The Mangler

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"The Mangler"
AuthorStephen King
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Horror short story
Published inNight Shift
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Publication date1978

"The Mangler" is a short story by Stephen King, first published in the December 1972 issue of Cavalier magazine, and later collected in King's 1978 collection Night Shift.


"The Mangler" is set in an American town, and the action largely takes place in an industrial laundry. Stephen King has stated that, among the many jobs he took to support his family before he became famous, he worked in an industrial laundry.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

A police detective investigating a sudden rash of grisly deaths caused by an industrial laundry press, called a mangle, discovers that a series of unfortunate coincidences involving the machine have inadvertently replicated a demon-summoning ritual. Due to various ingredients (including medicine containing extract of nightshade, a live bat, and fresh blood getting into the machine) being combined, the machine itself has become possessed by a demon. The story ends after the detective and his friend underestimate the demon's power, and in seeking to exorcise the machine, instead goad it into ripping free of its moorings and prowling the streets in search of fresh prey.


This story was adapted for the screenplay of a 1995 film (directed by Tobe Hooper) of the same title, though the brevity of the source material required significant additions not present in the original tale. The film, starring Robert Englund (of Freddy Krueger fame), was followed by two sequels, The Mangler 2 and The Mangler Reborn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ King, Stephen (2003). "Acceptance Speech, Stephen King, Recipient of the National Book Foundation's Medal for DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN LETTERS AWARD". the National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2008-04-16.

External links[edit]