Horror Writer Jack Ketchum Has Died At 71

Horror Writer Jack Ketchum Has Died At 71

Jack Ketchum is the one who Stephen King once referred to as the scariest writer in the country due his extreme portrayal of realistic horror over the past several decades. With a laundry list of credits to his name, Jack Ketchum has permanently cemented his legacy as a terrifying American writer. Sadly, Ketchum passed away early Wednesday morning, his friend and webmaster, Kevin Kovelant, told The Associated Press.

Ketchum is quite famous for a number of works, but the one that most Americans might know the most is The Girl Next Door. The book inspired film adaptations and a lot of talk about a young girl who was tortured and beaten by a woman, the woman’s children and other neighborhood kids.

The horror that Jack Ketchum is most famous is the kind that seems to echo a dark reality in some way. Mostly devoid of supernatural monsters and such, Ketchum rather opted for the monsters within people that are the most horrifying and wrote extensively about such things.

Although the world knows him as Jack Ketchum, his real name is Dallas Mayr and his closest friends knew him and referred to him as such. That also includes Stephen King himself, who penned a tweet is memoriam of Ketchum on Wednesday afternoon.

“Very sorry to hear that an old friend of mine, Dallas Mayr, died,” Stephen King wrote in his tweet. “He terrified readers with books like OFF SEASON and THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. Dallas and I went back to the 70s together.”

One of Jack Ketchum’s most famous and controversial works was Off Season, which was published way back in 1980. The book was inspired by the legend of Sawney Bean, which also inspired Wes Craven’s 1977 film, The Hills Have Eyes. Some might say that the book and the film share some interesting similarities, but are still quite different.

Although Ketchum’s cause of death has yet to have been revealed, he had been battling cancer recently.

[Featured Image By Georges Seguin (Okki) – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons]

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About Nick Younker 161 Articles
Nick Younker has spent over fifteen years working in the local and national media. After transitioning from television to online journalism, he honed in on his lifelong love of horror entertainment and blended it with his unique abilities as a writer. He is the father of two gifted children and has spent most of his life in southern Indiana, excluding 3 years in Atlanta while working with Turner Entertainment. You can catch up with him on Twitter at @NYounker, or on his website, FogstowJamison.com, where he publishes his daily news articles about updates in the horror, sci-fi and entertainment industry.

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