QuickCheck: Did a Harry Potter villain give a famed horror author the creeps?

A file picture of Dolores Umbridge, who was played by actress Imelda Staunton in the movie "Harry Potter and the Order of teh Phoenix".

STEPHEN King is known the world over as one of the greatest horror fiction authors. His works have been adapted into films and have successfully scared many. However, is it true that there is a Harry Potter villain, who is not Voldemort, that gave King the heebie-jeebies?



With screen adaptations of his works, like “The Shining”, and the more recent “It”, Stephen King has gained a reputation as being one of the greatest in the horror genre. Therefore, it came as quite the shocker that King considers one of the villains in the Harry Potter series as scary.

He said, “The gently smiling Dolores Umbridge, with her girlish voice, toad-like face, and clutching, stubby fingers, is the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter.”

That was quite a compliment coming from the man who conjured up Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

From her infamous tiny cough, to her magic and evil quilt, fans of the books and films can attest to the strong hate-slash-fear most felt for Umbridge.

King said he believes that only great character design can illicit such a visceral response from readers and viewers. While King was reading the novel, he said he was terrified by Umbridge’s power over him as well as her manipulative skills.

“One needn’t be a child to remember The Really Scary Teacher, the one who terrified us so badly that we dreaded the walk to school in the morning, and we turn the pages partly in fervent hopes that she will get her comeuppance... but also in growing fear of what she will get up to next.

"For surely a teacher capable of banning Harry Potter from playing Quidditch is capable of anything,” he said.

Moral of the story: There is always something that scares the scarers.


1. https://www.thedigitalfix.com/harry-potter/one-villain-scared-stephen-king-not-voldemort

2. https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/vkz0n/til_that_the_novelist_stephen_king_said_that/

3. https://www.looper.com/1004733/even-stephen-king-was-chilled-by-this-horrifying-harry-potter-villain/

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