The Real Places Where Stephen King’s Stories Drawn Their Inspiration

Stephen King’s stories have been set in a wide variety of locations, such as Oklahoma in “The Outsider”, Louisiana in “The Green Mile”, and New Hampshire in “The Talisman”. But the vast majority of King’s novels and short stories are set in Maine, where King and his wife, Tabitha, have lived most of their lives.

Here are the real places where the Kings have lived over the years – in Maine and elsewhere – that feature regularly in his books, whether the real place or a fictional replacement.


Stephen King, photographed outside his home in Bangor in the early 1980s. Credit: BDN file

The city most synonymous with Stephen King. There are too many references to Bangor or his fictional replacement, Derry, to jot down in a single story, from iconic novels and films like “It” to passing references in books like “Gerald’s Game,” “The Tommyknockers,” and “Lisey’s Story”. .” Stephen and Tabitha King’s iconic home in Bangor on West Broadway, where they lived most or part of the year from 1980 until around 2019, was recently turned into the headquarters of their charitable foundation, which donated millions of dollars to worthy causes in Maine. It will also house King’s extensive archive and a future writer’s retreat.


Stephen King was born in Portland, and although he lived in Indiana and Connecticut during his early childhood, by the age of 11 he and his family had settled in the city of Durham, New York. Androscoggin County. Durham as a location does not figure too heavily in King’s works, although elements of his town of Castle Rock are similar. But the Lisbon Falls High School, located in nearby Durham and attended by King, directly inspired the school in which the main character Jake teaches in the novel “11/22/63”.


In this May 5, 2005 file photo, Stephen King speaks during the University of Maine commencement ceremonies at Alfond Arena in Orono. Credit: Michael C. York/BDN

King is an alumnus of the University of Maine, where he wrote for The Maine Campus and sold his first short story for publication, among other things. The school features prominently in several of King’s works, most notably in the collection’s title novel “Hearts in Atlantis”, set at UMaine in the late 1960s.


The old Hampden Academy, where Stephen King taught in the early 1970s, is seen in this 2006 file photo. Credit: David M. Fitzpatrick/BDN

After graduating from UMaine, Stephen and Tabitha King lived in Hampden, where Stephen King taught English at Hampden Academy. Although Hampden himself doesn’t appear in any major way in any of King’s books, his high school teaching experience certainly influenced the book he was writing at the same time: “Carrie,” his first published novel.

Boulder, Colorado

This undated photo shows the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The hotel is a favorite among “The Shining” movie fans. The movie wasn’t filmed here, but Stephen King was inspired to write the novel the movie is based on after a stay here. Credit: Courtesy of Grand Heritage Hotel Group via AP

The Kings moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1974, and although they stayed there for less than a year, the mountainous region had a big impact on King’s writing. The most notable examples of King’s work set in Colorado are “The Shining”, based on the very real Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, not far from Boulder; “Misery,” set in a fictional remote town in Colorado; and “The Stand”, where Boulder plays a key role in the story.


In this November 19, 2003 file photo, Stephen and Tabitha King arrive at New York’s Marriott Marguis in Times Square for the 54th National Book Awards where King received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Credit: Stephen M. Katz/BDN

The Kings actually owned a home in western Maine for even longer than they lived in Bangor – according to Tabitha King’s biography of her husband, they bought their property in Center Lovell in 1977.” The Mist and “Bag of Bones” are both set in western Maine, and “Under the Dome” is set in the fictional town of Chester’s Mill, based on the town of Bridgton.


The house on River Road in Orrington, where Stephen King was inspired to write ‘Pet Sematary’, is seen in this 2017 file photo. Credit: Ashley L. Conti/BDN

Before the Kings bought their home in Bangor, they spent most of 1978 living in a rented house in Orrington, so Stephen King could travel to UMaine to teach English. The family cat was killed on Route 15 and buried in a pet cemetery at the back of the house, which directly inspired one of King’s most popular stories, “Pet Sematary.”

Sarasota, Florida

Technically, the Kings live on Casey Key, one of the many barrier islands surrounding the city of Sarasota on Florida’s west coast. They wintered in this region for decades and they bought their isolated island in 2001. Florida as the location of King’s stories only appeared in 2008 in his novel “Duma Key”, as well as in the short story “The Gingerbread Girl”. which appeared in his collection “Just After Sunset”, published the same year.

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