It is an on going debate amongst the Stephen King fan base which is his scariest story. For me it's got to be IT, but the two front runners of this arguement are two very different tales. One, of course, is The Shinning. And the other is Pet Sematary. Stephen King himself said that after writing Pet Sematary he felt as if he had finally gone too far - and its easy to see why the thought that. He even went as far as sticking in a drawer and forgetting about it - never supposing it might actually get published. It's that bleak.
Pet Sematary is as far from a thrill-ride as you can get. Its not a knock-down, drag-out roller coaster of suspense and terror. Rather, it is a slow burning, ever escalating cauldron of unease and dread, that is slow to come to the boil, but scolds you when it finally does. Gripping in a way that I have never quite experienced in a book - I can only explain the experience as somewhat similar to the charity work people do with terminally ill children - you know tragedy is inevitable, but you can't leave the side of the characters until everything has been seen through.
The ending is all important to this book, and lynch pins the entire story. If King had got it wrong, the entire book would have been a massive waste of time. As it is, the ending is one of the most memorable I am likely to ever experience; a terrifying crescendo that had me clenching my teeth and squeezing the pages. While reading Pet Sematary, if you think you have the ending guessed, I can tell you now that youre most likely wrong.
Of course there are the typical Stephen King draw backs that you find in every single one of his novels, without fail. The story is probably a little too drawn out, and there are long passages of self indulgence that could have easy been shortened, and not to mention those irritating tangents he goes on occasionally that have you screaming "Get back to what's important!". But hey, all those of us who return to Stephen King's stories time and again expects them and abide by them, so as to experience a tale that is bound to leave some mark on you.