Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (2023)

There’s no doubt that Stephen King put Bangor, Maine on the map.

The small New England town is inextricably associated with the famous writer, and his red Victorian mansion is its beating heart.

People from all across the country, sometimes even from across the ocean, flock to this otherwise unassuming town, to get a glimpse into the author’s life and his home on West Broadway.

Although sightings of King outside his house were notoriously rare, his presence is definitely felt here. From the moment you drive into Bangor, you feel like you’ve been transported in one of King’s novels, and it’s easy to see why.

It’s no secret that Maine was a source of inspiration for King, who was born and raised in Portland, and many of his novels are set in the Pine Tree State.

King wrote Salem’s Lot while living in the blood-red mansion at 47 West Broadway, while the fictional town of Derry, where the eponymous novel It takes place, was inspired by Bangor.

So it’s no wonder that fans from all over the world are drawn to this secluded tiny town; they want to immerse themselves into that atmosphere that they found in the books, and see the places that inspired King to write some of his most beloved books.

If you’re a Stephen King fan, you’ll feel right at home in Bangor

Entering the mysterious town of Bangor, you’ll notice that pretty much all the houses here look kinda creepy, particularly those on West Broadway.

(Video) Stephen King Reveals His Top Five Stephen King Stories

The street that King lives on looks like the perfect setting for a haunted house movie or one of those Halloween-style slasher sagas.

Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (1)

With the exception of small groups of avid King fans, the streets are usually empty, and it sometimes feels like the whole area is abandoned, especially on a gloomy fall or winter day.

Pulling up on West Broadway, rows of majestic, imposing manors greet you, as if leading you to the main attraction, the pulsating red heart of Bangor.

All the mansions on West Broadway, including King’s, are easily accessible and close to the main street, which is wide and protected by tall, lush trees.

Yet there’s no mistaking which house is Stephen King’s; its bloody color and wrought-iron fence give it away.

Endless rows of fans have taken pictures of themselves in front of the black wrought iron fence which is decorated with spiders, a three-headed dragon, and other bat-winged creatures.

Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (2)

The author reportedly regrets putting up that creepy fence, since it’s become such a popular tourist attraction over the years.

However, once in a while he likes to entertain his near-trespassers; in 2017, just before the release of the new It movie, a red balloon popped up in one of the windows of the house. If you read or watched It, you’ll know why that’s creepy.

(Video) Nostalgia Critic - Stephen King´s Maine

The history of the blood-red manor and how it became home to one of the greatest writers alive

The now-iconic manor on West Broadway was originally built in 1858, and has been owned by King and his wife Tabitha since 1980.

The Kings and their three children moved to Bangor after living in Boulder, Colorado for a year, where King wrote The Shining (inspired by the real-life Stanley Hotel).

It was initially meant to be a second house for the family, but it eventually became their primary residence.

Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (3)

Stephen King shared with the Bangor Historical Society in 1983 what drove the family to move here:

‘West Broadway attracted us, with its graceful Victorian homes, its lovely trees, and its feeling of being a peaceful sort of inlet very close to the bustle of downtown.’

Stephen King

The author went on to say that the proximity to Fairmount school, a school that their children could walk to, was another big pull.

It seems to have worked out just fine for them, and we’re betting that their beloved corgi Molly — also known as the Thing of Evil — has made the most out of all that outdoor space.

The King manor lies on roughly 2 acres of land and was built in an Italianate Villa style. Hayford Park is right in the family’s backyard, while the property is surrounded by lush trees, offering plenty of privacy.

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The original structure was made out of wood and only had one tower; the left-side tower was reportedly added in 1895, while the large front porch was added in 1912.

The property nowadays also incorporates an attached barn with an indoor swimming pool, a three-car garage, and King’s former writing studio at the rear of the house.

Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (4)

Now, the Kings like their privacy, so there aren’t any pictures or details about what the inside of the house looks like, which obviously makes it even more fascinating and appealing to fans.

How much does Stephen King’s house cost?

