Nightmare Fuel / Stephen King
Futurama sums the whole thing up.

Stephen King made a career out of producing Nightmare Fuel, which has made him one of the most prolific horror authors of the modern era.
Works with their own pages

  • Insomnia. The main character can see people's "auras", which lets him see how healthy they are... so he can see how badly brain-damaged children in a hospital are, and he can see roughly how close people are to death. When people are about to die, their aura turns into a black "death bag", which is somewhat alive. When someone is going to crash a plane into a convention center, the death bag is larger than the center and cursing at everyone, even though they can't see it. The villain is an agent of chaos, who kills people because he wants to... and he's invisible and Made Of Air.
  • The Dark Tower has several elements that seemed designed to remind the reader that King writes horror stories. From the first three books we have Norm of Tull, the end of Tull, the Slow Mutants, The lobstrosities, a man getting cut in half by More Dakka, Odetta/Detta, Shardik, and the Pusher, who doesn't do drugs but pushes people in front of trains. Oh, and when Jake thinks he's going insane. And the Doorkeeper, who is a sentient, malevolent entity disguised as an abandoned house. And Blaine the train, who is a real pain.
    • Onward through the remaining four books, of which some of the more notable ideas and concepts include a procedure which ends up destroying little kids' minds because of what they extract. Bonus points for the fact a byproduct of the process is the accelerated growth of the kids to such a point you can hear their skulls expanding. The pain is basically that of teething... for a solid year or so. Dandelo; Randall Flagg being psychically compelled to tear his own eyes out and then tear his own tongue out; Mordred the half-human, half-spider from the time of his birth; long pork at the Dixie Pig; ruminating on the sound of the Crimson King screaming as he is erased from existence; the can-toi; and, at the Battle of the Algul Siento, a hydrocephalic kid banging his head on the ground and dying with a sound like a watermelon being split in half.
  • "The Jaunt," another short story about a futuristic transport system that takes people directly from one point to another — and what happens when they aren't rendered unconscious first. "It's eternity in there..." Contains what is quite possibly the most gruesome and memorable ending to any of King's stories.
    • Oates recalls rumors of people who used the Jaunt as a murder weapon, chucking people into it after turning off all the exit points. The victim is trapped in the void, cut off from all external stimuli, with no way of escaping. Ever. The one confirmed case involved a Jaunt researcher who disposed of his wife in this manner. The man's defense attorney argued that it wasn't really murder, since they couldn't conclusively prove that the wife was dead; when the jury realized the implications, it cemented the man's conviction. (Though to be fair, it isn't made entirely clear what happens during a jaunt; it's possible that using that way DOES kill the person, and that it's only the sensation of journeying to an actual point B that feels like "an eternity".)
  • Gerald's Game. This one is psychological rather than monster-related. It has everything: paranoia, delusion, voices, and a dog eating Jessie's dead husband. She is handcuffed to the bed and as she gets more dehydrated she starts to hear more and more voices, coupled with someone she thinks is moving around the house while she is helpless, but for most of the story it seems this is another hallucination. She finally escapes by slicing her wrists open on a shard of glass to provide lubricant to tear her hands out of the manacles. She ends up ripping a ton of skin off and almost dying from blood loss. Later she writes a letter to one of the people whose voice she heard, which involves explaining what really happened and what her recovery process was.
  • There were two things about Dreamcatcher: The part where someone plays a tape of the "aliens" imitating celebrities and telling people that they're not dangerous, and the part where the first alien appears, because it was so sudden, Jonesy just turns around and he sees it, no previous signs to warn the reader.
    • Mr. Gray is utterly terrifying. Also, Blue Unit is just a slightly nicer version of Blackwatch.
  • "Survivor Type": A surgeon gets stranded on an island with only some powdered heroin, a couple of knives and the clothes on his back. In order to stay alive, he kills and eats a few seagulls he managed to catch, but he breaks his foot eventually. So he needs to amputate, and realizes afterwards that there's another way to keep himself alive. By the end of the story, he's cut off (and eaten) everything below the waist, along with his earlobes. The story ends with this last diary entry, with the implication being that he's desperate and hungry enough to eat his own hands, which, as a surgeon, he has been taking excellent care of for the entire story.
