It seems that the influence of Pennywise the Dancing Clown is more far-reaching than we think. Stephen King’s Multiverse is intricately interwoven, with characters and events from some stories making a cameo in others. But these cameos aren’t just cameos. They all add up in some way to a supernatural narrative where evil and the northeast United States go hand-in-hand.
One example is It and The Shawshank Redemption. They both take place in Maine (shocker) albeit in different places. Pennywise’s main haunt is in Derry, frightening and eating children, while clueless adults shrug in indifference. Pennywise’s influence makes them do this, as well as inspire violence. Meanwhile, Andy Dufresne is accused of killing his wife and her lover, and is sent to Shawshank even though he thinks he’s innocent.
The prisoners of Shawshank have a saying where everyone there is innocent, and every time a new batch of prisoners are taken in, one hysterically proclaims their innocence. Despite the fact that saying is to be taken ironically, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to say that some of the crimes the prisoners committed would be done by Pennywise itself. Maine is a giant hodgepodge of supernatural and evil energy, with Pennywise being a pretty big cause of it.
Pennywise’s modus operandi is to take the form of a child’s fear and then eat them. It is awakened every 27 years with an act of violence, and before it goes into hibernation, it inspires violence, the most notable example being Henry Bowers. Bowers takes the fall for the majority of Pennywise’s crimes, so the prisoners of Shawshank being duped by the clown does make sense considering the interconnecting plots, characters, and settings in the Multiverse.
While reading the Shawshank Redemption, you’re not going to meet the child-eating clown, but its influence and proximity make their connection a bit too close for comfort.