The interior of the house features 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and a total of 4,952 square feet, according to Zillow — who places the home’s current value around the $1.5 million mark (but the real estate portal is known for widely exaggerating the price of properties).

Another real estate website, Redfin estimates it’s worth at $952,030, which seems a bit more realistic given that the median home price for the area is

Now, either way, if King were to sell it to another homeowner, he’d be making quite the profit. The writer only paid $135,000 for the home in 1980. But chances are very slim that the iconic house will be getting any new residents, as it’s now been rezoned and will be serving a whole new role.

No Longer Stephen King’s Residence, the House is Now an Archive for Scholars

Back in 2018, Stephen King announced that he’s moving out and plans to turn his long-time house in Bangor into an archive for his most iconic work, with the home next door also being turned into a writer’s retreat.

The prolific author’s home in Bangor, Maine has been rezoned as a non-profit which will house the writer’s archives, formerly held at the University of Maine; it’s now accessed by appointment only.

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Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can go visit it. King made it clear that the house won’t be opening to the public, but that the archives will be available to scholars and researchers.

Why Stephen King’s House is the Beating Heart of Bangor, Maine (5)

The reason behind these changes is the fact that the Kings didn’t really spend as much time as they used to in their house at 47 West Broadway. The Bangor City Council gave them the green light to rezone their home as a non-profit in 2019.

Now, if you’re a die-hard Stephen King fan, like myself, and you get the chance to visit central Maine, it’s worth taking a day trip to Bangor and getting a feel of what it’s like to live in one of his novels — even if you can’t actually visit the house or stay at the writer’s retreat (which only accommodates up to 5 writers at a time.

If you want to make the best of your visit and make sure that you’ve checked all the main sights, then you’ll definitely want to book a tour of ‘Stephen King’s Derry,’ organized by SK Tours.

If you don’t have time for that, enter ‘47 West Broadway’ in your GPS and it’ll take you right to the center of the Stephen King universe. Be sure to take lots of pictures, and be on the lookout for red balloons or evil corgis.

Need help finding a hotel close to Stephen King’s house? Here’s a handy map with all of your rental and hotel room options in Bangor, all within walking distance to the author’s house:

More iconic homes

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Why does Stephen King Live in Bangor Maine? ›

Stephen King shared with the Bangor Historical Society in 1983 what drove the family to move here: 'West Broadway attracted us, with its graceful Victorian homes, its lovely trees, and its feeling of being a peaceful sort of inlet very close to the bustle of downtown.

Why does Stephen King like Maine so much? ›

He writes to his affection and appreciation of New England and in particular, New Hampshire and Maine. It's where he grew up, where he raised his kids and where he nearly lost his life in tragic accident several years back. But you will find that many writers will pay a consistent homage to their regions.

What famous house is in Bangor Maine? ›

Stephen King's House – Bangor, Maine - Atlas Obscura.

Why does Stephen King use Derry Maine? ›

The fictional town of Derry, that appears in so many of his stories, is based on Bangor, a couple of hours up the interstate from Portland. “Derry is Bangor,” King has said. He moved his family there in 1979 for the schools and small-town community – and because it inspired him. The town has stories to tell.

What famous Steven lives in Bangor Maine? ›

In a 1983 essay, King explained that the idea for It began brewing when he first moved into the home in Bangor.

Where does Stephen King live most of the time? ›

Even on cloudy days, that resemble the fictional Maine town of "Derry," of which Bangor was the basis, tourists pop in and out of SUVs pulled to the curb outside the red mansion at 47 West Broadway. For decades, it has been the primary residence of King and his wife, Tabitha, who raised their children there.

What is Stephen King's least favorite movie? ›

The Shining has been quoted as Stephen King's least favorite adaptation, yet the film remains one of the top horror films of all time.

Can you go inside Stephen King's house? ›

The King house is the location of the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and is not open to the public. Come join us for a 2.5+ hour, narrated, bus driven tour of Stephen King's Derry, Maine.

