It (novel)

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It cover.jpg
First edition cover
Author Stephen King
Cover artist Bob Giusti (illustration)
Amy Hill (lettering)
Country United States
Genre Horror novel
Publisher Viking
Publication date
September 1986
Media type Print Hardcover
Pages 1,138
ISBN 0-670-81302-8

It is a 1986 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The story follows the exploits of seven children as they are terrorized by an eponymous being, which exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown in order to attract its preferred prey of young children. The novel is told through narratives alternating between two time periods, and is largely told in the third-person omniscient mode. It deals with themes which would eventually become King staples: the power of memory, childhood trauma, and the ugliness lurking behind a façade of traditional small-town values. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1987, and received nominations for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards that same year.[1] Publishers Weekly listed It as the best-selling book in the United States in 1986.



In October 1957, a six-year-old boy named George Denbrough chases his paper boat into a storm drain in Derry. To his surprise, the boat is caught in the sewer by Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The clown offers him the boat and a balloon, then kills George when he reaches into the drain to retrieve both his paper boat and the balloon from Pennywise's hands. His death unleashes a series of murders and disappearances of children in Derry.

Eight months later, during the summer of 1958, six children – Bill Denbrough (George's older brother), Ben Hanscom, Eddie Kaspbrak, Beverly Marsh, Richie Tozier and Stan Uris – are drawn together, mainly as a result of harassment from Henry Bowers, the town bully, and his friends. They take to calling themselves "The Losers Club," a reference to their social class as poor kids and their status as outcasts in school.

The children start experiencing strange and frightening events. One evening, Bill is looking at a picture of George, which suddenly turns and winks at him. When he tells of it to his friends, Ben admits to having seen and been nearly seized by a mummy the previous January, and Eddie recounts being attacked by a leper at an abandoned house. At first, Richie scoffs at the stories, but later he and Bill see a picture of Pennywise in George's yearbook that comes to life. They come to believe that the entity is responsible for the killings of children and decide to shoot it at the abandoned house where Eddie saw the leper, but end up only narrowly escaping being killed themselves. A few days later, while running from Henry's gang, Richie is attacked by the entity in the form of Paul Bunyan, but again manages to flee. Beverly hears the voices of the murdered children down the drain and witnesses a fountain of blood spurt from the sink. Although initially skeptical, Stan later admits that in earlier spring, he witnessed waterlogged corpses in the town’s standpipe.

As the summer goes on, the six kids realize that they are dealing with an extremely dangerous entity, which they dub "It", as it seems to be able to shape-shift according to what its victims fear the most. It mainly seems to only appear to children, and the Losers' Club decides that it is their responsibility to stop It. Their club gains its seventh and final member after they save Mike Hanlon from Henry's gang in a rock fight. Henry, who is not used to being defeated by the Losers, swears to kill them.

The children tell Mike about It, and he recounts a story of being chased by an enormous, trailer-sized bird in a field. He also brings the Losers an album of his father's old pictures of Derry, many of them showing Pennywise, who comes to life in one of them and threatens to kill all of the children. Bill, who has become the leader of the group, discovers an ancient ritual known as the Ritual of Chüd, in which a monster and mortal lock tongues and attempt to make the other laugh. He believes this ritual will allow them to defeat and kill It. With the group at a loss for what to do, Ben comes up with the idea of an old Indian smoke lodge ritual to induce visions and give guidance. When the idea is put into practice, Richie and Mike hallucinate (although the event is implied to be akin to time travel), see It arrive on Earth in prehistoric times and realize It has been here for millions of years. They express doubt over their ability to battle the monster.

Later, while Eddie is walking home from the pharmacy, Henry, Vic, Belch and a psychotic boy named Patrick Hockstetter, ambush and attack him. Henry breaks Eddie's arm in retaliation for the rock fight. When Patrick tries to dump dead bodies of animals he suffocated out of a refrigerator, he is killed by It in the form of flying leeches infesting the refrigerator, which Beverly partially sees. At first believing that it is all fake, Beverly soon learns otherwise when she is attacked by It in the form of leeches. One bites her, though she manages to escape.

