7 Free Stephen King Stories: Presented in Text, Audio, Web Comic & a Graphic Novel Video

In Stephen King’s first tele­vised inter­view from way back in 1982, the hor­ror writer revealed that he sleeps with the lights on. He may have grown out of the habit by now, but it’s no won­der if he hasn’t. A macabre imag­i­na­tion like his prob­a­bly sees all sorts of creepy things lurk­ing in the dark. In any case, King has cer­tain­ly learned a thing or two since then about mak­ing his fears more mar­ketable. In the past sev­er­al years he’s been pro­mot­ing his work on the Inter­net to reach new audi­ences.

In 2000, his novel­la Rid­ing the Bul­let debuted exclu­sive­ly online, and in 2008 he part­nered with Mar­vel Comics to pro­mote his first col­lec­tion of short sto­ries in six years, releas­ing one short graph­ic video episode at a time adapt­ed from the 56-page novel­la “N.” See all 25 episodes above. It’s a sto­ry, writes Time, “about a psy­chol­o­gist whose obses­sive-com­pul­sive patient is entranced by a mys­te­ri­ous plot of land.” King calls the adap­ta­tion “kind of a video com­ic book,” and while the “point of the exer­cise,” says his edi­tor Susan Moldow,” is to stim­u­late book sales,” I think you’ll agree it’s a pret­ty nifty bit of sto­ry­telling on its own.

King Comic

On King’s web­site, you’ll find links to all sorts of mul­ti­me­dia prod­ucts, includ­ing a Life­time orig­i­nal movie, Big Dri­ver, a film titled A Good Mar­riage, now out on video-on-demand, and the lat­est from graph­ic nov­el series Dark Tow­er. You’ll also find a com­ic adap­ta­tion of the short sto­ry “Lit­tle Green God of Agony.” See the first pan­el above, and read the full sto­ry here.

Long before Youtube and online comics, there was the audio­book. King has nar­rat­ed his own work for years, and it’s also been read by such big names as Kathy Bates, Sis­sy Spacek, Willem Defoe, Anne Heche, Eli Wal­lach, and many more. Just above, hear char­ac­ter actor John Glover—a name you may not know, but a face you’d recognize—read “One for the Road,” a sto­ry from King’s first, 1978, col­lec­tion Night Shift. It’s a vam­pire sto­ry, but a par­tic­u­lar­ly deft one, writes Noah Char­ney at New Haven Review, one that “deals in arche­types that are the heart of good hor­ror fic­tion.” King’s sto­ries, Char­ney asserts, are “beau­ti­ful­ly-writ­ten, high­ly intel­li­gent. They hap­pen to fea­ture mon­sters of all sorts, from nat­ur­al to preter­nat­ur­al, but that is sec­ondary to their core as great sto­ries, well-told.”

King has long defend­ed pop­u­lar fic­tion to the literati—in his accep­tance speech for the Nation­al Book Award, for example—and lashed out at “the keep­ers of the idea of seri­ous lit­er­a­ture,” whom he says “have a short list of authors who are going to be allowed inside.” It may have tak­en a few years, but King got in, even­tu­al­ly pub­lish­ing in such august out­lets as The Atlantic and The New York­er. Read four sto­ries from those pub­li­ca­tions at the links below. And if you’re still in need of a good scare in the days lead­ing up to Hal­loween, make sure to check out “The Man in the Black Suit,” a short film adap­ta­tion of anoth­er sto­ry pub­lished in The New York­er in 1994.

“A Death” (The New York­er, March 2015)

Her­man Wouk Is Still Alive” (The Atlantic, May 2011)

Pre­mi­um Har­mo­ny” (The New York­er, Novem­ber, 2009)

Harvey’s Dream” (The New York­er, June 2003)

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stephen King Reveals in His First TV Inter­view Whether He Sleeps With the Lights On (1982)

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writ­ers

Stephen King Cre­ates a List of 96 Books for Aspir­ing Writ­ers to Read

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness.

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Comments (15)
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  • dstead says:

    Is it just me or do oth­ers have trou­ble find­ing and down­load­ing a link to the 6
    audio nov­els this post­ing talk about? I’d like a link that would allow
    me to select a few or all for lat­er lis­ten­ing.…
    Also the
    Open­cul­ture dai­ly e‑news has imple­ment­ed an auto open­ing of my web
    brows­er which I find painful­ly trou­ble­some. Has any­one got an idea of how to
    stop this from hap­pen­ing? Thanks in advance.

  • devans00 says:

    Can’t wait to hear the Stephen King audio books. Thanks for the links.

  • Dawn says:

    Won­der­ing where is the oth­er 4 of the 6 sto­ries im new on the com­put­er and ive read all of HP Love­craft stuff want to lis­ten to Stephen Kings

  • Cody Pruitt says:

    please add it

  • Sherryhall says:

    Can’t find the down load but­ton

  • sasha ranae 15 says:

    Hel­lo Stephen king i am writ­ing a paper on you in school i was won­der­ing if you could answer a cou­ple of ques­tions for me

    thanks for your great books

    love Sasha Maglione

  • sasha ranae 15 says:

    Once again Mr. kings i need to get info on you if that is pos­si­ble.….

    thank you for your books

    love, sasha maglione

  • sasha ranae 15 says:

    Hey i need help are you will­ing?????? Do you know stephen king most recent book?

  • Some guy says:

    Try his Face­book page. Most recent book was “End Of Watch.”

  • Krys Thoene says:

    I have been a fan since I can remem­ber. I am sure you hear this all the time but you were the inspi­ra­tion for me to go back to school her a diplo­ma and fur­ther my edu­ca­tion by major­ing in foren­sics. I have many nov­els in my 46 years of life and although a lot of them are very well writ­ten, none of them has, can, or will effect me like your nov­els. Of the incred­i­ble, riv­et­ing sto­ries I have read penned by you, not once have I felt incom­l­lete or dis­ap­point­ed. You’re writ­ings tru­ly touch me deep with­in, feel it lit­er­al­ly in my bones and soul. It would be the utmost hon­or to meet you in per­son. I’m not one to get hung up on high hopes or any­thing out of the realm of pos­si­bil­i­ty. I just felt you may like to know how you com­plete­ly changed the entire life and future out­look on life of one mere indi­vid­ual. I would also like to say Thank you. You are tru­ly a gen­uine, irre­proach­able author and human being.

  • just saying says:

    To every­one who is try­ing to reach Stephen King, I’m sure he isn’t brows­ing the com­ments of a site offer­ing his books for free and prob­a­bly does­nt know exists.

  • michael c schnelly says:

    As a child raised on Radio thrillers, I’ve always had trou­ble enjoy­ing audio books that use only one voice to play all char­ac­ters. I would love hear­ing famous nov­els read by a com­pa­ny of voice actors por­tray­ing each char­ac­ter. You would need only occa­sion­al men­tion of char­ac­ters name to keep up with the nar­ra­tive.

  • Spooky Boo's Scary Story Time says:

    It’s going to be dif­fi­cult to find Stephen King mate­r­i­al for free unless you go to your library. You prob­a­bly can check out books using the library app that I can­not think of the name of.

    He did give per­mis­sion to use this one sto­ry “Lau­rie” online. I read it to my sub­scribers legal­ly right here:


  • Spooky Boo's Scary Story Time says:

    The NoSleep pod­cast I believes does this very thing minus the famous nov­els. Usu­al­ly the sto­ries are from NoSleep on Red­dit.

  • Ron says:

    It’s not just you. I have the same prob­lem!!

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