In Stephen King's story of the same name, The Monkey is an enigmatic toy that brings doom every time it claps its cymbals together. It serves as one of King's notable short story monsters and appears on many covers of Skeleton Crew.

"The Monkey"

The cymbal-banging monkey toy is discovered by two boys Hal and Bill Shelburn who are unaware of the pain and grief it brought upon their father. Playing with it, they are somewhat unnerved by its unusual grin and other creepy features. However, it begins to bring forth doom on every occasion wherein it claps its cymbals together. One notable case results in the death of their mother, prompting Hal to hide away the toy.

Years later, Hal comes across the toy once more in the family attic when his son Petey comes across it. Recalling the horrors it had forced him under in the past, Hal plots to get rid of the Monkey. Planning a trip to a local lake, Hal tucks away the Monkey into a bag with the intent of sinking it. En route, storm clouds and heavy waves begin impeding his process and threatening to kill him. Nevertheless, Hal succeeds in sinking the bag with the Monkey inside to the bottom of the lake, imprisoning it seemingly for good.

However, the narrative concludes with a newspaper excerpt suggesting that the Monkey is possibly still functional. The article notes the strange tendency for fish within the lake to float up dead.


The Monkey bears similarities to the creature Chinga who was also featured in a narrative penned by King. It also was the likely influence of the cymbal-clapping monkey that appears in Toy Story 3.