After buying a first-aid kit and treating Beverly's wound, the Losers return to the refrigerator and discover a message from It written in Patrick's blood, warning them to stop before It kills them. Filled with rage, Bill vows to kill It at any cost.

After Eddie is released from the hospital, the Losers get together and Ben makes two slugs out of silver, believing the cinematic convention that silver will kill monsters. They go back to the abandoned house, where It attacks them in werewolf form, primarily focusing its efforts on Bill. After savagely slashing Ben across the abdomen when he tries to defend Bill, It is driven away after being injured by the silver slugs, but not before vowing to kill them all.

Later in mid-August, Henry, whose sanity had been steadily eroding the entire summer, is given a switchblade knife by Pennywise. After murdering his crazed and abusive father, Henry takes Vic and Belch to the Barrens and attacks the Losers, driving them into the sewers. The three follow them. Under Derry, It attacks the bullies in the form of Frankenstein's monster, decapitating Vic and mutilating Belch's face, with Henry managing to escape. The Losers press on and confront It in the form of a giant eye, which they successfully repel. They finally come upon It's lair, where it resides in the form of a giant spider, and, in what appears to be the Ritual of Chüd, the Losers encounter It and its natural enemy, The Turtle. Bill defeats It with some advice from The Turtle and It flees deeper into its lair. The Losers then gradually realize that they are lost in the sewers, and that with their common enemy having fled they have lost their purpose as a group, and begin to succumb to panic. In order to stop the group from panicking, Beverly has sexual intercourse with each of the boys. The gang finally escape from the sewers, emerging at sunset. Stan cuts their palms with a shard of a soda bottle and the seven make a blood oath to return to Derry if It should ever return.


In July 1984, the mutilated corpse of a homosexual man named Adrian Mellon is found from the canal after a fight with a group of homophobic youths had culminated with him being thrown off a bridge. Although the victim's boyfriend and one of the teens claims that he saw a clown kill Mellon under the bridge, neither of them admit this in court and all three teens are found guilty of the crime. A series of violent child murders hits Derry following Mellon's death, alerting Mike, now the town's librarian and the only one of the Losers Club to remain in Derry, who sees similarities between the recent killings and those from 1958. He calls up his six friends and reminds them of their childhood promise to return. Although they recall the events of 1958 only dimly, five of them return to Derry. However, Stan, who is implied to still remember the entire ordeal, commits suicide by slitting his wrists while taking a bath. He writes the word "IT" in his blood on the shower wall with his dying strength.

The remaining members of the Losers Club meet at a Chinese restaurant for dinner, where, after a long meal and stories from the intervening years, Mike tells them about his research into It. It awakens once roughly every twenty-seven years for twelve to sixteen months at a time to feed on children before going into slumber again. He suggests that, due directly to their intervention in the summer of 1958, they injured It so badly that the cycle, which usually came to an end in the winter months of the year, stopped abruptly and prematurely in August. The group holds a vote in which they decided to attempt to kill It once and for all. Mike suggests that before deciding exactly what to do, each Loser takes a walk around Derry to begin to gradually remember the events of 1958. As they finish the meal, their fortune cookies are revealed to contain a multitude of disgusting things, such as a human eye, signalling that It knows they're back.

While walking around Derry, many of the Losers witness manifestations of It. Ben goes to the library, his favorite place in Derry as a child, and sees It, first as Pennywise and then as a vampire. Eddie goes to an old baseball field and is attacked by It in the form of the leper that pursued him in his youth. Beverly goes back to her father's house and is greeted warmly by a kindly old woman who turns out to be It, who then takes the form of her father. Richie goes to a statue of Paul Bunyan and It appears to him there after Richie recalls that It tried to kill him in the form of the statue back in 1958. The four all escape danger. Bill, while not seeing It, does find his old childhood bike in a junk shop and purchases it.

Unknown to the Losers, three other people are also converging on Derry: Bill's worried wife, A-list movie actress Audra Phillips; Beverly's abusive husband, Tom Rogan; and Henry Bowers, who is driven by It to escape the mental institution where he resides, having been convicted for the murder of his father and the children killed by It back in 1958.

