I recently started re-reading the Dark Tower saga (just finished part IV: Wizard and Glass, probably my favorite part in the series) and noticed some links with other work of Stephen King. For instance, in Wizard and Glass the Ka-Tet finds a note of a certain Abigail on the windshield of a car in Kansas. Although many years have passed since I read that book, I believe this is a nod to The Stand.

Now are there many connections like this? And then I mean proper connections and not just stuff like this:

19: The number nineteen is a magical number in the Dark Tower novels. In Blockade Billy, it is Billy’s shirt number.

since those are not references that make not much impact in the work of King. It doesn't matter by the way if Dark Tower references other books or if other books references Dark Tower. I'm interested in both ways.

Note: since I'm thinking about reading the referenced works in the future, I would appreciate it if the answers only show the titles of the books. Further explanation is welcome ofcourse but please use spoiler tags.

  • You mean refs of other books in Dark Tower or the other way round?
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:16
  • related scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/22484/…
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 15:52
  • @Mithoron Either is good
    – Noosrep
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 16:48
  • The Dark Tower is basically a multi-dimensional portal and all of Stephen King's stories exist on one of its levels.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 23:38
  • Shameless plug: My answer here about a suggested reading order of the series and other related books contains meaningful references only (although it does contain spoilers): scifi.stackexchange.com/a/153469/23384
    – tobiasvl
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 22:28

4 Answers 4


Stephen King recently discussed this very subject with Entertainment Weekly.

He lists the following connections, though, some are tenuous at best:

The Shining and Doctor Sleep

Psychic powers in The Dark Tower film are referred to as “The Shine,” which means Jake Chambers, the boy at the center of the story, has the same abilities that Danny Torrance had in King’s classic 1977 novel (and the 2013 sequel Doctor Sleep). Is the Shine becoming his catch-all psychic ability? Does that mean the wallflower-turned-prom-queen in Carrie had a malevolent version of The Shine? “I don’t know, man,” King says with a laugh. “It’s like the guy says in House of Cards: ‘You might think so, but I couldn’t possibly comment.’”

The Stand and Eyes of the Dragon

Randall Flagg, the sharp-tongued, charismatic villain from King’s 1979 Americana apocalypse and his 1987 old-school fairy tale, is the same sinister presence Matthew McConaughey plays in The Dark Tower, only operating a different alias – Walter, The Man in Black. “At some point I realized that Randall Flagg and Walter were the same character and once you take this whole idea in mind that Mid-World is connected to our world you say, ‘Well okay, this guy shows up again and again,’” King says. Did he just like seeing this devil again? King shudders: “I never want to see that guy.”

Hearts in Atlantis

In the 1999 story collection, Ted Brautigan is a psychic who, like Jake in the movie, is being pursued as a “Breaker,” someone whose power can help collapse the Tower. The 2001 movie dropped the Tower references, and instead had the Anthony Hopkins character being pursued by government agents for clandestine Cold War research. “I wish they had gone more supernatural with that,” King says of the movie. “I thought there was a way to do that without feeding into the whole Dark Tower thing.”

In the film version of The Dark Tower, there’s an older Breaker who is somewhat inspired by Ted Brautigan, although it’s not the same character. Director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel said he wanted someone who was older than Jake, someone who had been enslaved by the Man in Black for a long time. So there’ll be flashes back to this figure’s younger days – in the way-back era of the 1990s.

‘Salem’s Lot

In this 1975 book, the fallen priest who loses his faith and drinks the blood of a vampire later becomes a key ally of Roland the Gunslinger in the latter Dark Tower books. If there are sequels to the movie, it’s possible he may turn up onscreen. “Father Callahan…” King says wistfully. “I’d love to see him in there. But we’ll have to see how the [first] film does.”


An elderly man who begins having visions after losing the ability to sleep comes to learn about a mystical tower that stands for all the levels of reality – and the agents of the Crimson King who wishes to tear it down. Before this 1994 novel, the Tower saga was separate from King’s other novels. “Insomnia was the first place where I really understood [the links] consciously and I started to work all this stuff in there,” the author says.