    • "lady fingers they taste just like lady fingers." Brrr....
  • The Raft: two college guys and their girlfriends go for a spur-of-the-moment swim at a remote lake. When they get to the raft in the middle of the lake, they see what looks like a dark patch of oil in the water. Needless to say, it isn't oil but rather, a strange creature that dissolves and absorbs people. The tone makes it horribly creepy to begin with, but the idea of waiting alone, trapped, and without hope of escape from an alien death... . The way he describes the deaths is absolutely horrific.
  • The Monkey: another short story, which utilizes and heightens every trope you've ever seen connected to those creepy monkeys-with-cymbal toys.
    • Jang-jang-jang-jang, who's dead this time?
    • Not to mention the fact that Hal tries to get rid of it by throwing it down a dry well and it comes back, not just to Hal, but to his kids.
    • Also the strong implication that it can mess with peoples' minds to encourage them to keep it near them and wind up its key. (The fact that Hal never even considers the option of destroying the monkey - taking it to bits, or at least removing its arms so it can't clang its cymbals anymore - suggests the Fridge Horror possibility that it's influencing him all the time, not just when it tempts him to wind it.)
  • Trucks: In which trucks rebel and destroy humanity, blaring demands to their new slaves via Morse code.
    Someone must pump fuel. Someone will not be harmed. All fuel must be pumped. This shall be done now. Now someone will pump fuel.
  • Desperation. How about the fact that the whole FREAKIN TOWN has been killed in various gruesome and disgusting ways. Or the fact that all the animals left alive in the town are under Tak's control including the spiders and snakes, which are everybody's favorite animals in the world. Or how about the way that Tak possesses people, with their bodies eventually just sloughing off until all that's left is a bloody mess.
    • The insertion of the words "I'm going to kill you" into the Miranda Warning near the beginning of the book, and the Tak-possessed cop doing just that to the husband of the family at the end of the chapter.
  • Dolores Claiborne isn't exactly a horror novel, but the old woman deteriorate into madness from age and realizing she can't stop it. Only Stephen King could turn dust bunnies into a terrifying representation of a decaying mind.
  • Any Stephen King stories involving vehicles. Maximum Overdrive, Christine, and From a Buick 8 are all damn freaky when you consider this is stuff we live with and depend on, and then BOOM! You're running from an 18 wheeler that wants to enslave you, a car with a ghostly rider, and a car that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn't exist.
    • The scene in Christine where Leigh is choking on a hamburger and she sees glowing green eyes from Christine's dashboard.
  • The Library Policeman, that is, Sam Peebles' very own library policeman. Prepubescent Sam is graphically raped. It is a pretty painful scene.
    • Ardelia Lortz. A beetle-like thing that will remind you strongly of IT, who possesses people and feeds off the misery of little children. Fuck.
    • The description of the Library Policeman. Its revealed that its actually a combination of the man who raped Sam as a child, and a picture hanging in the library of a man in a trenchcoat called the Library Police. He is always accompanied by the smell of red licorice, which Sam subconsciously associates with his childhood trauma, and that trenchcoat? It isnt actually clothes at all, its skin.
  • Stephen King writes a story called "The Boogeyman." His description of the thing in the closet having "cabbage breath" is shudder-inducing. Not to mention that his voice is described as someone speaking through rotting cloth.
    • How about when the main character leaves the psychiatrists office after telling his story, then notices that the receptionist is away so he cant schedule his next appointment. So he goes back into the office... and the closet door is open.
    The Boogeyman: So nice... so niiiice...
  • The description of the eponymous character in Rose Madder, specifically how she looks right before she deals with Norman. The mental image of the 'rot' that seems to move beneath her skin is equal parts Nightmare Fuel and Squick. Then again, King seems to love hopping over the line between the two. What happens with Norman and the mask could count, too; It fuses to his face. Fortunately for him, he doesn't live much longer than that. Rose and Norman's marriage itself is a more reality-based example.
  • The scene in The Dark Half when they operate on Thad, only to find what they assumed to be a brain tumor was actually the living remains of his twin brother, absorbed/digested while in utero. Nothing but a pulsing pile of flesh, teeth, and one blinking eyeball.
