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Children of the Corn

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  7,343 ratings  ·  290 reviews
Driving through the cornfields in rural Nebraska, Burt and Vicky run over a young boy—only to discover that they may not be responsible for his death. Out in the corn, something is watching them, and help is nowhere to be found.

From the unrivaled master of horror and the supernatural, Stephen King. “Children of the Corn,” first collected in the extraordinary collection Nig
ebook, 50 pages
Published (first published March 1977)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,343 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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Fantastically creepy, eerie, and spooky short story. What it lacked in length, it more than made up for in atmosphere. There's the desolate town of Gatlin, Nebraska. The strong sense of foreboding in the air. Not to mention the cornfields. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. ...more
Brett C
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
I really enjoyed this creepy short story. The story pretty much follows the movie but does a better job at delivering the eerie Christian-fanatic mixed with pagan elements.

The creepy part for me was when main character Burt goes into the abandoned church. The imagery, the altered Bible verses from the Book of Job 38:1-4 to include the verbiage 'He Who Walks Behind The Rows', and the books titled:
'Thus, Let the Iniquitious Be Cut Down So That The Ground May Be Fertile Again, Saith The Lord God o
 jd 지훈
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: positive
CW/TW: physical violence, death, murder, gore

"You are now leaving Gatlin, nicest little town in Nebraska—or anywhere else! Drop in anytime!"

Gatlin, Nebraska (1970s) — Determined to fix their marriage and to seek for a fresh start, the struggling couple Burt and Vicky drive through the cornfields in rural Nebraska for their vacation in California and for a visit to Vicky's brother. During the drive, Burt accidentally runs over a young boy who was thrown over the road and whose throat was slit, wi
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I chose to end the month with a final Stephen King short story, picking one that mixes a bucolic setting with a spine-tingling plot. When Burt and Vicky run over a boy in rural Nebraska, they are panicked. However, once they examine the boy, they discover that the car accident was not the primary cause of the boy’s injuries and death, as his neck has been slit. Driving into Gatlin, they try to alert someone as to what has happened, only finding remnants of a corn-based religious group, strong on ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something happened back in 1964......

Embarking on an extended road trip, Burt and Vicky continually argue about everything and their troubled marriage...but soon find there is much more to worry the unknown object that has just vanished "under the T-Bird's bumper."

As the vacationing couple investigate what they hit on the deserted road, a feeling of unrest overcomes them..."someone's watching us"...and they hurriedly get underway, with their burden, to the nearest to

Sadie Hartmann
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had an itch to re read this story and my goodness it's a good one. This is one of those shorts you wish was a novella or even a full novel--there's plenty here! I love this crazy fighting couple that happen upon a freaky little ghost down full of wicked children! And what's in the Corn??? The one who walks behind the rows... ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to Gatlin, nicest town in Nebraska

After running over a child, Burt and Vicky head into the nearby town of Gatlin, Nebraska to look for help. This is widely considered to have been a bad move.

This short was excellent. It's well-written with plenty of memorable moments and there is near constant tension. Pretty damn creepy too.
May 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Childen of the Corn is the second story I read from Stephen King's 1978 collection, Night Shift. This short story is such a classic Stephen King horror. It has its bloody and somewhat gory moments. The overall creepiness and ominous atmosphere made this book so immersive although it is just a short read. Overall, it was a solid story. ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Highly creepy and well told in such a short amount of pages. I wish it were a full length book!
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This review can also be found here!

I got into a huge Stephen King mood the other day, so I started searching around. This one was there for Kindle for, like, $1. I had to. I just had to. So, I got it because I remember liking the movie and I forgot he actually wrote it. (Isn’t it crazy how you can forget his huge body of work?)

But, since this is such a short story, this is going to be a pretty short review.

I thought it was a solid story. It had a great basis and it was interesting the whole time
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror Short Story
Recommended to Jason by: Night Shift by Stephen King
I finally made it to the main reason I wanted to read Night Shift, and it was worth the wait. "Children of the Corn" is one of my favorite Stephen King movies. Yeah, yeah, I know it sucks, but that doesn't stop me from loving it anyway. Turns out they took a few liberties with the original story.

Stephen King Surprise Face photo StephenKingSurprise.jpg
"You're kidding!"

Nope, afraid not. However, I really like the story version better than the movie. First off the story in the book makes much more sense, and suspension of disbelief isn't strained to
I really only love a few Stephen King books. I always preferred John Saul when I was going through my horror period. This one however was not bad.

Creepy children are a great subject of horror and I did enjoy this book moderately. My favorite by King will always be Thinner. I saw the movie as well and besides the creepy kids eerie resemblement to the Trump kids, it was not very good. I find King's books are always better then the movies.

