Legendary author Stephen King can scare us with everything from cars to clowns -- and in the series "The Mist," now on TV, even weather. Here's a rogues gallery of the King of horror's creepiest creations.
Quit clowning around. Pennywise is no birthday-party entertainer, but a sewer-dwelling demon who knows just how to lure little kids to their deaths. A new movie version of "It" comes to theaters in September.
Boy, how awesome would life as a best-selling author be? Money, fame, respect, the love of adoring fans -- whoops. That all sounded great until King introduced us to Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in the 1990 movie), the psychotic fan from "Misery." Suddenly nothing sounded better than being an anonymous schlub no one would ever want to stalk and kidnap.
Yes, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson in the 1980 movie) is probably meant to be the most terrifying character in "The Shining," slipping from troubled dad to complete ax-wielding psycho over the course of the world's longest winter. But for us, it'll always be those ghostly twins, the dead Grady daughters who steal the show when they surprise Jack's son Danny in the hotel hallway.
"Come and play with us, Danny, forever, and ever, and ever."
Sure, Carrie set her prom on fire, but we blame her super-creepy mom, Margaret White (Piper Laurie in the 1976 movie). She ranted about menstruation being the result of sin and called breasts "dirty pillows." Under the circumstances, flame on, Carrie.
Awww, he kinda looks adorable here, in this scene from the 1983 film, but once Cujo was bitten by an infected bat, he turned into a drooling, snarling, deadly four-legged fiend. If nothing else convinced us to get all our pets their rabies shots, this was it.
As if the horrific pandemic called Cap'n Trips wasn't deadly enough, King created Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan here in the 1994 ABC miniseries). You may know him best from "The Stand" as the all-powerful wizard who loves torture and public executions, but he shows up in numerous other King works, including "The Dark Tower."
The teenage Todd Bowden thinks he has all the power when he blackmails his former Nazi neighbor (Ian McKellan in the 1998 movie "Apt Pupil"). But he soon learns that the harmless looking old man is just as dangerous and deadly as he was in his wartime days.
Little Gage Creed (Miko Hughes in the 1989 movie "Pet Sematary") looks a little like murderous doll Chucky in this photo, and for good reason. The doll and this terrifying tot would probably be well-matched. This movie made us afraid of pets, cemeteries, pet cemeteries, scalpels, and once-cute kids who got hit by trucks and still ended up coming back to life. Nightmare fodder.