Spaceman Spiff wrote:
What King popularized was the idea of supernatural horror in a modern setting, putting it right in a normal person's point of view. We forget that today because everyone's doing it now, but that wasn't always the case.
Nor was King the first to do so. There was Ira Levin, whose work I was extolling earlier. And Blatty, with The Exorcist
. And many others, both literary and cinematic--even this novel I'm reading right now, The Witching Night
by C. S. Cody, which was first published in 1952, and reads like the voice-over from a fim noir.
But I think you're absolutely right to say that Stephen King popularized
this type of story in a way that his predecessors never did. The immense popularity of King's work really seems to have shifted the paradigm, to the point where traditional crumbling-old-castle Gothic horror is now a minor subgenre. He really seems to have caught the wave, culturally speaking.