King first began scaring the bejesus out of television viewers in 1979 when his second novel, "Salem's Lot", was adapted into a TV movie. Starring "Starsky & Hutch" actor David Soul, this two-part film was about a novelist and a young horror fan who combine forces to rid their New England town of blood-sucking vampires.
The movie was nominated for three Primetime Emmys and was remade again in 2004 with an all-star cast including Rob Lowe, Donald Sutherland and James Cromwell.
Clowns have always been a little off-putting, but they didn't become truly terrifying until 1990 with the premiere of "It".
Based upon King's 1986 bestseller, this two-part ABC miniseries told the tale of an evil demon who takes on the form of a circus clown.
Like many of King's works, It received mixed reviews. Many critics derided the miniseries for its lackadaisical pacing and poor casting while others were full of praise for Tim Curry's performance as the production's signature ghoul.
Post-apocalyptic stories may be common fare on television now, but they were practically unheard of in 1994 when "The Stand" premiered on ABC.
Starring Rob Lowe, Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald, this four-part miniseries was a classic tale of good vs. evil that had viewers perched on the edge of their seats from the opening scene to the closing credits.
Hailed by critics as "six hours of unadulterated brilliance," The Stand went on to win a pair of Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Mixing and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup.
King gave nervous flyers even more to worry about in 1995 with the premiere of "The Langoliers", a two-part miniseries on ABC.
Starring Dean Stockwell and Bronson Pinchot, this mile-high thriller told the tale of an airplane whose passengers mysteriously vanish into thin air.
"The Langoliers" received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Sound Mixing but was largely panned by critics who denounced the production for its dull dialogue and laughable special effects.
The theatrical version of "The Shining" is so revered by horror fans that it's easy to forget that the 1980 film had one very vocal detractor: Stephen King.
The Portland native was highly critical of director Stanley Kubrick and denounced him repeatedly for turning the film “into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones.” The bitter disappointment stayed with King for the better part of two decades until 1997 when he resurrected "The Shining" as a three-part miniseries on ABC.
Starring Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay, the series had more ghouls and gore than its predecessor, but lacked the nuances and hypnotic quality of Kubrick's version. Its inability to live up to the original was doubly damning and the miniseries was written off by many critics who viewed it as a pointless exercise in vanity.
"The X-Files" was at the peak of its popularity in 1998 when executive producer Chris Carter convinced King to write an episode of the hit series. The result was "Chinga", a chilling stand-alone story about a demonic doll that compels the residents of a New England town to commit suicide.
"Chinga" was seen by 21.33 million viewers and has since been praised by Television Without Pity as "The X-Files'" ninth "Most Nightmare-Inducing" episode.
King took viewers to the real home of evil in 2002 with "Rose Red", a macabre three-part miniseries about a group of psychics who spend the night in a haunted house.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a clever tale to the end,” "Rose Red" received numerous nominations from the Emmys, the Visual Effects Society and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
King traded in haunted houses for haunted hospitals in 2004 with the creation of "Kingdom Hospital".
Based upon Lars Von Trier's Danish miniseries, "Riget", this creepy ABC program starred Andrew McCarthy and Ed Begley Jr. as a pair of doctors working in a medical centre overrun by sinister spirits.
The program's hour-long premiere was a huge hit with viewers and critics alike, but ratings dropped significantly over the next 12 weeks and the show was not renewed for a second season.
"Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King"
King's bestselling collection of short stories was turned into a haunting anthology in the summer of 2006 with the introduction of "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King."
Airing on TNT, this eight-part series featured an eclectic mix of tales, including one particularly memorable story about a small town filled with the ghosts of rock and roll legends.
"Nightmares & Dreamscapes" was well received by critics and went on to win a pair of Emmys for Outstanding Music Composition and Outstanding Visual Effects.
'Bag of Bones'
King's work returned to the small screen again in 2011 with "Bag of Bones", a two-part A&E miniseries about a grief-stricken novelist who is haunted by the ghost of his deceased wife.
Starring Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George and Jason Priestley, the series attracted 6.4 million viewers and received glowing reviews from publications like Entertainment Weekly, who praised Bag of Bones for being “creepily engaging.”