Who is the richest writer in the world? ›

The Ten Richest Authors in the World
  • Nigel Blackwell – $292.5 Million.
  • Barbara Taylor Bradford – $300 Million.
  • Danielle Steel – $310 Million.
  • Nora Roberts – $390 Million.
  • Stephen King – $400 Million.
  • James Patterson – $560 Million.
  • J.K. Rowling – $1 Billion.
  • Elisabeth Badinter – 1.3 Billion.
Feb 10, 2023

Why is Bangor Maine famous? ›

During the 19th Century, Maine's vast forests, offering supplies of lumber and naval stores, brought unprecedented wealth to the region. By the 1850's, Bangor was considered the lumber capital of the world, was one of the busiest ports on the East Coast, and was heavily engaged in shipbuilding and commerce.

Where is the most expensive house in Maine? ›

Maine's most expensive home can be found in Mount Desert, a cozy town nestled on Mount Desert Island. The 10,918-square-foot waterfront home on a parcel of 6.03 acres is now available for $25 million. If it's privacy and luxury you crave, this estate offers plenty of both.

What town has the most expensive houses in Maine? ›

Cities with the most expensive homes in Maine
  • 23 / 30. Stacker. #8. York. ...
  • 24 / 30. Stacker. #7. Yarmouth. ...
  • 25 / 30. Stacker. #6. Falmouth. ...
  • 26 / 30. Stacker. #5. Cape Elizabeth. ...
  • 27 / 30. Stacker. #4. Ocean Park. ...
  • 28 / 30. Stacker. #3. Ogunquit. ...
  • 29 / 30. Stacker. #2. Mount Desert. ...
  • 30 / 30. Stacker. #1. Kennebunkport. - Typical home value: $914,825.
Mar 2, 2023

Is Derry supposed to be Bangor? ›

Fans of renown horror author Stephen King know Bangor well, but by another name: Derry. The fictional town is a thinly disguised version of Bangor, where the author has lived for decades. Derry appears in no fewer than 24 of King's stories and provides the major setting for the novel “It”.

Why are so many books set in Maine? ›

Maine is beautiful, and its landscapes and history make great settings for books. Maine has been the backdrop for many books, both fiction and nonfiction. It's a state with a lot of history and culture, which makes it the perfect setting for stories.

Do all Stephen King books take place in Maine? ›

MAINE(BDN)-- Stephen King's stories have been set in a wide variety of places, like 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 have been set in Maine, where King and his wife, Tabitha, have lived for most of ...

Do any celebrities live in Maine? ›

Among those in this list are more recognizable names like Martha Stewart and John Travolta, to some you may not have known like The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams or Spider-Man's Green Goblin actor Willem Dafoe.

Who is the most famous author from Bangor Maine? ›

Maine's most famous modern author is Stephen King, whose mind-bogglingly prolific works are often based in fictional Maine towns. You can visit his hometown of Bangor (known as Derry in his stories) and enjoy a delightful and captivating tour of 30 sites found in his books.

Where does Stephen King have a house in Maine? ›

Stephen King's House, Bangor, Maine.

How many hours does Stephen King sleep? ›

I usually get about six hours a night, sometimes seven. But I also try to take a nap in the afternoon, about an hour. So I'm going to say I get maybe seven and a half hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

How rich is Stephen King? ›

Throughout King's career, he has sold over 350 million books and is known as the King of Horror. His successful career has made King a rich man as his net worth is north of $500 million according to Celebrity Net Worth.

What is Stephen King's favorite? ›

As it turns out, Stephen King's favorite book is none other than Lonesome Dove. This particular book, written by Larry McMurtry, was published in 1985. And it's actually known for being a classic western novel. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

What scares Stephen King the most? ›

It turns out that the things that frighten Stephen King the most are not monsters but forms of everyday technology. “Well, I'm afraid of trucks and cars,” King began. “I mean, Maximum Overdrive is about trucks because, as a child, they seemed so large and I seemed so small.

