Best Stephen King Books, Movies for the Spooky Season

CPL owl mascot dressed as Pennywise from ItWhile it might be easy to dismiss stories of the paranormal as fake, a “killer clown” story is something that scares even the most hardened non-believer. Maybe that’s why so many people lined up to see It: Chapter Two in theaters. If you haven’t seen the first chapter of It from 2018 (the highest-grossing horror movie of all time), or Stephen King's It starring actor Tim Curry, the Halloween season is the perfect time to watch it.

Craving more spooky Stephen King tales? I recommend the collection Different Seasons, containing four novellas set in winter, spring, summer and fall. You might know the famous Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption story from the movie The Shawshank Redemption or The Body, which inspired the famous coming-of-age movie Stand by Me, but the two others are disturbing as well. The creepy elements in this collection are more real-life horrors than scary ghosts.

Many people cite The Stand as their favorite Stephen King novel, and I can see why. This post-apocalyptic horror story details a worldwide pandemic and the consequences of biological warfare (spoiler alert: it's societal collapse). If you're more of a sci-fi or fantasy fan, this is the Stephen King book for you.

This summer, I picked up The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon on a whim and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. After getting lost on the Appalachian Trail, 9-year-old Trisha must survive what she has in her backpack, including a Walkman that broadcasts baseball games featuring her favorite player, Tom Gordon (it is 1998, after all). I did not know who Tom Gordon was before I read this book, and I still liked it. And I'm never going hiking again.

It: Chapter Two isn’t the only Stephen King remake to hit theaters this year: A remake of Pet Sematary (based on the novel by the same name) came out in the spring. Pet Sematary and The Body both mention Derry, Maine—the town in which It is set—so you'll find plenty of Easter eggs from the King of Horror.

Take our quiz to find out how well you know Stephen King. What's your favorite of his books and movies? Let us know in the comments.