The Losers meet at Mike's library after closing time and reminisce about the summer of 1958. Afterwards, the Losers leave for their hotel rooms. Mike stays at the Library a little longer and is confronted by Henry. After Mike briefly taunts Henry, stating that Pennywise will most likely kill him after he kills the Losers, they fight and Henry stabs him in the leg. Mike badly injures Henry with a letter opener but Henry is able to escape, and Mike, using his belt as a tourniquet, calls the hospital and successfully gets help despite Pennywise's attempts to block him. Henry, with the guidance of It (in the form of Belch's reanimated corpse) goes to the hotel and attacks Eddie. Henry successfully breaks into Eddie's room, but Eddie manages to disarm and kill Henry by impaling him with a broken glass bottle.

Meanwhile, It gets Tom Rogan to kidnap Audra. Tom brings Audra to It's lair under the city. Upon perceiving It in true form (“the deadlights”), Audra becomes catatonic and Tom drops dead in shock. Bill, Beverly, Richie, Eddie and Ben, after calling the library and finding out that Mike may be near death and understanding that the town—which is essentially under the control of It—will not help them, realize that they are being forced into another confrontation with It. They descend into the sewers.

While in the sewers, the remaining Losers use their strength as a group to send energy to a hospitalized Mike, who fights off a nurse that is under the control of It. Later, deep within the sewers, It appears as George but Bill overcomes the illusion. They reach It's lair again. Bill and Richie engage It in the Ritual of Chüd again and manage to severely injure It. Eddie helps them and saves their lives, but he is killed by It in the process, having his arm bitten off, eventually bleeding to death. Beverly stays with Eddie and the traumatized Audra, who has been woven into a giant spider web by It. When Bill, Ben and Richie get to It's lair, they discover It has laid eggs and they're about to hatch. Ben stays behind to destroy the eggs while Bill and Richie chase down It. Bill and Richie follow It deeper into the cavern and attack. After Richie wounds It with his voices and fists, Bill crushes It's heart between his hands, finally killing the monster. At the same time a storm sweeps through Derry and the downtown area collapses. Later, Mike, writing in a journal, concludes that Derry is finally dying.

The novel ends with the various Losers returning home and their old lives. As a sign that It really is dead and a watchman is no longer needed, Mike's memory of the events of the book also begin to fade, much to his relief. Ben and Beverly leave together, Richie heads back to his DJ career and Bill is the last to leave Derry. Before he goes, he takes Audra, who is still catatonic, for a ride on Bill's bike, "Silver", hoping that they can beat her catatonia the same way he and the rest of the Losers beat It for the first time in 1958. They succeed, and the story ends with Bill musing over his forgotten childhood and the friends with whom that time was shared.


The Losers' Club[edit]

The Losers are the children who are united by their unhappy lives, their misery at being the victims of bullying by Henry Bowers and their eventual struggle to overcome It. Two characters, Richie and Bev, appear in King's novel 11-22-63 when Jake goes back to Derry in 1958.

