A Letter to the King of Horror: Happy Birthday Stephen King!

How could we celebrate Stephen King’s 75th birthday? The King of Horror? The proper way, in my eyes, is to give thanks for the life lessons he’s taught us.

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Stephen King

Stephen King is the face of horror-themed novels. There’s no question about it. Through his years of writing, King’s given us many life lessons in horror-themed stories and superior character development.

There’s not enough justice, words, or gratitude for Stephen King. He’s created countless stories, made from his fingertips and developed them into life lessons and art. What else should be said over the King? Shall we talk of his greatest achievements– his plethora of awards won, his grandest novels adapted to the big screen: whether good or bad is not the question, but we sure got the screams. We’ve been introduced to the most iconic characters in cinemas: Pennywise, The Losers Club, Alice Wilkens, Carrie White, Jack Torrance, Isaac Chroner; frankly, the list is endless.

Misery, Gerald's Game, Carrie , Pennywise

Dear Mr. Stephen King,

Thank you for showing us that high school is not worth the worry in Carrie. Things could be better if we persevere. Bullies are temporary and expendable. Defend yourself, and fight back. You never know when it’s someone’s last straw.

“High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up.” 

– Carrie

Thank you for displaying what true friendships look like through the Loser Club from IT and by the characters of Chris, Gordie, Vern, and Teddy in The Body. Friendships at that age will become a faint memory, but you’ll never forget that feeling from when you were twelve.

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”

-The Body

Thank you for showing us the struggles of being a writer through Paul Sheldon in Misery. Every writer knows the endeavors of starting a story and, one way or another hating a character they created. Every protagonist has a little piece of us in them, so to hate your own main character is hating a little part of yourself. How cathartic.

“Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one. From the big ones you get novels. A little talent is a nice thing to have if you want to be a writer, but the only real requirement is the ability to remember the story of every scar. Art consists of the persistence of memory.” 


Thank you for giving us The Shining. Family can break through the addiction faced from within your own psyche. Our inner demons can destroy us, and anyone around that desires the destruction. Thank you for opening your mind and allowing us to step through the Dark Tower series, letting us dive head first into a fantasy-driven world. Thank you for showing us that monsters can be human too, which is a constant theme in many of his novels, but most prominently in Gerald’s Game. Confronting your past is the way to look into the future.

“People are almost always safe from ghosts and ghouls and the living dead in daylight, and they’re usually safe from them at night if they’re with others, but when a person is alone in the dark, all bets are off. Men and women alone in the dark are like open doors, Jessie, and if they call out or scream for help, who knows what dread things may answer?”

– Gerald’s Game

Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing us that horror can also be heartbreak in the form of a scream—a nightmare buried from our past. Everything between us and the future can be made into art.

This is only to say thanks to a few of his notable works. If you wish to read more about the King’s work, click here!