Skip to main content

Stephen King is arguably the most prolific horror writer of all time and it's unlikely he'll be dethroned for at least one hundred years. And by then, who knows, maybe he'll become a robot-human hybrid and will keep writing books for the rest of eternity? Only time will tell. What we do know for sure is that he's written over 60 novels so far and his books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide. Many of his novels have been adapted into movies, television shows and comic books, several of which went on to be nominated for Academy Awards.

In honor of King's impressive legacy in literature and horror, we've gathered together tattoos inspired by some of his most popular works. Take a look at the badass ink in the gallery below, then let us know your favorite Stephen King novel in the comments section on social media.


"Carrie" was Stephen King's first novel and was published in 1974. It follows a teenage girl named Carrie White, who's bullied by her peers at school and abused by her religious mother at home. She soon discovers that she possesses telekinetic powers and uses them to enact revenge on those who've wronged her. The novel was adapted into a film in 1976 and earned actors Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the 49th annual Academy Awards.

"'Salem's Lot"

Stephen King published the novel "'Salem's Lot" in 1975 and regarded it as his favorite book for many years. The novel follows a writer who returns to his small town, Jerusalem's Lot, as an adult to discover that the residents are turning into vampires. In 1979, the novel was adapted into a two-part television miniseries and was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards. A feature film is currently in the process of being made.

"The Shining"

"The Shining" was King's first big bestseller and helped to put him on the map as a horror novelist. It centers on a writer who takes a position as an off-season caretaker for a hotel and succumbs to insanity in part because of the supernatural forces within. The novel was adapted into a feature film in 1980, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick and starred Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. This film was criticized heavily by King, despite it being beloved by horror enthusiasts worldwide.

"Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"

In 1982, King published "Different Seasons," a collection of four novellas. One of those novellas was "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." This story follows a banker who's convicted to two life sentences for allegedly murdering his wife and her lover, and his experience spending 28 years in prison. It's one of King's few non-horror stories and went on to be adapted into a feature film in 1994. "The Shawshank Redemption" starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, earning seven Academy Award nominations.

"Pet Sematary"

Published in 1983, this novel follows a doctor who moves his family to a Maine and discovers an ancient Native American burial ground, which he uses to resurrect the family cat and later, his son. The film was first adapted into a film in 1989 and later got a remake in 2019.


In 1986, King published the novel "It," which became an incredible popular culture phenomenon and one of his most recognizable stories. The novel follows seven children living in a fictional town called Derry, Maine who are terrorized by an evil entity that exploits the fears of its victims by disguising himself, often appearing as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. It was first adapted into a two-part miniseries in 1990, with Tim Curry portraying the titular clown, and later made into two feature films in 2017 and 2019, starring Bill Skarsgård.


In 1987 King published his novel "Misery," which followed a writer who was kept prisoner in the home of his number one fan. The novel was adapted in a feature film in 1990, which earned Kathy Bates the award for Best Actress at the 63rd annual Academy Awards.

"The Green Mile"

In 1996, King released the novel "The Green Mile," which follows a death row supervisor who meets a peculiar inmate named John Coffey who possesses supernatural healing and empathic abilities. "The Green Mile" was made into a feature film in 1999 and starred Tom Hanks. It went on to gain four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture.