Stephen King's scariest quotes | Stephen King Books

Stephen King’s scariest quotes

October 27, 2017

Stephen King’s UK editor Philippa Pride picks out some of Stephen King’s scariest quotes. 

‘Some birds are not meant to be caged…Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild.’ – Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

Halloween would not be complete without some scary quotes from the master.  But what creates horror?

From some it’s the fear of the supernatural or the unexpected surprise in your small town – a clown who peeks out of the storm drain (IT), the ghostly visitations to a house on a lake (Bag of Bones), a jealous car (Christine the Plymouth Fury).  For others it’s the voices in our head (think of Jessie who is tied to a bed, alone in a remote cabin in Gerald’s Game).  But for others yet true horror resides in the people to whom we are closest, people who should make us feel safe – the spouse we think we know but don’t (‘A Good Marriage’),  an ultra religious mother (Carrie),  a deranged fan (Lisey’s Story),  a father who is a conflicted alcoholic (The Shining).

And always, always we are scared because Steve’s characters are so close to real.  Think about Annie Wilkes the nurse who holds writer Paul Sheldon prisoner in Misery.

Stephen King is a writer who cannot be caged. Words are his power – to terrify or break your heart.  His imagination always soars brightly, his songs reaching beyond the trappings of any genre definition. As Kings says in his introduction to The Shining, ‘The truth is that monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes they win. That our better angels sometimes – often! – win instead, in spite of all odds, is another truth’

‘We all float down here! – It

‘Eddie discovered one of his childhood’s great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought.’ – It


‘So what?…Ghosts can’t hurt anyone. That’s what I thought then.’ – Bag of Bones


‘I was scared,’ she said, and then uttered a shaky little laugh. ‘I guess you don’t know what scared is until one of your kids screams in the dark.’ – Christine


I’m peeling my hand, she thought. Oh dear Jesus, I’m peeling it like an orange.’ – Gerald’s Game


‘You realize that you are in a hell of your own making, but you go on nevertheless. Because there is nothing else to do.’ – ‘1922’, from Full Dark, No Stars


‘For the last time, let us pray’…Momma leaned forward and the knife came down in a shining arc.’ – Carrie


‘She saw a man standing on her back porch stoop. And it was a man, not a lawnmower or a vacuum cleaner but an actual man. Luckily, she had time to register the fact that, although he wasn’t Deputy Boeckman, he was also dressed in Castle County khaki. This saved her the embarrassment of screaming like Jamie Lee Curtis in a Halloween movie.’ – Lisey’s Story


‘Once, during the drinking phase, Wendy had accused him of desiring his own destruction but not possessing the necessary moral fiber to support a full-blown deathwish. So he manufactured ways in which other people could do it, lopping a piece at a time off himself and their family.’ – The Shining


‘Yet he could not tell Annie that, and not just because it might rile her up. He could not tell her because it would hurt her badly, and in spite of all the pain she had afforded him, he found he could not hurt her in that way. He had been hurt that way himself.’ – Misery