Nightmare Fuel / The Stand

See also Nightmare Fuel/Stephen King.

Spoilers abound below, so be wary during your travels.

  • In general, pure, unadulterated Paranoia Fuel... Especially:
    • The Center For Disease Control hospital in Vermont — every single chapter involving it
    • The aftermath of the Judge's death.
    • Nick Andros (a deaf-mute) being the last person alive in an isolated small town.
    • Tom Cullen (a mentally retarded man) being sent as a spy to Las Vegas.
    • How the buildings in every town have dead bodies in them strewn about "like cordwood" (an uncomfortable foreshadowing of Katrina)... and a million and one other, little things many have blocked out. Ironically, the other half of the book was an optimistic tale of nature and humanity surviving the Apocalypse.note 
    • Even common cold and flu season. Seriously, sniffles and coughs have never sounded more terrifying. Do not read this book if you have a cold, or if someone in the room coughs or sneezes.
    • The Walkin' Dude himself, Randal Flagg.
  • The Lincoln Tunnel; or... "Come down and eat chicken with me, beautiful. It's soooo dark!"
    • The miniseries also has, just prior to that, Stu spotting an elevator trying to close while there's a gurney stuck in it. He pulls the gurney out of the way, and a dead doctor lands on him.
  • The whole scenario of a bio-engineered plague wiping out most of humanity was scarier than Flagg for some readers/viewers, likely because it's not only a far more plausible scenario, but the symptoms of the cause are things everyone gets at least once a year from a cold.
  • "Your blood is in my fists, Mother."
  • Trash's final appearance in the miniseries; after hauling the A-bomb across the desert to Vegas, he...wasn't looking so great. The illustration of him in the uncut text isn't exactly a picnic, either.
  • Nadine inadvertently communicating with Flagg in college, via ouija board. WE ARE IN THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD NADINE
  • The Kid, like when he threatens to kill Trashy if he doesn't chug a flagon of beer without throwing it up. Even worse in the extended edition where he sodomizes Trashcan Man with a pistol.
  • After the virus settles down, there are a series of vignettes about a secondary die-off as the survivors get themselves into trouble and no one is left to help them out of it. A man gets bitten by a rattlesnake and doesn't know how to administer an antidote, a girl falls off a bicycle and dies of a skull fracture, and so on. One of these victims is a young man who steps on a rusty nail. When his foot swells up with tetanus, he tries to hacksaw it off and dies of blood loss after he faints from the pain.
    • Particularly gruesome is the death of a four year old, the only survivor of his entire town and family of six. He falls down a well, breaks his arms and legs, and dies 24 hours later. Also qualifies as Tear Jerker material.
    • One of the most memorable ones involves a young woman who utterly loathed her husband and didn't care about her newborn child. After the superflu kills them, she puts their bodies inside the walk-in freezer they got with the house...and looks at their bodies three or four times a day. Then one day she forgets to use the door stopper. Her story ends as such:
    "It was then that she noticed, after two years of coming and going down here, that there was no inside knob on the freezer door. By then it was too warm to freeze, but not too cold to starve. So Judy Horton died in the company of her son and husband after all."
    • And then there's Lloyd Henreid, locked up in his jail cell with every single guard dead...
    "Oh no," Lloyd said. "Someone's gonna come. Sure they are. Just as sure as shit sticks to a blanket."
    But he kept remembering the rabbit. He couldn't help it... .He loved that rabbit, and he did take care of it. But the trouble was, things slipped his mind after a while. It had always been that way. And one day while he was swinging idly in the tire that hung from the sickly maple behind their scraggy little house in Marathon, Pennsylvania, he had suddenly sat bolt upright, thinking of that rabbit. He hadn't thought of his rabbit in... well, in better than two weeks. It had just completely slipped his mind.
  • A brief but terribly effective description of the deserted Arnette, Texas. King can sometimes be the most terrifying when he's simply painting a mental picture.
  • The bit where Larry finds a rotten dead guy in the bathroom at Yankee Stadium. It sounds silly out of context, but it's actually really, really squicky. That and Larry's observation of how horribly New York City starts to stink thanks to all the decaying flu victims.
    • The uncut adaptation has a lovely illustration of the dead guy.
  • A dead guy lying with his face in a bowl of soup. Which is mentioned several times across the book in disturbing detail.
  • Starkey's trip through the lab, prior to his suicide.