    • Also George Stark's slow and painstakingly described decomposition, followed shortly thereafter by his being pecked to death by sparrows. In The Movie, his skin is pecked down to his bones, his jaw is moving in a silent scream.
    • "What's going on out here?!" "Murder. Want some?"
  • Blockade Billy has a piece of HONF at the end when Billy, after his secret has been found out, reveals what the hell is under that Band-Aid on his middle finger when he goes to talk to the umpire who screwed him earlier in the game. It doesn't end well.
    When I saw the puddle of blood after he was taken away in handcuffs - oh my God, such a pool of it there was - all I could think of was those forty thousand people screaming KILL THE UMP the way they'd been screaming Bloh-KADE. No one really means it, but the kid didn't know that, either.
    • Extra HONF for the "secret" itself - that he killed the real Billy and his parents and their cows because he didn't want people getting suspicious about them not getting milked.
  • One of King's short stories, The Gingerbread Girl, tells the story of a woman who moves to her father's summer home in Florida after having a fight with her husband. Not scary yet? Well while there she discovers there is an insane madman who brings women there just so he can rape and murder them. The entire later half of the story is her escaping the same insane madman.
  • Possibly some of the scariest parts of King's works are the point in his career where he published "The Bachman Books".
    • Rage - A high school loser finally snaps and guns down two teachers and holds his class hostage, forcing them all to work through his issues (and some of their own). Eventually, they all get a case of Stockholm Syndrome and beat the living shit out of the one poor bastard who didn't fall for it, and who winds up catatonic for his troubles; in a prognosis it is mentioned that the mobbed teenager is not recovering and is still in the same condition, meanwhile the teenager who did kill his teachers is making progress, but is quite psychologically troubled by what happened that day. Add to the fact that it was found in the possession of multiple school shooters, and you see why King had it pulled.
    • The Long Walk - An easy comparison to make to Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, an alternate universe America has 100 teen boys pulled from all fifty states to compete in "The Walk". What is "The Walk"? A literal death march, forcing the contestants to walk an impossibly huge distance at gunpoint; anyone who slows down for too long, stops or tries to flee is shot dead. Why do they do this awful, pointless thing? ...No reason is ever given. It's just what's done.
    • Roadwork - A man who refuses to move out of his house, which is in the path of a new freeway under construction, loses both his son and his mind; he ends up taking "There's no place like home" too far.
    • The Running Man - Try watching a reality competition show after reading this. It's the near future (far future when it was written) where if you're not one of the rich elites, you're dirt poor and probably sick from polluted air. But there's always "the games", televised competitions where you earn more money the longer you stay alive. If you die, your family gets the cash, which is enough for hero Ben Richards, who enters "The Running Man", a game which literally makes him an enemy of the state and wanted fugitive. And they're not kidding around, either; he's considered just as much Public Enemy Number One as Osama Bin Laden. His goal is to stay alive for 30 days. No one has ever made it past five days.
    • The Dark Half, though not a Bachman book, takes the idea of Richard Bachman being not just a pseudonym but an alternate identity to its furthest extreme. And he doesn't like having been "killed". That alone is rather creepy, but it also has a rather disturbing moment in the prologue where the main character has surgery to remove a brain tumor, and it turns out its not a tumor at all, its a parasitic twin, just a clump of flesh, teeth, hair and a single eyeball that had been nestled in his brain all this time. It's hinted that the twin might be the main characters Evil Twin rather than it just being a psycholigical problem, but its left ambigious.
  • Duma Key is creepy even before bad stuff starts happening. Imagine being in an accident and waking up with no right arm. Also, you can't remember a good portion of your vocabulary. There's a page describing the protagonist getting frustrated while asking his wife to come over and sit on the friend, on the pal, on the chum because it's as close as his fractured mind can come to the word "chair", and it doesn't end there. He ends up stabbing his wife with a plastic knife and choking her and can't remember either incident, and when she breaks the news to him that she's divorcing him, he calls her a "birch". Instead of getting angry, she corrects him and leaves without another word.
    • Also that really creepy lawn jockey.
  • The short story "Gray Matter" has a man turn into a giant fungus or bacteria after drinking spoiled beer and begins to eat children.
  • One word- no, one letter: "N." That one was based on an 1894 story by Arthur Machen called The Great God Pan. King considers it one of the single best horror stories ever written and even claimed it kept him up at night!
