10 Mind Blowing Ways the Entire Stephen King Universe Is Connected

  • March 04, 2014
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"11/22/63" is Also Connected to "Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption"

The story of 11/22/63 is that a young English teacher in Maine is shown a doorway to the past, which will allow him to go back to 1958 and live for five years in that era, in order to travel to Dallas, Texas, to thwart Lee Harvey Oswald’s attempt to assassinate John F. Kennedy. However, in order to make sure that stopping Oswald will in fact change things for the better, the teacher does a test run by stopping another, smaller atrocity, which is a horrific murder…in the town of Derry. By the way, it’s mentioned several times that criminals in 1958 in Derry were terrified of winding up in Shawshank Prison. That means that, amazingly, Shawshank Redemption is connected to the Dark Tower.


"Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption" is Connected to "Apt Pupil"

It does sort of makes sense that Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption would be connected to Apt Pupil, since they were part of the same short story connection. Anyway, everyone knows the story of Shawshank thanks to the classic movie, but people may be a little less familiar with Apt Pupil despite it being a movie that starred Ian McKellen. It is revealed that Andy Dufresne knew the Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander – the character McKellen played – and that Andy helped Dussander buy stocks for him a year before he was falsely convicted of murdering his wife and winding up in Shawshank.


"Dark Tower" Also Has Direct Connections to "Hearts in Atlantis" and "Salem's Lot"

Late in the Dark Tower series, some very familiar characters are introduced who become allies to Roland and his group, or ka-tet if you want to use King’s favorite made up language. One of them is Father Callahan, the preacher from Salem’s Lot. In fact, a big chunk of book five of the Dark Tower is told in flashback by Callahan, as he goes over some of the run-ins he had with vampires over the years. Another character who becomes central is Ted Brautigan, who was central to one of the stories in Hearts in Atlantis.


"Hearts in Atlantis" is Connected to "From a Buick 8"

Throughout the story “Low Men in Yellow Coats,” Ted Brautigan was being pursued by, well, Low Men in yellow coats. At the end of that story, Ted is taken away by the Low Men. In another connection to the Dark Tower, the story closes with a grown Bobby – the other central figure of the story, who befriended Ted when he was a kid – receiving an envelope filled with red rose petals from the area surrounding the Dark Tower. The Low Men connect Hearts in Atlantis to the book From a Buick 8, as mysterious men who fit the description of the Low Men are known to have driven the Buick 8 and cars like it. One such man, a mysterious man dressed all in black? Oh, there’s speculation he’s actually Randall Flagg. Yep, that guy again. Which makes sense, since the Low Men are basically the henchmen of the Crimson King.


And Finally, a Secret Organization is Responsible for Everything

Throughout the Stephen King universe, a shadowy organization known as The Shop is mentioned and appears to be behind the scenes, pulling strings and screwing around with horrible experiments that always end in disaster. One such experiment is that they gave the titular character in Firestarter her powers, and another was that they became involved in an operation called the Arrowhead Project. The Arrowhead Project is responsible for creating the rip in reality that allows the monsters to enter in and terrorize the world in The Mist. The rip in reality, by the way, would appear to be a “thinny” – which is a spot in the world where the boundary between one world and another is weak and could be easily punctured. You know what other work by King has thinnies? You guessed it, the Dark Tower. Yet more evidence that in King’s universe, literally everything is connected.

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