Which Stephen King movie did he not like? ›

“Firestarter” (1984)

“'Firestarter' is one of the worst of the bunch, even though in terms of story it's very close to the original,” King said. “But it's flavorless; it's like cafeteria mashed potatoes. There are things that happen in terms of special effects in that movie that make no sense to me whatsoever.

Who lives at King's house? ›

King's House (also known as Government House) is the official residence of the Governor-General of Jamaica, who represents the Jamaican Monarch, and head of state. It is located in the part of St. Andrew Parish that is considered part of the City of Kingston.

Where is Stephen King buried? ›

He died at Dover Castle on 25th October 1154 and was buried with his family at Faversham Abbey in Kent, which he had founded.

What street does Stephen King live on? ›

The King residence at 47 West Broadway has nevertheless become a kind of tourist destination over the years. Fans often snap photos in front of the house, a blood-red mansion with an ornate gate boasting all sorts of winged creatures.

How many hours does Stephen King write a day? ›

Stephen King: 2000 Words

In his memoir, King says it's best to write a minimum of 2000 words a day to avoid “the smooch of death.” “Read and write four to six hours a day.

Who is richer JK Rowling or Stephen King? ›

With a net worth of roughly US$1.3 Billion, Élisabeth Badinter is the richest author in the world, followed by J.K. Rowling (No. 2, US$1 billion), James Patterson (No. 3, US$560 million); and Stephen King (No. 4, US$400 million).

Who is the best-selling writer of all time? ›

Agatha Christie

According to Guinness World Records, Agatha Christie has the title of “world's best-selling fiction writer,” with estimated sales of over 2 billion.

Why is Bangor called the Queen city? ›

Many of the lumber barons built elaborate Greek Revival and Victorian houses that still stand in the Broadway Historic District. Bangor has many substantial old churches, and shade trees. The city was so beautiful it was called "The Queen City of the East".

Why is the water yellow in Bangor Maine? ›

The water district's ozone system, which is used to remove color from water during processing, has been offline since November as it receives upgrades. That has caused the city's water to have a slight, yellowish tinge.

What gangster was killed in Bangor Maine? ›

Marker in Bangor, Maine, where Al Brady was killed by FBI agents.

Where is the cheapest place to buy a house in Maine? ›

Sanford. Sanford tops the list of most affordable cities in Maine. This pleasant town is known for its scenic neighborhoods and historic buildings. One of the best ways to enjoy Sanford is by strolling through the picturesque landscapes.

What is the most expensive suburb in Maine? ›

Most expensive community: Ogunquit, median home value of $615,000.

What is the largest private residence in Maine? ›

Welcome to Oak Hall, Maine's Largest Residence

Located in Northport, Oak Hall is the largest home in the state of Maine. The 20,000-square-foot mansion was built in 1913 in the town that sits between Camden and Belfast.

What is the nicest town to live in in Maine? ›

Great Towns: 8 Best Places to Live in Maine
  • York Beach, Maine. ...
  • Belfast, Maine. ...
  • Portland, Maine. ...
  • Kennebunkport, Maine. ...
  • Rangeley, Maine. ...
  • Chebeague Island, Maine. ...
  • Cornish, Maine. ...
  • Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Is Bangor Catholic or Protestant? ›

74.84% belong to or were brought up in a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' religion and 11.99% belong to or were brought up in the Catholic Christian faith.

Are the Derry girls Irish or Northern Irish? ›

The show follows the lives of Erin, Orla, Claire and Michelle, four Irish Catholic teens, and James, a wee English fella who just moved in with his cousin Michelle after being abandoned by his mother. They live in Northern Ireland in a place called Derry, or Londonderry depending on your persuasion.

Why was Derry city banned? ›

In Derry's league opener at St Patrick's Athletic on Friday night, a flare was thrown onto the Richmond Park pitch from the travelling section of supporters and referee Robert Harvey was unable to restart the game until the flare was removed from the pitch.

What is the largest library in Maine? ›

Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine is the largest research library in Maine, with a 150-year history supporting the faculty, students, and staff of the University as well as residents of the State of Maine.

