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The Most Significant Stephen King References in Hulu’s Castle Rock

by THN

This post is dark and full of spoilers. If you haven’t caught up with the latest episodes of Castle Rock, scroll down to the end. You’ll avoid the spoilers, but get some pretty useful advice on video streaming.

If you’re a true Stephen King and Castle Rock fan, you’ve probably already watched the whole season. But, have you found all the Easter eggs from the master of horror’s bounteous bibliography?

Here’s a chance to check your eagle eyes, so buckle in. It’s going to be a spooky ride.

The Shawshank Redemption

A great part of Castle Rock takes place in the well-known Shawshank prison. But, did you catch the “bullet hole” reference?

When Theresa Porter comes to the prison, a guard giving her the tour of the place mentions it. He says that the bullet hole is still visible, referencing the suicide of Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption.

The Green Mile

This is not an apparent reference, but still unmissable for hardcore Stephen King fans. That mouse making its way around the Shawshank prison in the very first episode? Doesn’t it remind you of Mr. Jingles from The Green Mile?

Except here, the mouse dies. Sadly, John Coffey wasn’t around to bring the little creature back to life.

Needful Things

The Mellow Tiger is a loud shout-out to Needful Things, but also the newspaper clippings from the first episode. There’s a “Shopkeeper Missing After Oddity Store Fire” headline, referencing an oddity store owner from the book.

Let’s not forget about Alan Pangborn, the now-retired sheriff from both Needful Things and The Dark Half.


Another reference found in the newspaper clippings. There was a “Rabid Dog Tears Through Town” headline, referencing the rabid dog from the novel Cujo.

Warden Dale Lacy makes another Cujo reference when he says “Remember the dog?” Yes, Lacy, we all do.

The Shining

There are references to this terrifying novel in the opening credits, but also throughout the show. In the credits, you can briefly see the number of the infamous Room 217. Blink, and you’ll miss it!

The more obvious reference has to do with Jackie Torrance. We know that Jack Torrance was her uncle, and we now know that she knows her axes as well!

The Body

Stephen King’s short story The Body also found its way to Castle Rock. Yet another newspaper clipping shows the headline “Anonymous Tip Led to Boy’s Body,” giving the nod to the story.

There’s also the home of Vincent Desjardins, one of the bullies from the story. You had the chance of meeting this character in the Oscar-nominated adaption Stand by Me.

Pet Sematary

You remember Ruth Deaver feeding dead dogs, thinking they’re still alive? To help her see that the dog she’s seeing is dead, Alan Pangborn digs it up. As you probably know, this is a great nod to the horror novel Pet Sematary.


Who could ever forget the bone-chilling clown Pennywise from Stephen King’s best-selling horror novel IT? It is the stuff of nightmares, responsible for many sleepless nights.

The events in Castle Rock take place in 2018, but there are many flashbacks to 1991. That’s a 27-year time difference, exactly how long Pennywise hibernates between killings.

Also, the fact that Bill Skarsgård is back makes it all the more hair-raising. He played Pennywise in the 2017 movie adaption IT: Chapter One. Coincidence? Time will tell.

The Dead Zone

When talking about the rabid dog in Episode 2, Dale Lacy also mentions “the strangler.” This is a shout-out to Frank Dodd, the murderer from The Dead Zone.

Also, in Episode 4, there’s the Molly Bloom’s house. The house belonged to Dodd in The Dead Zone.

Speaking of Molly, her psychic powers are a nod to the abilities of Johnny Smith. He’s the main protagonist of The Dead Zone who can see, and even change, the future.

Children of the Corn

You certainly remember the haunting, masked children in Episode 3. Now, they may not be a direct reference to Children of the Corn, but they do bring some eerie memories.

Streaming Castle Rock

Castle Rock should be available in many regions as it comes from Hulu. However, if you’re located in the area where accessing it causes troubles, try using a VPN. There are plenty of service providers available in the market, so it’s up to you to choose one according to your needs. There’s also a possibility to use mobile VPN if you prefer streaming on your smartphone.

As you probably already know, Castle Rock is returning for a second season. So, get ready to spot even more references in the following episodes.

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