The Scariest Stephen King Characters: Top 5

Pelle d’oca, brividi e un crescente turbamento che culmina in una tensione insostenibile: le storie di Stephen King attraversano il variegato scenario dell’inquietudine umana e i suoi personaggi le rendono indimenticabili.

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Plots and settings are important to any story, but they need compelling characters to truly resonate with readers. As the master of horror, Stephen King has crafted some of the most terrifying villains that haunt our nightmares. Among them are paranormal entities, demons and ghosts, but also ordinary men, women and even children who slide into madness.

1. Jack Torrance – The Shining (1977)

Jack Torrance, a recovering alcoholic, takes a job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel while it is closed for the winter. The hotel is cursed and Torrance becomes increasingly unstable and violent towards his wife and son. Torrance was immortalised by Jack Nicholson in the 1980 movie adaptation. He sent chills down your spine with a phrase that was not in the book: “Heeeere’s Johnny!”

2. Randall Flagg – The Stand (1978)

Randall Flagg is one of Stephen King’s recurring villains, appearing in numerous works. While his genesis was in King’s 1969 poem The Dark Man, Flagg first shows up as a manipulative demon in The Stand, a post-apocalyptic novel about good versus evil. A charismatic character, he leads the evil group of survivors. Flagg is finally killed in the last Dark Tower novel.

3. Gage Creed – Pet Sematary (1983)

At just two years old, Gage Creed is the youngest of Stephen King’s cast of scary characters. His untimely death devastates his family. His father buries him in a haunted cemetery, hoping he will come back to life. Gage is resurrected as a homicidal monster, possessed by an evil spirit. He kills a neighbour and his mother, before his fatherputs him to death again.

4. Pennywise – It (1986)

A shape-shifting entity terrorises children in the town of Derry, Maine. Returning every generation, the creature lures them into the sewers to devour them. Discovering that scared humans taste even better, ‘It’ commonly appears as a creepy dancing clown called Pennywise. He is finally vanquished by the Losers’ Club, made up of seven childhood friends.

5. Annie Wilkes – Misery (1987)

Annie Wilkes first appears as a wholesome nurse, who rescues the author of a series of romance novels. The gradual realisation of her mental instability is what makes her one of Stephen King’s scariest characters. It is said that she is King’s personal favourite. Actress Kathy Bates won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Wilkes in the 1990 movie adaptation.  

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Questo articolo appartiene al numero June 2024 della rivista Speak Up.

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