The Monkey

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For other uses, see Monkey (disambiguation).
"The Monkey"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Horror short story
Published in Skeleton Crew
Publication type Magazine
Media type Print (Periodical)
Publication date November 1980

"The Monkey" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in Gallery magazine in 1980. It was significantly revised and published in King's collection Skeleton Crew in 1985.

Plot summary[edit]

The story centers on a cymbal-banging monkey toy with supernatural powers. Every time the monkey claps its little cymbals together, a nearby living thing dies. The monkey is found in a family's attic in an old toy chest by two young brothers, Petey and Dennis, unknowing that their father, Hal, had been tormented by the monkey years ago, when it worked its lethal enchantment on his family and friends, until Hal had chucked it down the old well at the home of his uncle and aunt. Hal takes the monkey and throws it in Crystal Lake, hoping that it won't be able to escape from it. The story ends with an excerpt of a newspaper article which reports on a mysterious die-off of fish in the lake.

Similar stories[edit]

The X-Files episode "Chinga", scripted by Stephen King, deals with a cursed doll and bears similarities to "The Monkey". This doll, which deals out suffering in much the same way as the monkey, also finds itself sinking to the bottom of a lake at the end of the episode.

The film The Devil’s Gift is very similar to "The Monkey," leading some to believe that the filmmakers plagiarized the story.[1][2] The Devil's Gift was later re-edited as the second story in the film Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, which was featured on the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

In the Supernatural episode "Home", the evil entity of the episode possesses a toy monkey with cymbals, which turned on the garbage disposal while a plumber was working with the sink.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Devil's Gift (1984)". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Reviews of The Devil's Gift". The Cold Spot. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 

External links[edit]