Castle Rock is full of allusions to some of Stephen King’s most iconic books, but one of the creepiest moments in the show’s second episode involved some words that aren’t from a King book but from the Bible. What’s the significance of the multiple copies of page-a-day calendars, all bearing the words of Acts 16:33?
In Episode 2, “Habeas Corpus,” Henry Deaver (André Holland) pays a visit to the late Warden Dale Lacy’s widow, in an attempt to get some information about the nameless prisoner (Bill Skarsgärd) Shawshank Prison employees found locked in a cage after Lacy killed himself. While looking through Warden Lacy’s desk, Henry finds several page-a-day calendars that all display the same verse on them:
Even at that hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed their wounds. And without delay, he and all his household were baptized.
Acts 16, follows Paul the Apostle and his companion Silas as they travel around Macedonia spreading the good word. But after this landed them in trouble, and the pair were locked in jail. Initially, the jailer did as he was instructed, dutifully putting Paul and Silas in prison and locking their feet in the stocks. However, an earthquake struck the prison during the night and released the pair from their restraints, and the miraculous act was enough to convert the jailer. He took the two to his home, tended to them, and baptized his whole family.
It seems as though Warden Lacy identified with the jailer in the verse. We don’t know much about the nameless prisoner (known as the Kid), but the verse seems to imply that Lacy, a pious man, is looking for Biblical confirmation that was he is doing is ordained and necessary.
But, is he really “taking in” the Kid — the way the jailer invited Paul and Silas to his home — by locking him in a cage in the dark? The jailer helped saved Paul and Silas (who in turn “saved” his family’s souls), while Lacy seems to be saving Castle Rock from the Kid by locking him away.
Also of note are the dates on the calendar pages, which read, in order: March 9, 2011, January 8, 2001, November 14, 1998, April 26, 2013, April 22, 1988, September 13, 2001, and June 13, 1999.
So, either Warden Lacy was collecting old calendars and specifically looking for this verse, or he’s been involved with whatever dark forces are at work since the late ‘80s. Maybe the Kid has been locked in Shawshank since 1988, which would certainly be supernatural. (Skarsgärd, for what it’s worth, was only born in 1990).
New episodes of Castle Rock debut on Wednesdays on Hulu.