  • William "Bill" Denbrough: Bill is considered the leader of the group, as he wants to avenge the death of his younger brother, George. He feels partly responsible for his death as it was he who made George the boat and sent him outside to play with it. He has a bad stuttering issue, which his mother attributes to a car accident that occurred when he was three years old. However, the issue got worse after George's death and it is implied to be psychosomatic rather than physical. He is the most determined and resourceful of the Losers and is the one who, both in 1958 and 1985, confronts It in the Realm of Chüd and eventually destroys It. As an adult, he becomes a successful writer and marries film star Audra Phillips, who bears a strong resemblance to Beverly.
  • Benjamin "Ben" Hanscom: Ben is a highly intelligent boy who, before joining the Losers' Club, often spent his free time reading at the public library. He is also obese, and due to this has become a frequent victim of Henry Bowers. His mechanical skills become useful to the Losers, from making two silver slugs to building an underground clubhouse. He develops a crush on Beverly Marsh and the two leave Derry together after the 1985 defeat of It. As he grows up, he sheds his excess weight and becomes an internationally renowned architect.
  • Beverly "Bev" Marsh (later Rogan): The only female in the group, she is a tomboyish redhead on whom each of the boys have a crush at some point of the story. She is from the poorest part of Derry, and is frequently abused by her father. In 1958, she develops a crush on Bill Denbrough. Her skill with a slingshot is a key factor in battling It. As an adult, she becomes a successful fashion designer in Chicago, but endures several abusive relationships, culminating in her marriage to Tom Rogan, who sees her as a sex object and disapproves of her chain smoking, using it as an excuse to beat her up. She subsequently departs Derry with Ben following the death of her husband (who was used by It to capture Audra).
  • Richard "Richie" Tozier: Known as "Trashmouth", Richie is the Losers' most lighthearted member, always cracking jokes and doing impersonations or "Voices", which prove very powerful weapons against It. He is "too intelligent for his own good" and channels his boredom in hyper-active wisecracking, to the point of getting in to trouble. His flippant remark to Henry Bowers leads to almost getting beaten up by Henry and his friends. He is the most devoted to keeping the group together as he sees seven as a magical number and believes the group should have no more, no less. In adulthood, he is a successful disc jockey in Los Angeles. As the DJ, he uses his once-annoying and unrealistic voices as one of his main attractions. He has bad eyesight and wears thick glasses as a child, but changes to contact lenses as an adult.
  • Edward "Eddie" Kaspbrak: Eddie is a frail and asthmatic hypochondriac, who carries his inhaler with him everywhere. His father died when he was very young, and his mother is domineering and constantly worries about his health. Later in the story, it is revealed that Eddie's asthma is psychosomatic: the pharmacist has been all along giving him water instead of medicine in his inhaler. The root of Eddie's problems is his mother, who has Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Her constant worrying about his health has been a way to bully him into caring for her. When Henry and his friends break his arm and his mother tries to prevent the Losers from visiting Eddie in the hospital, he finally stands up to his mother and tells her that he is no longer the helpless kid she thinks he is. As an adult, he runs a successful limousine business in New York, but is married to a woman, Myra, who is very similar to his mother. He also finds the strength to defend himself from Henry Bowers, eventually killing him in self-defense with a broken bottle, even though in the fight his arm is re-broken in the same spot Henry broke it in a scuffle when they were kids. He bleeds to death in the sewers after his arm is bitten off, ultimately dying in the gang's arms.
  • Michael "Mike" Hanlon: Mike is the last to join the Losers. He is the only African-American in the group and lives with his parents on a large farm. He goes to a different school from the other kids due to his Baptist faith. Mike is racially persecuted by Henry Bowers, whose father holds a long-standing grudge against Mike's father. Mike meets The Losers when they help him fight back against Bowers in a massive rock fight. His father kept an album filled with photos that were important to Derry's history, including several of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. He is the only one of the Losers to stay behind in Derry (and thus the only one to retain his memory of the events of 1958) and turns into the town librarian. He researches Derry history and It, and is the one who beckons the others back when the killings begin again in 1985. He is seriously wounded by Henry and nearly dies. He later recovers from his wounds but like the others starts to lose his memory of the experience. It was later revealed in Insomnia that Mike continued as a librarian and was the boss of one of that book's primary protagonists in 1993.
  • Stanley "Stan" Uris: Stan is the most skeptical member of the Club. He is Jewish and is persecuted by Henry Bowers due to this reason. Logic, order, and cleanliness are deeply ingrained in his psyche. He is the least willing to accept that It actually exists and relies on logic more than anything else. As an adult, he becomes a partner in a large Atlanta-based accounting firm and marries Patty Blum, a teacher. However, upon receiving Mike's phone call in 1985, he commits suicide by slitting his wrists in the bathtub and writing "IT" in his blood on the wall. He chose death over returning to Derry to face the ancient terror despite being the one to slice the Losers' palms in a blood oath. It is also implied in the book that Stan remembers more about the children's encounters with It than the others do, sometimes commenting about the Turtle and other events from his time in Derry, though he claims that he doesn't remember what those phrases mean. It can be implied throughout the story that he was psychic to a mild degree (accurately predicting which job his wife should apply for, a higher sensitivity to It's activities, frequent references from the other losers to his "ordered mind"). Besides blaming It for Georgie's death, Bill also blames It for Stan's death.


