The 13 Most Terrifying Stephen King Characters

Sorry we’re not sorry that this list of terrifying characters is going to give you nightmares. Watch Margaret White reprise her role as one of King’s most evil characters in Carrie, starting in theaters October 18th.

1. Jack Torrance — The Shining

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This quintessential bad guy has perhaps the two scariest evil villain characteristics of all time: he’s insane and he’s homicidal. Watching Jack Torrance scream “Here’s Johnny!” through an axe-split door is one of the most terrifying movie moments of all time.

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2. Annie Wilkes — Misery

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Annie Wilkes is a psychotic nurse who captures and tortures her victims with the same enthusiasm as a giddy schoolgirl. Horrifying.

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3. Pennywise the Clown — It

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Pennywise is a clown. A MURDEROUS clown with razor-sharp teeth who hides in drains to kill you. He also haunts your dreams. Yeah.

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4. Kurt Barlow — Salem’s Lot

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This blue-faced, yellow-eyed, fang-toothed nightmare is a master vampire who is several centuries old and wants to kill everyone in a small town—it doesn’t get much worse.

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5. Cujo — Cujo

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Dogs are really cute, except for when they have rabies and a thirst for blood.

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6. Gage Creed — Pet Sematary

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Adorable little Gage should have never met this fate. Alas, now he’s a scalpel-wielding murder with incredible acting skills.

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7. Warden Norton — The Shawshank Redemption

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His glasses, his icy disposition, his crazy threats—Warden Norton might be the worst dude in that prison.

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8. Richard Vickers — Creepshow

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A classic violent, power-hungry creep, Richard Vickers likes to watch closed-circuit recordings of his homicides. His method is burying people up to their necks in the sand and letting them drown in the high tide. It’s almost poetic?

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9. James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie — Under the Dome

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Big Jim is a rather insidious power-hungry monster. After an impenetrable dome separates a small town called Chester’s Mill from the rest of society, Big Jim uses fear-mongering and manipulation to gain control. Not good.

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10. Arnie Cunningham — Christine

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The love for one’s car equals death for basically everyone else. It’s so scary because this seems vaguely realistic.

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11. Kurt Dussander — Apt Pupil

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Who better to be a terrifying Stephen King character than a Nazi? A disgruntled Nazi.

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12. Ace Merrill — Stand By Me

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What’s worse than a blonde-tipped, knife-wielding bully who’s desperate to find a dead body? Almost nothing.

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13. Margaret White — Carrie

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Most moms suck because they don’t let you eat dessert before dinner, but Margaret White will lock you in a room and violently try to force Satan out of you. That’s a whole lot worse.

See Carrie in theaters October 18th to watch an evil Margaret White played by Julianne Moore.

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