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Stephen King: The Maine-ia Tour

If you were to climb to the top of Maine’s Mount Katahdin and stack every Stephen King novel on top of one other and then climb to the top of that, you’d have a fantastic view of the real place where so much of his horrifying fiction takes place. Yes, sweet, innocent Maine. Of course, we’re not suggesting that anyone do this. Or that it’s even possible. But as anyone who’s ever read one of the books in the stack will tell you, stranger things have happened around here.

If it seems like Mr. King comes out with a massively thick and tremendously entertaining book every six months, you’re not exactly hallucinating. At last count, this native son and lifelong resident of Maine has written 54 novels. And being a native son, the author has used a host of Maine locations as part of his extended fictional family. Let’s start where Stephen King starts his own days. Bangor. Along with Naples, Florida, it’s where he lives.

For his fans, this is a great place to highlight on a Stephen King-themed tour of Maine. In Bangor, you can see his home – from the outside – which is probably for the best. You can also take a tour of the Bangor area that may stir up memories of some special places and creepy feelings from his books. If you’re a true fan – and especially if you’ve read Tommyknockers – you may find yourself thinking you’re in his fictional town of “Haven.” And who can really say you’re not?

Other real Maine places and their geographic doppelgangers pretty much begin to list themselves. There’s Dexter, of course, just 30 miles from Bangor and a dead ringer for the town of Derry, the backdrop for Mr. King’s most famous and nebulous pronoun, It. And who – at three o’clock in the morning with at least one nightlight on – could forget “Castle Rock,” home to, among others, Cujo, The Dead Zone and Needful Things, and inspired by the sun and shadows of the real-world town of Woodstock?

The road of Stephen King Maine-ia continues north to Flagstaff Lake which will also wash you up on the beach of the fictional “Dark Score Lake,” home and repository for the novel and TV series, Bag of Bones. Next you’ll need to travel south to Rumford, Maine, where things definitely went south for the citizens of its fictional counterpart, “Chester’s Mill,” the setting for Under the Dome, Mr. King’s epic novel and TV series. Should you decide to visit Rumford and stay for the night, we’ll give you a friendly bit of advice. If you wake up to find the entire area enclosed by a giant polyethylene dome, don’t worry. You’re most likely still asleep. Most likely.

So given all that, when’s the best time to visit Maine and these special places for your own version of the Stephen King tour? Hey, whenever the spirit moves you. They’re open 365 days a year with convenient hours – pretty much round-the-clock. Although the locals would prefer to keep the screaming at a reasonable level after 10 p.m.

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