A mysterious entity, It is a monster of unknown origin which preys on Derry's children every three decades, stating It finds the fear in children akin to "salt(ing) the meat". Among Its powers is shape shifting into a form that induces fear while killing the victim, normally assuming the form of a fanged clown and calling itself "Pennywise the Dancing Clown", an evil clown modeled after Bozo, Clarabell and Ronald McDonald. It can also manipulate people into doing It's bidding, either by assuming a form most familiar to them or promising them their desires. Thus, having control over what happens in Derry, many of the child murders It commits are never solved, as the adults of Derry either act as though nothing is happening or have forgotten about It. It's true form as perceived by the human eye is that of a giant spider that houses It's essence: namely writhing orange lights (termed "Deadlights"), looking directly into which can either kill a person or drive them insane.

It's awakening and return to hibernation mark the greatest instances of violence during It's time awake, such as the disappearance of over three hundred settlers from Derry Township in 1740–43. During the 1950s, a great storm which flooded part of the city awoke It, whereupon It murdered George Denbrough before going on a feeding spree. However, the Losers' Club forced It to return to an early hibernation when heavily wounded by the young Bill Denbrough in the first Ritual of Chüd. As the story opens, It awakens when three young bullies beat up a young homosexual couple, Adrian Mellon and Don Hagarty, with It killing the former after he is thrown off a bridge. When the adult members of the Losers' Club gathered, It recognized them as a threat and resolved to drive them away through both illusions and by controlling Henry Bowers, the Losers' long-time childhood bully. Bill, Richie, Beverly, Eddie and Ben managed to confront It's spider form after It arranged to have Audra in its possession. It was finally destroyed in the second Ritual of Chüd with an enormous storm that damages the downtown part of Derry to signify It's death.

Other characters[edit]

