Stephen King is a prolific writer whose works have captivated readers for decades. Known for his vivid imagination and horror novels, he has become a household name in the literary world. However, beyond his books, there are several weird facts about Stephen King’s life that many people do not know. Today, we will explore five such facts that will pique your curiosity and give you an insight into the man behind the stories.
Stephen King was a high school janitor
Before becoming a famous author, Stephen King had several odd jobs to make ends meet. One of these jobs was working as a high school janitor. He took up the job to support his family after his wife’s teaching salary wasn’t enough. The job required him to clean toilets, sweep floors, and empty trash cans. While it was a humbling experience, King also used it as an opportunity to observe people and gather ideas for his writing.
In his book, “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” King revealed how the experience helped him hone his craft. He said, “I got the idea for ‘Carrie’ from working as a janitor in a girls’ locker room. I saw the shower curtains move by themselves and got the idea for the opening shower scene.”
King is afraid of the number 13
Triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, is a common superstition among many people. Stephen King is no exception. He once revealed in an interview that he is so afraid of the number 13 that he avoids it at all costs. He doesn’t like to stay on the 13th floor of a building, nor does he like to sit in the 13th seat of an airplane. This phobia has also influenced his writing, and he often incorporates the number 13 in his horror stories.
In his book “The Shining,” for example, the evil room in the hotel was room number 237. However, in Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, the room number was changed to 237 from 217 (the room number in the book) because the real-life Timberline Lodge, where the movie was filmed, had a Room 217.
King has a fascination with clowns
Stephen King’s fascination with clowns has been well-documented over the years. In his book “It,” he created one of the most iconic horror characters – Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The character has since become a pop culture phenomenon and has even inspired a movie adaptation.
King’s love for clowns stems from his childhood, where he would perform as a clown at birthday parties to make some extra cash. He even wrote a non-fiction book titled “The Circus of Dr. Lao” under a pseudonym. The book was about a circus that featured several mythical creatures, including a talking sphinx and a chimera.
King wrote a novel under a pseudonym
In 1984, Stephen King wrote a novel titled “Thinner” under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. He did this to see if his writing was good enough to stand on its own without his famous name attached to it. The book was a success and received critical acclaim, and King decided to reveal his true identity. He later wrote several other books under the same pseudonym, including “The Running Man” and “Rage.”
King was hit by a car while walking
In 1999, Stephen King was taking a walk near his home when he was hit by a car. He suffered several injuries, including a collapsed lung, a broken leg, and several broken ribs. While he was recovering, he wrote a book titled “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” which is part memoir and part writing guide. In the book, he talks about his accident and how it changed his perspective on life and mortality.
He wrote, “The idea that I’d not be able to write anymore seemed unbearable. Writing had saved my life once; it seemed that, this time, it had saved my life again.”