If you are a fan of Stephen King, then this place is a must-visit for you.
"The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years--if it ever did end--began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspapers floating down a gutter swollen with rain." This is how Stephen King begins his novel IT, which is his 22nd novel originally published in 1986. This passage really signifies what King does best, he has the power to instantly engross you into the horrific and the unknown. It is this unique ability that has made him one of the best-selling writers of our time selling over 350 million copies worldwide and earning him the distinguished title of Master of Horror.
If you are a fan of Stephen King, then you must know that a lot of his writing is synonymous with Maine. But perhaps, the writer he most identifies with in terms of writing is H.P. Lovecraft, who is, undoubtedly, one of the most influential writers of the horror genre. Lovecraft singlehandedly created an entire subgenre that is now more commonly known as cosmic horror where cosmic entities are often portrayed as ancient and mythical monsters, his subject of horror.
Apart from King, very few authors have managed to terrify readers just with the use of words. So unless you have been living 'under a sewer', you must know that Maine is one place that has influenced Stephen King like no other. King has spent a considerable part of his life there and also written a lot of stories set in Maine. In case you didn't know, the town of Bangor is what has inspired the fictional town of Derry and it is the place where the events of IT takes place.
Bangor is also the place where the world’s only Stephen King Tour takes place, reported Strange and Creepy. This special tour will take fans for a ride in and around Bangor, especially to the places that inspired King. The tour is hosted by Stuart Tinker, who is regarded as one of the experts on King lore and legends. The tour goes on for three hours and the tickets are priced at $50 per person and it will cover 30 locations.
The official website of the tour reads, "We can take up to 6 passengers in a comfortable, air-conditioned Chrysler Town & Country van, or up to 11 in our new Ford E350 Van. Some of the places from IT that you will visit are The Barrens, The Standpipe and Birdbath, the cemetery where Pet Sematary was actually filmed, places that Stephen King lived including his current residence, and many more! We do 2 tours per day, the first usually starts at 9:00 am (but can start at 8:00 or earlier) and the second starts at 2:00 pm. (except in the winter when we need to start no later than 12:00 noon so we don’t finish in the dark)! We pick up and deliver at all the hotels in the Greater Bangor area.”
The tour owners, Stuart and Penney said, "We have been Stephen King Fans since 1974 when Carrie was first published and have remained so ever since. In 1990, we bought Betts Bookstore and always kept a complete catalog of both Stephen and Tabitha’s works in stock in hardcover and paperback for 20 years. Because of the help that the Kings gave us, we became well known throughout the world as the place to go to for Stephen King items. During the last 9 years that we owned the store, we were 100%, Stephen King. After selling the store, we decided to do Stephen King Tours here in “Derry”, something we had done for the SKEMERs originally years ago, and it has become a tremendous hit."
Apart from being the tour manager of Bangor, Stuart is the owner of the original Betts Bookstore and has 20 years of experience selling Stephen King books and memorabilia. He started doing the Stephen King tour over 18 years ago and according to him, he has thoroughly enjoyed the process of introducing many new readers to the place that has served as inspiration for so many popular movies and books. For more info about the tour, check out the details here.