If you’re a big Stephen King fan, you may already know that Maine serves as a source of much inspiration and setting for the king of horror himself. In fact, Stephen King actually spends much of his time at his home in Maine and was born and grew up in Maine. King describes in this beautiful and harrowing essay why Bangor, of all places, was chosen as home. This makes Maine the perfect spot for a self-guided Stephen King tour of all the places that gave him inspiration for his nightmare-inducing novels and the movies that branched off from them, the places where several films were shot, and possibly even where you can see and meet Stephen King himself if you’re lucky.
If you’re read several of Stephen King’s novels, you may realize that he utilizes the fictional town of Derry quite often in his books. The fictional town of Derry is based on King’s very own home of Bangor, Maine and, for this reason, many King fans visit Bangor every year to see pages come to life. There are plenty of places for King fans to see what exactly makes Stephen King tick.
Stephen King Tour
If you find yourself in Maine, Bangor is well worth the trip (even not as a King fan) and I’ve put together a self-guided Stephen King tour to Bangor.
Stephen King Tour Map
Stephen King’s Home
Address: 47 West Broadway, Bangor
You may be surprised to learn this, but you can walk right up to Stephen King’s home in Bangor, Maine. The address is public knowledge and it is pretty common knowledge that King himself is known to come out and talk to fans frequently. I take that as a sign that he doesn’t seem to mind us commoners.
His house is exactly what I would picture Stephen King’s home looking like. It’s a blood-red Victorian home surrounded by a black iron fence adorned with gargoyles and bats.
Pet Sematary Filming Locations
Mount Hope Cemetery
Address: 1048 State St
Ever watched Pet Sematary? Then you’ve set your eyes on Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine. If you’ll remember, Stephen King himself appeared in the original Pet Sematary. He plays the minister at the cemetery presiding over the funeral of Gage.
Even if one weren’t a King fan, Mount Hope Cemetery is definitely worth a visit. It’s one of the nation’s oldest garden cemeteries and is almost 200 years old.
Inside of Mount Hope Cemetery, you’ll also find a gravestone with the name Carrie on it. It is rumored that this was the inspiration behind the character, and of course, novel Carrie. I don’t know if this has ever been proven true by King himself, but cool nonetheless.
IT Filming Locations & Inspiration
Thomas Hill Standpipe
Address: 41 Thomas Hill Rd
The Thomas Hill Standpipe is walking distance from Stephen King’s own home. It served as the inspiration in King’s novel It as the haunted and dangerous water tower. There’s a small park located where the Thomas Hill Standpipe is located and it is rumored that King wrote a lot of the book while seated on the park bench here.
The Standpipe dates back to 1897 and is honestly one of the coolest looking water towers I’ve ever seen.
Paul Bunyan Statue
Address: 519 Main St
Remember when this giant Paul Bunyan statue came to life in It and attacked Richie? This also happened in the new It: Chapter Two (2019) movie. The statue is also mentioned in King’s novel Insomnia.
Sewer Drain at Union and Jackson Street
Did you ever find yourself avoid walking around sewers and any other openings in the ground in fear of Pennywise grabbing you? Just me then? I’ve finally gotten over that weird habit for the most part. So much so that I even visited the sewer drain in which Pennywise lured Georgie in the movie It.
Want to visit it too? Just head to the corner of Union and Jackson Street in Bangor. This very specific sewer drain is said to have inspired King’s imagination even though it really doesn’t look any different than any other.
Interested in a more specialized tour of Bangor dedicated to Stephen King fans? Check out SK tours!
Stephen King Bookstore – Gerald Winters & Son
Address: 48 Main Street, geraldwinters.com
In 2008, Gerald Winters opened up a bookstore dedicated to Stephen King novels and King memorabilia. It was the best place to find limited editions, one-of-a-kind items such as manuscripts and screenplays, t-shirts, and other memorabilia.
It was the little surprises along that way while exploring Bangor – the odes to Stephen King – that made me realize how loved by the locals he must be.
Union and Second Street
Head to the corner of Union and Second Street to find a mural of what I assume are important figures to Bangor and you’ll find none other than Stephen King amongst them.
Stephen King and Molly (aka the thing of evil) Bench
Strolling in downtown Bangor, I noticed lots of little bits of public art, but this bench definitely caught my eye. And, yes, that’s King’s dog – Molly, aka The Thing of Evil.
Stephen King Tour Overview
Any Stephen King fan will surely find Bangor magical and a perfect spot to visit as a lover of his books and movies. I hope this self-guided Stephen King tour leads you on a haunting and nostalgic journey through Bangor.
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