For most of us, the biggest horror we face at work is hitting ‘reply all’ on a sensitive email by accident.
But the master of horror, Stephen King, has found the workplace a rich source of scares. Here we run through just a few of his “HR Horrors”…
1) Graveyard Shift – Warehouse
A clean-up crew of janitors is plagued by outsized, starving rats as they clear out the basement of an old warehouse. One by one they are picked off in gory style, until only one survivor remains, desperate to make it back to the surface.
2) Here There Be Tygers – School
A mean primary school teacher gets more than she bargains for when she humiliates a child in her class who needs the toilet. An unexpected visitor is hungrily awaiting her in the bathroom.
3) Needful Things – Shop
An antiques/collectibles shop opens in a small town, but the prices for the local folk’s desires turn out to be more than they can afford – and deals with the devil are struck.
4) Trucks – Lorry Park
We may be desperately short of HGVs in the UK right now, but it’s doubtful we would trade for the alternative scenario of every truck in the country suddenly becoming sentient and hungry for destruction. A bloody rampage of ten-wheelers ensues!
5) Word Processor of the Gods – Office
A grieving journalist who lost his family in a car accident discovers that his new office computer has the mysterious ability to affect reality, but the electronics in the machine are brittle and will not function for long. Who will he ‘return’ and, more importantly, who will he ‘delete’ before it finally breaks forever?
6) IT – Restaurant
There are actually several workplaces full of frights in King’s magnum opus – circuses, fairgrounds, libraries, schools – but the most memorable is without doubt the terrifying supernatural fire at the Black Spot diner and bar where the exits won’t open and all the staff and diners are trapped and quickly consumed. Barbecued customer, anyone?
7) The Stand – Medical Laboratory
In the wake of Covid-19, deadly global pandemics don’t seem quite the dystopian impossible nightmare they once did, but Captain Trips was still quite the super-flu in That Stand, starting in a medical laboratory before wiping out 96.4% of Earth’s human population within weeks.
8) Doctor Sleep – Nursing Home/Hospice
A strange cat foretells which elderly resident will be next to pass by sitting on their laps in the evening. Don’t worry – it’s peaceful. Until the cat begins sitting on the laps of young staff members and they begin dying in slightly more painful, unusual circumstances.
You can find these and other Stephen King tales at Amazon.co.uk or any good bookseller.
Have you read any scary books or seen any scary movies about the workplace that stayed with you? Tell us about them in our Halloween Competition! If yours is chosen and published in our next blog, we’ll send you a Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Hamper!