This is one I plan to reread soon.
catherine ♡
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good one. But I still love corn too much to be scared.
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really creepy short story that left me on edge as I read it. I saw the old film in the late 70s or earl 80s and it blew my mind back then but I never got around to reading it.

Good things come to those that wait !!!
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Quickly creating ominous atmosphere is a remarkable talent of the short story writer. The proper short story does not waste time procrastinating what it is ultimately attempting to achieve. Stephen King’s Children of the Corn creates the bleak spooky atmosphere of an menacing an immanent doom right from the start. Vicky and Burt, a married couple attempting to rekindle their love for one another are driving coast to coast for vacation. They are in Nebraska driving through an endless sight of cor ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

fulfilling my shortie Spooktober challenge to read one spooky short story a day.

Day one: The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells
Day two: Everything's Fine by Matthew Pridham
Day three: It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels by Gregor Xane
Day four: Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen King
Day five: The Curse of Yig by H.P. Lovecraft
Day six: The Spook House by Ambrose Bierce
Day seven: An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
Day eight: The Murders in
Dylan Perry
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing the Children of the Corn movie last year and now having read the story, I'm happy to say they're apples and oranges.

The film does the short story a disservice. This was far more interesting and better executed than a tale of creepy cornfields has any right to be. Though, it's not perfect. Adverbs are littered throughout. And the final scene is unnecessary, and mostly there for exposition. When I read the line, "And here, in the heartland of Nebraska, in the corn, there was nothing
Shawn Deal
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I read two stories for Halloween every year. This story, obviously, and the Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe. Both stories are told with a subtle craft of the writers at the peak of their abilities. In my opinion, this is the best of Stephen King’s short stories. It is certainly my personal favorite. Where the story does show its age a bit, it is still something horrifying to even today’s standards. The religious mainia that strikes a group of children centered around corn, is so well draw ...more
The Grim Reader
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic horror short from King.

A classic from King! It's been years since I read this. Fear the children in rural Nebraska and He Who Walks Behind The Rows! I really wish this had been expanded into a novel. Fab.
Mike Narvaez
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an amazing and creepy - very scary - short story I wish it were a long novel. King manages to tell in just a few pages what many authors couldn't do in hundreds of pages. Just another example that you don't need many pages to tell great stories. Recommended for all. Just avoid reading it in the night. I learned that the hard way. ...more
Quentin Wallace
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The overall creepiness of this story rivals almost anything I've read. It's almost more of what you never saw than what actually happens. If you are a fan of atmospheric horror you should like this story. Just eerie. ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story just made me realize where all small town cult horror films come from, a horror classic, perfect king stuff of nightmares, love it!
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published 1977. 50 pages

Seemed like a novel that was just dropped. Seemed incomplete. I guess because I wanted more.
I felt unsatisfied.

Even still, there is something I love about King's early books that is missing in his newer stuff. The older ones have a grittiness to them. Their less polished, less, refined. More human. Darker.

Would love to see this one as a full novel, but I suppose that's not gonna happen.

Content concerns: (view spoiler)
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Buck Owens
Tammy Wynette
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms - Alan Jackson
The Phantom of the Opera
Allison Faught
Awesome short story!!! Things don’t really ‘happen’ until about halfway through, but man, this story kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I’m going to make this read a yearly Halloween tradition!
Le Petit
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: King fans, short story fans, horror fans

An eerie story about a couple who accidentally run over a dead body, seeking to report the incident to the authorities they find themselves in a quiet, deserted town seemingly frozen in a time capsule. All is not well in this sleepy town where the corn grows lush and in perfect, neat rows.

Listening to this really heightened the creep factor to the story. I also really liked how in the end everyone is a victim to the corn.

4/5 - this is the type of King book I like.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
i have questions!! I love short stories, but this one should've been longer!!!

A couple embark on a road trip to California in hopes that this will save their marriage. They make it to Gatlin, Nebraska and the wife is immediately on high alert. While fighting again, he becomes distracted trying to prove her wrong and he does not notice when a child runs in their path and they run him over. Once out of the car, he notices that the child's throat was slit ...and the husband is determined to hand ov
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I had a little bit of time, had this laying around and although I've seen the movie quite a few times I had never gotten around to reading the short story (about 30 pages) Children of the Corn.

Some of the fun was gone because I knew the premise but enough was different in the movie vs. the short story that it was still very enjoyable - in fact after the initial setup, most everything about every characters "ending" was totally different.

Trying not to spoil anything so I'll just say that I really
Jeff Swystun
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
King channels Shirley Jackson in this well known short story. Unfortunately the campy movie version and sequels has turned it into a series of pop culture jokes. When I first read this in the collection Night Shift it gave me the willies. I puzzled over how a small town could go under such a creepy transformation without going noticed...think hard about that after you read it. The story originally appeared in Penthouse in 1977. I had forgot that King made the main character a Vietnam vet. That s ...more
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

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