What famous author lives in Maine? ›

Maine's most famous modern author is Stephen King, whose mind-bogglingly prolific works are often based in fictional Maine towns. You can visit his hometown of Bangor (known as Derry in his stories) and enjoy a delightful and captivating tour of 30 sites found in his books.

Why do Stephen King stories take place in Maine? ›

King grew up in Maine. Stephen King was born in Portland and, after some time in other states, moved with his family to Durham, Maine. His Maine home is located in Bangor and comes with all the touches you'd imagine.

Does Stephen King still own his house in Bangor Maine? ›

The now-iconic manor on West Broadway was originally built in 1858, and has been owned by King and his wife Tabitha since 1980.

How long has Stephen King lived in Bangor Maine? ›

He is also a local Mainer and has lived in Bangor since 1980, according to Road Side America. His Bangor home has been an attraction to all King fans. The outside iron gates of this Bangor estate makes it obvious that he lives there.

When did Stephen King live in Bangor Maine? ›

Stephen and Tabitha King's iconic Bangor home on West Broadway, where they lived for most or part of the year from 1980 until about 2019, was recently turned into the headquarters for their charitable foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes in Maine.

Is Derry Maine based on Bangor? ›

Derry first appeared in King's 1981 short story "The Bird and the Album" and has reappeared as recently as his 2011 novel 11/22/63. Derry is said to be near Bangor, but King explicitly told his biographer, Tony Magistrale, that Derry is actually his portrayal of Bangor.

Do all Stephen King movies take place in Maine? ›

Every Major Stephen King Book & Movie Not Set In Maine

Stephen King is known for setting his works in Maine, but some of his most famous stories take place elsewhere. The Shining and Misery, two of King's most prominent works, are set in Colorado, while The Shining's sequel, Doctor Sleep, is set in New Hampshire.

Where in Maine did Stephen King grow up? ›

His parents were married in Scarborough, Maine on July 23, 1939. Shortly afterwards, they lived with Donald's family in Chicago before moving to Croton-on-Hudson, New York. King's parents returned to Maine towards the end of World War II, living in a modest house in Scarborough.

Can you visit Stephen King's house in Maine? ›

The King house is the location of the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and is not open to the public. Come join us for a 2.5+ hour, narrated, bus driven tour of Stephen King's Derry, Maine.

Can you drive by Stephen King's house? ›

You can drive by, park, and take pictures from the street. They were doing construction on the house when we were there, so we couldn't go inside. He doesn't live there, but does live on the other side of town.

Is Bangor Maine worth visiting? ›

Located on the Penobscot River in the central part of the state, the city of Bangor is called the Queen City of the East. This small jewel of a city contains excellent dining, shopping, and lodging options, as well as many attractions for travelers to see.

What is Bangor Maine most known for? ›

Today, Bangor remains the commercial and social center of Northern, Central, and Eastern Maine. It has become the region's largest center of retail and service businesses, and a center for government, education, and employment.

Is Bangor Ireland or Wales? ›

Bangor (English: /ˈbæŋɡər/; Welsh: [ˈbaŋɡɔr] ( listen)) is a cathedral city and community in Gwynedd, North Wales. It is the oldest city in Wales.

What happened in Derry, Maine? ›

The Bradley Gang massacre occurred in Derry, where five were killed. (This is based on the real-life story of the Brady Gang, a quartet of bank robbers who got their start in Indiana, then robbed and shot their way across Maryland and Connecticut before taking up residence in Bangor, Maine.

Is Pennywise in Maine? ›

Although only one of the creatures' countless forms, Pennywise became its most infamous identity, having successfully lured in countless prey around the town of Derry, Maine where It resided.

Where is the Pet Sematary house? ›

See inside the house that inspired Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary' If your philosophy is, "Home is where the horror is," then this four-bedroom in Orrington, Maine, is perfect for you. If your philosophy is, “Home is where the horror is,” then this four-bedroom in Orrington, Maine is perfect for you.

How many Stephen King books are not set in Maine? ›

7 Scary Stephen King Books Not Set In Maine - Get Literary.


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