The Talisman and Black House

These fantasy epics, co-written with Peter Straub, take place in The Territories, a neighbor to The Dark Tower’s Mid-World. The connection wasn’t made in 1984’s The Talisman, but for the 2001 sequel, King and Straub tied them together explicitly. “It seemed to me almost undeniable, and it did to Peter, too, that if we were talking about another world you could flip into, it would be related to Mid-World,” King says, referencing similar adjacent realms from Game of Thrones. “An analog would be Westeros and Meereen.”

In the midst of our conversation, King drops a bombshell: There’s a third Talisman books in the works. At least, it’s currently germinating in his and Straub’s heads. “Peter and I have started to talk about the third book in the cycle, so you know, we’ll see what happens, whether or not that’s there,” King says. “I think that he’s got some great ideas.”


Later in The Dark Tower books, Roland and his posse meet Dandelo, a creature who feeds on emotion, just like the fiend that manifested itself as Pennywise the Clown. Fans theorize they’re the same kind of monster, but King doesn’t go that far. “I would say that they were probably related just because they both came from my head,” he says. “But it wasn’t a conscious thing to say one was like the other.”

“The Jaunt” (collected in Skeleton Crew)

In The Dark Tower, some portals between worlds are technologically created, so producers of the movie asked King if they should follow the rules established by this 1981 short story. It’s about a mass-transit system that opens time/space portals, but if passengers go through awake they emerge insane on the other side. King’s response: Laughter. “If you’re mind’s going there, go with God,” he says. “I feel like that with most of this stuff.”

For a more in-depth list of connections, one can look to King's own website, which adds a number of other minor connections.


Actually, most of the references tend to go the other way. That is; the Dark Tower series contains many references to other King works, rather than the other way around. King began to see the series to be a sort of meta-story that served to weave all of his stories together. "There are other worlds than these," as Jake said.

Books written concurrently or after the Dark Tower series, though, do occasionally contain some Easter eggs. If you want to see a full list, including major and minor references, you can look at this Wikipedia page, but it contains major spoilers, so beware. If you just want the titles of books that are strongly connected, here they are:

  • 'Salem's Lot
  • The Stand
  • The Talisman
  • The Mist
  • It
  • The Eyes of the Dragon
  • Insomnia
  • Rose Madder
  • Desperation
  • The Regulators
  • Bag of Bones
  • Hearts in Atlantis
  • Black House
  • Everything's Eventual
  • From a Buick 8
  • Ur

If we take the original version of this question literally - i.e., references to The Dark Tower in other books (that is, a non-DT book that mentions something from DT, rather than a DT book that mentions something from a non-DT book) - the list includes the following.

Books I'm familiar with:

  • Eyes of the Dragon

Although many of the references in EotD were only later inserted into DT, some elements were always intended to be nods to The Dark Tower. The sorcerer is Flagg, the kingdom is in Roland's world, the two boys who leave to pursue the sorcerer eventually found their way to Gilead, etc.

  • Insomnia

The Crimson King makes his first appearance here; the protagonists see the Tower itself; a child draws pictures of the Tower and Roland.

  • Rose Madder

References to Lud, Ka, Mid-World, etc.

  • Hearts in Atlantis

Flagg, Low Men, Breakers, etc

  • Black House

Actually written as a pseudo-Tower book, with references to Breakers, Flagg, the Crimson King, gunslingers, Mid-World, Discordia, etc.

Other Books:

As a general rule, if a King book is related to the Dark Tower universe (as most of his books are) and was written after the mid-90's, there will be at least one or two explicit references to DT in the book. Prior to the mid-90's, the references tended to run the other direction, as Roger's answer explains.

  • See updated question: it doesn't matter in which way it is, I'm interested in both :)
    – Noosrep
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 10:28
  • @Noosrep - which is why I provided the ones the previous answer doesn't?
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 21:59
  • Ow, didn't understand it in that way! My bad
    – Noosrep
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 19:21

I just read in Wolves of the Calla,

Father Callahan says he has thought about using the door (black 13, the door in the cave) to go back to 1963 and see if Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone.  They continue talking about wondering what would happen if the events from that day were changed...  11/22/63 was one of my all time favorite books, so it was an awesome reference to me!

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