  • The whole chapter or two when the reader knows Flagg has found out Dayna's identity and she still thinks she's successfully incognito. The reader wants her to catch on as soon as possible but knows that she doesn't have a hope of escaping, especially when the henchmen get into her hotel room. With the whole build up to her meeting with Flagg where she notices his hands and what happens afterwards.
  • Any who have read the book have to wonder whenever they get a stuffy nose and a cough...and it only took about 3 weeks for the world to depopulate. Campion escapes the base in early-to-mid June and by July 4th Larry is doing a lonely naked bump and grind to the "Star Spangled Banner" at a rest stop off the New Jersey turnpike.
  • When Nick and Tom hide inside of a storm shelter to escape a tornado. They see dead bodies down there, but they both gradually realize that they're not alone...
  • Any time one of the protagonists starts getting Sanity Slippage.
    • Stu's escape from The Center For Disease Control is laden with references to Watership Down, during which he compares his growing desperation and paranoia to going tharn.
    • Larry's trip through the Lincoln Tunnel, which involves him slowly walking through the dank, corpse-filled darkness with only his lighter to guide him. The further he goes, the more he thinks someone - or something - is stalking him, and he starts getting jumpy at his own echoes. Then he starts bumping into dead bodies. Then he fumbles and loses the lighter.
    • Larry gets another one after Rita Blakemoor dies. Not only is he incapable of burying her, but his first action is to go to the nearest town to get new clothes, just so he wouldn't have her scent on him. On the way back, he crashes his motorcycle. He tries to shrug it off with his usual machismo, but his inner monologue reveals more: He could have hit his head the right way and fractured his skull and he would have lain there in the hot sun until he died. Or strangled to death on his own puke like a certain now-deceased friend of his. He keeps riding the motorcycle...but is too afraid to push it above 20 MPH. When he shows up again, he's gone half-mad from the heat, exhaustion, self-loathing, and morbid guilt.
    • Frannie briefly loses it after her father dies. Her entire inner monologue starts rhyming and going off on random tangents. It's not as bad as some other characters' breakdowns, but it was pretty creepy seeing it happen to her of all people. Then Flagg starts showing up in her dreams...
  • This little gem still haunts me:
    There were worse things than crucifixion. There were teeth.
  • "The Zoo".
  • The phrase "the dark, sweet treat".
  • Then there's that "game show" Fran finds herself watching during the epidemic.
  • Nadine being into raped into catatonia by Flagg.
    • And his never ending streams of cold, cold semen.
  • The army trying to contain everyone even though the entire country's going to shit. And by contain they mean everyone; doctors, reporters, radio announcers, university students.
    • The description of the news report Nick watches, with the nervous, coerced anchors and things being "off", like having no video footage of anything or vague weather and sports reports.
  • The chapter that deals with Joe Bob Brentwood and how the virus travels from him to a traveling insurance salesman he pulls over, to the waitress in a little diner ("He left her a dollar tip that was crawling with death"), to a New York family vacationing in Texas, to some old women, etc. It's chilling.
  • While Lloyd is still locked in his prison cell after everything has gone quietly to hell, he realizes that nobody will be coming by to give him food and he starts looking speculatively at the dead inmate in the next cell over. That's bad enough, but then he remembers a rabbit that he begged his mother to get for him, promising that he would take care of it and feed it and everything. His mother assented, saying that it would be his responsibility and his alone. Sometime later, young Lloyd realizes that he hadn't even thought about the rabbit in about two weeks, let alone fed or cared for it. When he goes to check on it, he finds it has starved to death, and its front paws are all mangled and bloody. The first possibility, that it had tried to dig out of its enclosure, isn't anywhere near as back as his second guess—that it had gotten so hungry that it had tried to eat itself. Good luck reading that without wanting to cuddle your pets afterwards.
  • Trashcan Man slowly dying from the radiation given off by the nuke is quite a miserable way to go, even without the added Body Horror from the film adaption.
  • The fact that, in this reality, all the characters and protagonists from King's other stories, such as Danny Torrance and Dick Hallorann from The Shining, Charlie McGee from Firestarter, Sheriff Alan Pangborn from The Dark Half and Needful Things, the Losers Club from IT and Ralph Roberts from Insomnia, to name just a few, very likely perished from the superflu.