  • Henry Bowers: As the novel's secondary antagonist, Henry is the sadistic and crazed neighborhood bully who torments the Losers and other kids ceaselessly throughout the summer of 1958. The novel portrays him as a hateful and violent boy. Henry's sanity slowly deteriorates throughout the summer due to the influence of It and abuse from his equally crazy father, Butch Bowers, who has taught Henry to be a racist, sharing his father's intense hatred for the Hanlon family, the only black family in Derry, in addition to being a misogynist, sexist, homophobe, and anti-semite. He inflicts many acts of violence and humiliation upon the Losers during and before the summer of '58, such as partially carving his name onto Ben Hanscom's stomach, which he never finishes, ceaselessly mocking Bill Denbrough's pronounced stutter, harassing Beverly and threatening her with sexual violence, killing Mike Hanlon's dog and bathing Mike in mud in order to make him a "tar baby", breaking Eddie Kaspbrak's arm, breaking Richie Tozier's glasses numerous times, and white-washing Stan Uris' face in snow until it bleeds. His deteriorating sanity becomes apparent during his attacks on Eddie and Beverly: with the former, he pushed a man to the ground and threatened him into going back inside a building when the man tried to stand up for Eddie after Henry starts attacking Eddie with rocks; he kicked out an old lady's taillight when she tried to stand up for Beverly. After a violent rock fight in early July, Henry becomes increasingly sadistic until he eventually murders his father in mid-August with a switchblade provided by It, and also tries to kill the Losers. He follows them into the town sewers with his friends Victor "Vic" Criss and Reginald "Belch" Huggins, only to encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster, who decapitates Vic and mutilates Belch's face. Henry fails to kill any of the Losers and manages to escape from It. When he eventually finds his way out of the sewers, his hair has turned white from the shock of witnessing his friends being slaughtered and also seeing It in its true form, which drives him completely insane. He is convicted for the murder of his father and is framed for most of It's murders throughout the summer. He is placed in an insane asylum and remains there until May 29, 1985, when he escapes with It's assistance, and heads back to Derry to attempt to murder the Losers once more. After critically wounding Mike in the town library and being injured himself in the process, Henry then goes to the hotel where most of the Losers are staying, and finds Eddie's room first, only to be killed in the confrontation with Eddie.
  • Victor "Vic" Criss: Victor "Vic" Criss is a bully, and one of Henry's sidekicks. Among Henry's gang, Vic is most likely the smartest and most intelligent member and is the only one who truly realizes Henry's insanity, and becomes increasingly reluctant to follow him. The novel describes Vic as having good morals despite helping Henry torment the Losers, often wanting to scare or intimidate the Losers than actually cause physical harm. When he makes comments and jokes, he often uses heavy profanity as well as implied or explicit violence. It is also noted that he is a more than fair pitcher during the rock fight, where he causes the most damage (partly and somewhat paradoxically because he did not want to be there). In early August, while in the Tracker Brothers store, Vic warns the Losers of Henry's deteriorating sanity. He also almost approaches the Losers to join them, but decides against it. By doing this, he seals his fate and joins Henry and Belch in following the Losers into the sewers, where the three encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster, who kills Vic by decapitating him. His corpse along with Belch's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It for the final time.
  • Reginald "Belch" Huggins: Reginald "Belch" Huggins is another sidekick of Henry's, and earned his nickname due to his ability to belch on command. He is very big for his age, being six feet tall at twelve years old. Belch is considered stupid by most people, which he makes up for in physical strength and his fierce loyalty to his friends, especially Henry. He is believed to be a professional baseball batter. Belch follows Henry and Vic into the sewers to murder the Losers, only to encounter It in the form of Frankenstein's monster. After It kills Vic and goes after Henry, Belch defends him and attacks It. Henry leaves Belch behind and It overpowers him and kills him by mutilating his face. His corpse along with Vic's is later discovered by the adult Losers when they go to face It for the final time.
  • Patrick Hockstetter: Patrick Hockstetter is a psychopathic and solipsistic bully who is part of Henry's gang (despite the other members being annoyed with him and his generally low reputation). Patrick keeps a pencil box full of dead flies, which he kills with his ruler, and shows it to other students. He makes sexual advances to Henry at one point. He also takes small, usually injured animals and locks them in a broken refrigerator in a junkyard, and leaves them there to die. Along with killing animals, Patrick has also murdered his infant brother, Avery, by suffocation when he was five years old. When alone with Henry after lighting farts with him and his gang one July afternoon in 1958, Patrick gives Henry a handjob and offers to give him oral sex, which snaps Henry out of his daze and prompts him to punch Patrick in the mouth. Henry then reveals that he knows about Patrick's refrigerator, and threatens to tell everyone about it if Patrick tells about the handjob. Once Henry has left, Patrick opens the refrigerator to dispose of the animal corpses but is attacked by a swarm of flying leeches, his greatest fear. The swarm sucks Patrick's blood leaving large holes all over his body, which causes him to slowly lose consciousness as he is dragged away by It. When he awakens, It begins to feed on him. Because It normally takes on the shape of what the victims fear the most when not appearing as Pennywise, and Patrick doesn't fear anything except for leeches and being sent away, It's face appears as just something blurry and morphing when he looks at it. His corpse is later discovered by the Losers when they go into the sewers to face It for the first time.
  • Edward "Eddie" Corcoran: Eddie Corcoran is a classmate of the Losers Club and Henry's gang. Like Beverly Marsh, Eddie and his younger brother Dorsey are victims of child abuse by their stepfather, Richard Macklin. However, unlike Beverly's father, who proved to be a loving and caring father at times, Eddie's stepfather would often beat them brutally and without warning, at one point throwing Eddie into a coat rack with enough force to make him urinate blood for two weeks simply for accidentally slamming the door while he was sleeping. In May 1957, Richard hit Dorsey in the back of the head with a hammer, accidentally killing him, which he covered up to look like an accident. Two days before summer vacation in June 1958, Eddie runs away from home and decides to rest in the park. However, using Dorsey's form, It approaches Eddie and chases after him before assuming the form of the gillman to kill him. Eddie is the only child who is actually shown getting killed by It besides George Denbrough and Patrick Hockstetter.