  • On the author notes at the end of Just After Sunset, he asks if the readers are sure they locked all the doors or turned off the oven, OCD symptom or not, just in case something happens. As if he KNEW people would be reading the book in bed, right before sleeping.
  • Full Dark, No Stars. First off, the first story has a man being bitten to death by rats (in first person). Plus, Beadie... Just, Beadie, ok?
    • The visit that Wilfred receives from the months-dead Arlette and her court of rats, with bonus points for how her corpse looks by this point.
  • There's a short story Word Processor of the Gods. While the story itself isn't that scary, instead working the angle of drama, look at modern social networking. The pressing of a single key can effectively change reality. Imagine the power, or even the knowledge, if it were to be used by someone now.
    • And then there's "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut" (a short story). The eponymous dimension is literally accessed by wormholes. Now imagine if you couldn't find a wormhole out, or the car crashed. Given the creatures of The Talisman, The Mist, From a Buick 8, The Dark Tower series, The Jaunt and nearly every other inter-dimensional tale by Stephen King, we can only assume that such an event would not end well. Mrs. Todd drives maniacally enough to continually find new wormholes, each new route displays a new forest layout, and Mrs. Todd is obviously so warped from her experience that she might purposefully trap herself (and any passengers) in it. If you stumbled upon one of these routes naturally, you wouldn't sleep for decades. If you were guided by the only actual expert, you run a high risk of not being alive if you get out.
  • From "Skeleton Crew", a number of stories: "The Reaper's Image", especially the ending with the narrator waiting for his buyer to reappear. "Uncle Otto's Truck" had the eponymous vehicle slowly creeping up on Otto until it was right outside his fucking window. His death was also pretty fucked. And "Morning Deliveries" had the most fucked up milkman I have ever seen.
    • To expand on Uncle Otto's Truck: The narrator Quentin's uncle Otto one day becomes incredibly paranoid of a truck he and a partner had used for logging... and that he'd likely used as a murder weapon to kill said partner. He inexplicably builds a one-room house across from it in spite of being very wealthy, and slowly loses his mind as he perceives the truck getting closer and closer, as he attempts to convince the narrator it's getting closer. The narrator can see it... sometimes... and when he finds Uncle Otto dead, saturated in oil, a sparkplug shoved down his throat (no explanation for how it happened is ever given) he sees the truck right at the damn window.
  • From a Buick 8. Everything, everything that comes out of that car is just not meant to be in our world. The "driver" (which is generous to call "him that), the "bat", everything in that car should never have been as far as our world is concerned. But what really sells the nightmares are the simple descriptions of things that the troopers have seen on the job, from descriptions of how a cop commits suicide to a description of a little boy hit by a car coming back from buying bread. In universe, the creatures consider our world a nightmare, and treat things from our reality the same way we treat creatures from theirs.
  • In his nonfiction book Danse Macabre, there is a footnote that particularly fits this trope, and good luck getting the image out of your head after you read it:
    I can remember, as a kid, one of my fellow kids asking me to imagine sliding down a long, polished banister which suddenly and without warning turns into a razorblade. Man, I was days getting over that.
  • The ending of Revival. Many have called it the most disturbing ending King has ever written, and considering his track record, that's saying a lot. In short, the hero and villain of the story find out that once you die, there's no heaven to go to. There is only the Null—upon death, your soul is captured by giant ant-like beings and you are used as slave labor for a giant Eldritch Abomination known as "Mother" and a host of other horrors. For all eternity. Oh, and Mother lashes out through the psychic connection they've been observing the Null through, killing the villain, and forcing the hero to kill the patient they were using as a gateway to close it. Its implied that Mother then drives everyone the villain had been "healing" insane and makes them commit suicide. The hero is left alive, but has to constantly numb himself with a coctail of anti-depressants, knowing that no matter what, sooner or later he will also die and join the rest of mankind in the Null.
  • The Tommyknockers features some prime Body Horror as the townspeople of Haven slowly transform. First, they all lose their teeth, and later, those in a more advanced stage of transformation have their genitals replaced by tentacles, and their skin turns transparent, revealing their organs. By the end of the book, they don't even look human anymore, with their faces bulging out into snouts.