Study Guide

It The Supernatural

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The Supernatural

The mummy! Oh my God it’s the mummy! was his first thought, accompanied by a swoony horror that caused him to clamp his hands down viciously on the bridge’s railing to keep from fainting. Of course it hadn’t been the mummy, couldn’t have been the mummy. Oh, there were Egyptian mummies, plenty of them, he knew that, but his first thought had been that it was the mummy—the dusty monster played by Boris Karloff in the old movie he had stayed up late to watch just last month on Shock Theater. (4.11.17)

Ben's worst nightmare comes straight out of the movie theater: It creates a Mummy-lookalike guide, specifically designed to freak poor lil' Ben out.

George leaned forward. Suddenly he could smell peanuts! Hot roasted peanuts! And vinegar! The white kind you put on your french fries through a hole in the cap! He could smell cotton candy and frying doughboys and the faint but thunderous odor of wild-animal s***. He could smell the cheery aroma of midway sawdust. (1.3.40)

It doesn't just use magic to terrify. He also uses magic to lure people towards it. That's the thing about demonic spells and black magic. They're not all rotting mummies and hideous clowns. Sometimes they're lovely hallucinations of being at fun fairs.

He drew back, and that was when the face appeared. Its coming was so sudden, so startling (and yet at the same time so expected), that Eddie could not have screamed even if he hadn’t been having an asthma attack. His eyes bulged. His mouth creaked open. It was not the hobo with the flayed nose, but there were resemblances. Terrible resemblances. And yet…this thing could not be human. Nothing could be so eaten up and remain alive. (7.7.24)

Eddie, raised by a hypochondriac, fears disease more than anything else. So It manifests as something between a leper and a zombie: a diseased entity that wants to contaminate.

George’s eyes rolled in the picture. They turned up to meet Bill’s own. George’s artificial saycheese smile turned into a horrid leer. His right eye drooped closed in a wink: See you soon, Bill. In my closet. Maybe tonight. 

Bill threw the book across the room. He clapped his hands over his mouth. (5.8.56)

Bill has faced real tragedy: the violent death of his brother. So It uses this to terrorize Bill, making his brother's portrait come alive and wink at him.

A gout of blood suddenly belched from the drain, splattering the sink and the mirror and the wallpaper with its frogs-and-lilypads pattern. Beverly screamed, suddenly and piercingly. She backed away from the sink, struck the door, rebounded, clawed it open, and ran for the living room,where her father was just getting to his feet. (9.2.17)

Beverly has an abusive father who a) beats her and b) fears the point of her maturation. So it's fitting that Beverly's worst fear is blood—both the blood of getting beaten and the blood of menstruation. Because of this, It makes blood spurt out of her drains.

Blood spurted up from Beverly’s fortune cookie as if from a slashed artery. It splashed across her hand and then gouted onto the white napery which covered the table, staining it a bright red that sank in and then spread out in grasping pink fingers. (10.6.33)

Blood haunts adult Beverly as well—especially since she's married to a physically abusive husband. When everyone gets a fortune cookie at the end of their meetup meal, hers is filled with blood. This is very different from, say, Richie, who fears blindness and finds an eyeball in his fortune cookie.

He looked up and saw Pennywise the Clown standing at the top of the left hand staircase, looking down at him. His face was white with greasepaint. His mouth bled lipstick in a killer’s grin. There were empty sockets where his eyes should have been. He held a bunch of balloons in one hand and a book in the other. (11.1.60)

The public library used to be Ben's sanctuary. But when he goes back as an adult, it becomes a haunted house…with Pennywise showing up, morphing into a vampire, and literally biting his own mouth off. Yeeesh.

“No?” the witch asked, and grinned. Her claws scrabbled on the plate and she began to cram thin molasses cookies and delicate frosted slices of cake into her mouth with both hands. Her horrid teeth plunged and reared, plunged and reared; her fingernails, long and dirty, dug into the sweets; crumbs tumbled down the bony slab of her chin. (11.3.78)

Beverly isn't just afraid of blood. She's also afraid of the witch from Hansel and Gretel…so It disguises Itself as that witch and invites Beverly to the world's most terrifying tea party.

It is still there; Stan Uris’s severed head beside Mike’s six pack of Bud Light, the head not of a man but of an eleven-year-old boy. (14.1.24)

Yup. Stan Uris died in his late thirties. But, thanks to It's handy-dandy supernatural powers, Stan's eleven-year-old head is chilling in the fridge at the library. Bonus: it starts to talk.

The Werewolf stood poised over the drainpipe, one hairy foot on either side of where the toilet had once been. Its green eyes glared at them from Its feral face. (18.9.30)

Guys. It's a werewolf. How much more supernatural do you want to get?

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