Horror authors: The dark feeling that found me through Stephen King


The lure of the dark is what draws people to horror. That murky feeling that takes hold when you are reading a book or watching something related to the macabre. This is how I fell in love with the genre more specifically through the works of Stephen King.

Authors of the Dark

My first experience with that “Dark” feeling was in middle school with horror authors, mainly Stephen King. Something that a lot of people can relate to—slumping in an uncomfortable school chair with your eyes glued to the book you have hidden inside your desk.

It was there in my classroom in the 7th grade where I read my first Stephen King novel, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. That book was my introduction to the world of King’s imagination. A psychological nightmare that pulled me in to the universe of horror.

The book showed me there was more to the genre than just the slasher side. It honestly bored me while I was reading it.  However, I found myself still thinking about it for quite some time.

There was a unique aspect to that tale, as is with any good horror novel or film, that captivated me. The more I thought about the story, the more I wanted to read other Stephen King works.

Authors – The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon – Courtesy of Scribner

IT  holds a special place in my world. Although the book was recently adapted into a successful film, I read the novel years before.

I vividly remember events in that story like Bill riding his bike through the streets of Derry shouting, “Hi-Ho silver away!” Eddie not wanting to give a homeless man a quarter (I don’t blame him for being afraid of that homeless leper), and spraying the creature in the face with his inhaler.

IT, unlike The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, amazed me from the start. The dark feeling I keep describing was thick and dense while I was reading; it completely changed me as a person and showed me how amazing horror can be.

Authors – IT – Tim Curry- Courtesy of Green-Epstein Productions,Konigsberg-Sanitsky Company,Lorimar Television

After finishing the book, I read through all of his classics—The Shining, Dolores Claiborne, The Stand and The Dark Tower (plus many others)—and when I finished those I always had that raw and untamed feeling that just lead me to want more.

Branching away from King, I expanded on the foundation that was built when I finished IT. I started to consume more from other big name horror authors, movies, and video games— from Poe to Evil Dead to the twisted mind of Clive Barker and Resident Evil, quite honestly, my list could go on and on.

This foundation has built a castle upon it. A castle filled with gloom and doom. Sitting a top a cliff with grey skies hanging overhead, lightning flashing brilliant white lights behind it, with water crashing onto the hanging rocks; all together creating this melodramatic scene, but one I think really illustrates the world I have been living in for years.

That dark feeling was what drew me into the genre. It opened my eyes to this brand new world. I will always be grateful for Stephen King and that short book about a lost girl in the woods because it directed me towards my future self.

Next. HorrorHound Weekend: Bonding with the Losers’ Club of IT. dark

Fan of Stephen King? Tell us what turned you toward the Dark in the comments below.