  • Adrian Mellon: Adrian Mellon is a young homosexual man in Derry. He grows fond of the town, despite its violently homophobic mindset, and only agrees to leave to please his boyfriend, Don Hagarty. Before leaving, however, the two attend a town fair in July 1984, and on the way home, they are harassed by three homophobic youths. The three attack them, Adrian especially because of a hat he won at the fair, and throw him over a canal. When he hits the bottom, Adrian is attacked by Pennywise as It bites into his armpit, and drags him away to kill. Though Don and one of the bullies, Chris Unwin, witnessed this, no mention of Pennywise is made at the trial.
  • Will Hanlon: Will Hanlon is the father of Mike Hanlon. While dying of cancer in 1962, he tells Mike about his experiences in the Army Air Corps in the 1920s and about establishing the Black Spot, a club started by Will and his black Air Force buddies and originally meant exclusively for black members, but gradually began accepting members of other races as well. He recounts how, in the fall of 1930, the club was burned down by a group of Maine Legion of White Decency members, causing numerous deaths. He also tells Mike that he witnessed a giant bird—the same bird that nearly killed Mike in 1958—carry off a Legion of White Decency member and fly away with him in its talons.
  • Mr. Keene: Mr. Norbert Keene was the owner and operator of the Center Street Drug Store for fifty years from 1925 to 1975. He administers Eddie's asthma medication and later reveals to him that it's only a placebo. Many years later, Mike interviews him and Mr. Keene tells him the story of the Bradley Gang, a group of outlaws who were hiding out in Maine after several bank robberies in the midwest. He tells Mike that, in 1929, a year before the fire at the Black Spot, the entire gang was murdered by Derry residents when stopping through town to buy ammunition. Mr. Keene says that rather than covering up the event, the whole town instead pretended that it never occurred, including police Chief Jim Sullivan, who even took part in the slayings. Finally, Mr. Keene mentions seeing a clown participating in the shooting, but that it was wearing farmer's attire rather than a traditional clown suit. He also points out that even though the Sun was out, the clown cast no shadow.
  • Tom Rogan: The insane, abusive, violent and sadistic husband of Beverly Marsh. Tom has a very predatory view of women, and he thrives on the control he has over his vulnerable wife. When Beverly tries to leave for Derry, he refuses to let her, whipping her. Tom is surprised when the normally docile Beverly fights back, and almost kills him, before leaving for Derry. Tom, desperate to find his wife, beats one of her friends until he finds out that Beverly is in Derry. Tom goes to Derry with the intent to kill Beverly, and possibly her "writer friend" Bill Denbrough, whom Tom (correctly) assumes she is sleeping with. When he gets there, It uses Tom to capture Audra Phillips and bring her to It's lair under the city. Upon seeing It in its true form, Tom drops dead in shock and gets eaten by It.
  • Audra Phillips: Bill Denbrough's wife who is a famous actress. She and Bill have an occasional working relationship: she is set to star in an adaptation of a novel he wrote. When Bill leaves for Derry, he strongly urges Audra to remain in England, and although she agrees, she leaves the next day to follow him. When she makes it to Derry, It uses Tom Rogan to capture her, and uses her as bait to lure Bill Denbrough. When the Losers defeat It once and for all, they rescue Audra, but she is catatonic. The book ends with Bill using the last of his childhood to bring her out of the coma. Audra has a strong physical resemblance to the adult Beverly Marsh.
  • George Denbrough: The first character introduced in the book, George is Bill's younger brother. He is a stereotypical child, innocent and curious. He is killed when It, appearing as Pennywise, rips off his arm. George's death is the first in the fall of 1957 and it is what drives Bill to defeat It. Although in 1958, It threatens to appear to Bill as George, It never does so until 1985 (excluding It's appearance before Bill in Georgie's room, when It causes George's school photo to leer and wink at him). When Bill sees It as George, he works through his grief and overcomes It's ruse.
  • Peter Gordon: A well-off friend of Henry's that lives on West Broadway, who thinks of chasing Mike Hanlon as a game, though Henry's crazed and increasingly violent behavior (such as attempting to outright kill Mike with cherry bombs and M-80s) begins to alienate him. He is also the boyfriend of an unattractive girl with heavy acne named Marcia Fadden. When school goes out for the summer, Peter (menacingly) invites Ben Hanscom to play baseball with him and while on a date with Marcia, he insults the Losers at the movies. Like Vic Criss, he also realizes Henry's eroding sanity, albeit only after the rock fight. He is never seen again after the rock fight. It is implied that he was eventually killed by It as it is recounted that all of Henry's friends were killed by It.
  • Moose Sadler: A slightly retarded and very slow friend of Henry's. He joins Henry in tormenting Mike Hanlon, who's father worked on the Hanlon family farm. He also helped Henry break Eddie's arm in the park. His name directly comes from the character from the Archie Comics. It is somewhat implied that he dies in the summer of 1958 as the Losers later reminisce that all of Henry's friends are ultimately killed by It.
  • Gard Jagermeyer: A very slow and dumb friend of Henry's. He once pushed Richie Tozier to the ground, breaking his glasses. He is also shown in the rock fight scene against the Losers, but retreats with Peter Gordon as the first two participates in the rock fight to run away. It is possible that he was killed by It as was mentioned by Eddie Kaspbrak that all of Henry's friends were attacked by It.
  • Claude Heroux: An Acadian logger who was active in a Union movement in the early 1900s around Derry. After several Union organizers were killed and narrowly escaping death, he retreated to woods where It possessed him. This leads him to slaughter several anti-union organizers that were possibly involved in the murder of his comrades, in broad daylight at the Silver Dollar Bar. He is later lynched by the townspeople despite seeming to lack all memory of the murders.
  • Richard "Dick" Hallorann: A chef in Derry Army E Company. Dick Hallorann plays a minor role in this novel by saving Mike Hanlon's father and many others at the fire at the Black Spot. He plays a more significant role in the novel The Shining.
  • Alvin Marsh: Beverly Marsh's insane father. Although he is not an alcoholic or drug user, he abuses Bev and her mother (who later died) and acts misogynistic. Though there are times when Alvin is shown is be a loving and caring father to Bev. He died of unknown causes in 1980, (possibly killed by It).

