out shopping one day and wondered what would happen if a pterodactyl were suddenly to come flying over the food aisles.
However that hasn't stopped some from speculating.  For instance, an earlier entry in Wikipedia once noted "The Mist bears resemblance to the earlier H.F. Arnold short story "Night Wire," in which a radio operator details how a malevolent mist falls over a city, containing creatures that consume townspeople "piecemeal."  The page also contains a link to a copy of the Arnold story.
Whether or not there is any truth to those speculations, I don't know.  This is just something I ran across from someone I don't know and is probably just a wild guess on their part in the first place.  That said, even for a wild guess, I have to admit, it's pretty entertaining.
As it happens, the H.F. Arnold story was anthologized as part of a YouTube audio series called Chilling Tales for Dark Nights, a series of narrated (sometimes dramatized) short stories in a similar vein to those quasi-camp fire stories from the golden age of the audiobook era.  Watch and listen to Arnold's story in the clip below, and judge for yourself whether or not King may have subconsciously remembered such a story from his past.  Even if such an idea is unlikely, I have to admit, the Arnold story still makes for a very entertaining October read.