Top 5 Scariest Stephen King Monsters

Mr. KingYou would be hard pressed to find an author who has created such terrifying monsters as the most prolific modern horror author himself, Stephen King. Of all the monstrous creations he has concocted to keep us up all night, there are five monsters in particular from his fiction that have frightened me more deeply than the others. But, before we continue, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. There are many villains in the Kingaverse, and we could get in a hot debate over the most powerful or memorable or charismatic , but Randall Flagg is the biggest baddie of them all. He is the fallen angel of King’s literary universe but he isn’t appropriate for this countdown. For this top 5 list, I will name monsters in their truest forms. I am listing five creatures that inspire terror the moment you see them:


Barlow5. Barlow: The main baddie of Salem’s Lot presents the true visage of the vampire as remorseless predator that will feed on love and human weaknesses to sate its bloodlust. As the wicked force that is naturally attracted to the evil place (the Marsten house), Barlow turns the town of Salem’s Lot into a nightmarish husk. Owing more to Nosferatu than Dracula, Barlow is one of the most frightening vampires committed to fiction.


creepshow-the-crate4. The Monster from the Crate (aka Fluffy): You have to love Creepshow. And when this Tasmanian devil lumbers out of his crate, it is one of the most frightening creatures ever seen on film (thanks to Tom Savini’s excellent effects). I saw this in the theater when it was first released theatrically and this segment scared the hell out of me!


themist_13. The Beasties from The Mist: The Mist is King’s most Lovecraftian work. But where Lovecraft was sometimes disconnected with his audience, King makes HPL’s universal horror of the unknown more intimate as a group of people in a grocery store try to survive a mist that has rolled in and houses slithering tentacles of terror and unimaginable creatures. After reading this classic novella or watching the rather bleak movie adaptation (I recommend the black and white cut, BTW), you will never see a rolling bank of fog and not shudder at the horrific possibilities residing inside.


Cujo2. Cujo: A rabid Saint Bernard. Shit. That is absolutely terrifying. A menacing dog is scary enough, but when the gentle Cujo turns into a ferocious, raging monster after contracting rabies from a bat bite, it is deeply frightening because, under the right set of circumstances, this could happen to you; on the quiet street where you live.


Pennywise1. Pennywise: King was making clowns scary a long time before so many of these posers out there today, and there is no scary clown that tops Pennywise! He is the Godfather of scary clowns. A soul-consuming, alien creature that can take on the guise of your worst fear, Pennywise fuels unease at first glance. But when those fangs of his jut from his mouth, there is nothing but all-consuming fear that seasons his feast. Pennywise is the scariest King monster on my list!


So there you have it! Please mention any King monsters you think I overlooked in the comments!

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Terry M West

Managing Editor at Halloween Forevermore
Terry M. West is a well known author, filmmaker, actor and artist. He has written several books in the young adult field (most notably the graphic novel series, Confessions of a Teenage Vampire) and he has also written several horror short stories as well as the horror/thriller novel, Dreg. His work has appeared (or is scheduled to appear) in FrightNet, Scream Factory, Agony In Black, Lacunae, Jackhammer, House of Pain, Dark Muse, Moonletters, Silent Screams, When Red Snow Melts, One Hellacious Halloween, Deathmongers, Vignettes from the End of the World, Axes of Evil and Zombified 2. He was a finalist for the 1997 International Horror Guild Award for a short story (The Night Out) and he made the 1999 Bram Stoker Award preliminary ballot for a piece of long fiction (Hair and Blood Machine). He was also mentioned on the 1997 TV Guide Sci-Fi Hot List. West’s books and collections include: A PSYCHO’S MEDLEY, WHAT PRICE GORY?, DEAD AWARE: A Horror Tale Told in Screenplay, CECIL & BUBBA MEET THE THANG, HEROIN IN THE MAGIC NOW, THE GIVING OF THINGS COLD & CURSED and special collectors editions of CAR NEX, MIDNIGHT SNACK and CECIL & BUBBA MEET A SUCCUBUS. He was also the editor of the JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION anthology. His work has received glowing reviews. His filmography includes his debut film, Blood for the Muse (based on his comic book of the same name which was a finalist for the 1998 International Horror Guild Award for a comic) and Flesh for the Beast. He has acted in the films The Blood Shed and Gallery of Fear (both directed by Alan Rowe Kelly) and had a starring role in Joseph M. Monks’ debut film, The Bunker. Terry currently writes and paints in southern California with his wife, Regina, and their son, Terrence. Terry is an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association. Terry is also the managing editor of the Halloween/Horror website,


  1. says

    Annie from “Misery” is not a monster, per say, but she sure brought tears to my eyes. In fact, most of the truly insidious evils presented were human in appearance and their nastiness revealed the evil within like the nasty ghosts from the Overlook and the terrors from Bag of Bones. For monsters, I agree with your list, though!

  2. Donna Marie West says

    Read most of King’s books and seen the movies, too. Have to agree, “It” and Pennywise were definitely frightening. Makes you wonder what you might have forgotten from your childhood.

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