25th Anniversary Special Edition[edit]

Cover for the 25th anniversary edition

On December 13, 2011, Cemetery Dance published a special limited edition of It for the 25th anniversary of the novel (ISBN 978-1587672705) in three editions: an unsigned limited gift edition of 2,750, a signed limited edition of 750, and a signed and lettered limited edition of 52. All three editions are oversized hardcovers, housed in a slipcase or traycase, and feature premium binding materials. This anniversary edition features a new dust jacket illustration by Glen Orbik, as well as numerous interior illustrations by Alan M. Clark and Erin Wells. The book also contains a new afterword by Stephen King discussing his reasons for writing the novel.[2]


In 1990, the novel was adapted into a television film featuring John Ritter as Ben Hanscom, Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier, Richard Masur as Stan Uris, Tim Reid as Mike Hanlon, Annette O'Toole as Beverly Marsh, Richard Thomas as Bill Denbrough, Olivia Hussey as Audra Phillips, Dennis Christopher as Eddie Kaspbrak, Michael Cole as Henry Bowers, and Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown/It.[3]

In 1998, United Studios Ltd. adapted the story and created the television series Woh, which aired on Zee TV in India.

On March 12, 2009, Warner Bros. announced that a new adaptation of Stephen King's novel had started. Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison are set to produce.[4] In 2010, the screenplay was being re-written by Dave Kajganich.[5]

On September 21, 2010, film director Guillermo del Toro announced that he would like to direct new adaptations of the Stephen King novels It and Pet Sematary, but stated that he is very busy and unlikely to be able to make them any time soon.[6]

On June 7, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter announced that the novel would be adapted into a two-part film, directed by Cary Fukunaga.[7]


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