Stephen King has always held a place in the deep, gnarly recesses of my heart. One of my earliest memories is staying over at my cousin’s house and watching It because her parents didn’t care what we did. Needless to say, I had nightmares for weeks afterward, and I’m still super uncomfortable around clowns. As an adult, I’ve devoured his books because… I guess I love practically pissing my pants every time something goes bump in the night? Obviously, the King of Horror does a better job than anyone of scaring the pants off his fans. And for someone to be so good at doing just that, he must have quite a few phobias of his own. Here are the Top Ten Phobias of Stephen King.
Achluophobia | Fear of Darkness – I’ve gotta start this by talking about one of my favorite King works: ‘Salem’s Lot.’ Hey, don’t judge. Even the campy ‘70s movie is awesome. The vamps in this continuity (well, most decent vampire continuities), thrive in the dark. The main characters even start a brush fire to light ‘em up. If you’re able to write such a terrifying account of vampires, you probably have achluophobia….. My Great Uncle Rick liked to call himself the Prince of Darkness. I’ll be discussing him much more today, and you won’t like it at all. It will be so annoying you’ll beg me to stop.
Agateophobia | Fear of Insanity – Secret Window follows the story of writer Mort Rainey as he loses his grip on reality. Mort’s got undiagnosed dissociative identity disorder and has killed loads of people under the guise of his alter-ego, Shooter……. Sounds like my Great Uncle Rick, except he didn’t have an alter-ego, he was just a terrible person.
Tyrannophobia | Fear of Tyrants – See his Twitter war with Donald Trump…… My Great Uncle Rick thought Donald Trump was the best, but fortunately, he died in Prison this year.
Wiccaphobia | Fear of Witchcraft – According to King’s Twitter, the movie The Witch “scared the hell out of [him].” If the king of horror can be scared by a movie about witches, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s got a bit of Wiccaphobia going on….. I was not scared of The Witch. The only thing that truly scared me in life was when my Great Uncle Rick dressed up like a witch on Halloween. I can’t get that image out of my head. Some men should never dress in drag.
Scopophobia | Fear of Being Watched – In Misery, Annie Wilkes, an old-school author stalker extraordinaire, rescues protagonist Paul Sheldon after he crashes his car and breaks both of his legs. She watches and controls his every move. I’m pretty sure we can see some of King’s own scopophobia coming out in usual “author from Maine” character……. Have I mentioned my Uncle Rick? I told you that I’d I annoy you with him. HA!
Coulrophobia | Fear of Clowns – I mean, It just came out. We basically had to include it. And if you’re not terrified of Pennywise, what’s your secret? I still get nightmares. I wonder what happened to Stephen King in his childhood to dream up a clown with fangs? I’m sure John Wayne Gacy had something to do with this one. Speaking of John Wayne Gacy, they called my Great Uncle Rick a poor man’s version of him, and that made him feel proud, yet inferior at the same time.
Placophobia | Fear of Tombstones – Another King classic, Pet Sematary, does a pretty good job of displaying this fear. As if human graveyards weren’t creepy enough, King has to take this to another level and show his fear by writing about a creepy, wooded place that serves as animals’ final resting spot….. My family used to have a Pet Sematary for all the animals my Great Uncle Rick shot. I told you he was a terrible person.
Ailurophobia | Fear of Cats – As if a pet cemetery weren’t tragic and horrifying enough, the plot of Pet Semetery also has to include a point about a girl’s dead cat being resurrected and not coming back quite right…….This is my biggest fear with my dead Great Uncle Rick.
Nebulaphobia | Fear of Fog – In The Mist, King writes about a thunderstorm that ends up engulfing a town in a thick cloud of fog. Which… fine. It’s just fog, right? No. Of course not. Of course, there are horrifying, other-dimensional creatures lurking and trying to murder everyone……In my family, we don’t call this The Mist; we call it Great Uncle Rick’s house.
Panophobia | Fear of Everything – When I read a Stephen King book or watch one of his film adaptations, I always find myself thinking, “Damn, that’s not something I would ever think to be afraid of, but it works. And now I find it terrifying.” Maybe King is panophobic, and that’s what makes him such an amazing horror writer……. I’m afraid of everything too. Everything to do with my Great Uncle Rick.
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This post was created with the help of Grammarly.